Women of Silicon Valley

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Kesha Williams, Software Engineer for Chick-fil-A, shares her thoughts on the importance of mentoring, coding to young people and a sneak peek into her tech talk topic: What Humans Can Learn From Machines, ahead of her exciting talk at Women of Silicon Valley 2018 on March 21 & 22.

  1. How did you get into software engineering?

When I was a freshman in high school, my father purchased a computer to do the family finances.  Luckily for me, he placed the computer in my playroom.

My free time was spent with a Barbie doll in one hand and a computer manual in the other.

Later on, in my junior year of high school, I attended a summer science enrichment training program that taught me more about computers. My exposure to computers early on in life fostered a lifelong curiosity with technology.

When I enrolled in college, I majored in computer science and mathematics. I started my career with the National Security Agency (NSA) and 23 years later, I am still excited and intrigued by the continuous advances in technology.

  1. What do you enjoy the most about your day-to-day work?

I’m most excited about the opportunities to learn new and exciting technologies. Technology is ever-changing and it advances on an almost daily basis. I’m excited to be at the forefront of where emerging technologies like machine learning and computer vision/facial recognition will take society.

This may sound cliché, but these technologies (especially when combined) have the ability to change the way we live and can even bring ideas from the wildest science fiction movie to life!

  1. How did you get started on mentoring and why do you think it’s important to do it?

Mentoring is important for me because it is a way to give back to the tech community.  I’ve learned a lot during my 23-year journey in tech and the lessons I’ve learned can help others who are on the same path. I mentor girls and young women for two main reasons:

  • I am passionate about increasing the diversity in technology because there is a lack of representation of women and people of color at all levels in most organizations.
  • I enjoy seeing people reach their fullest potential in life and achieve things they never thought possible.

I seek to impact girls and young women at all stages of their journey:

  • Technovation allows me to reach girls between the ages of 10-18.
  • The New York Academy of Sciences allows me to impact young women in college.
  • WEST (Women Entering & Staying in Tech) gives me the opportunity to help women in the early stages of their career.
  1. What advice would you give to technical women who are struggling to achieve their goals in the industry?

My advice to women who are struggling to achieve their goals is first and foremost to always believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for someone else to believe in you.  Also, you can’t allow someone else’s perception of what you are or are not capable of stop you from going after your dreams. I’ve also found in an industry that lacks diversity, it is important to find a community that has other individuals that are like me. I’m very active with Women Who Code Atlanta, and this network has provided me a lot of support.

  1. Could you tell us a bit more about your Hour of Code sessions and the importance of teaching coding to young people?

Computer programming is a fun and lucrative career choice and more people should be made aware of the opportunities available.

I partnered with my local library to offer free Hour of Code sessions to elementary school students on one Saturday out of the month. I wanted to work with kids because the earlier they are exposed to computer programming, the more likely they are to choose it as a career field. This is evident through my own personal journey.

I also have my 10-year-old daughter serve as my teaching assistant. She studies the course materials ahead of time so that she can assist students that need help during the session. This exposes my daughter to technology, volunteerism, and leadership. This whole experience has been a win-win for all parties involved.

  1. What exciting things are you working on right now?

A really cool project that I recently worked on was one involving facial recognition. I led an innovation team of six developers to investigate how computer vision and facial recognition could improve restaurant operations and customer experiences.

My team developed a prototype that recognizes people as they enter a room and then provides a custom welcome message on a monitor that greets the person by name. This project was really cool because it is a first step toward using facial recognition and computer vision on a broader scale.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your tech talk and machines taking on human biases?

I invented a predictive policing machine learning algorithm called, S. A. M. (Suspicious Activity Monitor).  SAM looks at a particular situation (using computer vision) and predicts the likelihood of crime (using machine learning). SAM looks at several attributes about the person and even their current location in order to make a crime prediction.

When creating SAM, I intentionally excluded race as an attribute he considers because I didn’t want him accused of racial profiling.  The decision to exclude race was an “a-ha” moment for me because it showed me that machine learning can actually remove human bias from certain situations; the power of this technology is absolutely mind blowing.

After learning this, I wanted to share what I had learned with the world.  I routinely travel the world speaking and teaching at technical conferences about SAM and the power of machine learning. We must make sure the power of machine learning is used to improve society instead of reinforcing current issues like bias and profiling.

Kesha Williams is a software engineer with over 20 years’ experience specializing in web application development. In addition to being a software engineer with Chick-fil-A, she trains and mentors thousands of software developers in the US, Europe, and Asia while teaching at the University of California. She’s authored courses on Java, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Augmented Reality (AR). She most recently won the Think Different Innovation Award from Chick-fil-A for her work on investigating how emerging technologies can enhance restaurant operations and customer experiences. In her spare time, she leads the Georgia chapter of Technovation, serves as a mentor with the New York Academy of Sciences, and conducts free Hour of Code sessions for children at her local library.


From the creators of the largest global Women in Technology event series, Women of Silicon Valley is returning for two days of empowering keynotes, panel discussions, technical workshops and diversity-focused sessions on March 21 and 22, 2018 in San Francisco.

Learn from inspirational leaders and industry experts, get deep insight into tech trends and business strategies, boost your technical skills and learn how to flourish in the sector… let’s smash that glass ceiling!

The two-day conference will provide deep insight into the tech industry, as well as gender diversity and inclusion, through rich content delivered by experts. Sessions will include:

Inspiring Keynotes

  • Redefining Success: The Third Metric That Can Benefit Your Bottom Line (Arianna Huffington, Founder, The Huffington Post, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global)
  • Climbing The Tech Ladder in Heels: Where Technology & The Human ExperienceConverge (CTO, Estée Lauder Companies)
  • Transitioning From Engineering To Management (Director, Engineering & Product, LinkedIn)

Tech Specific

  • Security Isn’t Sexy – It’s Business(CEO, MKACyber)
  • Thinking at Scale(Software Engineer, WhatsApp)
  • What Humans Can Learn From Machines(Software Engineer, Chick-fil-A Corporate)

Diversity-Focused Sessions

  • C-Suite Level Panel – How To Champion Women in Technology Initiatives
  • Creating A Business Case For Diversity
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment

Technical Workshops 
Topics will include: 

  • Real-World Practices: How To Successfully Implement Open Source Into Workflow & Projects
  • Microservices, Security, Deep Learning Analytics, The Future of Data Science & DevOps
  • JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, WebGL, mobile APIs, Node.js, ECMAScript 6
  • The Digital Apocalypse: The Rise of the Games Industry
  • Building Apps For Windows, Office 365, Edge/IE, SQL Server, Azure, HoloLens, Visual Studio & ASP.NET

Take a look at the full conference agenda.

Confirmed speakers currently include:

  • Arianna Huffington, Founder, The Huffington Post, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
  • Chief Technology & Information Officer,Estée Lauder Companies
  • Senior Technology Advisor to the Mayor, City of Los Angeles
  • Chief Data Scientist, Senior Principal Engineer, Office of the CTO, McAfee
  • CMO, VMware
  • Director,KPMG
  • Vice President,Amazon Web Services
  • CTO, SVP Technology, BMC Software
  • Senior Director, Engineering, LinkedIn
  • Senior Director, Products, eBay
  • CMO, GE Ventures
  • Software Engineer, WhatsApp
  • Senior UX Manager, Sony Playstation
  • San Jose Managing Partner,PwC
  • Partner, Microsoft Ventures 
  • UX Researcher, Google
  • Engineering Manager, Facebook

… and many more!

Our audience of 1,000 tech leaders and professionals enables you to engage with an intimate vibrant community, interact with our speakers and build meaningful relationships.

See full speaker list.

Request a brochure for all the info on the conference’s format, speakers and prices.

TFS Scholarships Launches Online Toolkit to Provide College Funding Resources

LinkedIn

SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at tuitionfundingsources.com/resource-toolkit, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.

The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.

“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”

The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.

The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.

Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

 

About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.

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8 Inefficiencies in the Architecture + Design Industry (and possible solutions)

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MRad

LOS ANGELES, California – (February 7, 2018) – Every industry has their fair share of inefficiencies which can stifle production. But once in a while, a leader comes along who can not only identify the problems, but also offer solutions. These thought leaders have the ability to revolutionize an industry. The world of architecture and design is not immune to inefficiencies, but one industry leader has some ideas on how to fix the broken system.

“You never bathe in the same river twice, because things change, which keeps everything fresh and interesting,” explains Matthew Rosenberg, the founder of M-Rad Architecture + Design, located in Los Angeles. “The same goes for the architecture and design field, where for far too long the river was standing idle, becoming stagnant. Our business model and proposed solutions are helping to get it flowing once again.”

As a forward thinker in the field, Rosenberg has identified 8 major inefficiencies in the architecture and design industry, as well as a solution for each of them. They include:

  1. PROBLEM: Brokers. Paying a middleman to find projects takes away revenue for the architect.
    SOLUTION: Cut out the Broker by forming relationships directly with developers and clients.
  2. PROBLEM:Underpaid, overworked designers and architects. The architecture industry is notorious for low wages, heavy workload, stressful deadlines until you “make it” to the top.
    SOLUTION: Allow the designers and architects to take equity in their projects.
  3. PROBLEM:Designing independently from actual community needs.  When architecture firms design a building for a client without considering the needs and wants of the surrounding area, the project may not benefit the community or the client.
    SOLUTION: Use a positioning tactic to understand what the community is lacking and incorporate these ideas into the project.
  4. PROBLEM:The industry is heavily reliant on unpredictable markets. With the real estate marketing and cost of living in constant flux, it’s difficult to predict the stability of the industry, which is reliant on the financial status of the client.
    SOLUTION: Consistency, strategic business moves, and keeping an eye on markets allows architecture and design firms to be proactive and shift their practice to better suit the economy.
  5. PROBLEM:City planning process and restrictions. Sometimes designing or building structures takes many years, as they are stuck in the city planning process. One minor mistake can set a project back months or sometimes even years.
    SOLUTION: It can be difficult to get around or speed up the city planning process, but being involved in the community, town hall meetings, and voting on city measures can help improve the process.
  6. PROBLEM:Politics within the industry. Politics occur in every industry, but when millions of dollars are exchanged, expectations are high, and egos can get in the way of business.  The political elements in Architecture can get sticky.
    SOLUTION: Stay professional and only partner/work with people who have positive reputations.
  7. PROBLEM:The scope of the architect is becoming smaller. Technology advancements cause more complex buildings, which causes increase in liability and legal aggression which prompts architects to hand off elements of the design process to “experts in their field,” ultimately chipping away the responsibility and profits of the architect.
    SOLUTION: Increase the scope of the architect.
  8. PROBLEM:Stealing intellectual property. It’s hard to determine when a design is stolen or original.
    SOLUTION: No real solution. Can try to prevent your design being stolen by trademarking, keeping records, photographing the design progress, certifying the design, and by being careful of releasing designs to public view.

“At our firm, we have gone to great lengths to determine effective solutions to the inefficiencies within the architecture and design field,” added Rosenberg. “By making these changes, we are benefiting those who work in the field, as well as those we build the projects for. It’s a win-win for everyone to create the most efficient field that we can.”

Rosenberg‘s firm is on a mission to create better communities, neighborhoods, and cities. Their system includes a multi-faceted approach that starts with pre-architecture, maintains during the architecture phase, and continues during post-architecture.

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Canada, Rosenberg spent nine years studying architecture and environmental design. Rosenberg has earned bachelor degrees in fine arts and environmental design in architecture, as well as a master degree in architecture. When he was ready to bring his architectural influence back to the West, he headed to Los Angeles to launch M-Rad and start making a difference.

About M-Rad Architecture

M-Rad Architecture + Design, based in Los Angeles, is revolutionizing the industry by revealing inefficiencies and creating solutions to universal problems. Their multi-faceted business model, allows M-Rad to expand the scope of the architect and build resilient communities through enhanced experiences. The M-Rad team is currently working on projects around the world; from apartment buildings in Los Angeles, to a private members club in Philadelphia, to a boutique hotel in Taipei. They have created mixed-use towers, luxury hotels, sports parks, and more. For additional information on the company and to view their unique business model, visit: https://www.m-rad.com.

 

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This One Simple Thing Can Help You Learn Better

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Listening to Music

Next time your dormie tells you to turn the music down, just reply, “it’s helping me learn!” A study by the Stanford University School of Medicine found that listening to music can help the brain focus and organize information.

Listening—And Learning

For decades, researchers have been studying the link between learning and listening to music. The concept was introduced into the popular imagination in the early 1990s, when Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis coined the phrase “the Mozart effect.” The term referred to Dr. Tomatis’ finding that listening to Mozart could temporarily improve performance on certain spatial-temporal reasoning tasks, such as the Stanford-Binet IQ test. People quickly mis-translated the finding to “listening to Mozart makes you smarter,” and a new industry was born: To this day, there are all sorts of “intelligence-boosting” products available that claim to harness the power of Mozart.

The link between music and learning isn’t all hype, however. A 2009 study by Joseph M. Piro and Camilo Ortiz published in the Psychology of Music journal found that children who were exposed to music training performed better on vocabulary and reading comprehension tests than those who were not. The researchers hypothesized that studying music helped the children develop the mental coding systems necessary to learn language. Although they acknowledge that this is only a preliminary study—simply having different language instructors may have led to measurable differences in ability—the project is part of a growing body of research that suggests that music and learning are correlated.

Music Helps the Brain Focus

Enter the research team at the Stanford University School of Medicine. During a study designed to measure how the brain sorts out different events, they stumbled upon a concrete physiological link between the acts of listening to music and learning. The researchers played short symphonies by obscure 18th-century composers to subjects while scanning their brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. The research group found that music “lights up” areas of the brain involved with making predictions, paying attention and committing details to memory.

But don’t switch on that stereo just yet—peak brain activity actually occurred between musical movements. Dr. Vinod Menon, the study’s senior author, noted that “In a concert setting, for example, different individuals listen to a piece of music with wandering attention, but at the transition point between movements, their attention is arrested.” In other words, you get the most brain activity just after, or between, intense musical movements.

“I’m not sure if the baroque composers would have thought of it in this way,” Menon added, “but certainly from a modern neuroscience perspective, our study shows that this is a moment when individual brains respond in a tightly synchronized manner.”

So what does this mean for students? While Stanford hasn’t published a “learning with music” guide just yet, we think it probably can’t hurt to incorporate some tunes into your studying routine. Just remember: Study during the interludes.

Source: Study.com

Cyber Security Summit

LinkedIn

The Cyber Security Summit connects C-Suite & Senior Executives responsible for protecting their companies’ critical infrastructures with innovative solution providers and renowned information security experts.

To register for this event please visit: cybersummitusa.com/summits

Don’t forget to use promo code: DCI18VIP

NewME, A Pioneer in Tech Diversity

LinkedIn
NewME Angela Benton

Founded in 2011 by Angela Benton, NewME has accelerated hundreds of entrepreneurs through their online platform, residential “boot-camp” accelerators and equity portfolio. They pioneered diversity in Silicon Valley by focusing on helping entrepreneurs identify strengths from their non-traditional backgrounds and leveraging them in business. They’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build better businesses some of whom have raised venture capital funding ($25+MM to be exact).

NewME has announced the relocation of its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Miami with $191,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The support will also help NewME expand existing programming focused on providing entrepreneurs with the advice, skills and access to resources that will support their success. By expanding its programming, NewME aims to improve the success of black-led startups through mentorship, coaching and community convenings. Through the program, black entrepreneurs and their businesses will further learn from and be exposed to angel and venture capital investors, along with NewME’s professional investor network.

NewME will target both local and global talent through weekly programming and monthly events, and connect them to online resources through the NewME platform. In addition, the accelerator will host quarterly one-week residential boot camps, which bring together a select group of tech entrepreneurs from around the world; industry experts then work with entrepreneurs to help accelerate their businesses. Additionally, NewME will hire a Miami-based program manager who will support the growth and sustainability of local black and other underrepresented minority-owned businesses.

“Relocating NewME to Miami was a natural choice given its diverse makeup,” says Angela Benton, founder of NewME. “Miami is already an international hub for innovation and the local community is rich with talent. I’m excited to continue my work with NewME in our new, inclusive home.”

Source: knightfoundation.org

Dollar General Announces Call for New Vendors

LinkedIn

Suppliers, companies and manufacturers with exciting new products who want to reach millions of consumers and partner with one of America’s fastest-growing retailers that is currently listed #128 on the Fortune 500 list and posted $22 billion in FY 2016 sales, listen up!

Dollar General (NYSE: DG) is encouraging new suppliers and those who have not sold products to the Company within the past 18 months to apply to attend its inaugural Innovation and Supplier Diversity Summit in April 2018. The event aims to pair potential new vendors with respective Dollar General buyers and category managers. Suppliers must sell items in at least one of the following categories to be eligible to attend:

  • Beauty, Personal Care and Over-the-Counter/Wellness
  • General Merchandise/All Non-Food
  • Grocery.

“As part of Dollar General’s continual commitment to provide quality products at everyday low prices to our diverse consumer base, we are thrilled to announce our first Innovation and Supplier Diversity Summit scheduled for this spring,” said Jason Reiser, Dollar General’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “Having the right products to best meet our customers’ needs is a foundational cornerstone at Dollar General. As such, we look forward to meeting with potential new vendors, learning about relevant products for our customers and expanding the number of unique and specialized offerings available in our stores.”

To apply, interested suppliers, companies and manufacturers may submit their product information at www.rangeme.com/dollargeneralfrom Tuesday, January 30 through end of day on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Selected companies will be subject to a $500 participation fee and notified via email by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) of the time, date and location of their meeting with a member of the Dollar General merchandising team.

Continue onto Business Wire to read the complete article.

There’s green in being gay: LGBT businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy

LinkedIn

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), a trade group that represents businesses owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenders, reported this week that the typical LGBT business has been in business, on average, for more than 12 years and that LGBT businesses contribute more than $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy and have created more than 33,000 jobs.

The report serves as a reminder of the enormous and growing role LGBT entrepreneurs and business owners have in the United States. But it also sends a message to the community: if you’re an LGBT business then get certified as one. Otherwise, you’re missing out on some money.

More than 10 years ago the chamber created a certification program to recognize its best-in-class members. According to the chamber’s press release “over a third of the Fortune 500, many top federal agencies (including the Small Business Administration, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Agriculture), the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, major urban municipalities (including King County, WA; Essex County, NJ; and San Francisco, CA), and the Public Utilities Commission of California actively seek out certified LGBT businesses

Continue onto the Washington Post to read the complete article.

NOGLSTP Recognizes Paul, Tanner, and Taubenheim as LGBTQ+ Educator, Scientist, and Engineer of the Year for 2018

LinkedIn

Today, the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP) is proud to announce the winners of its 2018 recognition awards for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The NOGLSTP Recognition Awards will be presented during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Austin, TX on Feb. 18. NOGLSTP is an affiliate of AAAS and will organize events, including the awards ceremony, to advocate for LGBTQ in STEM at the AAAS Annual Meeting.

Dr. Biswajit “Bish” Paul is NOGLSTP’s 2018 LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year. While completing doctoral research in molecular biology at the University of Washington. Paul invested time and effort to create new opportunities and improve the climate for his fellow undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers. He worked with University of Washington organizations, state government officials and national scientific societies to increase the visibility of under-represented communities. Notably, he spearheaded and secured $300,000 of funding per year from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to fund under-represented minority scientists conducting cancer research. Paul approached this, and all of his work, by combining his scientific talents with his personal identity as a gay, immigrant, scientist of color with a commitment to support his multiple communities. Paul has employed non-traditional avenues of public education throughout his career, including creating documentary films for national festivals and building exhibits on Gene Therapy for the Pacific Science Center. Most recently Paul was a Science Fellow at the California State Legislature sponsored by the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST). As a CCST Fellow, he served as a Policy Analyst in the Assembly’s Elections Committee and helped in the creation of evidence-based policies. “I am an immigrant, from a family that was not allowed to vote. I am a person of color, from a community where

engagement is very low. I can write and study from the lens of communities that are usually left behind in these policies,” Paul said.

Paul plans to continue working on issues of scientific policy and advocacy. His experiences have taught him that scientists can have significant impact on government policy and, therefore, on people’s lives in California and around the world. “The point of educating is to teach people who don’t understand the topic and who might disagree with you,” Paul said.

Dr. Danelle Tanner is NOGLSTP’s 2018 LGBTQ+ Scientist of the Year. Tanner’s research career began at Texas A&M where she was a graduate student at the Cyclotron Institute studying nuclear physics. She then took a position at Sandia National Laboratories to conduct radiation effects testing during underground nuclear weapons tests. She then changed fields, and her next position at Sandia led to career-long, and ongoing, research in reliability physics. “I always want to know why so I have kept my reliability focus on the fundamental, science-based, physics of failure approach,” Tanner said. Tanners work spans multiple fields: microelectronics, Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), capacitors, and nuclear weapon components. Tanner’s work has led to recognition by national scientific organizations, requests to be a featured speaker and editorial advisor, and to her appointment as a

Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia. When Tanner started college in the 1970s, the two paths she saw presented to women were nursing and teaching. She initially expected to teach math, but her first physics course exposed a pure love of science, a love of understanding the world at a fundamental

level. She now takes advantage of her decades of technical experience at Sandia to train and mentor fellow staff members. Both formally and informally, she educates staff to improve their technical and teaming skills in order to solve complex problems. Tanner is a founding member of Sandia’s LGBT employee networking

group, a role she uses to advocate on behalf of LGBT lab employees for pay and benefits equity. Tanner met her wife through this networking group.

David Taubenheim is NOGLSTP’s 2018 LGBTQ+ Engineer of the Year. Taubenheim’s work in signal processing and radio

communications has led to 15 patented inventions and his current position as the Manager of the National Intelligence Community Program Are at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL). In this role, Taubenheim is responsible for providing technical, financial, and strategic leadership for APL in support of the U.S. Intelligence Community they support. Taubenheim’s work has involved both software and electronic hardware developments, such as application-specific integrated circuits, to advance communications capabilities. Taubenheim is a married, gay man and encourages other people to be out at work. He wants STEM

students and professionals to know that LGBTQ people can advance and succeed in STEM careers. He has found engineers and

technology professionals to be welcoming, more focused on the problems to be solved than anything else. However, Taubenheim’s experience is that technical expertise is only one component to a strong team. “My work involves lots of teams. I’ve seen, first hand, that diversity is not just a tag line. It makes for higher energy, better teams, with better results,” Taubenheim said.

“The Recognition Awards were established in 2005 as a means to document and honor the contributions of outstanding LGBTQ science, engineering and technology professionals and to also honor corporations, academic institutions and businesses that support LGBTQ professionals so that advancements can be made in those fields”, stated Rochelle Diamond, chair of the NOGLSTP Board of Directors. Additional information on past awards are available at http://www.noglstp.org/programs-projects/recognition-awards/.

For more information about the awards, contact the recognition awards chair, TJ Ronningen, at tj.ronningen at NOGLSTP dot org. For more information about NOGLSTP, contact Rochelle Diamond, NOGLSTP chair, at chair at NOGLSTP dot org.

Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Seeks to End Job Biases During 2018 Leadership Tour

LinkedIn

Chicago-based nonprofit sparks conversations on workplace issues and career advancement with Fortune 500 executives

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a national nonprofit that helps Latinos excel in their careers, announced a year-long leadership tour ‒ Dismantling Biases, Building Inclusive Leadership ‒ that seeks to create a candid dialogue among professionals and employers about pressing diversity issues and opportunities in the workplace.

The decision to address career progression for Latinos came after a survey of 900-plus HACE members revealed that while 30 percent work at an associate level, only 3 percent are at the executive level. In addition, when asked to rank their top barriers to advancement at their current employer, the three reasons that were most often ranked as their No. 1 hurdle are lack of opportunities, not feeling valued and lack of a clear structure for advancement, with 13 percent listing little chance to gain new skills or explore another job function.

“We intend to address the issue of career progression head-on by hosting a series of panel discussions with top executives to determine the future of what can be achieved,” said Patricia Mota, HACE president and CEO. She noted that the survey found that members consider diverse management, a more inclusive organizational culture and increased responsibilities as the top reasons for staying at a company.

“Unless companies change their approach to diversity from top-to-bottom, they will never be able to retain top talent and Latinos will never rise to leadership positions,” Mota said. “Our focus is on what companies can do now and the steps to get there.”

The Leadership Tour will begin at Motorola Solutions in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 30, with a panel featuring speakers from Barilla, Edelman, H&R Block and Motorola Solutions who will share keys to career progression and challenges Latino professionals face.

“We understand that diverse, dynamic teams are among the keys to a successful business,” said Matt Blakely, Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Culture at Motorola Solutions. “We’re thrilled to host HACE and be a part of this important discussion.”

The second stop on the tour will be hosted by the Major League Baseball corporate office in New York City on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Additional events will be held across the country in San Francisco, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Washington D.C. and McLean, Va. Each event will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. (local times) with time for networking among attendees and recruiters prior to panel sessions with executives from corporate sponsors that include ADP, NBA, NFL, Hyatt, Freddie Mac, Merck, AT&T, Oath, Marathon Oil, Capgemini and Northern Trust.

HACE is creating an open and inclusive forum for direct dialogue among employers and aspiring professionals, without shying away from difficult topics. These conversations are necessary to bring about real change and open opportunities critically important for career progression.

“At H&R Block, we believe in doing the right thing and we’re committed to serving the community by working with partners like HACE to improve our talent pool,” said Calvin Ricks, Market Vice President for H&R Block’s Central Market.

To learn more about HACE and become a member or corporate sponsor, visit www.HACEonline.org. Tickets to the kick-off event on Jan. 30 at Motorola Solutions can be purchased online. Tickets for the New York City event are also available online, with additional stops posting in the coming months.

About HACE

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement is a national nonprofit dedicated to the employment, development and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals. Since 1982, HACE has served as a resource for Latinos in the workplace and a source of expertise and insight for corporations seeking to access them. Through professional development, resources and networks, and by facilitating access to meaningful career opportunities, HACE helps Latinos succeed in every phase of their careers. With a network of over 52,000 members across the country, HACE works with employers to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic economy by helping them attract, develop and retain Latino and diverse professionals.

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Putting Energy in STEM

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NACAC launched its STEM College and Career fairs in 2016 to give students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math an opportunity to explore and gather career and college information. We sat down with Anika Kwinana, NACAC’s assistant director of National College Fairs, programs and services, to talk about what’s special about STEM fairs.

NACAC runs 64 national college fairs and 26 performing and visual arts fairs per year. Why add more to this already robust program?

NACAC members were our catalyst. It’s a great story of how members came together with NACAC staff at a national conference and started to conceptualize what would later become STEM College and Career Fairs.

And it makes sense. We know that the fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are demanding the next generation of professionals, often for jobs that are yet to be created. The technologically-driven age we are in is not going away. We are primed to provide a platform for our attendees to learn more about these degrees and careers, and our exhibitors and sponsors are ready to engage them. If not us, then who?

How did NACAC staff and volunteers get this program off the ground?

With the approval of our Board of Directors, NACAC staff and volunteers worked together through the Ad Hoc Committee on STEM Programming. Comprised of some of the initial members who created the concept with NACAC staff and other recommended members, the group met to bring structure and a look and feel to what would become the STEM College and Career Fairs pilot project.

We worked to designate local liaisons who would help select appropriate venues and to market the fairs to potential attendees and exhibitors, as well as help us find ways to attract industry sponsors and exhibitors.

The idea was always that colleges, industry exhibitors, and sponsors exhibit together.

Can you share a success story from the first year of fairs?

We know we have a great program. We have been excited to see a wide range of STEM-related faculty participate in the fairs, as well as some postsecondary institutions new to college fairs.

Creating inroads with STEM industry exhibitors has been challenging, but we have worked hard to make our programs known and to share the benefits of participation. We were very excited to have Bristol-Myers Squibb and TechPrep by Facebook participate as sponsors this year. Both were completely engaged onsite, participating on panels or hosting workshops. Bristol-Myers Squibb spoke on diversity in STEM at workshops at all three fairs last fall. TechPrep by Facebook is a free coding program, so for their workshops, a Facebook employee taught our attendees how to code using devices that Facebook provided.

These kinds of industry engagements are exactly what make STEM College and Career Fairs unique and relevant. They only add to the range of fairs NACAC offers.

Why do the stem college and career fairs include the “career” element when other fairs don’t?

The National College Fairs are broad by design—a perfect introduction to many attendees about the admission process. It is always rewarding at these fairs when students come in looking nervous or timid, but are confident and equipped by the time they leave.

The Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs have a similar goal, but are specifically for attendees who have been studying their art form for years.

STEM College and Career Fairs add another dimension, because they are perfect for students interested or curious about degrees and careers in STEM. The career element then alerts them to the growing range of career pathways available.

Attendees are looking to learn about potential internships, scholarships, summer programs, and other relevant STEM activities—all are available at STEM College and Career Fairs.

What type of exhibitors (colleges and industry) do you hope to attract and why?

We are looking to attract like-minded exhibitors, ones who see STEM as an opportunity for students from all backgrounds, and how preparing the STEM pipeline is a matter of urgency given the shortage of professionals in these fields. All exhibitors are welcome. We know the students want information—more than they came in with about their degree and career options. They want to be mentored. STEM College and Career Fairs provide mentoring moments for all exhibitors.

What type of students do you hope to attract and why?

As always, our fairs are free and open to the public. While STEM fields required a certain academic caliber, we want to also attract students new to or curious about STEM. The fairs include two-year and four-year educational options that lead to quality careers. They are ideal for all types of students.

WHAT’S THE BREAKDOWN SO FAR? WHO’S COMING TO THESE FAIRS, WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM, AND IN WHAT NUMBERS?

In 2016, we expected about 500 students per site and about 100 exhibitors. We immediately found that our registration numbers surpassed those expectations. We had 900/103 in Houston; 1,200/102 in New York City; and 1300/120 in South San Francisco. Some attendees traveled up to eight hours to get to the events.

We knew immediately that we needed to think bigger and broader. For 2017, we contracted bigger spaces and had over 4,000 attendees in all four sites. We were able to double our exhibitors in New York and increase our exhibitors to 153 in Houston and 157 in Silicon Valley.

So far, the stem program is three fairs per season. Why did you pick these particular fair sites? How do you hope to reach students beyond the fair locations?

Three per season is not our limit, but where we started. Our ad hoc committee helped us determine these sites based on their STEM related strengths. However, as we expand, we may very well hit cities that some people don’t realize have strong STEM industries. For instance, Atlanta will be added to our 2018 fall season.

Your first-ever spring season is coming up. What’s new and exciting?

Our spring fairs will take place in St. Louis, Baltimore, and Denver. The cities themselves and the attendees there make the events exciting and unique. We are hoping that our great push to get more industry sponsors will bring stimulating hands-on activities.

Our ad hoc committee officially disbanded at the 2017 National Conference, the NACAC Board of Directors has recently approved a new Ad Hoc Committee for STEM Partnerships. We know concentrating on key industry players will help to improve our fairs and our visibility, as well as visibility for companies and organizations who, like us, are passionate about exposing students to STEM degrees and careers.

NEW FAIRS COMING THIS SPRING

St. Louis | March 4
Saint Louis University – Busch Student Center

Baltimore | March 22
Coppin State University – Physical Education Complex

Denver | June 3
University of Denver – Gates Field House

From NACAC’s Journal of College Admission Number 238 / Winter 2018