August/September 2008

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News and Views

Start STEM subjects early, say Microsoft Web conference panelists

Microsoft Web conference panel at work: from left, NSBE’s Carl Mack, Ali Curi of HPNG, Michelle Tortolani of SWE and Microsoft’s Kelly Chapman.Redmond, WA - Like most major technical employers, Microsoft is facing the shortage of qualified diverse techies. In May the company hosted a Web conference discussing the problem and some possible solutions. Panelists were Carl Mack, executive director of NSBE; Ali Curi, president of the Hispanic Professionals Networking Group (HPNG); Michelle Tortolani, president of SWE; and Kelly Chapman, director of diversity recruiting at Microsoft.

The panelists feel strongly that outreach efforts must be expanded in and to primary school. “It’s the way to put critical mass into the STEM pipeline,” Mack says. “If you don’t get to kids early and you start all of a sudden in middle or high school it’s a lost cause. Students need to get the basics early to be prepared for the studies that will lead them into engineering and IT.”

According to statistics reported by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), African Americans accounted for roughly 11 percent, women 19 percent and Hispanics 7 percent of computing and IS degrees in the 2006-07 school year. NCWIT also cites Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions that computer-related occupations will add as many as 822,000 jobs to the U.S. economy by 2016.

View the entire conference at

Bell Labs’ Erna Hoover and other diverse techies join Inventors Hall of Fame

New Hall of Fame inductee Erna Hoover.Washington, DC - Two woman scientists and Amar Bose, whose family is from India, were among sixteen inventors inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame last winter. To be considered for the Hall of Fame, inventors must have contributed to the welfare of society and promoted the progress of science and the useful arts.

Chemist Ruth Benerito was recognized for the process for making wrinkle-free cotton, Amar Bose for achievements in audio technology, and Erna Hoover for pioneering work in computerized telephone switching.

Hoover joined Bell Labs in 1954. It was the infancy of computers, and although she was not an engineer, she applied her knowledge of symbolic logic and philosophy to researching telephony.

In 1971 she received a patent for a system that replaced electromagnetic relays with an electronics. “It was designed to keep the system working efficiently when calling gets heavy,” she explains. “This was one of many patents in an effort that went on for many years and involved some 300 people.”

Hoover was also the first woman to supervise a technical department at Bell Labs.
“When I arrived at the labs there were ‘women’s employment’ and ‘technical employment’. A woman in a supervisory role was unheard of,” Hoover says.

“Today it’s a lot better but it isn’t perfect.” There are many more opportunities for women in engineering today than when she started, she says, but she is concerned that many women with technical potential are still not considering engineering as a career.

“Another big stumbling block is the cost of study. We need both to interest more women in technical careers and to help them achieve their goals,” Hoover concludes.

For more about the Hall of Fame, see

Adnan Hindi named ops VP at ScienceLogic

Adnan Hindi.Reston, VA - ScienceLogic, an IT operations management provider, recently brought in Adnan Hindi as VP of operations. Hindi has an extensive background in IT ops management, especially in virtualization and highly scalable multi-data center management.

Hindi is a recognized virtualization expert who has addressed conferences on behalf of companies like Microsoft, VMware and the
451 Group. He has provided advice on industry issues and strategic direction for Microsoft and VMware virtualization initiatives.

“Virtualization has the potential to be the next dot-com boom,” Hindi declares. “But if people don’t know how to tame the ‘virtualization beast,’” he warns, “it could rapidly become the next dot-com bust.”

He joins ScienceLogic from Fannie Mae.

Elizabeth Lund named product development VP at Boeing

Mechanical and aerospace engineer Elizabeth Lund is a new VP at Boeing.Seattle, WA - Elizabeth Lund has been promoted to VP of product development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Lund will lead preliminary design of new and derivative airplanes and systems, and environmental performance strategy. She will also manage the overall R&D development plan for Commercial Airplanes, and support product strategy and advanced technology organizations within Commercial Airplanes and Phantom Works.

Lund has served as director of Boeing 777 manufacturing in Everett, WA since 2005. Before that she directed the Boeing interiors responsibility center, which designs, manufactures, assembles and integrates interior systems for Boeing commercial jets.

Lund joined Boeing in 1991 as a payloads engineer and has held assignments including 737 deputy chief project engineer, 737 airplane level integration leader, 737 interiors chief engineer, and senior manager for multi-model passenger and attendant seats.

She has a BSME from the University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK) and an MS in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri.

PBS kids’ tech series gets Peabody award

The Design Squad creative crew enjoys an outdoor brainstorming session. Cambridge, MA - After its first season on the air, Design Squad, the engineering reality show for young people, received a George Foster Peabody award this June.

The show was created to appeal to young people. Using a lively reality show/competition format, the series combines energy, enthusiasm, teamwork and humor to get kids
of nine and up excited about engineering.

The Peabody awards are a leading honor in electronic media. Design Squad executive producer Marisa Wolsky says, “This award is tremendously gratifying for all of us involved in producing the series. It validates our goal to provide content that is entertaining to young audiences while introducing them to real engineering.”

Senior exec producer Kate Taylor adds that “We want to show kids what engineering is really about, how creative and exciting it is, before they get a chance to decide that math and science are ‘boring.’”

New Job Corps training prepares young people for the technical workplace

Job Corps director Dr Esther R. Johnson, center, with students and a robot.Washington, DC - Job Corps, the U.S. government training program, offers free job training to all young people ages sixteen to twenty-four. New programs are available to help
them establish themselves in technical jobs.

In the program year that ran through June 2007, Job Corps offered a range of programs covering various phases of IT which were completed by more than 7,500 students. About 10 percent of the students took IT industry programs. About 60 percent of them were women, 50 percent were African American, 19 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 3 percent American Indian/Native Alaskan. Nearly 15 percent were identified as having a disability.

Starting in 2007, Job Corps’ IT programs training is offering A+ and Network+, while
visual communications IT programs work toward Adobe certifications for print and Web graphic designers.

Dr Esther R. Johnson is national director of Job Corps, the first African American woman to head the program. She notes that Job Corps has historically been described as a program for “at risk” youth.

“I reject that characterization,” she declares, “because it leads to a program that is defensive rather than optimistic. I believe that Job Corps is a program for ‘at promise’ youth, who have a desire to succeed and a thirst for the knowledge and skills that will put success within their grasp.

“When you change the way you look at these students, you begin to see new possibilities and programs that will enable them to achieve their full potential.”

For more information, see

CompTIA educational foundation awarded disability grant

Oakbrook Terrace, IL - Oakbrook Terrace, IL – The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) educational foundation has received a $25,000 grant from NEC Foundation of America. The money will help fund a training program to create employment opportunities in the high-tech workforce for young people with disabilities.

The grant will be used in the first phase of a national program for online IT training, mentoring, certification and job placement. The goal is to offer free services to sixty-five high school students over the next year.

The program is part of Creating Futures, a CompTIA educational foundation initiative that provides career development opportunities for people historically underrepresented in the IT workforce, including people with disabilities and “at-risk” youth.

JPL open house draws interested crowds

This is a model of the Mars science lab to be used on our next mission to Mars.Pasadena, CA - In early May more than 30,000 area residents visited the grounds of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Visitors got a close-up view of full-scale models of Mars rovers, watched 700-pound robots glide under artificial stars in JPL’s Robodome, and learned how spacecraft are prepared for their journeys in special clean rooms. At the “exploring earth’s climate” exhibit they saw NASA instruments measuring greenhouse gases to help scientists better understand global climate change.

ITSMF graduates a new group of protégées

The eighteen new ITSMF executive protégés pose happily for a group  portrait. Batavia, IL - The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) executive protégé program recently graduated a class of eighteen African American IT professionals.

The protégé program provides mentoring and leadership development to mid-level black IT managers, preparing them to advance to the senior and C level in IT. This is the only national leadership development program focused on cultivating executive talent among African American IT pros, ITSMF leaders believe.

To qualify for the program, mid-level managers need excellent communication skills, of course. They also need a recommendation from an ITSMF member, corporate partner, or protégé channel organization; sponsorship and support of senior-level managers in their own companies; and recognition by their companies as high-potential employees, promotable to at least two levels above their current positions.

This year’s graduating protégés are:

Gloria Anderson, Hewlett Packard technical program manager
Irvin Bishop, Coca Cola director of global interactive marketing in IT
Rhonda Boyd, Allstate portfolio management advisor, technology management office
Jason Carter, former Bank of America VP and senior technology manager
Danielle Desalu, Cisco wireless systems engineer
Christopher Essex, UBS IT director
Lucia Eversley, Procter & Gamble business performance solutions leader
Dwight Forbes, HP civilian agencies presales manager
Damon Frost, Procter & Gamble section manager and GBS leader
Shirley Johansson, Procter & Gamble systems manager
Nikkia Miller-Blakes, Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon) global application development manager
Mike Nation, Coca-Cola program manager, global financial development
Sharon Ransom, IBM Americas director of services, support and education for Tivoli Software
Kimberly Summers-Sims, Hanesbrands director of project management
Tammara Turner, Microsoft social engineer
Bennette Veals, Procter & Gamble employee services client manager
Olden Warren, Procter & Gamble senior project manager
Ronnie Watson, Johnson & Johnson IT franchise director
To learn more about ITSMF, visit

Cyndee Everman is this year’s woman in technology

Time Warner Cable’s Cyndee Everman, VP of business support systems. Rockville, MD - Cyndee Everman, VP of business support systems at Time Warner Cable, is this year’s 2008 Women
in Technology award winner. The award recognizes the achievements of a female technology professional who has made significant contributions to cable and telecom. Besides exceptional technical skills and knowledge, the award recipient must be committed to enhancing the position of women in
the industry.

Everman started her cable career in 1981 with Warner Amex Communications, which is now Time Warner Cable. She was part of the team that implemented Qube, the two-way interactive cable system. Since then she’s been actively involved in deployment of systems to support new products
and services.


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