Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



August/September 2013

Diversity/Careers August/September 2013

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Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision awards banquet honors women making significant technology contributions

Palo Alto, CA – The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women in computer science and engineering, hosted over 900 guests at its annual Women of Vision awards banquet on May 9. In addition to speeches by the individual women award winners, Brian Krzanich, newly appointed CEO of Intel Corporation, was on hand to accept the Top Company for Technical Women award, presented to Intel for its work to retain technical women throughout its organization.

The event’s keynote speaker, Diane M. Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the datacenter and connected systems group at Intel, spoke about emerging technologies and their impact on the automotive, healthcare and energy industries. She also shared her own professional journey, including the decision to attend UC-Davis, pursue a technical degree, and enter the tech workforce. Chris Shipley, CEO of Guidewire Group and a leading technology analyst for more than twenty-five years, served as master of ceremonies.

Individual honorees included the three 2013 Women of Vision award winners: Genevieve Bell, director of interaction and experience research at Intel Labs, who was recognized for leadership; Vicki Hanson, professor of inclusive technologies at the University of Dundee and research staff member emeritus from IBM Research, cited for social impact; and Maja Mataric, PhD, professor of computer science, neuroscience, and pediatrics at Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, honored for innovation.

Julie Sattler, senior vice president of special programs at Lockheed Martin and the event’s dinner host, spoke about the need for diversity in the technology industry and programs like ABI’s that provide training in recruiting, retaining and advancing women in the field.

“The Women of Vision awards banquet where we honor the achievements of true leaders and visionaries is always both rewarding and exciting, and this year did not disappoint,” said Dr Telle Whitney, ABI CEO. “The people in that room exemplified the diversity in technology that defines ABI’s vision. Our guests spanned all genders, demographics, and career paths, from the most senior executives at the largest technology corporations in the world to high school girls studying math and science.”

See more information on ABI and the Women of Vision event at www.anitaborg.org.

U.S. News announces STEM Leadership Hall of Fame award winners

Washington, D.C.U.S. News & World Report honored the winners of the 2013 U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame awards in a ceremony at the U.S. News STEM Solutions 2013 national conference June 19 in Austin, TX.

The five honorees were chosen from a group of outstanding nominees representing the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. “All these award winners have not only been pioneers in their own disciplines but have also helped lead the national effort to better prepare students and workers in the STEM fields,” said U.S. News editor Brian Kelly.

The 2013 U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame honorees are Dan Arvizu, PhD, director and chief executive, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and chairman, National Science Board; Sylvia Earle, PhD, explorer-in-residence, National Geographic Society; Irwin M. Jacobs, ScD, founding chairman and CEO emeritus, Qualcomm; Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder, National Center for Women & Information Technology; and Charles M. Vest, PhD, president, National Academy of Engineering, and president emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Some 2,500 educators, scientists, business executives, nonprofit heads, government officials and other leaders assembled at this annual forum to focus on the theme “Teach-Inspire-Hire,” a call to action designed to improve STEM education and workforce development across the United States.

Ray Almgren, vice president of corporate marketing at National Instruments, introduced the awardees.

“NI gives students fun, hands-on experiences by using interactive robotics platforms as a way to teach engineering fundamentals, such as mechanics, electronics and software programming,” said Eric Starkloff, senior vice president of marketing of National Instruments. “We are excited to partner with U.S. News STEM Solutions. It’s an excellent forum to highlight the people, organizations and programs that fuel innovation and discovery among youth and inspire them to pursue careers in engineering and science.”

2013 corporate sponsors included AT&T;, Battelle, Chevron, Cisco, the DoD, Freescale, GM, Microsoft, Motorola, National Instruments, Texas Instruments and Verizon. Academic sponsors included Purdue, the University of Texas and the University of Phoenix. Many STEM education organizations participated as well.

The national conference was created in 2012 to foster collaboration among people and groups working to advance the agenda for national change in STEM education, policy and workforce development.

For additional information, visit www.usnewsstemsolutions.com.

Macfarlane sworn in for full term at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington, DC – Dr Allison M. Macfarlane was sworn in to a full five-year term on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) July 1 and has been designated by President Barack Obama to continue serving as the agency chairman.

Macfarlane, who joined the commission as a member and chairman July 9, 2012 for the remainder of a term ending June 30, 2013, won confirmation from the Senate June 27 after being nominated by the President in March. She was sworn in during a private ceremony in her office.

“I am honored to continue my service as chairman of the NRC,” Macfarlane said. “I look forward to building on the past year’s accomplishments and on the critically important issues our agency faces.”

Macfarlane, who is the fifteenth NRC chairman, is an expert on nuclear waste issues and holds a PhD in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in geology from the University of Rochester. Before coming to the NRC, Macfarlane was an associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

From 2010 to 2012 she served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, created by the Obama administration to make recommendations about a national strategy for dealing with the nation’s high-level nuclear waste. Her research has focused on environmental policy and international security issues associated with nuclear energy, especially the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

In 2006, MIT Press published a book she co-edited, Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste, which explored technical issues at the proposed waste disposal facility at Yucca Mountain, NV.

During her academic career, she held fellowships at Radcliffe College, MIT, and Stanford and Harvard Universities. From 1998 to 2000 she was a social science research Fellow-MacArthur Foundation Fellow in international peace and security. She has served on National Academy of Sciences panels on nuclear energy and nuclear weapons issues. From 2003 to 2004, she was on the faculty at Georgia Tech in earth science and international affairs.

Macfarlane is the third woman to serve as chairman, the thirty-third member, and the only individual with a background in geology to serve on the commission.

BDPA presents Epsilon awards

Washington, DC – Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) recognized several of America’s corporate giants and accomplished individuals at the thirty-fifth annual BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair, held August 14-17 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. The National BDPA organization created the BDPA Epsilon award to recognize and celebrate key contributions and accomplishments of its members and supporters.

More than thirty-four Epsilon awards were given to corporations and individuals for career and professional achievement, community service, outstanding technical contributions and exceptional technical promise.

Corporations recognized were Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; HCSC Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, NM, OK and TX; HP; Intel; Johnson & Johnson; Merck; Monsanto; State Farm Insurance; Wal-Mart; WellPoint and Wells Fargo.

BDPA honored a number of outstanding individuals, including Dr Reginald Brothers, Department of Defense; Dr Craig Brown, Nexeo Solutions; Eugene Cook and Justin Simpson, Wal-Mart; Victoria Cotton, Karamu Ford; David Hopkins, Cedric Jamison, Kimberly Jackson, Decarlas Smith and Patrice Yapo, American Airlines; Adrian Crews and Maria Hutsell, Wells Fargo; Dr Shaundra B. Daily and Dr Kyla A. McMullen, Clemson University; Norman Fleming, MillerCoors; Zack Garbow, Funeral Innovations; Victor Gavin, Enterprise Information Systems; Ted Jordan, Funutation Tekademy, LLC; Anthony Reed, Reed CPA PC; Subrena Robinson, State Farm Insurance; Stacy Stewart, HCSC; Jeffrey Darrel Thomas, HP; and Dr Tayo Ibikunle, JPMorgan Chase.

BDPA is a global member-focused technology organization with over forty-five active chapters in the United States. See www.bdpa.org for information on the national conference, and the October/November issue of Diversity/Careers for full conference coverage.

Singer named manager of NASA Marshall’s flight program office

Huntsville, AL – Joan A. “Jody” Singer, a native of Hartselle, AL, has been named manager of the flight programs and partnerships office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

In her new position, Singer is responsible for overall management and direction of the office, including an annual budget of $108 million and a combined workforce of more than 500 civil servants and contractors. She oversees the work of the Marshall Center in the areas of human exploration projects and tasks, flight mission programs and projects, and International Space Station hardware integration and operations. The office is also tasked with creating and maintaining partnerships with other government agencies and international and commercial partners.

“I am excited to be part of the flight programs and partnerships office, which has a hand in all NASA’s primary space missions: lifting from Earth, living and working in space, and enhancing our understanding of our world and the cosmos we live in,” Singer said. “I look forward to continuing to serve our nation, NASA and our partners in science and space exploration.”

Singer was deputy program manager of the space launch system program office at Marshall from 2011 to 2013. She helped oversee a combined workforce of almost 3,000 civil servants and contractors, and guided activities that will lead to construction and flight testing of the nation’s next heavy-lift launch vehicle.

From 2007 to 2011, Singer was deputy manager of Marshall’s space shuttle propulsion office, where she helped lead the organization responsible for manufacturing, assembling and operating all shuttle propulsion elements, including the conclusion of the space shuttle program.

Singer was manager of the reusable solid rocket booster project office at Marshall from 2002 to 2007, overseeing work tied to the flight safety, performance, hardware integrity and ground test program of the shuttle’s reusable solid rocket booster hardware, including critical return-to-flight activities after the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

In 2002, Singer was appointed to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies. She joined NASA in 1985 as an engineer in the professional intern program, and held increasingly responsible positions in various space shuttle offices.

She has been recognized with many awards during her NASA career, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2011 and the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive award, the highest honor for career federal employees, in 2007. She also received the Silver Snoopy award from NASA’s astronaut corps.

New Freescale Foundation to focus on STEM education

Austin, TX – Experts agree that the future workforce will need to be literate in technology in order to achieve success. In response to this educational challenge, Freescale Semiconductor announced in May the creation of the Freescale Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Freescale will make an initial contribution of $5 million to the Freescale Foundation with plans for ongoing contributions.

“Our Freescale team is passionate about engineering and we want to bring that passion to our local communities with a desire to encourage the next generation of talent,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Freescale. “Science, technology, engineering and math degrees lead to rewarding careers. The opportunity to inspire students is one we take very seriously. The Freescale Foundation will help make it all possible.”

The goals of the Freescale Foundation are to promote STEM learning at all levels of the education continuum; reduce the STEM education gap among women and underrepresented populations; influence the development of the technical workforce of the future; and strengthen Freescale’s corporate citizenship and social responsibility.

Freescale has been working with educators around the world to bring the resources and solutions needed for advancing education, as well as provide sponsorships to deliver practical experience, for more than thirty years. The foundation will continue Freescale’s support of university programs as well as K-12 STEM education with resources, solutions, sponsorships, open-source hardware, software and experience-based competitions.

The foundation will focus on requests from eligible nonprofit organizations in communities where Freescale employees live and work. Information on qualifications and open enrollment can be found at www.freescalefoundation.org.

Freescale Semiconductor provides embedded processing solutions for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The company has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world.

American Indian College Fund names Blanchard Faculty Member of the Year awardees

Denver, CO – The American Indian College Fund announced June 28 the 2013 Blanchard Faculty Member of the Year awardees. The college fund provides scholarships and support for thirty-four of the nation’s tribal colleges. Fund trustee Kim Blanchard is the sponsor of the Blanchard program.

This year, thirty tribal colleges nominated a distinguished faculty member who exemplifies a commitment to students, scholarship, teaching and service to the Native communities.

Ten of the awardees teach in STEM academic areas: Christine Miller, science, Bay Mills Community College; Cindy Doore, math/science, Blackfeet Community College; Cody Martin, mathematics, College of Menominee; Henry Fowler, education and math, Diné College; Gerlinda Morrison, science, Little Big Horn College; Jones Lee, applied technology, Navaho Technical College; Jennifer Rodin, mathematics, Oglala Lakota College; Bruce Smelser, mathematics, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College; Lori Zimprich, computer science, Sisseton Wahpeton College; and Joshua Mattes, engineering, Sitting Bull College.

The awardees received checks and certificates at the college’s graduation ceremonies.

The college fund was created in 1989 and receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators including the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, and received its third consecutive four-star rank from Charity Navigator. It provides more than 4,200 Native students with scholarships each year.

NJIT student places third at NSBE convention

Newark, NJ – Afolawemi Afolabi, a fourth-year PhD student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, won third place for oral presentation at the technical research exhibition held during the thirty-ninth annual convention of the National Society of Black Engineers in Indianapolis, IN in March. At the convention, Afolabi delivered a presentation based on his PhD thesis work on the formation and stabilization of drug nanoparticle suspensions. His research is supported by the NSF engineering research center for structured organic particulate systems, headquartered at Rutgers University. Afolabi is a project coordinator at the center.

Symantec and NCWIT award grants for recruiting women in technology

Boulder, CO – In March, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Symantec awarded $9,000 in seed funds to twelve student-run programs that aim to increase the numbers of women studying computer science and related technology disciplines. Each program will receive $750 for a project to recruit, retain and encourage girls and women in technology.

Symantec is the sponsor of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund, which has distributed $34,500 so far to fifty-six student-run programs at universities and colleges nationwide. Student Seed Fund initiatives have provided programming workshops, after-school programs, student mentoring, peer support, professional training, and other opportunities to nearly 2,000 elementary, middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate students.

“Symantec recognizes the business benefits of a diverse technical workforce and we believe women need to be a part of this workforce,” says Ellen McLatchey, director of global diversity. “We are proud to support these student-led programs because they generate interest in computing while building a stronger, more diverse talent pipeline.”

“We’re thrilled with Symantec’s leadership in recognizing that student-led initiatives can have huge impact, both for the students who run them and their target audiences,” says Lucy Sanders, CEO of NCWIT. “Support for these programs is growing the technical pipeline girl by girl, woman by woman.”

This round of NCWIT Student Seed Fund awards went to programs at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), James Madison University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Seattle Central Community College, Tennessee Technological University, University of California-Irvine, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Puget Sound, University of Texas-Pan American and Western New England University. For more info on the Seed Fund Program, see www.ncwit.org/programs-campaigns/ncwit-awards.

Purdue students create new products from corn and soybeans

West Lafayette, IN – Teams of Purdue University students who created fiber insulation from soybeans and a fireworks casing from corn won the top prizes in the annual Student Soybean and Corn Innovation contests. The awards were announced at a reception on March 20 in Indianapolis. Each team received a $20,000 prize for their work.

The competitions were sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council.

“The experience that students have working with corn and soybeans during this competition is an introduction to these crops and how corn and soybeans can be used as a main component in so many different products,” says Jane Ade Stevens, chief executive of both organizations. “Encouraging students to think about corn and soybeans in creative new ways benefits our corn and soybean farmers just as much as the variety of new products that the students generate.”

The winning corn team created Sky Maize, a biodegradable fireworks casing that is lighter and less expensive than what is now commercially available. Team members were Rachel Clayton of Greenwood, IN, Jake Hoeing of Rushville, IN, Polina Navotnaya of Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Alexander Parobek of Munster, IN.

The soybean team produced Nature Loft, a soy protein fiber insulation that can be used in bedding, apparel and other products like headphones. Team members were Anshu Gupta of Chennai, India, John Grace of Hudson, OH, and Solwoo Kim of Seoul, South Korea.


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