Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology
Sears Holdings Corporation



December 2011/January 2012

Diversity/Careers December 2011/January 2012 Issue

Women of color
Pharma & biotech
Systems engineers
LGBT tech pros
Grace Hopper in OR

Asian American BEs
News & Views
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views

DRS Technologies

News and Views

Virginia M. Rometty is new IBM president and CEO

Armonk, NY – The IBM board of directors has elected Virginia M. Rometty president and CEO of the company effective January 1, 2012. She was also elected a member of the board of directors effective at the same time.

Rometty is currently IBM SVP and group exec for sales, marketing and strategy. She will succeed Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM's current chair, president and CEO. Palmisano will remain chairman of the board.

"Ginni Rometty has successfully led several of IBM's most important businesses over the past decade," Palmisano says. "She is more than a superb operational executive; with every leadership role she has strengthened our ability to integrate IBM's capabilities for our clients. She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive and passion for IBMers and the company's future."

Rometty says, "There is no greater privilege in business than to be asked to lead IBM, especially at this moment. Sam Palmisano had the courage to transform the company based on his belief that computing technology, our industry and even world economies would shift in historic ways.

"Today, IBM's strategies and business model are correct. Our ability to execute and deliver consistent results for clients and shareholders is strong. This is due to Sam's leadership, his discipline, and his unshakable belief in the ability of IBM and IBMers to lead into the future. Sam taught us, above all, that we must never stop reinventing IBM."

Rometty joined IBM in 1981 as a systems engineer. She holds a BS with high honors in CS and EE from Northwestern University.

ITT spins off Xylem with Gretchen McClain as president & CEO

White Plains, NY – Xylem Inc announced October 31 that it has completed its spinoff from ITT Corp and begun operations as a $3.2 billion standalone global water-technology company. Xylem's product brands, applications expertise and technology strength will be applied to transport, treatment, testing and efficient use of water in public utility, residential and commercial building services as well as industry and agriculture. The company serves customers in more than 150 countries, addressing critical issues like water scarcity, aging infrastructure and the need for more stringent environmental regulations.

Gretchen McClain, president and CEO of Xylem, says "I'm extremely proud to announce the launch of a unique company, the product of more than a hundred years of experience in the water business and the collective work and expertise of our nearly 12,000 employees and strategic partners around the world.

"While our name has changed with the spin-off, our customers will find in Xylem the same commitment to providing local service to meet their specific needs while leveraging our global strength."

The name "Xylem" is derived from classical Greek. Xylem is the tissue that transports water in plants. For more info check out www.xyleminc.com.

UC-Berkeley's John Matsui honored for mentoring into health professions

Berkeley, CA – In recognition of nearly two decades of mentoring successful biology students, John Matsui, assistant dean for biological sciences at the University of California-Berkeley, now holds the title of "Champion of health professions diversity." The award was given by the California Wellness Foundation this year to three leaders in higher education. Matsui and his fellow awardees, Charles J. Alexander of UCLA and José Ramón Fernández-Peña of City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, were honored at a ceremony on June 1 in Los Angeles.

For first-generation college students, the coursework required of science majors can be daunting, Matsui notes. When he first came to UC Berkeley twenty years ago "It was basically sink or swim in biology classes," and many students who were the first in their families to go to college sank.

"These students had the same aspirations and motivation as other students, but their experience and sometimes different treatment made them question whether they could do science, and even whether Berkeley had made a mistake in admitting them," says Matsui, himself a first-generation college student.

The campus's Biology Scholars Program (BSP), which Matsui co-founded in 1992, has given a lifeline to low-income, first-generation college students, many of them women and underrepresented minorities. Between 2004 and 2010, 83 percent of students in the program who applied to medical school were accepted, vs 55 percent in the general student body.

"We are extremely proud of assistant dean John Matsui's tireless and creative efforts on behalf of Berkeley's diverse student community," says Mark Schlissel, dean of biological sciences at UC Berkeley's College of Letters and Science. "The BSP provides a sense of community and intensive mentoring, resulting in outstanding academic results from student participants. We also support John's effort to study what approaches work best in this area and to share this knowledge with the broader academic community."

Matsui agrees that "We have made a difference," but, he says, "We still need to know more about what works for whom and how we can do better." BSP, he says, "is a work in progress, and it always will be if I have anything to say about it!"

Lockheed Martin exec joins National Academy of Engineering

Washington, DC – Joanne M. Maguire, EVP of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, was formally inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE, Washington, DC) on October 16.

Election to the NAE is one of the highest professional distinctions for an engineer. It honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including significant contributions to engineering literature, and pioneering new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing or implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Maguire's citation recognizes her for "individual and team leadership of successful space programs." She is one of only 2,290 U.S. members and 202 foreign associates elected to the NAE since it was founded in 1964.

Maguire has led Space Systems Company since 2006. The company employs more than 15,000 people and generated more than $8 billion in sales for Lockheed Martin in 2010.

Under her leadership the company provides a broad array of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites; strategic and missile defense systems; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft.

She actively supports several non-profit organizations, chairing the Advisory Council for Rocky Mountain USO and serving on the board of the Space Foundation.

Maguire has a BSEE from Michigan State University and an MS in engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. She also completed the executive program in management at UCLA's Anderson School of Management and the Harvard program for senior executives in national and international security. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and received a presidential appointment as a full member/academician of the International Academy of Astronautics.

MicroTech CEO Tony Jimenez recognized as influential Hispanic

Vienna, VA – MicroTech president and CEO Tony Jimenez was named to the 2011 Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America in the October 2011 edition of Hispanic Business magazine.

Jimenez, who has an MS in computers and IS, is at the helm of award-winning MicroTech, the fastest-growing Hispanic-owned business in the U.S. for the last three years.

Since launching MicroTech "from his kitchen table" in 2004, Jimenez has grown his business into a profitable $250 million company. MicroTech provides technology services, systems integration, product solutions, unified communications and collaboration, Cloud computing, and innovation and integration to the public sector and Fortune 500 enterprises.

A prime contractor on more than a hundred federal projects and twenty-eight procurement vehicles, MicroTech offers access to 2500 vendors and more than a million tech products and services.

"It is a real honor to make such a prestigious list of notable Hispanics in America," Jimenez says. "My business goals have always included helping others, including Hispanics, become successful entrepreneurs."

MicroTech is a certified and verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and a certified 8(a) Small Business. To learn more visit www.MicroTech.net.

NRL scientist Virginia DeGiorgio named to ABWA's Top Ten

Arlington, VA – On September 7, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) scientist Dr Virginia DeGiorgio was named to the Top Ten Business Women list compiled by the American Business Women's Association (ABWA). This national award recognizes outstanding personal and professional achievements.

DeGiorgio's specific achievement is her work and expertise in corrosion system modeling, conducted while on special assignment to the Office of Innovation of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for the past decade.

She and her team are also credited with ongoing work that has the potential to dramatically change ship maintenance and significantly reduce its associated costs under ONR's maintenance-free ship technologies program.

"ABWA has played important parts in advancing my career," DeGiorgio says. "The association helped me find my voice, learn the skills needed to develop my staff into world-class researchers, and instill confidence to take a more commanding leadership position in a technical community largely represented by men."

"I also credit the Navy for its commitment to becoming a more diverse workforce," DeGiorgio says. "This has afforded me opportunities to realize my full professional potential."

ABWA, headquartered in Overland Park, KS, was established in 1949. For more information visit www.abwa.org.

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates recognizes 2011 Outie award winners

San Francisco, CA – Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (OEWA) announced winners of the 2011 Outie awards on October 27 at the Out & Equal Workplace summit in Dallas, TX. Attending were LGBT employees and allies, along with HR and diversity professionals, many representing Fortune 500 companies.

These are some of this year's winners, many involved with technology.

Workplace excellence: Accenture
Accenture has extended its commitment to workplace equality by becoming one of nine U.S. companies implementing World Professional Association for Transgender Health-compliant transgender benefits.

Trailblazer for workplace equality: Claudia Woody
As an IBM managing director and co-chair of IBM's Global GLBT Council since 1996, Woody has been personally involved in nearly all initiatives that serve the LGBT population at IBM.

Champion for workplace equality: Dr Sophie Vandebroek
Vandebroek, Xerox CTO, has enabled significant change at the company by learning the issues of LGBT employees and related laws and policies, learning from other companies and spending quality time with the leadership of the Xerox ERG GALAXe.

LGBT employee resource group of the year: LGBT Pride, Bank of America
LGBT Pride more than doubled its global membership to nearly 3,400 members this year, including significant growth in straight ally membership. Leaders have engaged with the bank's philanthropic leaders, market leaders and line of business leaders.

Significant achievement in workplace equality: Google, Inc
In 2011 Google increased health benefits coverage for same-sex domestic partners, offering an equivalent to the Family Medical Leave Act for same-sex domestic partners and changing the definition of infertility to expand fertility assistance. It also altered its systems to recognize marriage as independent of the sex of the partners.

OEWA is committed to ending employment discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. For more info on the Outies and OEWA, see outandequal.org.

Purdue prof Rakesh Agrawal gets top award from President Obama

West Lafayette, IN – In a White House ceremony on October 21, Rakesh Agrawal, a ChE prof at Purdue University, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama. The award is the highest honor for technological achievement the U.S. government can bestow.

Agrawal is the Winthrop E. Stone distinguished professor in the Purdue School of Chemical Engineering. He holds 116 U.S. patents and nearly 500 patents outside the U.S., and has authored 93 technical papers.

The award recognizes Agrawal for "an extraordinary record of innovations. These innovations have had significant positive impacts on electronic device manufacturing, liquefied gas production and the supply of industrial gases for diverse industries."

His current research is in energy-related areas involving the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels, processes related to low-cost solar cells, energy systems analysis and high-efficiency separations processes needed for industry and research.

Agrawal earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980, an MSChE from the University of Delaware in 1977 and a BSChE engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1975. He joined Purdue in 2004, following a career in industry that included twenty-four years at Air Products and Chemicals Inc (Allentown, PA).

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the Patent and Trademark Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.


Rochester, NY – The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $4.45 million over four years to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT, Rochester, NY) and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of RIT's seven colleges, to establish the DeafTEC Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) national center of excellence.

This is the single largest NSF award in RIT's history. There are some forty ATE centers across the country, and DeafTEC will be the first to serve people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

DeafTEC will be a resource for high schools and community colleges nationwide that educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related programs and for employers hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Through its comprehensive website, DeafTEC will serve as a clearing house for information on technical education and technician careers as well as data to help employers provide a more accessible workplace.

NTID president Gerry Buckley states that "The goal of this national center is to successfully integrate more deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals into the workplace, especially in highly skilled technician jobs where deaf and hard-of-hearing workers are currently underrepresented and underutilized. DeafTEC will provide them, as well as their teachers, counselors, employers and co-workers, with resources that will help them succeed both in the classroom and on the job."

The center will also provide professional development experience in STEM subjects for high school and community college teachers. This will provide greater access to learning not only for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, but for all the students in the classroom, especially those with language difficulties.

Two Northrop Grumman women honored by SWE

Falls Church, VA – Two Northrop Grumman Corp employees were honored at the annual conference of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), held in Chicago in October. Januca Berry received an emerging leader award in the field of quality and Nora Lin received a Fellow-level award in recognition of her continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession.

Berry, who has a BSEE from Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), is a manager of mission assurance in the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Systems division at the company's electronic systems sector in Linthicum, MD. She makes sure that the business area is compliant to processes and procedures, providing audit effectiveness and managing continuous improvement initiatives, risk management, product verification and validation and program management assistance.

Berry is an active volunteer. She chairs the professional development and mentoring committee for Northrop Grumman's African American task group. She also visits middle schools to spark students' interest in engineering as a part of Northrop Grumman's DiscoverE program.

Lin is currently a systems engineering manager, on a rotational assignment as an engineering program manager at the company's electronic systems sector in Rolling Meadows, IL. Among other projects, she is responsible for technical leadership, system design and development, cost and schedule management, proposal preparation and program staffing.

Lin is a naturalized U.S. citizen, born and raised in Taiwan. She received her BS in physics in Taiwan and her MS in physics from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Lin joined SWE as a senior member in 1997, became a life member in 2003, and has dedicated herself to advancing SWE's mission. She is also actively involved in the Northrop Grumman Women Engineers (NGWE). In 2002 she led the group that established NGWE and served as the first chair. She also supports company outreach programs like tutoring and DiscoverE. She received the Women of Color in Technology career achievement award in 2008 and the Asian American engineer of the year Award in 2009.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company. Check out www.northropgrumman.com for additional information.

Workforce diversity program expands at AdvaMed 2011

Murrieta, CA – The International Center for Professional Development (ICPD) showcased the latest addition to its flagship scientist mentoring and diversity program (SMDP) at the AdvaMed conference held September 26-28 in Washington, DC.

The SMDP provides career training, personalized mentoring and direct access to science industry contacts for grad and post-doc science students from underrepresented communities. Students also get a year of personalized mentoring, and access to a new online mentoring portal that provides ongoing support and connectivity.

Scott May, executive director of ICPD, says the new Web portal "is an online tool that lets our program participants stay connected and continue to network with each other. It provides career advancement resources as well as tools to help mentors support and track their mentees' progress. Users can also add information to the portal about jobs and training opportunities or they can share knowledge from their own career experiences."

A lack of cultural diversity among professionals in science, technology, engineering and math careers means companies are not tapping into a vital and unique talent pool, May explains. "We are looking for industry partners who want to broaden the perspective of their workforce by engaging and recruiting top-quality diverse students."

Current sponsors of the SMDP include AdvaMed 2011, the Medtech Conference, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Baxter, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Deloitte and Howard University.

The International Center for Professional Development is a nonprofit organization that offers continuing education programs for students and professionals using face-to-face training and ongoing Web-based support. For more information visit www.icpdprograms.org.

Purdue reports surge in first-year engineering women

West Lafayette, IN – Purdue University's College of Engineering has reported a nearly 31 percent increase in enrollment of first-year women for 2011-2012 compared with the previous year.

The college has 460 first-year women this fall, up from 352 a year ago. Beth Holloway, director of the school's Women in Engineering Program (WIEP), says that's the highest number ever for first-year women in engineering.

Holloway says one factor in the surge may be a change in how Purdue faculty, staff and students talk about engineering.

"We used a National Academy of Engineering report called 'Changing the conversation: messages for improving public understanding of engineering.' It has helped us talk to students, especially young women in high school, in a way that makes engineering more appealing and engaging," she says.

"When we talk to younger students about engineering careers we emphasize five points," Holloway says. "We tell them the work is enjoyable, it's done in a good working environment, it's work that makes a difference, it provides a good income and it offers flexibility. These are important elements for everyone, and really hit home with young women!"

Holloway also notes that WIEP has had an impact. Started in 1969, the program has grown from concentrating on students on-campus to working with high school students; now it also offers programs from kindergarten through sixth grade.

More information on the Women in Engineering Program and its outreach activities can be found at engineering.purdue.edu/WIEP.

Alfred U prof gets SHPE's highest honor; other awards presented

Alfred, NY – Olivia Graeve, PhD, associate professor of materials science in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University, is this year's recipient of the Jaime Oaxaca Award. This is the highest national award of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

The award recognizes "selfless and outstanding contributions to the fields of engineering and science to the Hispanic community over an extended period of time." It was presented to Graeve at SHPE's technical achievement recognition ceremony in Anaheim, CA in October.

Dr Graeve joined the faculty of the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University in 2008. Her PhD in materials science and engineering is from the University of California-Davis, and her BS in structural engineering is from the University of California-San Diego. Her research interest is synthesis and processing of nano-structured materials, including ceramic and metallic nanomaterials and amorphous/nanocrystalline composites.

"SHPE is pleased to bring attention to the exceptional achievements by Hispanics across all STEM fields and industries," says SHPE CEO Pilar Montoya. "I congratulate all our winners, who are extraordinary professionals and role models for Hispanic students."

Other honorees at the event included:

Junipero Serra award – Dr Emir Jose Macari, California State University, Sacramento

Company of the year – Exelon

Community service – Rudolfo Loera, Northrop Grumman

Professional role model – James Edward Valenzuela, Raytheon

Undergraduate student role model – Keith Roacho, University of Colorado

Graduate student role model – Paul Guillermo Arias, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Promising engineer – Daniel Lopez, Ford Motor Co

SHPE star of tomorrow – Angel P. Uruchima, Chevron

For the complete list check out www.shpe.org.


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