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December 2012/January 2013

Diversity/Careers December 2012/January 2013




Women of color in IT
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Pharma & biotech
LGBT tech pros
Great Minds in STEM
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Buick Achievers awards 1,100 scholarships nationwide

New York, NY – The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program (www.buickachievers.com), funded by the General Motors Foundation, announced scholarships totaling approximately $4.2 million to 1,100 recipients during the NBC News Education Nation Summit in New York City.

The students, who come from all fifty states, were honored for excelling in the classroom and the community. They will receive financial support for degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) or related fields of study.

The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program is one of the largest STEM scholarship programs in the country. Each year, 100 students receive as much as $25,000. The grants are renewable for up to four years, plus one additional year for qualified five-year engineering programs.

An additional 1,000 students receive one-time $2,000 awards. By the end of 2012, the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program expects to have provided nearly $13 million to help students attend school. Eligibility was expanded this year from first-time college-bound students to current undergraduates.

"Most students are graduating today with more than $25,000 in debt, hindering them with years of financial burden," said GM Foundation president Vivian Pickard. "Through the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, the GM Foundation is able to remove some of those financial hurdles, while fostering the growth of the next generation of leaders for STEM-related fields."

"Since its inception in 2011, the GM Foundation and Buick have awarded more than 800 scholarships to minority students pursuing degrees in STEM and related fields," said Ken Barrett, GM chief diversity officer. "We seek to increase the focus on STEM and encourage students to pursue careers in these areas."

Since 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and disaster relief efforts worldwide. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.


Lockheed Martin's Stephanie C. Hill honored with Women of Color STEM Career Achievement award

Rockville, MD – Lockheed Martin has announced that Stephanie C. Hill, president of the company's Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS)-Civil product line, was honored for "career achievement in industry" during the seventeenth annual Women of Color Science, Technology, Engineering and Math conference in October.

The conference celebrated the significant achievements of women of color in scientific and technical careers. Hill was among thirty-seven Lockheed Martin employees recognized during the international forum.

"Stephanie is a true leader throughout our corporation, industry and community," said IS&GS executive vice president Linda Gooden. "Stephanie's drive for excellence, career achievements and dedicated advocacy for STEM education inspire both employees and the workforce of tomorrow to reach new heights."

As IS&GS-Civil president, Hill leads approximately 10,000 employees responsible for IT systems and services in areas such as information and cybersecurity, finance, transportation, citizen protection, energy, healthcare and space exploration.

Hill graduated with high honors from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County with BS degrees in both computer science and economics. She served on the Maryland governor's STEM Task Force in 2009 and continues to mentor STEM youth.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company.


Chrysler Group "Women of Color" recognized at annual event

Auburn Hills, MI – Chrysler Group technical business leaders received honors for their career achievements at the fifteenth Women of Color STEM Conference, held in October in Dallas, TX.

The annual conference is the only multicultural celebration held to honor significant achievements of women in technology, recognizing innovative professionals for their career accomplishments "despite the traditional obstacles faced by women in these fields."

"The Women of Color Awards recognize some of the most promising and influential women business and community leaders in the U.S.," said Nancy A. Rae, senior vice president of human resources, Chrysler Group LLC. "Chrysler Group is proud that our women employees continue to be recognized for their extraordinary technical achievements and leadership."

Olabisi Boyle, director of engineering planning, received the 2012 Women of Color Award for Managerial Leadership, recognizing her "accomplishments in leading and managing a significant part of a technology enterprise and whose career choices serve as an example to women working to move beyond what are considered traditional roles for women." Boyle was previously recognized as a Women of Color Technology Rising Star and is a past recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award.

Other Chrysler Group Award recipients were recognized in the category of Technology Rising Stars: "young women who are helping to shape technology for the future." Those recipients were Gagan Mann, manager, C-segment sedan interiors; Maria Murillo, manager, electrical management; Honglu Wang, project engineer, virtual analysis; and Jie Jane Xia, system engineer, ITM product design.

"These women serve as terrific role models highlighting the exciting career opportunities for women in the automotive industry," Rae added.


First-year Tuskegee student gets support from DoD

Panama City, FL – In the fall of 2012, La'Fred Gibbons enrolled at Tuskegee University as a freshman aiming for a chemical engineering degree. He found his passion for engineering in 2008 when he participated in a joint STEM Summer Institute held at Gulf Coast State College and Florida State University-Panama City.

"I attended the STEM summer science camp when I was an eighth grader," Gibbons said. "When I realized that the Lego robot I was working with was an example of an engineering project, I knew I had found my career."

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) educational outreach coordinator Ed Linsenmeyer said the funds to sponsor most STEM outreach projects are provided by the Department of Defense (DoD).

"The funding that lets us participate in these activities has been channeled through the DoD's National Defense Education Program," Linsenmeyer said.

NSWC PCD commanding officer Capt Scott Pratt said the DoD funds several STEM initiatives to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories.

"America is facing a near-future crisis due to a shortage of college professionals graduating with degrees relative to STEM skills and disciplines," Pratt said. "La'Fred Gibbons is a good example of how our Navy's STEM outreach efforts are helping inspire students to pursue STEM-related careers that will help fill this gap, keeping our nation technologically competitive on a global scale.

"The SMART program is a tremendous opportunity for students like La'Fred Gibbons," Pratt said. "Eligible students who can sustain academic excellence as Mr Gibbons has demonstrated may qualify to be paid by the DoD to attend college. If selected, the assigned laboratory considers reporting to the student's college or university just like a change in duty station. Instead of reporting to the student's assigned laboratory, the student simply attends school and then reports back to the assigned laboratory or agency upon graduation."

Linsenmeyer noted that eligible students incur a year-per-year obligation to the DoD. "Upon graduation from the SMART program, participants are required to work one year at DoD laboratories or agencies for each year they were enrolled in the program," Linsenmeyer said.

For information on the SMART Scholarship for Service Program, visit www.asee.org/smart.


HRC CEI: an LGBT-inclusive workplace is the new normal

Washington, DC – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation has released its 2013 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The index, released each fall, provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. It rates participating organizations on their official policies, employment benefits, organizational competence (LGBT elements in training and surveys; an LGBT resource group or a diversity council), public engagement and corporate citizenship.

This year, according to the HRC, the CEI saw the largest growth in the survey's history: fifty-four new companies opted to be part of the index.

A total of 889 businesses were rated in the 2013 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. A record 252 businesses from nearly every industry and across the U.S. earned the top score of 100 this year. Just thirteen businesses earned a 100 percent rating in the first CEI eleven years ago.

This year, for the first time, more than half of the Fortune 500, 57 percent, include gender identity as well as sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. Businesses are also supporting marriage equality. Seventy-four index participants publicly supported pro-equality legislation at state and local levels, and many participated in marriage equality campaigns in the runup to the November elections.

"Corporate America continues to raise the bar in workplace fairness," said HRC president Chad Griffin. "LGBT-inclusive workplace policies are the new normal. We hope Congress will follow corporate America's lead and create a level playing field, including passing fully inclusive workplace non-discrimination legislation."

  Among the tech-heavy companies scoring 100 percent were 3M, Bank of America, Chrysler Group, Cisco Systems, Cummins, EMC Corp, Ford, General Motors, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Toyota.

HRC is planning a new survey in 2013, of the gay-friendly status of municipal and state governments. Some federal agencies and other employers already participate in the original index, but in general score lower than corporate employers, HRC president Griffin notes.

The entire 2013 index is available at www.hrc.org/cei.


National Press Club event honors birth centenary of Alan Turing, father of computer age

Washington, DC – Washington's National Press Club hosted an advance showing and panel discussion on October 4 of Codebreaker, a new fifty-three-minute film about Alan Turing's life, death and legacy.

Credited with "catapulting civilization into the digital age," Turing's contributions to the modern world are only now being recognized and understood. Turing is now accepted by most as the founding father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He also helped turn the tide of World War II by breaking the Germany Navy's Enigma code.

The panel discussed Turing's personal story and professional achievements. The panel included Patrick Sammon, Codebreaker's executive producer; David Alan Grier, 2013 IEEE Computer Society president and associate professor of International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University; and Glenn Zorpette, executive editor of IEEE Spectrum magazine, who has written on both cybersecurity and Turing for Spectrum and Scientific American. Longtime high-tech journalist and Press Club member Tam Harbert moderated.

In addition to describing Turing's many scientific, technological and engineering achievements, Codebreaker puts a human face on the eccentric British mathematician. During his lifetime, Turing, who was gay, faced terrible persecution. In 1952, the British government forced him to undergo chemical castration as punishment for his homosexuality. The film sheds new light on the events leading up to Turing's 1954 suicide a few weeks before his forty-second birthday.

Almost two million people worldwide have seen the film. The Times of London described Codebreaker as "an overdue and thoroughly honourable telling of this dreadful story." A two-minute trailer from the film is available at www.turingfilm.com.

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