Summer/Fall 2012

Diversity/Careers Summer/Fall 2012 Issue

Women in IT
Grads with disabilities
Interns & co-ops
Grad programs in IT
Careers in ME
IT & CS job market
UNCF/Merck scholarships
Soc News: MinneWIC
Soc News: CWIC-SoCal

Diversity in action
Saluting our Schools
News & Views

Bayer CNA
Tennessee SPAWAR

News and Views

NJIT's Atam Dhawan named to represent IEEE medicine & biology group as traveling lecturer

Newark, NJ – NJIT Distinguished Professor Atam Dhawan, an electrical engineer and dean of the NJIT Albert Dorman Honors College, has been selected to represent the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society as a 2012-2013 distinguished lecturer. He'll travel worldwide to talk about advances today in medicine and technology. In December, he was a special guest lecturer at Cornell University.

Dhawan is best known among engineering peers as the inventor of an important innovation for an instrument commonly used to detect skin cancer, the nevoscope. The optical transillumination technology developed by Dhawan has also been commercialized into a line of vein visualization products, Veinlite.

Dhawan's current project is a multi-spectral optical and near-infrared tissue imaging technology that can measure and monitor glucose levels in the blood without painful pricking as required by conventional glucose monitors.

For more info on Atam Dhawan, visit www.njit.edu/news/experts/dhawan.php.

Bayer study finds U.S. female students enter college most prepared for STEM studies

Pittsburgh, PA – American women entering college are the best prepared academically to hit the books and successfully graduate with a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), according to a survey of faculty from the nation's top 200 research universities who chair STEM departments. The survey uncovers several possible reasons why so many women fail to graduate with STEM degrees.

Conducted by Bayer Corporation, the Bayer Facts of Science Education XV survey polled 413 STEM department chairs at the country's leading research universities and at those that produce the most African American, Hispanic and American Indian STEM graduates. They said being discouraged from a STEM career is still an issue today for both female and underrepresented minority (URM) STEM undergrads. They also noted that traditional rigorous introductory instructional approaches that "weed out" students from STEM studies early in college are generally harmful, especially to URM and female students. Even so, a majority of the chairs do not see a need to significantly change their introductory instructional methods.

Dr Freeman Hrabowski, president of U Maryland-Baltimore County, noted that in higher education, "the emphasis should be on rigorous course work coupled with support, together leading to larger numbers of students succeeding academically," instead of weeding out students.

"The major story that emerges from this survey is the failure of universities, STEM departments and professors to recognize and understand the role they play in undermining or promoting women and underrepresented minority students' success in seeking and completing STEM degrees," said Dr Mae C. Jemison, astronaut, MD, ChE and Bayer's longtime Making Science Make Sense spokesperson.

For more info on the survey visit bayerus.online-pressroom.com.

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international healthcare, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. For additional information, check out www.bayerus.com.

NRL's Ringeisen honored for Equal Employment Opportunity

Washington, DC – Dr Bradley Ringeisen, a research chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has received the commanding officer's award for achievement in the field of equal employment opportunity for supervisory employees.

Ringeisen is recognized for the way he has "demonstrated with reverence his belief and commitment toward the principles of EEO by his unwavering dedication to recruiting and mentoring students in the historically black colleges and universities, minority institutions, and tribal colleges and universities intern program. His enthusiasm and drive are exemplified not only in his state-of-the-art research, but in his leadership at the Naval Research Laboratory and his drive to excite young Americans to pursue science and engineering."

Ringeisen has worked as a research chemist within the chemistry division for nine years. he now serves as section head of the bioenergy and biofabrication section.

In addition to his research responsibilities, Ringeisen has served as co-director and been a driving force in the success of the NRL summer internship program for minority students. The internship program gives interns hands-on experience in research for a ten-week period at various NRL laboratories. The program also provides the interns with mentors who serve as role models, encouraging them to pursue advanced degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Lockheed Martin recognizes STEM Quiz Bowl winners during fourth annual IT Day

Jackson, MS – In March, Lockheed Martin hosted the fourth annual Information Technology Day (www.itdaymississippi.org) at the Jackson Convention Complex. The event aims to support IT education, increase IT awareness and encourage collaboration among industry, academia and the community.

The 2012 IT Day theme was "Forecast the Future." Attendees were invited to participate in educational sessions on business collaboration looking at cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and big data. Educational sessions for students included workshops, virtual computing and a town hall discussion designed to get students ready for college.

More than 800 area high school and college students participated in the IT Day program. The STEM Quiz Bowl, sponsored by Jackson State University and seven other colleges, challenged students to use engineering and IT tools to address a real-world problem. This year's topic was security and safety as teenagers' use of Internet and other cyber communications increases. Nine local high schools were selected to participate.

The three STEM bowl winners were Provine High School in Jackson, MS, in first place; Warren Central High School in Vicksburg, MS, in second, and Jim Hill High School in Jackson, MS in third. Each student on the winning teams received a scholarship.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide. For info visit www.lockheedmartin.com.

Microsoft Research and NCWIT announce winners of Computing Higher Education Seed Fund

Boulder, CO – Microsoft Research and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT, www.ncwit.org) announced the winners of the most recent NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund in January. The alliance seed fund provides U.S. academic institutions with start-up dollars to develop and implement initiatives that recruit and retain women in computing and technology fields of study. This round of NCWIT funding will provide $10,000 each to five U.S. institutions.

Claremont Graduate University will team with Scripps College Academy to provide workshops that offer high school, undergraduate and graduate students mentoring and support to pursue careers in technology and computing.

Fisk University will use its award to integrate software engineering into its GUSTO (Girls Using Scientific Tools for Opportunities) project, which introduces, encourages and prepares low-income and minority girls for STEM careers.

Union College will pilot a successful Seed Fund project from another institution: a social robotics outreach workshop in which female computing undergraduates serve as mentors and educators for middle and high school girls.

The University of Central Arkansas will build a female-friendly environment for computing majors by recruiting a first-year cohort of women and giving them opportunities for learning, research, service and leadership.

The University of Virginia will use its grant to focus on actively recruiting computing graduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups by providing enhanced exposure to graduate programs, facilities, faculty and graduate student life.

RIT/NTID's Todd Pagano wins national award

Rochester, NY – Todd Pagano, an associate professor and director of laboratory science technology at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID), has received the American Chemical Society award for encouraging disadvantaged students into careers in the chemical sciences.

The award, sponsored by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, comes with $15,000 for RIT/NTID's student science programs.

Pagano received the award in March during a national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, CA. It was presented by Bassam Shakhashiri, president of the ACS, and Richard Zare, a board member of the Dreyfus Foundation and chair of the chemistry department at Stanford University.

"To have Todd honored nationally not only confirms what we have always known, that he is a great educator, but gives him recognition by his peers for being one of the best in his field," said NTID president Gerry Buckley, who attended the event.

Pagano was also keynote speaker for the ACS professional relations division. He spoke about his ten-year teaching career at RIT/NTID and the attitudes he's helped change in terms of what deaf students can accomplish.

Pagano has served on the Rochester chapter of ACS's executive board and the ACS's Chemists with Disabilities national joint board. Over the years, he has taken almost twenty of his students to give presentations at national conferences. "They are the only associate-degree-level students presenting," he says. "They are the only deaf students presenting. And on three occasions, they've been recognized with research presentation awards, competing against hundreds of other students."

Two of his students, Ryan Spector of Kings Park, NY and James Macisco of Stratford, CT, accompanied him to the five-day meeting in California to give a presentation on their research on environmental contamination in water samples taken from the upstate New York's Finger Lakes and from around the world.

"People in the audience are always impressed, not only by our students' scientific knowledge, which is published often, but also their sophistication in navigating communication barriers," Pagano says.

Spector says that Pagano "teaches in a way that allows students to grasp even the most difficult topics in science. He cares for his students and wants everyone to succeed."

Macisco notes that Pagano encouraged his natural interest in energy and research. "He is the epitome of what all teachers should strive for and perhaps one of the greatest people I know."

More information on NTID is at www.ntid.rit.edu.

STEM education programs highlighted in U.S. News University Directory

Tampa, FL – To support those looking to capitalize on the demand for STEM professionals by earning a related degree, U.S. News University Directory is adding a listing of top accredited STEM education programs to better match students with the college or university of their choice.

The directory also contains numerous articles and other information about careers related to science, technology, engineering and math.

A significant part of the global economy is driven by science and technology, and workers in these fields are in high demand. The demand has outpaced the number of qualified professionals, making STEM careers among the fastest growing of all occupations. The field is projected to grow 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to a July 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration. A person working in STEM fields will earn about 26 percent more than people in other professions, according to the Commerce Department.

U.S. News University Directory provides comprehensive and unbiased information on more than 2,000 academic institutions directly from U.S. News & World Report. Info at www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com.

HBCU conference stresses entrepreneurship and technology

Montgomery, AL – In March, Alabama State University (ASU) and MBE Data Solutions & Technology Inc staged a second entrepreneurship conference aimed at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The conference focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in education and entrepreneurship. Speakers included many African American tech leaders.

Presenters included Michael Hubbard of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Anthony Junior of the Office of Naval Research, and Tuwanda Smith of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In addition to Data Solutions & Technology, sponsors included the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Aviation Agency, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, NASA, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information on the conference, see www.asu-hbcu.org.


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