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SHEC Member Profile: Dr. Richard Rhodes of Austin Community College

The STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) is proud to announce Dr. Richard Rhodes, President and CEO of the Austin Community College District (ACC), will be a member of the Council.

Dr. Rhodes joined ACC in September 2011 after serving as President of El Paso Community College for 10 year.

From ACC, "Since arriving at ACC, Dr. Rhodes has enhanced the college's partnerships, working closely with regional business and industry, other institutions of higher education, and school districts within ACC's service area.  He is closely involved with the Early College High School program, which gives students at two Austin high schools an opportunity to earn up to an associate degree by high school graduation.  Dr. Rhodes is working to increase degree and certificate completion rates for all students, recognizing graduation as among the many benchmarks worthy of celebrating in students' academic careers

Dr. Rhodes recently participated in the STEM Higher Education Council Town Hall, which can be found on the STEMconnector YouTube Page.

IASL STEM Pipeline Model Leadership Award Given to SySTEMic Solution's Amy Harris

This is a press release from the International Association for STEM Leaders

International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation’s capitol and recognizes the Northern Virginia Community College’s SySTEMic Solutions program as a national pipeline model for engaging students in STEM. SySTEMic Solutions is led by Ms. Amy Harris, a statewide leader for STEM Education, and we are looking forward in supporting her in replicating her model throughout Virginia.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
The IASL STEM Pipeline Model Leadership Award was presented to SySTEMic Solutions, a regional program of the Northern Virginia Community College, who is recognized as a statewide leader in STEM. Accepting the award was Mr. Charles Britt, STEM Education Coordinator with SySTEMic Solutions. This program was birthed in the heart of the defense contracting community of Northern Virginia and is state supported. Its STEM pipeline model serves several of most prominent school divisions in the country, to include Fairfax and Loudon Counties. This program was, in part, a spin off program from Micron Technologies, the only U.S. based semi-conductor company.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.
The STEM Leadership Summit was help in conjunction with the world’s largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education. Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in “turn key” laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support. DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. On the online side of STEM, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as sponsors.
For more information, please contact Dr. Carole Cameron Inge at (540) 837-2175 or
Ms. Harris has close to 20 years experience in Virginia Public Schools as an educator and school administrator. Her experience in public education carried her into the corporate arena implementing regional educational programs for a variety of audiences. Through her education connections, she has had the opportunity to foster relationships and forge partnerships with K12 and higher education institutions which provided her with the foundation to establish her career at Micron Technology, Inc.
In her role as university and academic relations manager at Micron, Ms. Harris was responsible for guiding initiatives involving programmatic support for STEM education at the K12 and community college level as well as initiating opportunities for research in the university arena.
Through the development and cultivation of strategic STEM partnerships while in her role at Micron, she was then given the opportunity to launch NOVA’s STEM outreach program, SySTEMic Solutions. This position ties in with her previous experience because the initiative connects K12, higher education and industry to establish a robust infrastructure that is strengthening the technical workforce pipeline.
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she has finished the coursework for her Ph.D at George Mason University and is currently beginning research for her dissertation.

Project Lead The Way Joins US2020 as STEM Mentoring Program Partner

This is a press release from Project Lead the Way

PLTW will support initiative to connect 1 million mentors with students

INDIANAPOLIS (June 16, 2014) | Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, announced a new partnership with US2020 to provide high-quality mentoring experiences for PLTW students by connecting them with industry professionals. US2020 is an organization formed through a partnership with the White House, leading education non-profits and corporate STEM leaders with a goal of matching students and 1 million STEM mentors annually by 2020. This would give every student, especially girls and underrepresented minority students, the opportunity to experience moments of discovery and pursue careers in STEM fields.
"We are excited to be working with Project Lead The Way to source STEM professionals and support educators' classroom work across the country,” said Eric Schwarz, executive chairman of US2020. “In Project Lead The Way, we see a partner with a tremendous track record in preparing educators to lead world-class, STEM-based curricula in schools nationwide. We have seen that educators are hungry for ways to bring their students' learning to life and are hopeful that our partnership will do just that for youth across the country."
Mentoring allows professionals to share technical expertise and help students develop skills such as persistence, project management and team building, and helps them learn to accept encouragement and criticism. However, the most important benefit to effective mentoring is that it allows students to picture themselves in their mentor’s profession – often the first time they’ve felt that a particular career was possible or attainable. Mentorship also has extraordinary value for the mentors. Besides the clear satisfaction of helping young people find their way, mentors are given a structured way to give back to their schools and communities that ultimately leaves them more vested in those communities and their employer.
“Project Lead The Way believes that engaging STEM professionals in PLTW classrooms is one of the best ways for us to serve our students and to emphasize the importance and appeal of STEM career opportunities,” said PLTW President and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram. “PLTW is pleased to be partnering with US2020 to offer a structured mentoring program that will prepare mentors and teachers for a meaningful experience and provide value and impact for the mentors, their companies, communities and America’s students.”
PLTW’s partnership with US2020 started as a pilot program in early 2014, with two PLTW programs in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area participating. PLTW instructor Cathy Zurawski oversaw the mentoring program in her PLTW Engineering program at Pius XI and believes the partnership has the power to greatly impact students.
“Students don’t necessarily know what engineering is or what engineers do. They just don’t know what fields are out there,” Zurawski says. “Students in our area mostly know about mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, but there are so many different and up-and-coming fields, and students don’t have a clear idea of what engineers do on a day-to-day basis. Mentoring gives students an opportunity to gain perspective and talk with real engineers and hear their opinions.”
Zurawski will engage with more mentors next year through the PLTW mentoring partnership, having STEM professionals visit weekly to assist her Principles of Engineering students when they work on designing, building and programming robotic systems in the controls unit.
“[The mentors will] work with the kids on their projects, but more importantly, help them think long-term, look at the big picture, plan out their project, and help them when they run into logistical issues.”
This fall, PLTW will expand its mentoring program, in partnership with US2020, by working with organizations and mentors in US2020’s major partner cities. PLTW’s mentoring program will include specific training for the mentors before they enter the classroom. Positive mentoring experiences include mentors who are prepared, comfortable and have established and intentional plans for interacting with students. PLTW’s mentor training will include basic content knowledge specific to the unit of instruction in which the mentor will be participating, as well as best practices for interacting with student teams. After completing training, mentors will partner with local PLTW classrooms to provide students with real-world examples and insights that help make their activities and projects even more relevant to the world around them.
About PLTW Project Lead The Way
(PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 5,000 elementary, middle and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit

Schoology Contract with Uruguay Powers Plan Ceibal 1:1 Learning Initiative

The following is a press release from Schoology
NEW YORK and MONTEVIDEO – June 12, 2014—Schoology has signed a contract supplying all schools in Uruguay with the Schoology learning management system. Schoology will be powering Uruguay’s ambitious 1:1 instruction program, Plan Ceibal, to deliver instruction and resources while connecting students and teachers in a learning-centered, secure community platform. Click to Tweet.
Plan Ceibal—­­considered by countries throughout Latin America and the world to be a model for teaching students English and technology skills—has already provided more than 620,000 laptops and no-cost internet to students and teachers in Primary and basic cycle of Secondary and Vocational Education. In addition to promoting technical proficiency, another goal of Plan Ceibal is to teach English to students, reaching beyond its borders to find qualified educators.
With Schoology, students in the Plan Ceibal program will have increased access to qualified educators, and will be able to more easily share resources, use a standard curriculum and strengthen their sense of community regardless of where they live or their economic status.
“Uruguay is the first country in the world to give a laptop to every child in public schools, and we’re thrilled that Schoology is the fabric connecting all their content, students, and resources in one seamless, integrated learning platform," said Jeremy Friedman, CEO of Schoology. "Plan Ceibal is an ambitious and highly regarded initiative, and we’re excited to be selected as their partner to help improve learning nationwide."
One factor leading Uruguayan officials to select Schoology is its highly intuitive, modern interface that maximizes student engagement while minimizing the time needed to train staff on the system. Additionally, Schoology breaks down potential language barriers since the platform easily switches between Spanish, English and several other languages.
“Plan Ceibal has had different stages since its conception in 2007. We have fulfilled the technical infrastructure with laptops for every student and teacher in public education, Internet in all educational facilities, and fiber optics in all urban schools and middle schools. Since 2012, we are investing in tools for better pedagogy and better learning,” said Miguel Brechner, President of Plan Ceibal. "We have selected Schoology with a lot of enthusiasm as we believe that it will be a very good tool for teachers and students. In our holistic approach for pedagogy and technology, we believe that Schoology will be a very relevant player in the integration of these two fields.”
In traditional, online and blended classrooms, Schoology manages curriculum, assessments, grading and other classroom management tasks. Schoology makes instruction refreshingly relevant by encouraging communication and collaboration, enabling teachers to evaluate student mastery, and improving student outcomes with a personalized, media-rich, integrative learning experience.
About Schoology
New York City-based Schoology—used by nearly five million users in over 50,000 K-12 schools and universities around the world—combines dynamic learning management, an easy-to-use collaborative interface and next-generation API integration into one innovative solution. Schoology transforms learning into a media-rich interactive experience where students, teachers, parents and administrators work together to raise student achievement worldwide. Available as a free stand-alone product and as a fee-based integrated enterprise-class solution deployed in schools or across districts, Schoology is user-centric and scalable for any blended learning environment. More information at or @schoology.
About Plan Ceibal              
Plan Ceibal is a social inclusion program that aims to transform education in Uruguay, equalizing educational opportunities for all children and youth in the country, democratizing access to ICT services, while providing better conditions for teacher´s work. It promotes the customization of the teaching process and promotes values such as autonomy, exploration and collaborative work. Through ICT (laptops, internet, educational platforms in mathematics, content management systems, educational objects, a videoconferencing network to enable remote teaching, robotics, science sensors) teachers and students have more resources to use in classes and at home.

SHEC Member Profile: Dr. James Conwell of Rose-Hulman

The STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) is proud to announce Dr. James C. Conwell, President of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, will be a member of the Council.
Before James C. Conwell became President of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, he started and helped lead a specialized business unit in Sverdrup to design and build test facilities, including wind, thermal and other environments, for the automotive industry. Sverdrup merged into Jacobs Engineering. In 1999, Conwell became Vice President of the Jacobs Engineering Group, one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of engineering and technical services to primary markets. Conwell headed projects in a number of countries and across a variety of industries: automotive, defense, mining, oil/gas, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals. Conwell received bachelors and masters of Science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University. He was an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University (1990-1993) and chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Grove City College (1993-1996).
Regarding the importance of STEM education, Dr. Conwell states, “I’ve been on the front lines of engineering innovation for the last 17 years, and it is clear there’s an education crisis in America. Our country is simply not educating enough scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, and our industry is suffering. I have an interest in being part of the solution for our industry and for our country’s place in the world.”
In a statement concerning joining SHEC, Dr. Conwell remarked, “As a leader in undergraduate STEM education, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is uniquely positioned to help shape the next generation of scientific and engineering problem solvers with the institute’s environment of individualized student attention and support. We welcome the opportunity to join with other higher education institutions in addressing those STEM issues that are important to keeping America competitive in the global innovation economy and addressing the grand challenges of the future.”
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Profile
Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is dedicated to preparing its students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics education in an environment infused with innovation, intellectual rigor, and individualized attention. The college, located in Terre Haute, Indiana, has an enrollment of approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has rated Rose-Hulman as the top undergraduate engineering college in the nation whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s. Rose-Hulman has also been recognized by The Princeton Review, which cited six of the institute’s professors within their 2012 Best 300 Professors book, the only institution of higher learning in Indiana to be included. Learn more at 
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Points of Pride
·         Ranks No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for 15 years running as providing the best undergraduate engineering education in the country among schools whose highest degree is a master’s degree.
·         Nearly a 100-percent career placement rate within six months of graduation. In fact, our Class of 2014 graduated with a 91 percent placement rate.
·         Rose-Hulman was the first American college to confer a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering; and was the first private engineering college west of the Allegheny Mountains.
·         Ranks No. 7 nationally for being a good return on investment and No. 7 for highest starting salaries (
·         Six of our professors were chosen in The Princeton Review’s book, “The 300 Best Professors.”
·         Named among the “10 Colleges with the Best Professors” by Huffington Post; and ranked No. 7 for having the “Most Accessible Professors” by The Princeton Review.
·         Has had at least one Academic All-American student-athlete for the past 28 straight years, the sixth longest among institutions in any NCAA collegiate division.
About the STEM Higher Education Council:
SHEC's mission is to bring focused energy to Higher Education's leading high impact practices, increasing the emphasis on STEM pipeline-to-jobs (and what we call STEM 2.0). The SHEC will inventory and integrate current efforts whenever possible, building on the energy of others in support of boundary-breaking collaborations between higher education (two and four year institutions) and industry to achieve significant results that can be recognized and scaled-up.

Children's TV Series Space Racers™ Launches Mobile-Friendly Science Site:

Children's TV Series Space Racers™ Launches Mobile-Friendly Science Site: (via PR Newswire) Focuses on a STEM Education Curriculum and Encourages Science & Space Learning for 3- to 6-Year Olds with Lesson Plans Now Available for Educators OWINGS MILLS, Md., June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Space Racers™, the new children…



ICYMI: Video from the STEM Higher Ed Council Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who joined the STEM Higher Education Council Town Hall yesterday! In case you missed it or want to re-watch it, it's up on our YouTube page along with the entire catalog of videos from our Town Hall series! We hope you gained a better understanding of the tremendous experience the Council Members bring to this initiative and the exciting work they will be implementing in the near future. 

We'd especially like to thank yesterday's speakers who participated yesterday: Rob Denson (Pres., Des Moines Area CC), Martha Kanter (Former Under Sec. at the Dept. of Ed), Dr. Tim Welsh (SVP, Apollo Group), Dr. Jane Oates (VP, Apollo Group), Dr. Mitzi Montoya (VP & Innovation Dean, ASU), Dr. Richard Rhodes (Pres., Austin CC), Dr. Jim Catanzaro (Pres., Chattanooga State CC), Dr. Dean Evasius (VP, ORAU), Dr. Dena P. Maloney (Pres., Taft College), Vin Manno (Provost & Dean of Faculty, Olin College), Dr. Chad Womack (Nat’l STEM Director, UNCF), and Don Munce (Pres., My College Options).

To learn more about our members, continue to follow along with our SHEC Member Profile Blog Series!

Check out the video below or on our YouTube Page.

Connect with the right people and help find solutions to urgent challenges facing our planet at the 2014 AGU Science Policy Conference

This is a guest blog post from the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
The third annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) Science Policy Conference will be held over two days, starting Tuesday, June 17th, with a communications skills-building workshop taking place beforehand at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. The conference will bring together policymakers, community leaders, industry leaders, and scientists to discuss the latest research findings and perspectives on climate change, natural hazards, and natural resource challenges.
Among the highlights are a panel discussion on Tuesday morning entitled “Policy Perspectives: The Future of Science in the U.S. Congress.” The discussion, to be moderated by POLITICO reporter Erica Martinson, will feature Representatives Donna Edwards (MD-4), Jim Moran (VA-8), and Scott Peters (CA-52). Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will give the conference’s keynote address on Wednesday morning, and following that will be another plenary discussion on “The Business of Science: Is Public Investment Driving Private Innovation?”
At a congressional reception Tuesday evening, to which all conference attendees are invited, three individuals will be awarded by AGU with Presidential Citations for Science and Society. This distinction, awarded annually to leaders whose work has advanced understanding and appreciation of the value of Earth and space science to society, will be bestowed upon Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD), Professor Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University, and former executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Eugenie Scott.
AGU is putting on this conference in partnership with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Geosciences Institute, the American Society of Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America, the American Statistical Association, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and the Geological Society of America.
For more on Science Policy from AGU, check out The Bridge blog, and for the most up-to-date conference information, follow @AGUSciPolicy on Twitter.

SHEC Member Profile: Dr. Tim Welsh of Apollo Group

The STEM Higher Education Council is pleased to announce that Dr. Tim Welsh, Senior Vice President, Industry Strategy Group at Apollo Education Group, will be a member of the Council. 
Tim Welsh brings more than 30 years of experience as a professional services executive to his role as Senior Vice President of Industry Strategy at Apollo Education Group (AEG). Since joining the organization in 2009, Tim has led a team to convert research-based industry insights into opportunities for educational innovation at AEG institutions.
Tim guides the Industry Strategy Group at AEG to build collaborative partnerships with national and U.S.-based international industry associations focused on talent development in multiple economic sectors. Under Tim’s leadership, the Industry Strategy Group builds effective coalitions to support and enhance a wide range of AEG functions, including curriculum development, career services, diversity outreach, and corporate engagement. 
Prior to joining AEG, Tim was a Vice President with SRI International, where he served on the leadership team that launched SRI Consulting. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Managing Partner at AT&T Solutions, where he had major assignments in Europe, Asia, and Canada. Throughout his career, Tim has been a trusted adviso to executives in industries including financial services, energy, manufacturing, retail, film, and government. He serves as a Board Trustee and educational advisor to U.S. industry associations. 
Tim earned a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University, and completed his doctoral dissertation on strategic marketing management. He earned a Master of Education degree at the University of Montana, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Dickinson College. He also completed post-graduate studies in international affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies 
in Bologna, Italy.
About Apollo Education Group
Apollo Education Group, Inc. was founded in 1973 in response to a gradual shift in higher education demographics from a student population dominated by youth to one in which approximately half the students are adults and over 80 percent of whom work full-time. Apollo's founder, John Sperling, believed—and events proved him right—that lifelong employment with a single employer would be replaced by lifelong learning and employment with a variety of employers. Lifelong learning requires an institution dedicated solely to the education of working adults.
Today, Apollo Education Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, University of Phoenix, Apollo Global, Carnegie Learning, College for Financial Planning, and Institute for Professional Development, has established itself as a leading provider of higher education programs for working adults by focusing on servicing the needs of the working adult.

Scholastic Media's The Magic School Bus Continues Legacy with The Magic School Bus 360 degrees, A New Netflix Original Series for Kids

Scholastic Media's The Magic School Bus Continues Legacy with The Magic School Bus 360 degrees, A New Netflix Original Series for Kids (via PR Newswire)

All New Episodes of the Emmy Award-Winning Series To Debut Worldwide On Netflix in 2016 Download image Download image Early concept art for The Magic School Bus 360 degrees, an original new CG animated TV series from Scholastic Media, launching on…



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