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Jan 16,2017

STEM Advocate and Science Cheerleader, Talmesha Richards Ph.D., Addresses Witter Elementary in Tampa

Richards challenged stereotypes and encouraged youth to pursue STEM careers Tampa, Fla. – On January 13, 2017, Talmesha Richards Ph.D., chief academic and diversity officer at STEMconnector® and Science Cheerleader, addressed students and teachers at Witter Elementary. Dr. Richards shared her personal story with students and teachers to challenge stereotypes and encourage youth to pursue STEM careers. She shared insights on motivating kids by pairing gaming with education, and using TiViTz, the popular math game to spark kids interest in STEM. “Games open up a world where STEM is not perceived as hard but rather as fun,” said Dr. Richards. “In 2017, tablet and computer based games will continue to strengthen their presence in the classroom. Kids learn in so many different ways and non-traditional options like games will appeal to a whole new set of future STEM professionals.” “STEMconnector® is proud to work with our member TiViTz because it is such a strong example of how blending gaming with math and strategy can produce measurable results for kids,” said Dr. Richards. “In fact, recent reports have shown that students who play TiViTz can improve their math scores by as much as 30 percentile points.” Dr. Richards joined TiViTz creator Steve Scully at Witter Elementary as part of the new TiViTz Microsoft Office 365 Challenge. Classrooms at Witter Elementary and across Hillsborough County are playing TiViTz through O365 to win prizes. Learn more at About Talmesha Richards Dr. Richards earned her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular medicine from the John Hopkins School of Medicine. As an NFL Cheerleader for eight years, Richards is also a member of Science Cheerleaders, a group of professional cheerleaders in STEM careers working to inspire young people to connect with science and consider STEM careers. As an executive at STEMconnector®, she manages a portfolio of projects including the STEM Higher Education Council and the global strategy for Million Women Mentors.   About TiViTz The TiViTz math and strategy game motivates kids by pairing gaming with STEM education. On tablets, at home and in classrooms, TiViTz taps into the intrinsic motivation of children to create an approach to mathematical learning that is fun, challenging, and competitive. More than 400,000 students and more than 10,000 teachers agree — TiViTz makes math FUN!

Jan 16,2017

Million Women Mentors–Virginia Hopes to Inspire Future STEM Leaders at Change Agent Fair

Representatives of MWM-VA will take part in the upcoming Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit Change Agent Fair. WASHINGTON D.C. January 17, 2017 – Million Women Mentors–Virginia (MWM-VA), an effort co-led by Dr. Carole Cameron Inge of the Institute for the Commercialization of Technology, Inc. and Jennifer Bisceglie, CEO of Interos, will participate in the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit Change Agent Fair at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, January 19 at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. Representatives of MWM-VA will meet with small groups of students until 12:45 p.m. to discuss their mission to support girls and women in STEM by providing one million STEM mentors. Students attending the Change Agent Fair will participate in simulations consisting of six delegations, including Women and Global Leadership, and work toward finding solutions to pressing global challenges. The Fair is part of this year's Presidential Inauguration Summit, a program designed to inspire and embolden ambitious students from across the country. In addition to the Change Agent Fair, Summit Delegates will witness the 58th Presidential Inauguration and attend speeches by world-renowned speakers. “The Change Agent Fair offers Million Women Mentors–Virginia a unique opportunity to educate students from across the country about our mission as an organization. With this event, we hope not only to attract mentors but also to inspire a confidence in girls who have the potential to be our nation’s future STEM leaders.” – Dr. Carole Cameron Inge, MWM-VA Co-Chair, Founder The event is expected to attract over two thousand middle school, high school, and college students, as well as educators and parents. Reporters and interested parties are encouraged to contact MWM-VA with any further questions. For more information regarding the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit, please visit To learn more on how you can become a mentor, or how to participate in Virginia or other state efforts with Million Women Mentors, please register online at About Million Women Mentors: Million Women Mentors supports the engagement of one million Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentors (male and female) to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector in collaboration with over 60+ partners reaching over 30 million girls and women, 60+ corporate sponsors, and 39+ state leadership teams. For more information on MWM, please visit About STEMconnector®: STEMconnector®, a Diversified Search company, is a consortium of companies, nonprofit associations, and professional societies, STEM-related research & policy organizations, government entities, universities and academic institutions concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital in the United States. STEMconnector® is both a resource and a service, designed to link “all things STEM” through a comprehensive website and portfolio of products that connect national, state and local STEM entities. The STEMconnector® website contains profiles of STEM-related entities and details ‘Who is Doing What’ in STEM education throughout the world. For more information on STEMconnector®, please visit ### FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: MWM-VA: Dr. Carole Cameron Inge: (540) 837-2175, MWM-VA Director of Communications: Brooke McClary: (540) 837-2175, MWM State Initiatives: Sheila Boyington: (423) 309-3667,  

Jan 16,2017

Need an In-Class STEM Coach?

Imagine Tom Brady’s first day of practice as a quarterback: perhaps he misses a snap and gets sacked and probably throws a few interceptions and fumbles once. So how does this awkward start eventually transform so that Brady becomes one of the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL? Practice and coaching (for academics – mentoring). Students in extracurricular activities often have coaches, yet it is students in classrooms who are most in need of the motivation and support that coaches can provide. Fluor employees are trying to change this within the Fort Bend Independent School District. Fluor piloted the program at Austin High School during the spring semester of 2016 with engineers going into the classroom and acting as a teacher’s aide in science and math classes.   STEM coaches this school year in Algebra 1, Algebra II, Geometry, Chemistry, and Physics during 5th period every Thursday are going to Austin High School, Dulles High School, and Kempner High School.  Jennifer Nicholas, principal at Dulles High School said, “I think this is a wonderful program and way for students to gain real-life experiences.  Any time we have people who currently work in industries come work or speak with our students, it helps to reinforce to our students that what they are learning is meaningful. “ Not only are the students getting an academic help, they are also getting career awareness.  The mentors talk to the students about how the concepts they are learning in their classroom relate to the work they do at Flour. Mr. Edgar Huerta, a teacher at Kempner High School, said,” I think that the mentor from Fluor Daniel is exactly what my kids need to see in class because she relates very well to the kids about her job and her experiences that led to her job.  She is a real life model of what my kids can achieve. Hearing information from her is more impactful than hearing it from me or their parents.” The Fluor mentors are helping Texas in its pledge of 20,000 mentors to the Million Women Mentors ( effort. The MWM movement seeks to garner one million mentors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professions during the next four years to collectively increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women in these academic areas. For more information about this program or how to start one in your school district, please contact Dr. Asha Vaidya at #### Pictured:  Top Row - Left to Right: Gautam Sane, Kevin Land, Arpan Bhakta, Robert Fausett Bottom Row - Left to Right: Linda Tu, Trang Nguyen, Joyee Guin, Linh Nguyen Not Pictures: Paul Nguyen, Rachel Vaughan, Sneha Dama (coordinator) For Immediate Release Contact: Asha C. Vaidya Phone Number: 281-565-3124 Fax Number: 281-565-3124 E-mail:

Dec 14,2016

Making a Successful Mentor from Arizona's CSO's

Chief Science Officer’s Speak About Mentoring What Makes a Successful Mentor? CSO Dana is in 11th grade at Sandra Day O’Conner High School in Phoenix, AZ Mentoring today is essential for achievement beyond average accomplishments and can be applied to any area of one’s life. A successful mentoring engagement relies on the effort that both the mentor and mentee put forth. At it’s best, a mentorship can be an incredible and rewarding experience that continues to give for years and years. I’ve found the most important characteristics of a successful mentor include a strong sense of commitment; willingness to share their experience; and the ability to give constructive feedback while also providing encouragement and fostering self-belief. A personal experience in a successful mentorship was with one of my many outstanding mentors whom I encountered after striving to become more involved with STEM in my community. I will first start by saying that this rewarding mentorship could not have been successful without my - the mentee's - action toward seeking guidance, and my curiosity of improving STEM education. It falls on the mentee to take the first step; without the desire to learn, a mentorship will not be fulfilling for either party. However, once my interest was displayed, a plethora of mentors and fellow mentees presented themselves. I came across one mentor, in particular, Susan Farretta, that through her words and actions encouraged my abilities, and even expected me to accomplish great things. It is her encouragement and her commitment to teaching me her knowledge that makes her an extraordinary mentor. Good communication is as equally imperative in making a mentorship effective, which allows for discussion about enriching and stimulating topics and clarity of direction. Being willing to take risks, being totally committed at times, and putting in the effort to build a cooperative and personal relationship makes a successful mentor.   CSO Kimberly is in 11th grade at Verrado High School in Phoenix, AZ I was able to get where I am today due to mentors’ help, advice, and guidance; and it is likely the same for you too. Mentorship is a two-way relationship between a mentor and mentee. It is often misunderstood as an older individual teaching a younger apprentice in a work trade. While this is the stereotype, this isn’t always the case. Mentorship is important for all walks of life, but it is especially important for the STEM fields. I have been on both sides of the fence, being a mentee most of the time, but more recently becoming a mentor through the Chief Science Officer (CSO) program where I can advocate for STEM in my school and community, as well as help students get the opportunities they deserve. Being a mentee is a special experience, seeing as I can learn mainly new things in a hands-on manner. I also have the ability to build a relationship with someone as devoted to a topic as I am, which means I am not just learning from a book or class (which can sometimes be really boring!). In a mentor-mentee bond, the relationship is vital to the impacts and benefits that each will walk away with. For it to be successful for me as the mentee, I must walk away with knowledge I couldn’t have gained elsewhere; meaning that I learned some kind of tribal knowledge unique to the topic. And as for being the mentor, I need to walk away with some sort of new understanding on how to be a better mentor the next time around. Overall, I believe that the most important thing to make sure to implement in this mentor-mentee time is that it can be ensured that both parties are able to walk away knowing that they were benefitted in a positive way. As I have experienced firsthand, mentorship in the STEM fields gives individuals the opportunity to learn from the best and also get the help they need in order to succeed!

Nov 30,2016


RELEASE CONTACT Edie Fraser – CEO, MWM - Lorena Fimbres – VP & Chief Business Dev. Officer, MWM - Sheila Boyington – National States Chair, MWM - ​ WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1st – Ahead of its 4-year goal of reaching 1 million mentoring relationship pledges, Million Women Mentors(MWM) and STEMconnector® are proud to announce that as of December 1, 2016, MWM has registered 1,000,000 PLEDGES for mentor relationships. Leadership in MWM has increased the goal to 2 million by 2020. In response to these pledges, there have been over 650,000 completed STEM mentoring relationships counted. The MWM Movement has grown over the past three years by bringing together leaders throughout the country with the shared goal of attracting, developing and retaining more women in the STEM workforce through high-quality mentorships. “Milestone of 1 million is achieved because of all those engaged with Million Women Mentors; we salute you for believing we can change the lives of women and girls in great STEM careers through mentoring, sponsorship, internships and support,” Edie Fraser, CEO of MWM, shared. Representatives from industry, higher education, government and nonprofit organizations have joined the movement securing sponsorship from 50+ national sponsors and many others on the state committees, 39 state committees, 80+ non-profit partners, and engaging a number of Governors and Lieutenant Governors to serve as the honorary chairs. The 1,000,000 was reached through the concerted efforts of many of our organizations with special recognition to those members responsible for the MWM technological component and others. These include TATA Consultancy Services (TCS), Science Olympiad, Mind Research, FIRST and many others. Leading sponsor corporations include BP, Cisco Systems, Walmart, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Sprint, and others. National nonprofit partners participating also include Mentored Pathways, Girls Scouts, National 4-H Council, AAUW, ORAU, and Girls Inc. Million Women Mentors aims to increase female participation in the STEM workforce by providing a national platform to engage industry, government, and implementation partners. It seeks to tap into the tremendous human capital potential of our nation’s employers to excite, inspire, and recruit the next generation of STEM professionals. "Congratulations to all the partners of MWM for achieving this major milestone of one million pledges. Your leadership and passion have made this movement possible, and now let us enable these young women to enter into and flourish in STEM careers. TCS is proud to be a founding member of MWM and provide the technology platform that connects the companies and mentors to youth serving organizations. We are especially proud that we have enabled over 55,000 mentoring relationships for girls and young women globally through our internal talent management processes and external community engagement initiatives." - Surya Kant, President, Tata Consultancy Services, North America, UK & Europe Sheila Boyington, President of Learning Blade and National States Chair recognizes the MWM state teams and leadership of many Lt. Governors and Governors, particularly Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds.  As the National Honorary MWM Chair, Lt. Gov. Reynolds remarked “This is a momentous occasion. Million Women Mentors is playing an instrumental role in helping engage girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM courses, degrees, and careers. In 2014, Iowa was excited to launch the first statewide MWM model of its kind. It is another component of our statewide strategy to attract individuals to STEM careers. The positive interest in this MWM effort has been overwhelming.” “As one of the largest girl-serving STEM organizations in the nation, and the recipient of the Excellence in Partner Innovation Award at the 2016 MWM Summit, Science Olympiad is proud to support this movement to excite and engage more women and girls in STEM,” said Jenny Kopach, Executive Director of Science Olympiad and MWM-IL State Chair. “By engaging our network of 7,600 teams in 50 states with MWM efforts, we hope to help close the gender gap in today’s STEM workforce.” Key Highlights of MWM include: Newly Updated Online Portal – A new, mobile-friendly Million Women Mentors web portal created by Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) supports mentors and mentoring programs with features such as the ability to log the progress of working with mentees and sharing documents & resources among communities of mentors, companies, and girl-serving organizations. Women’s Quick Facts – The MWM team released a highly anticipated compilation of compelling data about women in today's society. The publication launched and has sold over 14 thousand copies in the first six weeks. "Today marks the realization of a dream to engage a million professionals as mentors to inspire the next generation of leaders. The seeds to build interest, persistence, and retention have been shown, putting us on track for greater gender and ethnic equity. Let us resolve not to rest until we convert each of these pledges to a million impactful mentoring relationships for girls and young women across America." - Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, Tata Consultancy Services & Vice Chair, MWM Leadership Council  Shelley Henderson, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for FIRST ® shared “Mentors and Coaches are the foundation of our programs at FIRST. Our partnership with Million Women Mentors expands opportunities to engage a historically underserved and often marginalized population in STEM, girls and young women, who are as capable as their male counterparts. These mentorship opportunities are central to our ability to deliver transformative programs to students who would benefit most.” Walmart Corporation joins a group of leaders and companies who are making an impact across the nation and has taken the lead in Arkansas for MWM and even hosted an event attended by a number of corporate CIO’s to encourage their engagement with the movement at a recent national tech event. “Knowledge makes us stronger and empowers us to take action, and Walmart salutes the commitment to thorough data and facts for women. We are proud to be part of Million Women Mentors…” – Karenann Terrell, CIO, Walmart. MWM has several committees such as the Partners, States, Technology, Entrepreneurs, Veterans, Communications, and Development. The need to grow the STEM talent in our country is a testament to the ability to reach the million pledges in less than 3 years. About Million Women Mentors: Launched on January 8th, 2014, MWM is the collective action of over 60 national partners and 50 corporate sponsors (as of September 2015) designed to increase the number of girls and women within the high school to work age continuum that persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. For more information on MWM, please visit   To join the conversation on Twitter, follow @millionWmentors About STEMconnector®: STEMconnector® is a consortium of over 160 companies, associations, academic institutions and government entities concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital. STEMconnector® focuses on the STEM workforce and jobs, with a particular emphasis on diversity and women. Our work spans the entire pipeline (kindergarten to jobs) and how STEM education experiences translate into careers. For more information, visit

Jul 26,2016

MWM Entrepreneurship Council Chair, Nina Vaca, Spoke at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit

MWM Entrepreneurship Council Chair, Nina Vaca, Spoke at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit    Tues July 26, 2016                 Every year the world’s leaders and future leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship come together to address the world’s latest challenges and to foster relationships between entrepreneurs and investors.1 Previous summits have been held in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. This year the summit returned to the U.S., to a place known for its entrepreneurs and its innovation - Silicon Valley.             The summit provides a diverse range of activities for participants that encourages them to network and foster relationships, such as “workshops, panels, ignite talks, pitch competitions, mentoring, and networking sessions.” 2 Of all the activities, however, the opportunity to network with industry experts is the most valuable. One such industry expert is Nina Vaca, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group.             For the past 19 years, Vaca has tirelessly lead the growth of Pinnacle Group into the successful and dynamic company that it is today.3 For her efforts she has received numerous awards, such as the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs and the NBC Innovator awards in 2013. In 2005, Vaca was not only the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year but she was also inducted into the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.           Vaca’s accolades are undoubtedly impressive, but more impressive still is her track record of leadership in her community. She works relentlessly to pave the way for other female entrepreneurs. Her leadership on this front can be seen through her creation of At the Table – Women in Business Leadership, an initiative of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She also is the chair for STEMconnector’s Million Women Mentors’ Entrepreneurship Council, which aims to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in STEM through mentorship.             When it comes to entrepreneurs, Vaca’s most notable leadership role is her work with The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative. This year, as a PAGE Ambassador, Vaca was featured in the summit’s video on entrepreneurship alongside other industry experts such as Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO of KIND Snacks; Julie Hanna, Executive Chair of the Board of Kiva; Brian Chesky, Co-founder & CEO of Airbnb; Daphne Koller, President & CO-founder of Coursera; and Steve Case, Chairman of Revolution. In the video Vaca asks us to question what the world would be like without entrepreneurs; a world without Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates.4 These entrepreneurs represent the car, the airplane, Facebook, and Microsoft, inventions that would make our world look much different if they never existed. That is why it is so important that people like Nina Vaca and programs like the Global Entrepreneurship Summit exist, because innovation and entrepreneurs are the key to a better future.             The Summit is designed to help future leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs by opening up doors that otherwise would have remained shut. “Building ecosystems of networks where you can meet people that are like-minded is the recipe for success for entrepreneurs,” says Vaca in the video.5 That is why the Summit is so important, it connects experienced entrepreneurs and leaders like Nina Vaca to those who are trying to start their own entrepreneurial journeys. In the process, valuable networks and relationships are forged that can prove integral to the success of an entrepreneur.             Entrepreneurs face a tough road, they hear the word “no” more than they hear the word “yes”, but with people like Nina Vaca out there to help them and remind them that “the word no…is just part of the journey of success” perhaps it doesn’t have to be.6             To watch the full video click here.