2017 MWM Awards
National Stand Up for STEM Award
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds
Governor Kim Reynolds, a former state senator and county treasurer, serves as Iowa’s 43rd Governor. Prior to taking office in May 2017, she served as Iowa’s 45th Lt. Governor from 2011-2017.
Governor Reynolds was named co-chair of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, along with University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen in September of 2011. She also serves as co-chair of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board, which was created in October 2011.
As Iowa’s first female governor, Kim Reynolds has a long history of encouraging women to lead. In 2012 she was named one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector, an annual publication acknowledging role models of STEM leadership. Governor Reynolds has worked tirelessly to provide access to STEM for students, especially the underrepresented and underserved, and champions an innovative economy for her state.
The Governor launched MWM-IA in 2014 as the first state involved, and proudly serves as the national Honorary Chair of Million Women Mentors. She is a great advocate for women and girls in STEM and she has had an active role in securing honorary leadership for MWM across the country. MWM-IA recently participated in the STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair in August of 2017 where the Governor presented MWM-IA’s Stand Up for STEM Award to John Deere for their dedication to STEM literacy for young people in Iowa.
The National Stand Up for STEM recognizes a national leader for MWM.
Outstanding State Achievement Award
MWM-CA is led by the CA Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and University of California Davis Office of the Provost with an active Steering Committee of Government, Non Profit and Private Sector leaders. MWM-CA recently increased their pledge goal to 100,000 as they surpassed their initial pledge goal of 50,000 with 66,210 completed mentoring relationships.
Over this past year, the California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls and the California Department of Education developed a series of successful town halls.
Upcoming events for MWM-CA include presenting at the State STEAM Symposium, and holding their first ambassador training for Women in Tech in San Francisco. MWM-CA is partnering with UC Davis and MentorCloud to establish a private online platform that brings together California women interested in STEM fields. MWM-CA has also uniquely funded a position for MWM and are looking to expand that.
States are a cornerstone of MWM. The MWM State Award is decided via a nomination and voting process by state leaders.
Transformational Leadership in Higher Education Award
Dr. Sue Ellspermann - President, Ivy Tech Community College
Dr. Sue Ellspermann has been serving as President of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana since May of 2016. Ivy Tech Community College is one of the nation’s largest community colleges, and a vital workplace development source for Indiana.
Dr. Ellspermann is dedicated to providing Indiana’s workforce the training and skills needed to meet the demand of employers. She works to develop and implement programs to prepare students and workers for the growing economy.
Dr. Ellspermann has served as Honorary Chair for Million Women Mentors-Indiana since MWM was launched. She attended the first MWM Summit & Gala, and participated in the main panel.
As President of Ivy Tech she has continued her role in MWM and even allocated staff to support the effort for Indiana. She is part of the team that will be sponsoring the MWM Stand Up for STEM Award this year and presenting it at the largest Women’s Conference in Indiana later this fall.
Veterans Engagement Award
In 1999, Military.com revolutionized the way the 30 million Americans with military affinity stay connected. Today the Military.com team, made up of veterans, active members of the National Guard, reserve, and military spouses, run the largest online military and veteran membership organization. Free membership connects over 10 million service members, military families and veterans to all the benefits of service and provides the resources to use them. In 2004, Military.com partnered with Monster Worldwide to accelerate their growth and offer broadened career and educational opportunities for service members, veterans and military spouses.
Military and Monster hold an Annual Academy Women Officer Leadership Event to honor female service members. The event includes educational and professional development workshops and an invaluable opportunity for female officers, midshipmen and senior enlisted women to benefit from the open dialogue, career enhancing information, and mentoring opportunities.
Together, Military.com and Monster also enhance the military spouse experience by participating in the Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Career Event, in which experts teach sessions on networking and career enhancement strategies. This Memorial Day, Military.com participated in a panel at NASA titled “Stories from the Trenches-A Woman’s Perspective,” and it is actively involved with the Department of Defense’s initiative to foster innovation by supporting female veteran entrepreneurs.
Excellence in Partner Innovation Award
Techbridge is a program to expand the academic and career options for girls in science, technology, and engineering. Techbridge Girls was highlighted in testimony at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies as an example of a STEM program that introduces girls, especially girls of color, to role models and mentors from STEM workplaces. They recruit girls from underrepresented groups, such as Hispanic, African-American, and Native American girls. Their programs focus on underserved communities, where STEM enrichment opportunities for girls are not easily accessible. We reach out to girls and help them develop the skills, confidence, perseverance, and passion they need to enter the STEM workforce. I would like to nominate Techbridge Girls because they recognize the importance of impactful mentor relationships and have volunteered to work with us on creating a mentor guide specifically for MWM members to utilize when working with women and girls.
Male Champion of Change Award
Balaji Ganapathy, Tata Consultancy Services
Since its inception, Balaji and the entire TCS team have been a driving force behind the Million Women Mentors movement, committing resources and countless person-hours to the cause. In addition to Balaji’s work with MWM, he has also been a chair of STEMconnector’s STEM Innovation Task Force, proving his commitment to innovative STEM programs and mentoring. He will be continuing to lead as Co-Chair of the Global STEM Talent Initiative in 2017-2018.
Balaji holds a leadership role at many organizations, including Million Women Mentors, NPower, US2020 and IMPACT 2030. He has an extraordinary vision for what good corporations, and the people within them, can do. In addition to his work outside of TCS, Balaji heads a TCS employee-run computer science and STEM education program for middle schoolers called goIT. Seventy percent of students participating in the wildly successful goIT program reported an increased interest in STEM, and the program won TCS’s internal Employee Engagement Award as “Social Responsibility Project of the Year” in 2016. Balaji’s dedication to helping others is purpose driven, and for that reason he deserves the Male Champion of Change Award.
Corporate Commitment Award
Kathleen Martinez - BP
BP America’s STEM and mentoring efforts show a commitment to social responsibility not shared by many other corporations. In addition to BP’s ongoing partnership with Million Women Mentors, they also inspire students to pursue STEM pathways through their Drone Camp (a partnership with Rice University), the newly formed OTC Energy Challenge (challenging high school students to find real answers to industry problems) and the International Student Energy Summit. In addition, BP equips STEM teachers for success through their support of the Association of Science and Technology Centers and through resources shared online. Employees of BP show a commitment to their communities through the BP STEM Ambassador Volunteer Program and by participating directly in Million Women Mentors.
Martinez plays a central role in the advancement of BP America’s national external affairs efforts. Her responsibilities include leading key strategic relationships and oversight of the company’s U.S. commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and veterans outreach efforts. Martinez is a member of the board of directors for the Houston Independent School District Foundation, serves as BP’s representative on the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board, and trustee liaison for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. She is on the national Million Women Mentors Leadership Council, and the Texas Science and Engineering Fair Advisory Board. Martinez was named the 2014 Corporate Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and recently invited to be a fellow of the American Leadership Forum’s Class XLI.BP America’s STEM and mentoring efforts show a commitment to social responsibility not shared by many other corporations. In addition to BP’s ongoing partnership with Million Women Mentors, they also inspire students to pursue STEM pathways through their Drone Camp (a partnership with Rice University), the newly formed OTC Energy Challenge (challenging high school students to find real answers to industry problems) and the International Student Energy Summit. In addition, BP equips STEM teachers for success through their support of the Association of Science and Technology Centers and through resources shared online. Employees of BP show a commitment to their communities through the BP STEM Ambassador Volunteer Program and by participating directly in Million Women Mentors.
Martinez plays a central role in the advancement of BP America’s national external affairs efforts. Her responsibilities include leading key strategic relationships and oversight of the company’s U.S. commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and veterans outreach efforts. Martinez is a member of the board of directors for the Houston Independent School District Foundation, serves as BP’s representative on the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board, and trustee liaison for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. She is on the national Million Women Mentors Leadership Council, and the Texas Science and Engineering Fair Advisory Board. Martinez was named the 2014 Corporate Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and recently invited to be a fellow of the American Leadership Forum’s Class XLI.
Entrepreneurial Leadership Award
Siobhan Mullen - TiViTz
Siobhan Mullen, CEO of the TiViTz parent company, has advocated for girls to enter STEM fields throughout her career. With a background in physics and optical engineering, Siobhan pursued a career in the aerospace industry, working with satellites solutions and launch sites. Her success afforded her a front row seat to watch the attrition rate in the science and high-tech industries go up, while the number of students entering STEM fields went down. She was moved by the challenges facing students and as a result, took a hiatus from her career to help students by motivating them to want to speak the language of STEM - math. To help students build math skills, Siobhan and game creator Steve Scully, created TiViTz, a math and strategy game, which has motivated hundreds of thousands of students to excel in math as a board game and online. TiViTz was most recently honored as the Microsoft U.S. Public Sector Education Mobility Partner of the Year. The TiViTz team’s dedication to addressing the global STEM pipeline crisis drives all of their collaborative programs and partnerships, including the upcoming TiViTz Math Bee.
Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Eleanor Smalley - JASON Learning
JASON Learning, a nonprofit organization that teaches experiential learning to over 3.7 Million K-12 students by placing them in challenging, real-world situations while being guided and mentored by leading STEM professionals in their respected fields.
JASON Learning was instrumental in helping Million Women Mentors reach its goal of 1 Million pledges by making a pledge of 210,000, which at the time was the largest pledge ever made. Their unparalleled access into the schools has given Million Women Mentors the unique ability to mentor girls right in the classroom.
JASON Learning understands how important it is to foster a student’s curiosity during their critical years of development when their curiosity and imagination about the world around them is at its peak. As a result, 96% of students who complete JASON’s Argonaut program are now employed in STEM careers.
Mentor of the Year Community Innovator Award
Over the last two years, Gabriela and her team at Intel developed a mentoring approach that empowers a collaborative network of organizations to inspire and excite middle school girls in STEM Fields. Through its design, the partnership brings together partners whose relative strengths enable maximum impact. These partners and activities include:
TEC is For Girls!!! – A coalition of Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, Phoenix College, South Mountain Community College, and Gateway Community College bringing the experience of college and technology-related studies to middle school girls.
Enabling Future Engineers through innovative, real-world STEM curriculum – A collaboration with Iridescent and AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute to infuse technology, engineering and computer science curriculum into their college preparation and life skills development programs for high school girls.
Technolochicas Lift - Televisa Foundation and the League of United Latin American Citizens work together to bring technology and hands-on training to existing technology centers in the community to develop innovation skills and stimulate middle-school girls’ interest in STEM careers.
The partnership leans heavily on Intel’s committed workforce to engage middle school girls in this powerful collaboration. Gabriela and her partners at Intel and in the community take the same innovative approach that defines their corporate culture to realize their goal of engaging diverse communities in technical careers.