NACME Press Releases

Johnson Austin to Give Keynote Speech at Columbia Secondary Graduation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                 Contact: Brit Byrnes
June 11, 2015                                                                                                                                            (914) 539-4010, ext. 243

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Johnson Austin to Give Keynote Speech at Columbia Secondary Graduation

 

White Plains. N.Y. — Saundra Johnson Austin, Senior Vice President for Operations at the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc., (NACME), has been invited to give the keynote speech for the Eighth Grade Moving Up Ceremony of The Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, & Engineering. The graduation ceremony will take place on Monday June 22nd at 5 p.m. The school is located at 425 West 123rd Street, New York, NY.


The Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, & Engineering (CSS-MSE) is a public, sixth through twelfth grade school that opened in the fall of 2007. A partnership between the New York City Department of Education, the community, and Columbia University, CSS-MSE serves academically talented students who have an interest in a rigorous and demanding program focusing on math, science, and engineering. The school reached full enrollment of close to 700 students during the 2013-2014 school year and graduated its first class of seniors in June, 2014.


"As a key panelist and speaker at an educational leadership conference, Saundra's experience and professionalism were perfectly complimented by her approachability and speaking acumen,” said Dan Novak, Assistant Principal, CSS-MSE. “Inspired by these obvious characteristics, an impressive engineering career, and a consistent track record of advocacy for our aspiring minority youth, we invited Saundra to serve as the keynote speaker for the moving up ceremony of our diverse and dedicated eighth grade students. We know that her words and experience will inspire this next generation of engineers and professionals to pursue their dreams!"


Ms. Johnson Austin earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. She began her career at Bechtel Power Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she worked in project controls, estimating, and business development.


In 1994, she became director of the Minority Engineering Program in the College of Engineering at Penn State. In 1998, she was recognized with the National Society of Black Engineers’ Golden Torch Award for Minority Engineering Program Director of the Year and the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) Outstanding Contribution by a Minority Engineering Program Administrator Award. In 2015, she was named the recipient of the Outstanding Engineering Alumna Award for Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State.


Johnson Austin left Penn State in 2000 to become head of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science at the University of Notre Dame. In 2005, she was named executive vice president of the Community Partnership for Lifelong Learning in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Later she served as the first president and CEO of St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 2008-2010. She is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Executive MBA Program.


In her current role at NACME, she supports the president and CEO on key organizational and strategic direction and is responsible for the execution of programs, research, communications, and engineering public policy. She currently resides in White Plains, New York.


‘It was an unexpected honor to be asked to give the keynote address to this promising group of eighth graders,” said Ms. Johnson Austin. “I will do my best to impart to these young people the value of hard work and that they should take an expansive view in thinking about their career goals. This is a crucial point to convey the opportunities and rewards that await them in the STEM field.”

Saundra Johnson Austin112

Saundra Johnson Austin

 

About NACME: Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.


NACME Scholars hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through community college strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. www.nacme.org

About CSS-MSE: Columbia Secondary is a selective, public, college preparatory school with a focus on science, math, and engineering. Its program of study provides a challenging academic experience that prepares its students for selective colleges; for careers in science, math, and engineering; and for a life of civic engagement and ethical responsibility CSS-MSE trains students to be socially and politically conscious, to be aware of their responsibility to their communities and the world, and to be dedicated to a life of creation and discovery in service of humanity. www.columbiasecondary.org

 

 

 

NACME and Procter & Gamble Announce STEM Leadership Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                 Contact: Brit Byrnes
May 28, 2015                                                                                                                                            (914) 539-4010, ext. 243

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                                          Contact: Mandy Ciccarella

                                           P&G Media Relations

                                          513-983-6628

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NACME and Procter & Gamble Announce STEM Leadership Forum on June 3rd 

National Thought Leaders to Discuss “Preparing Our Youth for STEM Careers”

 

 White Plains. N.Y. — The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc., (NACME) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) are presenting a STEM leadership forum entitled “Preparing Our Youth for STEM Careers,” on Wednesday, June 3rd. The event will take place from 1-3 p.m. in the John G. Smale Auditorium & Rotunda at Procter & Gamble Headquarters, 2 Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, Ohio. Members of the media are invited to attend and encouraged to RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, the President and CEO of NACME will open the forum with a presentation titled The “New” American Dilemma.  According to Dr. McPhail, The “New” American Dilemma is characterized by the persistently low number of African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men who pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) study and careers in engineering. Dr. McPhail will point to the fact that, of all Bachelor of Science Degrees Awarded in 2013, only 13.4 percent were awarded to underrepresented minorities (URM’s), although they represent 31.5 percent of the general population. Dr. McPhail believes with greater equality in educational attainment, demographic disparities within the STEM workforce can be diminished, helping boost minority representation in STEM employment and U.S. leadership in technology and innovation. 

Following Dr. McPhail’s remarks, forum moderator Lourdes Albacarys, P&G, Vice President of Research and Development, and NACME Scholar, will guide the distinguished panelists in a discussion of the most effective potential methods of increasing minority participation in the STEM field. 

STEM Leadership Forum Panelists Include:

  • Mary G. Adams, Program Manager, Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative, Retired, Procter & Gamble
  • Andrea Bowens-Jones, Ph.D. Director, Resident Scholar Program: Section Head, Research & Development, Procter & Gamble
  • Denise Casey, Executive Director, Minorities in Mathematics, Science & Engineering
  • Kim McMillan, Interim Associate Dean, Center for Innovative Technologies, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • Robert Morgan, Ph.D., Director, STEM Path to the MBA, University of Alabama
  • Bob Setlock, Director, Project High Flight, Miami University of Ohio
  • Kathy Wright, Principal, Hughes STEM High School

STEM education initiatives have been a major focus of Procter & Gamble’s philanthropic efforts. In addition to an annual leadership gift to NACME and serving as a long-time NACME Board Company, Procter & Gamble is a major supporter of the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Hughes STEM High School in Cincinnati and the STEM Innovation Collaborative, a program designed to expose students to STEM at a young age. 

“Procter & Gamble’s emphasis on diversity and STEM naturally complements our role as a business leader in building consumer-preferred brands and products. Effective STEM education is critical for developing future innovation leaders reflective of our diverse consumer base and bring more winning, delightful innovations to market,” explains William P. Gipson, Senior Vice President Global Diversity and Research & Development, Asia Innovation Centers, at P&G. "NACME’s role is critical to addressing the challenge we face of a growing talent gap in U.S. education in science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields. As an innovation based company, improvements in STEM graduation rates, and especially those of underrepresented U.S. minorities, are vital to business success now and for generations to come.” 

Since 1974, NACME has conducted research and analyzed trends in education, engineering enrollment, degree completion and workforce participation for underrepresented minorities. 2015 will mark the third year that NACME has partnered with a leading corporation to organize a STEM Leadership Forum. The inaugural STEM Leadership Forum took place in 2013 at Hewlett Packard (HP) Headquarters in Palo Alto, California. In 2014, Johnson Controls, Inc. hosted the event at their headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

“We have made the STEM leadership forum an annual event because there is great ‘convening power’ in bringing together professionals who work in STEM at the grassroots level with university leaders and researchers,” said Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail. “The changing nature of the job market place, societal pressures on young people, and the advance of technology, make it imperative that we all stay current in order to attain better outcomes for underrepresented minorities in the STEM field. We thank Procter & Gamble for hosting this event and for their leadership role in building an engineering workforce that looks like America.” 

About NACME: Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. 

NACME Scholars hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through workforce entry strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. www.nacme.org. 

About Procter & Gamble: P&G serves nearly five billion people around the world with its brands. The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, Wella® and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

 

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NACME Board Liaisons Offer Examples for Graduates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                   Contact: Brit Byrnes
May 26, 2015                                                                                                                                              (914) 539-4010, ext. 243

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NACME Board Liaisons Offer Examples for Graduates
Dr. Olester Benson and Gene Washington Highlighted in Inspirational Media Clips

 

White Plains. N.Y. — In keeping with its role of mentoring underrepresented minorities in the STEM field, The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., (NACME) has posted three current news items on its web-site  to offer inspiration for graduating seniors.

The first clip features a recent NPR interview with Dr. Olester Benson, a Corporate Research Scientist at 3M and longtime NACME Board Liaison. In the interview entitled “The Importance of Failure in Science,” Dr. Benson joined with NPR science correspondent Joe Palca, and Frank Bates, a professor of chemical engineering and materials at the University of Minnesota, in a lively discussion. Beyond asserting that failure is part of science, the radio guests explained that failure is essential to scientific inquiry.  

“Failure is important because failure is what propels us,” said Dr. Benson. “The problem is that many people fail and quit. So we have to learn how to persevere.” Dr. Benson later amplified this point by discussing his work mentoring high school students at a school in North Dakota. “The students are afraid to fail, or even ask an unusual question, because they don’t want to look foolish in front of their friends,” added Dr. Benson. “I tell them they need to be like Curious George. He was curious about everything and he wasn’t shy about it.”

There are also links to a video and a radio interview on a new documentary entitled “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar,” about Gene Washington, a former NFL great and NACME Board Liaison. In advance of the release of the film, Gene Washington and his daughter, documentary film-maker Maya Washington, discuss Gene’s decision to leave the segregated south in 1964 to be drafted onto one of the first integrated college football teams, the Michigan State University (MSU) Spartans.

During Washington’s years at MSU, the Spartans won back to back Big Ten and National Championships. “When teams such as MSU started winning championships, southern colleges and universities knew they had to integrate if they were going to be competitive,” said Maya Washington. “As the wider community began routing for black players, it had a very positive impact on the civil rights movement. The film also takes a look at how far college and pro football have come in the past 50 years.”

In 1967, Gene Washington would be one of the first draft picks of the Minnesota Vikings and would be part of the Vikings 1969 NFL Championship team before moving on to the Denver Broncos in the early 1970’s.

After retiring from football, Mr. Washington worked in human resources at 3M Corporation for many years, wherein he took a leadership role in recruiting engineers and scientists. “I am grateful for the time I had at 3M and the work of recruiting engineers,” said Washington. “My advice to students is to do your best at your sport, but also concentrate on your academics. For most athletes, a professional career in sports won’t last forever and you need something to fall back on.”

“Olester and Gene both overcame significant challenges to achieve outstanding career goals,” added Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, President and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc., (NACME). “We are proud to have them as part of our extended NACME family and we are happy to share their words of wisdom with our network of future engineers.”   

For more information about the film, visit www.throughthebanksoftheredcedar.com.

 

GeneandMayaWashington web

Maya and Gene Washington

  

About NACME: Since its inception in 1974, NACME has stayed true to its mission: To ensure American competitiveness in a flat world by leading and supporting the national effort to expand U.S. capability through increasing the number of successful African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

NACME Scholars hold leadership positions in industry, medicine, law, education, and government. With funding from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, NACME has supported more than 24,000 students with more than $142 million in scholarships and support, and currently has more than 1,300 scholars at 51 partner institutions across the country. NACME is also implementing a middle school through workforce entry strategy to increase the proportion of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. www.nacme.org

 

 

 

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