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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Maureen Borkowski of Ameren Transmission 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 Maureen A. Borkowski, chairman, president, and chief executive officer at Ameren Transmission Company.

Maureen Borkowski, Ameren
Maureen A. Borkowski
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Ameren Transmission Company

Maureen A. Borkowski is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Transmission Company, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation dedicated to electric transmission infrastructure investment. In addition to leading the development of new transmission, she is also responsible for the operations, planning, construction and policymaking of Ameren's system of more than 7,500 circuit miles of high-voltage transmission lines in Illinois and Missouri. Borkowski has led Ameren's transmission function since 2005 when she became the first female officer to direct an operational and technical area in the company's history. She has more than 25 years of experience in the utility industry, beginning her career in 1981 as an engineer at Union Electric Company, now Ameren Missouri

Borkowski graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. She was recognized by Diversity Journal as one of its Women Worth Watching. She was named as one of the Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal and a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. She has been involved as a volunteer for various charitable organizations and serves as a great role model for young women interested in pursuing engineering or any technical field. 

About Ameren

Ameren Corporation, a Fortune 500 energy company headquartered in St. Louis, powers the quality of life for 2.4 million customers across 64,000 square miles in Missouri and Illinois. The service territory includes a diverse base of residential, commercial and large industrial customers in both urban and rural areas. Fifty-five percent of Ameren’s 8,500 employees are engineers, technicians and information technology specialists. These employees’ STEM skills are essential in maintaining 10,300 megawatts of net generation capacity, 86,000 electric circuit miles transmission and distribution lines, and 21,000 miles of natural gas transmission and distribution, as well as providing safe, reliable and environmentally-responsible energy to Ameren customers.

Maureen on Diversity and STEM

Why is STEM Education/workforce development critical to the future of our Nation?

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are increasingly important in an ever-changing world and are critical to the economic health and welfare of our nation. We need people in STEM careers to continue to develop technological expertise and innovation and to meet the many challenges facing the United States today.  Energy infrastructure, health care, environmental sustainability, global manufacturing competitiveness, information technology and cybersecurity, and military defense are all fields that require STEM-educated employees. 

How do we encourage students to continue their study of STEM subjects, particularly women and underrepresented minorities?

Outreach is most effective in grade school and middle school. Teachers and parents need to encourage students to take on STEM courses and build that confidence that comes with learning. In many instances, a STEM education doesn’t just involve learning the subjects; it’s also about developing problem-solving skills, logic and critical thinking – training the mind in a broader sense for careers not only in technical fields, but in any field. Group lab exercises and science projects foster teamwork skills necessary for success in any work environment. And if a student is unsure of the career path to take, beginning coursework in STEM can easily transfer to another field.

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

Ameren and other companies in the St. Louis region are participating in an educational initiative called STEMpact. The mission of STEMpact is to increase the number and diversity of students who are proficient in STEM subjects and ready to explore STEM careers. The STEMpact initiative engages teachers to increase their STEM know-how and to help them pass that knowledge onto students through integrated STEM curriculum.

Personally, I frequently speak with students about STEM education and careers. Recently, Ameren participated in a program with Cor Jesu Academy, a young women’s college-preparatory high school. The students visited our generation and training facilities and shadowed employees to help encourage them to pursue a career in STEM. We also support Teach for America-St. Louis and Project Lead the Way, where Ameren engineers visit local high schools to share their stories about the importance of a STEM education. We’ve collaborated with several community colleges to develop training programs for engineering and other skilled trades. We offer annual scholarships in engineering through St. Louis Community College and the Ameren Diversity in Engineering Scholarship at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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

I would encourage them to have confidence in themselves to pursue a STEM career. Women and minorities can tend to belittle or diminish their own skills and accomplishments. They may feel they aren’t smart enough take the next step. I encourage them to have confidence and seize the opportunity. Start with the most challenging STEM courses available, even if they’re not thinking of a future in a technical field. Challenge yourself. Having inner confidence and realizing there’s nothing to lose is the best way to find your future.

Dow Announces U.S. Apprenticeship Program

This is a press release from Dow

Pilot Program Will Build STEM Skills to Fuel Manufacturing Job Growth in America

MIDLAND, Mich. - October 06, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) | The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today announced that the Company will launch a U.S. Apprenticeship pilot program at various Dow sites across the nation in 2015. This pilot program supports a major initiative of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort to secure U.S. leadership in emerging technologies, create high-quality manufacturing jobs, and enhance America's global competitiveness.

 
“Skills training in manufacturing is crucial for America’s global competitiveness,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company. “Today, when Americans graduate from high school, there are simply too few options for skills-based continuing education. Apprenticeship programs provide an opportunity for the public and private sectors to partner in a meaningful way and to prepare the next generation of Americans for tomorrow’s high-skilled, high-paying advanced manufacturing careers.”
 
Dow U.S. Apprenticeship Program Supports Advanced Manufacturing Partnership
 
The launch of Dow’s U.S. Apprenticeship Program pilot advances the goals and national workforce development efforts of the AMP Steering Committee 2.0, a renewed, cross-sector, public-private partnership to secure US leadership in emerging technologies that will create middle class job growth in America. As part of AMP 2.0, Dow, Alcoa and Siemens have formed a coalition to build regional apprenticeship models and create an instructional Playbook for other U.S.-based companies seeking to develop apprenticeship programs. In addition to sharing best practices gained from over 40 years of experience offering apprenticeship programs in Europe, Dow joined the coalition in committing to pilot key Playbook concepts at company facilities in America. Dow’s U.S. apprenticeship pilot supports that effort.
 
Within the next five years, through its U.S. Apprenticeship Program, Dow aims to develop a highly skilled technical workforce that will support business growth and advance skill development in Manufacturing and Engineering. Dow’s U.S. Apprenticeship program will offer participants two to four years of world-class training and on-the-job experience in some of the most sought after and highest earning technical specialties in the industry. Through partnerships between Dow and local community colleges, the program will combine classroom training and hands-on learning to build in-depth skills and experience. Upon completion of the program, apprentices will be evaluated for employment opportunities at Dow.
 
Pilot Program Will Launch at Seven Dow Locations in U.S.
 
Dow will pilot its U.S. Apprenticeship Program at five of its manufacturing sites in Texas (Freeport, Bayport, Deer Park, Seadrift and Texas City), as well as at its manufacturing sites in Pittsburg, California and the Chicago area. The company expects to hire approximately 60 apprentices for the pilot program in 2015, training them for roles as Chemical Process Operators, Instrumentation & Equipment Technicians and Analyzer Technicians. Dow’s Apprenticeship program will supplement existing company-sponsored training programs for those technical specialties.
 
“The highly technical nature of today’s manufacturing jobs requires identification of candidates who possess core, foundational skills – as well as the drive and capacity to continuously learn,” said Peter Holicki, Corporate Vice President of Operations, The Dow Chemical Company. “Apprenticeship programs enable companies to select and develop promising individuals who possess the winning combination of the right raw talent and a passion for success. In turn, the participants enable company success.”
 
Apprenticeship Program Helps Close Skills Gap and Fuel a Sustainable Workforce for the Future
 
Fueled by cost advantaged energy and raw materials, Dow and other U.S.-based manufacturers have in recent years announced plans to expand their U.S. operations and create new jobs. A recent IHS Global Insight study estimates the creation of 630,000 new jobs in U.S. manufacturing as a result of the U.S. shale gas boom, with 2800 to 3500 indirect jobs also created due to natural gas and shale exploration. However, one of the greatest challenges facing industry today is a shortage of candidates with the technical skills necessary to qualify for key roles now available in the manufacturing sector. According to the study, today more than 600,000 jobs, most of them technical, are going unfilled despite high U.S. unemployment statistics.
 
“Apprenticeship recruitment for technical roles is a critical component of Dow’s effort to ensure a sustainable supply of skilled workers to fill our talent pipeline as we continue to grow in the U.S.,” said Gregory Freiwald, Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President, The Dow Chemical Company. “This is about helping to close the skills gap, supporting the sustainability of our operations and the communities in which we operate.”
 
For additional news and information related to Dow’s support for advanced manufacturing and ideas for a global economy, visit the Manufacturing Matters web site at: www.dow.com/advanced-manufacturing.
 
For information about the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, visit: manufacturing.gov/amp.html.
 
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.
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Pearson’s WISC®-V on Q-interactive® Features Enhanced Content, Flexibility to Provide Critical Insights into Children’s Cognitive Abilities

The following is a press release from Pearson.
 
 
School and clinical psychologists utilize cognitive assessments as a critical tool in gathering information about a child’s learning ability, strengths and weaknesses, and determining a personalized learning plan for students in need of remediation. Now those critical insights can be collected and delivered digitally with the latest version of the leading cognitive assessment for school-aged children, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children® – Fifth Edition (WISC–V), which is now available on Q-interactive®, Pearson’s intuitive digital assessment management system.
 
The WISC is the most powerful cognitive ability measure for children ages 6:0-16:11. The fifth edition is redesigned with a variety of improvements, and for the first time is available in both digital and traditional paper-and-pencil formats. The digital format of the WISC-V is on Q-interactive, which enables clinicians to easily select, administer, score and report on their clients’ assessments from a tablet.
 
“Digital administration of core psychological tests on the Q-interactive system has been a fantastic development to my practice,” said Patrick Aleknavicius, Psy.D., L.P., clinical psychologist. “Q-interactive allows me to provide more efficient and effective assessment with a streamlined interface, and real-time subtest scoring. The combination of Q-interactive’s flexibility, and the updated WISC-V will allow for a more integrated and detailed understanding of a child’s test scores, and more targeted interventions.”     
 
Clinicians using the WISC-V will benefit from enhanced content including access to new subtest content, as well as increased coverage of cognitive processes important to specific learning disability (SLD) identification and intervention. Additionally, the WISC–V enables more integration with achievement measures including links to the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Third Edition (KTEATM-3) and Wechsler Individual Achievement Test®-Third Edition (WIAT-III) tests.
 
“The new WISC-V provides more critical insights into cognitive ability and integration to achievement results than ever before,” said Abigail Batty, Pearson’s vice president of cognition and neurobehavior. “Additionally, the fifth edition makes assessment and interpretation more effective and efficient for clinicians — and makes the assessment more engaging for students — through the introduction of digital administration and scoring capabilities with Q-interactive.”
 
To learn more about the WISC-V, please visit wiscv.com.
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Schoology Releases Native Mobile Annotations and Improved Grading Workflows

The following is a press release from Schoology.

A new update to Schoology’s iOS mobile application streamlines instructor grading and workflows with the ability to annotate assignments right within the Schoology app. Now instructors can easily give feedback to students and write comments without using third-party add-ins. Schoology’s app update also includes an entirely new grading workflow allowing instructors to toggle between student submissions with a simple gesture: swiping left or right.

Most web and mobile versions of learning management systems (LMS) use third-party external applications to annotate, which slows the user down and risks losing data. “The ability to provide rich feedback and annotate without leaving Schoology is critical for educators,” said Jeremy Friedman, Schoology co-founder and CEO. “We are excited to provide instructors with unparalleled support for providing meaningful, interactive feedback using the devices of their choice.”

Additional new Schoology mobile capabilities include:

View and grade submitted assignments in nearly 200 different file formats
  • Rubric-based grading
  • Create and view annotations with free hand draw, sticky note, text highlight, text underline and more
  • Easy, single-point access to all student submitted files
  • Easy toggle between courses, sections, assignments, students and revisions
  • Gestures such as swiping left and right
  • Audio or video comments
“We have used every efficiency of the mobile environment to make mobile annotations and feedback in Schoology the easiest, most time-efficient and most powerful annotation functionality of any LMS today,” added Friedman.
 
Today, 7 million users around the world use Schoology’s unified platform with tools for instruction and curriculum management, dedicated mobile apps, access to an integrated global learning community, advanced analytics and reporting, and an open platform for third-parties to build on top of the Schoology learning management system.
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Pearson Announces Upgrades, Based on Educator Feedback, to Award-Winning, Tablet-Based Reading Intervention Program

The following is a press release from Pearson Education.
 
 
NEW YORK, NY -- At Pennsylvania’s York City Schools, students learning with iLit, Pearson’s tablet-based reading intervention program for grades 4-10, are more engaged and realizing great gains in developing literacy skills. Today the world’s leading learning company announced upgrades to the program, based on feedback from educators around the country, that will make it an even more powerful tool for helping struggling learners accelerate the development of reading skills.
 
iLit is designed to meet the national crisis of students who simply cannot read at the appropriate grade level and who, by the time they reach high school, are dropping out, checking out or acting out. iLit is the first complete instructional solution built and delivered on tablets that offers students personalized learning support based on their own instructional needs with engaging interactivities, and built-in reward systems that motivate and track progress.
 
With the new enhancements, the intervention program is now device-agnostic and can be delivered on any iOS, Android, Windows 8 or web browser, making it perfect for use in “BYOD” classrooms. New daily phonics assignments and an improved teacher dashboard were added to improve the overall learning experience.
 
As assistant principal at York’s William Penn High School, Sue Long Moyer regularly observed classes. During the first-year ninth graders at the school were learning with iLit, she observed positive changes in a teenage boy that illustrate the power of technology to transform learning and, ultimately, lives.
 
Moyer, a member of Pearson’s Advisory Board for iLit, recalled, “We had a teenage boy who was struggling behaviorally during his math class. He was being extremely disruptive, not paying at attention and was not engaged in the lesson as he was trying to get the teacher to send him out of class.”
 
Later that day, Moyer said she observed the same student in a classroom where he was learning with iLit and he was quietly reading on task and engaged in the activity on his tablet. Curious about this, she asked him why his behavior and attitude had changed.
 
She said, “He told me, ‘I get this. I can read about Tupac and that interests me.’ But, best of all he was spot on, retaining the information and able to apply it to his own life as he explained to me. It was amazing to see him in that kind of setting.”
 
A few weeks later, she observed him in science class, where he was working in a small group and showing his classmates how to go back in the text to find an answer to a question, which is a skill he learned in iLit. “The transfer of knowledge was incredible,” she said.
 
Moyer was so impressed with the results she saw with iLit at the high school level that she introduced it to her English Language Learner students in her new role as principal at York’s Jackson K-8 School. Commenting on the upgrades, she said, “Our students are finding that the examples help them grasp the vocabulary words easier. The words, definitions and pictures are more relevant and applicable, our students grasp them more quickly and, by the end of class, use them in a sentence correctly.”
 
Moyer also said that her students like the immediate feedback from the improved data dashboard because they can see their own growth and they find that motivating. In addition, the dashboard has sparked student-teacher conversations about progress. For example, when a student takes a dip in progress, teachers have conversations about what happened -- discovering if the student is dealing with something outside of school or feels a need for more time to practice.
 
Moyer, who hopes to grow the use of iLit at Jackson K-8 School, said, “Students are growing at rapid rates and engagement is through the roof. I had a whole grade move three grade levels in reading in one year. They just love the program.”
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Alicia Boler-Davis of General Motors

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 Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vice president, Global Quality & Customer Experience at General Motors.

Lisa Ballantyne, Turner Construction
Alicia Boler-Davis
Senior Vice President, Global Quality & Customer Experience
General Motors

Alicia Boler-Davis was named senior vice president, Global Quality & Customer Experience effective July 1, 2013. This appointment expands her customer experience role from a U.S. position to oversee the rest of the world where GM does business. Ms. Boler-Davis reports directly to GM’s CEO Mary Barra. In February 2012, Ms. Boler-Davis was appointed U.S. vice president, Customer Experience. Later that year, her role was expanded to vice president, Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience.

Previously, Ms. Boler-Davis was plant manager of Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping. This appointment included the dual role of vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer, North America Small Cars, which she held until January 2011. Prior to that, she held the positions of plant manager at Lansing Consolidated Operations and Arlington Assembly, where she was the first African-American woman to be appointed to plant manager at a GM vehicle manufacturing plant. Ms. Boler-Davis began her GM career in 1994 as a manufacturing engineer at the Midsize/Luxury Car Division in Warren, Michigan. Ms. Boler-Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

About General Motors

Headquartered in Detroit, Mich., General Motors is one of the world’s largest automakers. GM and the GM Foundation support the development of the next generation of leaders and innovators by making education more accessible, affordable and rewarding from birth through college. The GM Foundation pledged $27.1 million to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to establish a “Network of Excellence” in seven Detroit-area high schools. The grant is infusing STEM into curricula, and aims to improve graduation rates from roughly 50 to 80 percent over five years. The GM Foundation also funds one of the largest scholarship programs in the country—the $4.2 million annual Buick Achievers Scholarship Program that supports students interested in pursuing STEM majors and careers. GM and the GM Foundation both support programs that reinforce math and science skills among younger students, including MathCounts, FIRST Robotics and the SAE Foundation’s “A World in Motion” initiative.

Alicia on Diversity and STEM

Why is STEM Education/workforce development critical to the future of our nation?

To ensure the strength of our nation and the growth of our economy, the next generation of leaders and innovators must have the skills and education necessary to compete globally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, STEM jobs account for more than 50 percent of our country’s economic growth, yet only five percent of U.S. workers are employed in STEM fields. Of those five percent, a majority are reaching retirement age leaving many to wonder to whom they will pass the torch. Securing qualified engineering and IT talent will continue to be critical to our success. GM can only progress if we continue to feed a pipeline of innovative, tech-savvy, globally focused young thinkers to our product development teams. There has never been a more important time for leaders in STEM fields to develop the next generation of talent.

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

We need more well-educated and trained STEM graduates to become our next generation of creative innovators. For more than 40 years, the U.S. has been ranked considerably lower than our global partners in China, Germany and Korea in our math and science aptitude. It is staggering to think that the percentage of American adolescents who study mathematics and science is actually lower than half of other countries. However, investing time, resources and capital into STEM educational initiatives, while immensely important, is only half the battle. Once we’ve trained these professionals, we also have to create environments and opportunities for innovation to prosper; where it is encouraged to take risks and try new things.

Where do you see the biggest area of opportunity in advancing STEM jobs careers?

One of the biggest opportunities we have in the STEM area is with the lack of women and Hispanics and African-Americans going in to these fields. These groups make up a significant portion of our future workforce, yet they are the most underrepresented groups in many STEM professions. I’m proud to say that GM outpaces the industry average of every one in ten engineers being a women by nearly doubling this with about every one in five engineers being a woman in the U.S. However, as you can see there is still a long way to go. This is why GM’s STEM efforts are heavily focused on women and minorities. GM and the GM Foundation support programs such as MathCounts, United Way “Network of Excellence schools, U.S. Naval Academy STEM camp, and founded one of the nation’s largest scholarship programs, The Buick Achievers, all in an effort to help raise the water level on STEM education for minority and underserved communities.

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

I have several life lessons that I’d like to share with all future STEM professionals, but particularly for minorities and women coming “up” in the system. The first, is to follow and show your passion. In my experience, the people who make that difference are those who establish clear priorities, and who throw themselves into their work with all the passion and enthusiasm they can muster. The second, is to try new things and take risks. Understand that failure can often lead to the greatest success stories. Third, establish a strong moral compass. This likely means challenging the status quo and conventional thinking which is not the easy route, but leads to the best, most morale outcome. Fourth, never stop learning. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and make a personal commitment to improving what you need to. Finally, give something back, especially as it pertains to STEM. Being involved in mentoring and in helping at-risk children has been tremendously rewarding for me and it has shown me that everyone can make a difference. Engineers are naturally great at building and all should take advantage of opportunities to help build, educate and improve the lives of others.

How does STEM leadership with a focus on diversity help your company compete?

GM is fortunate enough to have a STEM professional managing our leadership team in our CEO, Mary Barra, along with other senior leaders rising from a background in STEM. Mary brings with her a career of engineering, manufacturing and product development knowledge, experience and passion. She also happens to be a woman, and women not only influence 60 percent of all vehicle purchase decisions, but also spend up to $200 billion a year on new vehicles, maintenance, and service in the U.S. Which is why GM puts women at the center of every marketing, design, and product-planning decision we make. However, diversity of all kinds, not just regarding women is so critical to GM’s success. Having a diverse workforce, one that truly mirrors out customer base, is critically important for any business, in the U.S. and around the world.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Carlos Barroso of Campbell

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 Carlos J. Barroso, senior vice president-global research & development at Campbell.

Lisa Ballantyne, Turner Construction
Carlos J. Barroso
Senior Vice President-Global Research & Development
Campbell

Carlos J. Barroso joined Campbell as Senior Vice President-Global Research & Development in July 2013.  He is responsible for leading Campbell’s 500 R&D employees worldwide, focusing on accelerating innovation and new product development to strengthen the company’s core businesses and expand into higher growth spaces. Carlos brings more than 20 years of global R&D expertise in food and consumer packaged goods to Campbell. Most recently, he was President of CJB and Associates, his own R&D consulting practice in Dallas, where he worked with many Fortune 100 clients to help solve a broad range of product and innovation challenges. Before that, Carlos was Senior Vice President of R&D at PepsiCo, where he oversaw all R&D efforts for PepsiCo Foods, including Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods and Snacks. Carlos previously worked in R&D at Procter & Gamble (P&G), where he held roles of increasing responsibility in the company’s paper and coffee divisions in the US, Italy and France.

An inductee of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Carlos is a member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Chemists Society (ACE). Carlos earned his bachelor’s of science degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he currently serves as Chair of the External Advisory Board for the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

About Campbell

Campbell makes real food that matters for life’s moments, from high-quality soups and simple meals to snacks and healthy beverages. For generations, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories and to what’s important today. Led by its iconic Campbell's brand, the company’s portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Goldfish, Bolthouse Farms, V8, Swanson, Prego, Pace, Plum Organics, Arnott’s, Tim Tam, Royal Dansk and Kjeldsens. Founded in 1869, Campbell has a heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com and @CampbellSoupCo.

Carlos on Diversity and STEM

How can we can we do a better job to strategically coordinate all those engaged in STEM across the company? (Across different departments)

We have many science, technology and engineering experts in the organization who don’t necessarily report to the same group.  One approach we’re using to help these individuals network with one another and create a stronger sense of team are Communities of Practice.  Community of Practice leaders facilitate the connections, and members engage in events and learning opportunities together.  Communities of Practice are critical to our overall strategy because they promote talent development, problem solving and the sharing of best practices. 

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

I think one of the gaps in the typical STEM curriculum is the lack of time devoted to leadership skills development.  At Campbell Soup Company, we believe it’s important to offer training to our STEM associates that not only help them be great technologists, but also great technical leaders and people leaders.  Our leadership training programs are geared toward a cross section of leaders, from those who are fairly new to the management ranks to those who are more experienced. That doesn’t mean technical training isn’t important.  All of our STEM associates have strong technical educations, but they may not have learned about things that are important to our business like soup thermal processing or flavor technology.  We have offered that training for many years.  Today, we are focused on keeping the training fresh and relevant, particularly to our younger associates.

How do you translate your work into innovation?

As a food and beverage company, Campbell Soup Company has the exciting challenge of translating culinary inspiration into consumer products. How does an engineer or scientist take a chef’s artistic creation and translate it into something that can be manufactured?  Our approach is not to undo the art, but to capture it.  Some of our methods for doing that are well practiced, and to others we’re adding our own twist. The first step in developing a new product is to identify a culinary target.  Technologists deconstruct the culinary target, and then reconstruct it in a way so that it can be made into a consumer product that still captures the essence of our chefs’ creation.  Campbell is very focused on closing the gap between the chef’s kitchen and the plant floor.  To me, great innovation is when you can hit an unarticulated consumer need.  Something that consumers want but don’t even know it because they don’t think it’s possible. 

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

The talent I’m seeing in our next generation of technical leaders is truly remarkable. A big opportunity I see is helping students understand how to tap into the network of experts and solution providers from around the globe.  In my work with Georgia Tech and other universities, I encourage educators to be very cognizant of the changing world around them.  In practice, this means exposing students to more international experiences so that they learn how to access and collaborate with external partners.  In the workplace, STEM professionals who have had the experience of living, working, or studying with people from different cultures will have a big advantage over those who have not.  We have recently launched an international employee exchange program in Campbell R&D, where nominated chefs and technologists spend up to six months learning and working in another Campbell location, either across the country or halfway around the world. 

Carnegie Science Center Announces Results of STEM Education Study

This is a press release from Carnegie Science Center
 
Research Illuminates Region's Attitudes, Perceptions about STEM Education
 
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 7, 2014 | Carnegie Science Center announced this morning the results of a survey conducted this summer to gauge the attitudes and perceptions about STEM education and its potential for workforce development in a 17-county region spanning southwestern Pennsylvania and adjacent areas of Ohio and West Virginia. The study, titled “Work To Do: The Role of STEM Education in Improving the Tri-State Region's Workforce," was conducted by Campos, Inc., with funding from Chevron and additional support from Nova Chemicals.
 
“In our work at the Science Center, we consistently hear concerns from corporate leaders about having a qualified workforce for the future. Corporations need collaborative problem-solvers with excellent skills in science, technology, engineering, and math – or STEM,” said Ron Baillie, the Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “We launched our Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development  three years ago to address this issue, embracing our role as convener of all stakeholders in the quest for top-quality STEM education – corporations, parents, educators, students, legislators, foundations -- as we inspire and prepare young people to meet the needs of our region and our nation. ”
 
“We commissioned this study to better understand the perceptions, attitudes, and concerns of corporate leaders, educators, and parents throughout the region,” said Ann Metzger, also Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of the Science Center. “At the Science Center, we’re involved in discussions about STEM education every day. We wanted to know how others view the importance of STEM education, what they see as the potential benefits, what they want for their children, and what they perceive as the barriers. The results of the survey will help us communicate more effectively with various audiences across the region and develop programming and initiatives meet the needs of the region.”
 
Methodology
Components of the survey included in-depth, 45-minute phone interviews with 47 educators (middle and high school teachers and counselors, superintendents, and Allegheny Intermediate Unit professionals) and senior-level business leaders directly involved in workforce development and hiring at regional industrial and manufacturing companies. Phone and online surveys were completed with 978 parents with one or more children in elementary, middle, or high school. Quotas were established to ensure representation by county and by urban, suburban, and rural participants. For the parent surveys, the margin of error was +/-3.1% at the 95th confidence interval level. Parents were given the following definition of STEM education: STEM education refers to rigorous instruction in science, technology, engineering and math. Often STEM courses involved hands-on learning and participating in activities in which students collaborate with other students to solve problems. 
 
In addition, professional moderators conducted seven “family dialogues”—dinner home visits with parents and their children across the region—to discuss education and careers and to specifically assess awareness of and attitudes toward STEM education. Family Dialogues lasted approximately two hours and the researchers were invited into people’s homes in rural, urban and suburban locations. Finally, an online survey of 100 middle and high school students was conducted across the region. 
 
Summary of Results
This study demonstrates the promise of STEM education. Educators say it is becoming more of a priority in the region, and they are excited about STEM-related job opportunities. This is especially true in rural areas. Business leaders say STEM education holds promise for closing the workforce gap of skilled workers in the region. A seminal finding of this study is that rural areas represent one of the greatest opportunities for STEM education to impact workforce development.
 
But there is work to do in fulfilling this promise. Awareness and understanding of STEM education among parents and students, especially the workforce connection, is low. Underlying parental attitudes align with STEM fundamentals, but there is confusion about STEM education’s form, function, and intent. Teachers identify obstacles inside and outside the classroom. Fulfilling the promise of STEM education will take time and effort.
 
Major Findings
 
1.         Many parents, educators, and business leaders believe that schools must do a better job of preparing tomorrow’s workforce. The U.S. is perceived to be far behind in math and science.
 
2.         Parents’ awareness of and understanding about STEM is low throughout the region. It is at its lowest in rural areas.
 
3.         Educators and business leaders identify key prerequisites for robust STEM education, the most important of which is making it engaging to students—collaborative, hands-on, problem-solving, and project-based.
 
4.         Parents’ underlying attitudes about education and careers align with many STEM fundamentals.
 
5.         Educators and business leaders are adamant in their opinions that STEM education is for all students.
 
6.         The current language around STEM is not resonating with parents.
 
7.         Business leaders believe that quality STEM education can help develop the next generation of collaborative problem-solvers as a way to close the regional workforce gap of skilled workers.
 
8.         Most educators say that STEM education is becoming more of a priority, but there are differ­ences by region. Rural areas represent the greatest opportunity for STEM education related careers in new industries.
 
9.         Educators identify major obstacles to STEM education both inside and outside of school and the classroom.             
 
“These results reinforce the need to clarify perceptions of STEM education and its importance in filling high-paying energy jobs in the region,” said Trip Oliver, manager, policy, government and public affairs, Chevron. “The jobs of today and tomorrow require the kind of problem-solving and critical thinking skills embodied in STEM education. For that reason, Chevron is committed to increasing the quality of education for all students, and to developing a technically skilled regional workforce that will help fuel economic growth.” 
 
 
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.
 
About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.
 
About Campos Inc
Campos Inc is a leading research & strategy firm that has been providing critical insights to businesses and organizations in our region and our nation since 1986.

 

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Citizen School to Expand STEM Footprint Nationally with US2020

This is a press release from Citizen Schools

The National Organization Looks to Increase STEM Programming as it Enters its 20thAnniversary

BOSTON, MA | Today Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, announced that it will be expanding its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming by retaining US2020 as a key part of its efforts to provide real-world STEM learning to middle schools in low-income communities.​
 
Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools to dramatically expand the learning day, mobilizing a team of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteers who provide academic support and teach hands-on “apprenticeships” that help students make connections between what they are learning now and a future career pathway.
 
US2020 is an initiative that has been incubated by Citizen Schools since it was announced by President Obama at the 2013 White House Science Fair. Inspired by a White House call to generate large-scale solutions to the nation’s educational challenges in the STEM fields, US2020’s goal is to match 1 million STEM mentors with students by the year 2020.
 
As Citizen Schools enters its 20th anniversary year in 2015, US2020 will provide a unique opportunity to expand the depth of Citizen Schools’ services and extend its impact to new communities. There are important synergies including focusing on serving low-income communities and underrepresented minorities, a recognition that the STEM fields are vital to the growth of the country, and a commitment to connect mentors to students.
 
“It is crucial to expose middle school students to engaging learning experiences with STEM professionals, who connect the dots between the STEM subjects and everyday life,” said Steven Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. “We are excited to expand our reach with US2020, which has already made great strides to positively impact communities across the country, including cities beyond Citizen Schools’ current footprint.”
 
“Millions of scientists and technology experts have the ability to inspire students who need their support most,” said Eric Schwarz, Executive Chairman of US2020 and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools. “US2020 and nonprofits like Citizen Schools are helping STEM professionals provide a level of engagement that can change the trajectory of STEM education nationally by equalizing access to STEM experiences and careers.”
 
US2020 is helping to build the national supply and demand for STEM mentors by partnering with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits, matching committed volunteers with quality programs and evaluating volunteer and student impact.
 
​​To create powerful STEM movements at the local level, US2020 launched a City Competition and identified seven winning cities in May. As a part of this “City Network,” the cities have access to a variety of resources to help scale high-quality STEM mentoring efforts, ranging from financial and consulting support to an increase in capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA members.”
 
​​Discovery Communications, the parent company to the Discovery Channel, joined the initiative in May as an exclusive media partner. On October 1, Discovery released a Public Service Announcement, starring MythBusters’ co-host Kari Byron, promoting STEM education and mentorship. The PSA will air nationally across Discovery’s portfolio of 13 U.S. networks.
About Citizen Schools
 
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit http://www.citizenschools.org.​
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Lisa Ballantyne of Turner Construction 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 Lisa Ballantyne, vice president and general manager at Turner Construction Company.

Lisa Ballantyne, Turner Construction
Lisa Ballantyne
Vice President and General Manager
Turner Construction Company

A graduate of Tulane University with a B.S. in civil engineering, Lisa worked for a heavy / highway construction company for one year prior to joining Turner’s Boston office in 1998. In Boston, Lisa served for 14 years in operations roles including project manager, project executive and operations manager, while simultaneously earning her MBA from Simmons College. In 2007, Lisa was promoted to general manager of the office’s Special Projects Division and the following year she was named vice president. In 2012, Lisa was named general manager of Turner’s Risk Management group where she oversaw safety, insurance, claims and legal management for the company and assisted other leaders and offices — both domestically and internationally — with management of their risk while delivering the highest level of service. 

Lisa now serves as vice president and general manager of Turner’s offices in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. In her current role, Lisa leads the operations in the region, with a strong focus on client service and growing the company’s business.

About Turner

Turner Construction Company is a North-America-based, international construction services company and the largest general builder in the United States. With more than 5,000 employees and an annual construction volume of $10 billion, Turner is a leader in major market segments including green building, education, healthcare, manufacturing, sports, commercial and transportation. Turner is also recognized as a leader in the adoption of Building Information Modeling technology tools and embraces the utilization of lean construction practices that foster collaboration and improve project outcomes.  

Lisa on Diversity and STEM

How do you believe STEM education can improve a nation’s competitive advantage?

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals help create better, more efficient, and more sustainable ways to work, communicate, and live. It’s important that we encourage students to pursue careers in STEM as they are the future leaders in important industries and disciplines. In construction, we see firsthand the role that new technology and process innovations play in the planning, development, and construction of a building. And because construction is an industry that touches so many industries, we also have a unique vantage point from which to understand how these technological advancements and process innovations are also driving positive changes for our clients as they plan, build, teach, heal, research and manufacture. As the United States is a world leader and economic power, it’s imperative that we work to improve upon our education in STEM.

How can we do a better job to strategically coordinate all those engaged in STEM across the company?

Over the past several years, we have strengthened a company-wide approach to connectivity with the understanding that the more we can help facilitate relationship building, encourage establishment of common goals, and enable effective communication, the better the company will perform. This effort is supported by personal meetings and conversations, regional meetings and company-wide webcasts, and a new, company-wide knowledge sharing platform. For more than 15 years Turner has used the Turner Knowledge Network as an information sharing tool.  We recently launched the Turner Learning Tree, an enhanced communication and knowledge-sharing platform through which employees can ask questions, connect with subject matter experts and share great practices.

What is your vision for future of STEM careers through diversity?

Building diversity in STEM professions continues to be challenge.  Although the number of women and minorities involved in STEM has increased over the years, they are still well behind the averages of other industries. We need to continue to focus on recruitment — the number of diverse students we have graduating from undergraduate programs in engineering and science is at an all-time high. Once hired, it is equally important that we offer them the support and mentorship they need to develop their careers with us. By increasing the number of individuals entering STEM education programs, we hope to increase the number of passionate, diverse graduates entering the field. My vision for the future is one in where the percentage of diversity is equal throughout construction and other STEM industries – from the field to the board room.

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

Turner Construction Company is a leading sponsor of the ACE Mentor Program.  Through the ACE Mentor program, professionals are paired with high school students, supporting and encouraging their interest in STEM, and offering them an inside look at the life and career in the architecture, construction and engineering industry. I am always thrilled to see Turner’s bright and energetic college recruits engage immediately and become mentors to high school students.

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

My advice for those coming “up” in the system is to take ownership of your own path, while helping others on theirs. The more you can do to develop yourself as a person, the more opportunities there will be for your advancement.  Actively engage in the industry, community and company.  Engage in organizations and philanthropy that you are passionate about.  Help others in their pursuit of success.  Mentors, advocates and sponsors are everywhere, go find them.  Help define your path, and you will find plenty of friends, colleagues and confidants along the way to success. I think Maya Angelou put it well when she wrote, “I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” 

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