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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Greg Morrison of Cox Enterprises

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Greg Morrison, senior vice president and chief information officer at Cox Enterprises.

Greg Morrison, Cox

Greg Morrison
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Cox Enterprises

Greg Morrison is senior vice president and chief information officer for Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company. He is responsible for technology service and strategy development for all corporate systems. In addition, he is responsible for enhancing the IT infrastructure to support business expansion and ensure consistent service levels and operational reliability across the enterprise. Morrison was named vice president and chief information officer of Cox Enterprises in February 2002.

He serves on the board of trustees for Clark Atlanta University and on the board of directors for Piedmont Healthcare Systems, Gwinnett Technical College and Presbyterian Homes of Georgia. Morrison earned a bachelor's degree in science from South Carolina State University and a master's degree in science from Northwestern University.

About Cox Enterprises

With revenues of nearly $16 billion, Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. Cox’s major divisions include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms); and Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions). The company's major national brands include AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, Savings.com and Valpak.

Earlier this year, the James M. Cox Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to the USS Midway Museum. This funding is being used toward hands-on STEM classes for more than 50,000 students onboard the USS Midway. Cox Communications just announced pledged $15 million in support of Connect2Compete, a broadband adoption program that offers discounted high speed internet service to low-income families with children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program. To date, more than 15,000 families have enrolled in Cox's program.

Greg on Diversity and STEM

Out of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, 80% of them depend on skills based upon science, technology, engineering and math. Information Technology, along with other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) occupations, are big job creators. STEM jobs are the fastest-growing category of jobs in the United States and 70% of those jobs involve computing.

STEM careers are increasingly affecting all industries and will continue to grow and become more important to the business world. There are many examples of why this true. Improvements in machine learning and natural language understanding will drive the rapid improvements in weareable computers to connected cars. And advances in Biotech will create customized drugs tailored to an individuals DNA.

It is no secret that people of color are underrepresented in STEM professions. Graduating an increasing number of students from underrepresented communities with STEM skills is a top priority. According to a study completed by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA only 18.5 percent of Black college students and 17.3 percent of Hispanic college students plan on pursuing a STEM major. Moreover only 25 percent of underrepresented students who declare a STEM major earn undergraduate degrees in STEM, compared to 50 percent for all undergraduate students. Black and Hispanic students are more than twice as likely to switch to other majors as Caucasian and Asian students are. It is clear we need to focus resources toward these underrepresented communities to support and inspire a population of students who may otherwise never consider a STEM field.

The problem isn’t solved once STEM degrees are awarded. Forty per percent of underrepresented STEM professionals report that they have been subjected to discouragement throughout their STEM career. I strongly believe that we, particularly women and individuals of color, need to serve as role models that tomorrow’s work force can emulate and draw inspiration. The inspiration will help create a pipeline of tomorrow’s STEM work force by providing exposure and shared experiences of achievement. Moreover we need to actively encourage colleagues and students from underrepresented groups to seek opportunities.

Mentoring is one approach to help in this regard. The right mentoring programs can help to develop more diverse bench strength; maximize employee potential; enhance leadership competency; and help maintain a diverse slate of talented people ready to take on more responsibilities or a new role.

The private sector can help by combining financial, experiential and directional support in the form of paid internships and mentorships to promising STEM scholars. What’s often missing from discussions about STEM is a focused involvement by the private sector in STEM to develop robust mechanisms that support scalable and sustainable high quality education programs. I serve on a University and Technical College board of trustees. This is an area of focus at the collegiate level that we have identified for the future. But public school districts need to do some things different too. They need to train teachers who can reach school serving predominantly minority and low-income students. Invest in better equipped high school biology labs. Solicit private industry mentors to pair with students to work on independent research projects. And actively engage young students -- especially from underrepresented groups -- in topics such as robotics, electronics, mobile app development and 3D design through a series of increasingly difficult contests and challenges. These challenges, in turn, foster important new century skills, including persistence and creative problem solving.

2015 Global Talent Summit: Working Toward the Future of Jobs

On January 14, 2015, STEMconnector and Diplomatic Courier hosted the 2nd Annual Global Talent Summit: STEM 2.0 & the Future of Jobs in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Summit focused on the applicability of STEM 2.0 with special emphasis on the framework’s application to the global demand for talent. If you missed the Summit, you can view the entire event on YouTube, or watch a few highlights if you’re short on time (also embedded below).
 
This year, nearly 200 leaders from the corporate, non-profit, education and government sectors convened to discuss the importance of the STEM 2.0 capabilities (employability skills, innovation excellence, and digital fluency) for tomorrow’s workforce. Senior executives from major corporations, including Citigroup, Deloitte, IBM, Monsanto, PepsiCo, Tata Consultancy Services, TE Connectivity, Sodexo and Wal-Mart, spoke about the specific skills, behavioral traits, and diversity of employees that their companies are looking to hire now, and in the future. 
 
To complement the industry’s demand for STEM talent, non-profit organizations like the National FFA Organization, NPower, FIRST, The Manufacturing Institute, and the Fab Foundation articulated how their programming is empowering students and workers with the necessary skills for tomorrow’s jobs. Educators from Arizona State University, Apollo Education Group, and Des Moines Area Community College continued the discourse commenting on their partnerships with the business community that align programming, curriculum, and training to equip students with the necessary skills to find a good job. 
 
The 2nd Annual Global Talent Summit is strategically placed ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in order to build momentum around the STEM agenda. 
 
The Global Talent Summit was broadcast to a virtual audience via Google Hangouts, generating over 2,600 unique views from around the world. The United States had the largest audience, but viewers tuned in across the world from Albania to Australia and from South Africa to Singapore. 
 
This year’s social media conversation (#2050jobs) was vibrant and substantive. Tweets collected from the official hashtag showed that the audience understood the major take-aways from the discussion. Over 8,000,000 impressions were generated by nearly 1,000 tweets from 200 contributors. The following tweets highlight many of the main discussion points:
 
Keynoting the Summit was former U.S. Secretary of Commerce & Chair of the Meridian International Center, Carlos Gutierrez, who talked about the importance of “educating students for what the market needs and not for an abstract sense of education.”  Brent Weil, Senior Vice President and Treasurer of The Manufacturing Institute gave this advice to current students: “Focus not just on the job that you want but on the skills that are going to be adaptable.”  As innovation was one of the big topics of the day, Sherry Lassiter, Director of the Fab Foundation noted, “Innovators don’t just know how to do one thing, they know how to do everything.”
 
The organizers would like to thank the Summit sponsors that helped to make this event a great success: Tata Consultancy Services, Apollo Education Group, Deloitte, Sodexo, PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Meridian International Center, Global Voice Hall, and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
 
Be sure to look for more information in the future as we look forward to the 2016 Global Talent Summit!
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Maria Moats of PwC US

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Maria Moats, chief diversity officer at PwC US.

Maria Moats, PwC US

Maria Moats
Chief Diversity Officer
PwC US

Maria is one of sixteen on PwC's U.S. Leadership team and reports directly to the Senior Partner. Since 2011, she has served as the Chief Diversity Officer - setting strategy and deployment of PwC's U.S. diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition, Maria is currently serving as the Lead Engagement Partner on a major Northeast retail and consumer company.

Maria has over 24 years of professional accounting and auditing experience with financial services, retail, consumer and industrial product clients. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, is a licensed CPA in Texas, New Jersey and New York. Maria has been a dedicated board member for the March of Dimes and an advocate of children's adoptions. She is a first generation Mexican American and speaks Spanish fluently. Maria lives in the New York Metro area with her husband and two children.

About PwC US

PwC US helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a member of the PwC network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people. We're committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Our firm has a long-standing history of helping resolve complex issues and providing an incomparable professional experience for our people. Our diversity strategies are designed to attract, develop, and advance the most talented individuals regardless of their race, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability status or any other dimension of diversity. Doing business responsibly, while engaging our stakeholders, is critical to our business, our people, and our communities. Through PwC’s Earn Your Future, the firm is preparing students to make responsible financial decisions and helping contribute to a healthier US economy.

Maria on Diversity and STEM

How has your corporation coordinated investments in education with future workforce needs?

PwC is focused on delivering value in all we do, and we cannot do this by ignoring social issues that threaten the sustainability of businesses, and our communities. One such issue is the growing need for financial literacy education in schools, and helping to build stronger skills in financial decision-making and financial capability. This issue is particularly acute in underserved communities. CEOs continue to express concern about the pipeline of talent—not only how to find diverse individuals with the skills they need, but how to retain them. Given the skills of our more than 39,000 people in accounting, finance and consulting services, we realized years ago that we were in a prime position to extend our work of adding value to businesses by strengthening the next generation workforce, and enhancing people’s lives. Through PwC’s Earn Your Future, our $160 million commitment to instill responsible financial behaviors that will position students for future job readiness and economic stability, we’re sharing our knowledge and skills with students in grades K-12 and helping them prosper.

Leaders are in great demand as business builders and role models. What advice do you have for women and minorities coming up in the system?

Never shy away from your differences. Early in my career my supervisor overheard me whispering on the phone in Spanish and told me to flaunt my fluency because it was a business asset. That was the day I realized that being myself was an asset. I also encourage everyone, women and minorities included, to look for diversity in their own mentors. It’s natural to seek a role model in someone who looks like you, but resist it. Seeking alternate perspectives can help you see beyond your present circumstances because others don’t see the same limits or boundaries that you do.

How can we advance Mentorships and Apprenticeships in the STEM pipeline?

It is not always easy to cultivate mentor-mentee relationships, but what’s most important is providing your employees with the resources they need along every step of their careers so they can establish meaningful relationships with other professionals from day one. As an example, our “Start” program targets diverse students in their sophomore and junior years of college and offers learning and development, shadowing programs and real-world exposure to partners and staff. Our “Diamond” program serves as a coaching and advocacy program for high performing minority senior managers and directors within our organization. Through these programs, we create personal connections and encourage young people to take an interest in STEM careers while also supporting those who are already in the workforce.

We also believe strongly in sponsor relationships. Sponsors are those within an organization that not only give you advice, but advocate for you and take you alongside them for the journey. I am a first-generation Mexican American immigrant who is now a partner at one of the largest professional services firms in the world. I believe strongly that my success at PwC is a credit to those who had the ability to dream bigger for me than I ever dreamed for myself.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Steve Mizell of Monsanto

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Steve Mizell, executive vice president of human resources at Monsanto.

Kim Mink, Dow

Steve Mizell
Executive Vice President of Human Resources
Monsanto

Steve Mizell is Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Monsanto Company. Steve joined Monsanto in 2004 as the Chief Human Resources Officer responsible for attracting, developing and retaining a global employee base. Steve has been a strong leader and supporter of diversity and inclusion at Monsanto, ensuring that it is woven into its people and business priorities. With 23,000 employees in over 60 countries, and customers in many more, Monsanto is working judiciously to assure diversity and inclusion is ingrained into every aspect of its operations. This enhanced awareness and focus allows for greater innovation, agility, market and customer insight, and trust—all of which contribute to a competitive advantage for the company.

Prior to joining Monsanto, Steve held a variety of leadership roles with increasing responsibilities at Westinghouse Electric, CBS Broadcasting, Zilog (TPG) and Advance PCS. Steve has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in Management from Carnegie Mellon University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Opera Theatre of St. Louis and previously served on the Board of Directors for Youth in Need, National Kidney Foundation and March of Dimes.

About Monsanto

Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish a growing world. The company produces a variety of seeds ranging from fruits and vegetables to key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers produce abundant and nutritious food. Its employees across the globe work to find sustainable agriculture solutions that help farmers conserve natural resources, use data to improve farming practices, use water and other important resources more efficiently, and protect their crops. Through programs and partnerships, Monsanto collaborates with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Monsanto supports and invests in a variety of initiatives to encourage the study of STEM, helping to develop a pipeline to meet agriculture’s future needs for STEM talent. These include partnerships with 4-H, FFA and the Girl Scouts, to name a few – all of which expose young people to the broad range of career opportunities within agriculture.

Steve on Diversity and STEM

What STEM initiative that your company has supported are you most proud of?

Monsanto has a rich history of supporting education, especially in STEM fields, through a variety of innovative programs and investments. While I am proud of the company’s overall commitment to developing future generations of agriculture and scientific professionals, one initiative that I am particularly inspired by is the America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM Program. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund and helps farmers positively impact their communities by supporting rural school districts. This program gives eligible farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a merit-based grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to support projects focused on science and/or math.

Education is the cornerstone of any successful community, and nothing is more important than helping to educate the next generation. This program reaches students in the early stages of their education and exposes them to the many possibilities of STEM. In 2014, more than 83,000 farmers demonstrated their support for STEM education by nominating over 4,000 school districts. Grants totaling $2.3 million were awarded to 163 grant recipients.

What counsel would you provide around “collaborating to achieve success” in STEM education and the workforce?

The scope of challenges in STEM is too large and complex for any one stakeholder group to tackle alone. Collaboration will continue to be critical to the success of our combined efforts to address the current and future issues facing STEM education and workforce needs. Collaborative partnerships, between corporations, schools, teachers, parents, government, NGOs and other groups, create added value through the integration and cross-transfer of skills, knowledge and expertise. And this can lead to increased innovation and efficiency, as well as long-term, sustainable solutions to address some of the challenges.

Monsanto has learned and benefitted greatly from the value that collaborations can bring – from internal, cross-functional teams to external multi-sector partnerships – all of these move us towards our goal of advancing the industry through projects and programs that make a difference. Working together, bringing diverse resources to bear, we can all make positive contributions to improve STEM education and help the next generation achieve success as the future workforce – a purposeful endeavor that I am proud to be a part of.

Dow Partners with the American Chemical Society to Improve Chemistry Teaching Throughout North America

This is a press release from Dow Chemical

Inaugural Teacher Summit to be held Summer 2015 in Midland, Michigan

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2015 | The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) are partnering to invigorate chemistry education and support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the nation’s schools.
 
Dow and AACT will work together to convene a series of teacher summits and create more than 750 lesson plans, multimedia resources, demonstrations and other high-quality chemistry teaching materials for use in K–12 classrooms. The work will be supported by a $1 million contribution from Dow to AACT spread over a four year period. 
 
AACT was launched in 2014 by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The partnership with Dow promotes the main goal of AACT—to provide its members with resources that foster top-notch chemistry instruction grounded in everyday life. 
 
“We are thrilled to be working together with Dow to support teachers of chemistry across the country and develop the workforce of the tomorrow,” said Madeleine Jacobs, ACS executive director and chief executive officer. “We hope that this partnership can serve as a model that will catalyze greater engagement between chemical industries and local communities.”
 
“A skilled STEM workforce fuels innovation and economic prosperity and creates solutions that improve the quality of life for people across the globe. At Dow, we value teachers’ critical role, both in inspiring chemistry excitement and in helping students to gain the key skills they need to be successful in STEM careers,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “As the founding partner of this program, we are proud to collaborate with ACS on this first of its kind community to empower chemistry teachers inside and outside of the classroom as they work to inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.”
 
Dow’s STEM mission is to build the workforce of tomorrow by supporting teachers, motivating student achievement, developing careers, and collaborating with communities to transform STEM education into a driver for innovation, manufacturing, and economic prosperity. Through its STEMtheGAP™ initiatives, including the AACT partnership, Dow strives to provide more resources to teachers, drive excitement in young people around STEM topics and increase the number of students who choose STEM majors, ultimately preparing these students to be successful in STEM careers.
 
“This new partnership comes at a critical time,” said Adam Boyd, AACT program director. “Enrollment in high school chemistry classes is on the rise. Yet, only 35 percent of high school chemistry teachers have both a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and are actually certified to teach it.”
 
In order to prepare these teachers for the challenges they face in the chemistry classroom, Dow and AACT will host a series of teacher summits in cities around the country, with the first summit occurring this summer in Midland, Michigan. Approximately 30 chemistry teachers from surrounding communities will attend the weeklong summit. They will work with Dow volunteers, known as Dow STEM Ambassadors, to identify improvement opportunities in K–12 classroom resources and develop lesson plans, multimedia presentations and other materials that better meet teachers’ needs. As part of this effort, Dow STEM Ambassadors will help teachers incorporate career-based examples into their teaching resources, educating students on future potential career opportunities.
 
Lesson plans and other classroom materials developed at the Dow-AACT teacher summits will be available to AACT members via the association’s website, www.teachchemistry.org.
 
About AACT
AACT is the first national organization of its kind in the United States. Membership in the new organization is open to all who are interested in chemistry education. AACT has three goals: to serve as a trusted source of curricular and pedagogical resources for K–12 chemistry instruction, to provide opportunities for chemistry teachers to network with each other and the broader ACS community, and to disseminate effective teaching and learning practices at the K–12 level.  For more information, visit www.teachchemistry.org.
 
About ACS
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.  For more information, visit www.acs.org.
 
About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2013, Dow had annual sales of more than $57 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 6,000 products are manufactured at 201 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.  More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.  More information about Dow’s commitment to promoting STEM education can be found at www.dow.com/company/citizenship/stem.htm.
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Time Warner Cable Supports STEM Education at the California Science Center

This is a press release from Time Warner Cable

$10,000 Donation Benefits the Challengers Boys and Girls Club

  LOS ANGELES, Jan. 21, 2015 (PRNewswire) | Through an innovative grant from Time Warner Cable (TWC), 50 middle school students from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles got a chance to learn what it is like to live and work in outer space. Educators at the California Science Center conducted "Space Race," an eight-week course that provided participants with hands-on activities and engineering design challenges.  Among the activities, students built rockets and a simple robotic arm, conducted experiments measuring air pressure and extreme temperatures, and discovered how astronauts train for their missions. The effort is part of TWC's Connect a Million Minds initiative to address America's declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The goal is to engage and inspire youth to become interested in STEM subjects now to become the problem solvers of tomorrow.  

"At Time Warner Cable, we know that having STEM competencies is critical to individuals' success as well as the collective wellbeing of our country, which is why we are committed to connecting kids to fun and innovative STEM activities," said Katherine McDonald, Manager, Community Investment, Time Warner Cable.   "The Science Center's mission is to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning," said Ron Rohovit, Deputy Director of Education, California Science Center.  "Students involved in this program had the unique opportunity to participate in simulated astronaut training and authentic engineering design challenges for working in space."   The program culminates with a field trip to the Science Center to visit the Space Shuttle Endeavour on January 21, 2015. During the visit, TWC will present the Science Center with a check for $10,000 for the programming delivered to the Challengers Boys and Girls Club.

About Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States, connecting 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers data, video and voice services to businesses of all sizes, cell tower backhaul services to wireless carriers and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services.  Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising sales arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.twc.com, www.twcbc.com and www.twcmedia.com.
 
About Challengers Boys and Girls Club
Challengers' mission is to motivate, educate, and elevate the children and teens of South Los Angeles to become responsible, caring, productive adults. Located at 5029 S. Vermont Avenue in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, Challengers Boys & Girls Club has helped change and save the lives of thousands of young people across our community. This is accomplished by providing constructive and positive alternatives to alienation and juvenile delinquency through a comprehensive program of personal and educational development; parent involvement; cultural enrichment; health and physical education; and various social and recreational activities.
 
In the last year, Challengers Boys & Girls Club has provided services to over 1000 youth in the community. Through our Club, youth have been provided with a supportive and enriching place to go after school and in the summer time. Challengers Boys & Girls Club has been and continues to be: A place to GO and a place to GROW.
 
For more information on Challengers Boys & Girls Club, please visit our website at www.cbgcla.org or give us a call at (323) 971-6161.
 
About the California Science Center
The California Science Center's mission is as follows: "We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives."
 
The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission to Science Center exhibits is free. For recorded information, including IMAX show times, call 323.SCIENCE (323.724-3623). Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th / Exposition Park Drive at $10 per car, $25 for buses or oversized vehicles. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For further information, please visit our website at www.californiasciencecenter.org.
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Kim Ann Mink of The Dow Chemical Company

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Kim Ann Mink, president for Elastomers, Electrical and Telecommunications at The Dow Chemical Company.

Kim Mink, Dow

Kim Ann Mink
President for Elastomers, Electrical, and Telecommunications
The Dow Chemical Company

Kim Ann Mink is the president for Elastomers, Electrical and Telecommunications for The Dow Chemical Company. Mink joined Dow in April 2009 following more than 20 years with the Rohm and Haas Company, now a fully owned subsidiary of Dow. Prior to assuming her current role, she served as the global general manager of Dow Elastomers, a global business unit in Dow’s Performance Plastics Division. Additionally, she has held the position of global business director for Amines and Chelants, a global business unit in Dow’s Performance Materials Division, as well as chief executive officer of ANGUS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow, and global general manager of Dow Performance Additives, a global business unit in Dow’s Advanced Materials Division.

Mink earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hamilton College and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Duke University. In addition, she is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business Management Program.

About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2013, Dow had annual sales of more than $57 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 6,000 products are manufactured at 201 sites in 36 countries across the globe.

Kim on Diversity and STEM

What is the STEM initiative that your company has supported are you most proud?

I am especially proud when I see Dow employees devote their time, energy and expertise to preparing the leaders of the future. One great example is You Be The Chemist®, a nationwide competition for middle school-aged students. YBTC not only recognizes excellence and provides students incentive to improve their understanding of chemistry, the program offers them preparation materials and hands-on activities. Dow is the top national sponsor of YBTC, and our employees volunteer to run local competitions at several sites, as well as offering science demonstrations and similar contributions. We also have employees who are volunteer mentors for high schools involved in FIRST Robotics®, in which students design, build and pilot complex robots in a demanding and inspiring series of competitions. Harnessing the power of our people – what we call The Human Element – is the key to our greatest successes.

What do we need in the US to continue to be at the top of global innovation?

Innovation was the seed of Dow’s birth and remains the heart of our success, so we are acutely aware of its importance in the modern economy. The only way to remain an innovation leader is to have the right people with the right skills, and more and more that means STEM skills. Over a 10-year period, the number of STEM jobs has risen three times faster than non-STEM jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. So we must take strategic action now to engage today’s students in STEM subjects so they can be tomorrow’s innovators. The case is so compelling that Dow recently created the STEM Executive Council, made up of nine senior leaders from across the organization, dedicated to crafting a corporate STEM strategy and ensuring its implementation. As a member of the Council, I see again and again how a coordinated strategy of investing in STEM education pays off. For instance, scientists in Dow’s Electrical & Telecommunications business have developed materials that are literally groundbreaking: they allow electrical transmission lines to be buried underground without sacrificing reliability. The result is better operations for utilities and prettier skylines for everyone. That’s the kind of payoff that comes from a strategic investment in STEM skills.

Are you a mentor and what is your view of mentorship?

I have been blessed with several wonderful mentors in my career, so I am glad to offer that support to people who are trying to make an impact. The world is a big place, with both opportunities and challenges, so it’s invaluable to have people who believe in you. When I was beginning my career, there weren’t many female role models in the science field, but I was fortunate to meet the right people to help me. Now, I can be that person for others. More importantly, I can help establish a culture of support and guidance for everyone. As Dow’s representative on the Catalyst Board of Advisors, a partnership of companies dedicated to promoting workplace diversity and expanding opportunities for women in business, I bring ideas from around the world to Dow, and share our company’s successes with others.

NASA Joins White House, from Ground and Space, to Discuss State of STEM Education in America

This is a press release from NASA

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2015 (PRNewswire) | NASA will join the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) Wednesday, Jan. 21 for its third annual State of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (SoSTEM) event. The event will air live on NASA Television, beginning at 1 p.m. EST, and also will be live-streamed online.
 
Approximately 130 middle and high school students from schools in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington will join OSTP Director John Holdren and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden for a rare opportunity to connect with two members of the International Space Station crew at 1:30 p.m. for a live ground-to-space question and answer session.
 
NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry E. "Butch" Wilmore will take a brief break from their station research activities to answer questions and share with these students their perspectives on STEM education and professions.
 
Following this long-distance discussion, NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan will sit down with members of OSTP leadership for a panel discussion on women and girls in STEM, followed by a question and answer session.
 
To view the event live-stream, go to:
 
 
For more information on NASA TV coverage, visit:
 
 
Read Stofan's biography at:
 
 
Follow Virts and Wilmore on social media at:
 
 
 
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Beth McMullen of Avnet, Inc.

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Beth McMullen, vice president of IT at Avnet, Inc.

Beth McMullen, Avnet

Beth McMullen
Vice President of IT
Avnet, Inc.

Beth McMullen is a vice president of IT at global technology distributor Avnet, Inc. At Avnet, the IT team functions in a similar capacity to R&D, and Beth is responsible for leading the IT strategy for the company’s logistics business globally. Beth is also a member of the Avnet Executive Women’s Forum leadership team. This group provides mentoring, networking opportunities and leadership development for Avnet’s female executives. In addition to her role at Avnet, Beth is a board member for Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE), a work force development organization.

Beth has a passion for technology and nearly 20 years working in this area. She previously held global IT leadership positions with DP DHL and Arthur Andersen LLP. In addition to a master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Beth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

About Avnet, Inc.

As a Fortune 500 company with annual revenues of $27.5 billion, Avnet, Inc. is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology serving customers globally. Avnet accelerates its partners' success by connecting the world's leading technology suppliers with a broad base of customers and providing cost-effective, value-added services and solutions. Technology is at the company’s core, from the services, products and solutions it helps bring to market to the way the company engages with customers, suppliers and employees. Additionally, Avnet partners with colleges and universities to promote STEM initiatives and help students apply what they learn in school to the real world. For example, Avnet has a competitive internship program, and it also hosts the Avnet Tech Games, an annual college technology competition that is entering its tenth year.

Beth on Diversity and STEM

How has your corporation coordinated investments in education with future workforce needs?

Avnet recognizes first-hand the continued growing needs for a workforce that is trained in the academic disciplines of STEM and 21st century skills. We understand the need for encouraging and giving hands-on experience to those who desire to enter a STEM career. Below are some highlights of Avnet’s investments:

Internships. Avnet works closely with colleges and universities to create programs that engage students with STEM and business readiness internships.

Avnet Tech Games: The Avnet Tech Games has inspired hundreds of college students to apply what they learn in school to real-world scenarios. Students compete in teams for scholarships, and Avnet has distributed nearly $300,000 in prizes and scholarship funds through this program. Additionally, it has led to curriculum changes at colleges to align classroom instruction with the skills in demand by employers. See video from this year’s event here: http://youtu.be/DEy3SZlzvSk

ASU STEM Club: As an Avnet executive, I have worked with the Women in STEM club at Arizona State University, enlisting technology leaders to participate in panel discussions focused on Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In.Throughout the 2013-2014 school year, ten female technology leaders participated in facilitated dialogs on a variety of topics, encouraging both female and male students to consider STEM careers.

Avnet Executive Women’s Forum: Avnet invests internally in the development needs of female employees, through the Avnet Executive Women’s Forum. I am proud to be a member of the leadership team for this organization, which provides networking opportunities, leadership development, and support for Avnet women executives.

Community Outreach. Avnet partners with technology firms in support of our community, such as a joint event with Intel, in support of an Arizona-based charity committed to workforce development for women and veterans.

Mentoring Program. Avnet has implemented a mentoring program for its corporate teams, such as communications, human resources, IT, and finance, and I serve as the mentor for a director on the legal team. Our discussions reinforce my belief that technology crosses all areas within an organization, and the need to have educational systems that reinforce 21st century skills.

In addition to these programs and initiatives, Avnet is also helping bring technology and digital learning to classrooms, which is a core element of the 21st century classroom. For example, one of our business units introduced the 1:1 Learning System – Chromebook™, which targets the growing need among school districts to more effectively make the connection between technology in the classroom and learning efficacy.

What is your advice to those involved in promoting STEM education?

STEM education should not be confined to science, technology, engineering, and math. Leadership, managerial, critical and creative thinking, and communications skills are also important, and need to be nurtured and cultivated. Also, it is vital that we encourage students to challenge the status quo, which will lead to innovation and an increase in diversity.

New Microsoft Office 365 open source integration with Moodle transforms education technology

The following is a press release from PR Newswire
 
 
Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech), a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., together with leading Moodle partner Remote-Learner.net Inc., on Monday announced integration between Moodle and Microsoft Office 365, bringing a more productive experience to teachers and students by harmonizing login credentials, calendar management and course content creation, in addition to other workflow improvements for education institutions and other Moodle users.
 
"Working closely with Remote-Learner, we're delivering a technical solution for one of the most popular open source learning management systems that aims to provide seamless workflows for both Moodle and Office 365 users," said Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech. "By working closely with the open Moodle community, MS Open Tech will continue taking feedback and maintaining, improving, and adding new features."
 
The open source Office 365 and Microsoft Services plugins for Moodle include integration with OneDrive for Business, OneNote and Office 365 Outlook calendar. The integration allows students and instructors, as well as enterprise users, to sign on to Moodle with the same ID, making single sign-on easier and faster for education institutions and other Moodle users with Office 365 accounts. In addition, events created in Moodle will be stored in teachers' and students' personal Office 365 calendars, enabling them to easily track course events and due dates. Previously, instructors needed to update their Outlook calendars manually, or send event invitations separately to students.
 
Integration with OneNote enables instructors to create assignments in OneNote, students to complete the assignment in the digital note-taking application and submit their work via Moodle, and instructors to provide feedback in the same OneNote document.
 
Additional integration between Moodle and Office 365 allows instructors to easily embed interactive online lessons created in PowerPoint with Office Mix through an open format standard. These lessons may contain audio, video, digital ink, interactive simulations or assessments. Documents stored in OneDrive for Business can be associated automatically with Moodle courses. Updates to those documents will appear automatically in links in Moodle, streamlining version control and simplifying integration of content stored in the cloud.
 
"We are thrilled to be able to work with Microsoft to integrate Moodle with the Office 365 platform. With the Office 365 plugins for Moodle, Microsoft continues to demonstrate its commitment to open source software and education," said Jason Cole, CEO, Remote-Learner. "Educators and trainers who have both Moodle and Office 365 create new learning experiences that leverage the power of both platforms. Moodle administrators can deploy these new features knowing they have the support of both Microsoft and the Moodle Partner community."
 
On Jan. 21 at the BETT Show 2015, MS Open Tech will officially release version 1.0 of this project, which kicked off last September, on GitHub under GPLv3. The plugins will also be available for download from the Moodle plugins directory, via Azure-certified Virtual Machine image and VM Depot.
 
During the BETT Show, attendees can learn more about the integration of Moodle on Office 365 from Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, who will present a keynote at 2 p.m. GMT on Jan. 21, titled, "The Role of Technology in Transforming Education." Following the keynote, BETT Show attendees are also invited to attend the Learn Live session, "Moodle and Microsoft: Better Together," presented by Jason Cole, CEO at Remote-Learner, and Doug Mahugh, senior technical evangelist at MS Open Tech.
 
More information and updates about MS Open Tech are available by subscribing to the MS Open Tech blog. More information on Remote-Learner can be found at http://www.remote-learner.net.
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