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June/July 2013

Diversity/Careers June/July 2013




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VDOT announces new northern Virginia leadership

Fairfax, VA – The Virginia Department of Transportation has named Helen L. Cuervo, PE, district administrator for VDOT’s Northern Virginia District, and Renée N. Hamilton her deputy.

“Helen and Renée are dedicated public servants who are already well recognized for their work as liaisons to Prince William, Arlington and Fairfax counties, and for their strong influence on VDOT’s construction, planning and investment management programs in northern Virginia,” said VDOT commissioner Greg Whirley. “They will continue to lead the innovative transportation program in this important region in the right direction.”

Cuervo will be responsible for state-maintained roads in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William counties, plus supported highways in nine cities and towns. She replaces Garrett Moore, PE, who was promoted to VDOT chief engineer earlier this year.

She has been in the transportation field for thirty years, including twenty-six with VDOT. She began her career in the structural design consulting industry and joined VDOT in 1987. She was most recently the district construction engineer, responsible for the delivery of VDOT’s $700 million construction program in northern Virginia.

Cuervo is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has held a professional engineer’s license in Virginia since 1990.

Hamilton has more than twenty-five years of transportation experience. She began her career with VDOT in 1988 as an engineer trainee in VDOT’s central office and has since served in several district leadership roles. Most recently she was assistant district administrator for planning and investment management in northern Virginia.

She has a masters in engineering management from Old Dominion University and an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from South Carolina State University.


Lockheed Martin CEO speaks at Pratt & Whitney Women’s Leadership Forum

Hartford, CT – On May 15, Lockheed Martin CEO and president Marillyn Hewson spoke to an audience of more than 900 at Pratt & Whitney’s Women’s Leadership Forum.

“Women must be prepared to take on new and more challenging assignments, pursue mentors, and network with others to learn from them,” she told the predominantly female gathering at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. “And most importantly, always perform at your best and focus on continuous learning.”

Hewson was introduced by Pratt & Whitney president Dave Hess as one of the nation’s top corporate CEOs. “She is a great example of a great woman who’s made a difference at a great company,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say our guest speaker today is one of the most capable and accomplished executives you can find anywhere in the world, in any industry.”

Today, twenty-one Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, a significant transformation from just one female CEO in 1998. Hewson is among three women holding the top position at three of the six largest Pentagon contractors. She was selected by Fortune magazine as one of the “Fifty Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The theme for this year’s forum, sponsored by the Pratt & Whitney Women’s Council, was “Take charge: your future’s bright.” Hewson said taking charge of one’s career path and staying focused is key. “The advice I give our employees is to decide for yourself what you want, and then own that decision,” she told the crowd. “Discuss it with your family and make the choice to do what it takes to achieve the goals that are important to you. Take charge of your career.”

The overall purpose of Pratt & Whitney’s Leadership Forum event is to encourage leadership development and career growth in an inclusive environment for both men and women. Since its inception in 2007, the Pratt & Whitney Women’s Council has served as a leadership and resource group representing female professionals.


AT&T tops list of companies that recruit, develop and retain Hispanic talent

Dallas, TX – AT&T was recently recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) in its 2012 Corporate Inclusion Index (CII) survey.

The HACR CII measures Hispanic inclusion at Fortune 100 companies and HACR corporate member companies by focusing on HACR’s four pillars of corporate social responsibility and market reciprocity: employment, procurement, philanthropy and governance.

AT&T topped the list of fifty-five participating Fortune 100 companies and HACR corporate members with a ninety-five rating, the highest received in 2011 and 2012. This is the second year in a row that AT&T earned a high rating in the four pillar areas. In last year’s HACR CII report, AT&T was one of two companies with a ninety-five rating, the highest among telecommunication firms.

“When reputable organizations like HACR recognize AT&T’s broad commitment to diversity and inclusion, it reaffirms that we are doing things right,” said Debbie Storey, senior VP for talent development and chief diversity officer at AT&T. “As our markets become increasingly global and diverse, we know that by reflecting our communities and focusing on their unique needs we will continue to deliver technology and communications that improve how our customers live, work and play.”

“On behalf of HACR’s board of directors, congratulations to AT&T for their commitment to Hispanic inclusion,” HACR president and CEO Carlos F. Orta said. The HACR CII is open to all Fortune 100 companies and HACR corporate members. AT&T has been a participant in the HACR CII since its launch four years ago.


USB inventor Ajay V. Bhatt of Intel wins 2013 European Inventor Award

Munich, Germany – Ajay V. Bhatt, the Indian-born U.S. researcher who led a team of computer experts at Intel that developed USB technology, has won the European Inventor Award 2013. The award is presented annually by the European Patent Office (EPO) to outstanding innovators in five categories for their contributions to technological, social and economic progress.

Bhatt was nominated in the category of “non-European countries,” along with his team: Shaun Knoll, Jeff Charles Morriss, Shelagh Callahan, and Sudershan Bala Cadambi. The 2013 winners in all categories were announced at a ceremony in Amsterdam on May 28 in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

“Working as team leader of a group that created and patented USB technology, Intel computer expert Ajay V. Bhatt helped greatly simplify the way we interact with computers today. His work constitutes one of the most revolutionary advances in computing since the development of the silicon chip,” said Benoît Battistelli, president of the EPO.

Prior to the invention of USB, computers relied on a number of drivers to communicate with peripherals, and the commands sent by these drivers were frequently in conflict with each other. Taking his inspiration from the common electrical wall outlet, Bhatt decided to create a connection interface that would recognize and run new devices automatically when they were plugged into a computer. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface works by “translating” the signals from a variety of peripherals and delivering them to one centralized message stream that communicates with the computer’s operating system.


Heather Wilson named to lead South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Rapid City, SD – Heather Wilson, a former member of Congress, Rhodes Scholar, and small business owner who has worked with large defense and scientific companies, has been named the nineteenth president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (www.sdsmt.edu), and the first female president in the school’s 128-year history. She succeeds the late Robert Wharton, who passed away in September. She began her duties on the Rapid City campus in June.

“Heather Wilson is a high-energy leader who brings exceptional communication skills and public-sector experience to her new position,” said board of regents member Terry Baloun, chair of the search committee. “At a time when higher education increasingly must make its case for more external funding and sustained research support from the federal and private sectors, our search committee took particular note of Dr Wilson’s Capitol Hill experience, as well as her connections to decision makers in Washington and throughout the scientific research community. We are excited to have her join our team.”

As president of Heather Wilson & Company LLC of Albuquerque, NM, Wilson has worked as a senior advisor to top-tier national laboratories such as Sandia, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, the Nevada Test Site, Battelle Memorial Institute, and others. She served New Mexico in the U.S. Congress from 1998 to 2009.

Wilson earned her bachelors degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in the third class to include women. She completed masters and doctoral degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England.

“Higher education is facing serious challenges,” Wilson said. “The South Dakota School of Mines is showing how great schools can meet those challenges. Mines provides a rigorous, world-class education that prepares graduates for leadership in science and engineering at a price families can afford. It’s a great school and I’m very proud to be the newest Hardrocker,” she said.


Chrysler Group named among top workplaces for Native Americans and Alaska Natives

Auburn Hills, MI – The editors of Winds of Change, the magazine of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), have selected Chrysler Group LLC as a “Top STEM workplace for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.” Chrysler Group ranked tenth in the list of fifty workplaces, and was the only domestic automaker included on the list, which was first released this year.

AISES focuses on STEM careers and educational advancement for American Indian and Alaska Natives.

“This recognition is very meaningful to Chrysler Group as it confirms that our commitment to diversity is recognized, respected and truly inclusive of all,” said Nancy Rae, senior HR VP at Chrysler Group and co-chair of the company’s diversity council. “Chrysler Group’s diversity will continue to be a source of innovation and competitive advantage as we continue to recruit and develop the diverse talent we need to sustain our success.”

“Speaking on behalf of Native American employees at Chrysler Group, we are proud that our company has been recognized for its commitment to diversity and its accomplishments in creating a work culture that is respectful and inclusive,” said Priscilla Hedin, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and co-chair of the company’s Native American employee resource group (NAERG).

Other ERGs at Chrysler Group include the Chrysler African American network, Chrysler Hispanic employee network, Chrysler Asian network, gay and lesbian alliance, and women’s forum.


Puerto Rico teams take top spots at NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Huntsville, AL – NASA has declared the winners of the twentieth NASA Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, held in April. The race is inspired by the original lunar rover, first piloted across the moon’s surface in the early 1970s during the Apollo 15 mission, and used in the subsequent Apollo 16 and 17 missions.

Team 1 from Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, won first place in the high school division; racers from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao claimed the college-division trophy.

The winning teams outraced more than eighty-nine teams from twenty-three states, Puerto Rico, Canada, India, Germany, Mexico and Russia. Approximately 600 student drivers, engineers and mechanics, plus their team advisors and cheering sections, gathered for the “space race.”

Organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, the race challenges students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered buggies. Traversing the grueling half-mile course, which simulates the cratered lunar surface, race teams face many of the same engineering challenges dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at the Marshall Center in the late 1960s. The winning teams post the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, with the fewest on-course penalties.

The University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, which won second place in the college division in the 2012 race, brought home its first-place win by finishing in three minutes, thirty-two seconds. The team from Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School, in its third year in the competition, finished the half-mile course in just three minutes, twenty-four seconds.

NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race has been hosted by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center since 1996. Major corporate sponsors for the race are Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Aerojet and Jacobs Engineering ESSSA Group, which all have operations in Huntsville. For more information about the race, visit moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov.


NSF joins forces with Intel and GE to retain undergraduates in STEM fields

Arlington, VA – Through a new program called Graduate 10K+, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has partnered with Intel and GE in making grants to institutions for projects to improve retention of undergraduates in engineering and computer science. The effort is funded with $10 million in donations from Intel and the GE Foundation as well as a generous personal donation from investment banker Mark Gallogly. Its goal is to stimulate action at universities and colleges to help increase the annual number of new graduates in engineering and computer science by 10,000.

These are fields in which women and minorities are chronically underrepresented. Engineering and computer science are also part of a general trend in which many undergraduates pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields leave STEM entirely during their first two years in college.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with industry to address the need to engage and retain graduates in engineering and computer science,” said NSF acting director Dr Cora Marrett. “This partnership is a starting point, and we anticipate that others from the corporate and nonprofit world will become partners in this important venture.”

“Undergraduate STEM education plays an essential role in strengthening the nation’s economy and ensuring the quality and competitiveness of its workforce. As an American advanced manufacturer, supporting our future engineers and computer scientists is critical,” said Kimberly Stevenson, Intel’s chief information officer.

“The GE Foundation has a long-term commitment to helping students at the K-12 level prepare for college, and eventually their future careers,” said Kelli Wells, director of U.S. education for the GE Foundation. “Our support for Graduate 10K+ takes that support a step further at a critical moment when students are choosing their majors.”

Graduate 10K+ projects will operate for five years. Each of the projects has identified factors that can derail would-be engineers and computer scientists in their first or second year of undergraduate study and taken a targeted approach to addressing those factors.



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