The University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin Participates in National STEM Solutions Conference

Nationwide, recruiting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is an educational priority. More than a quarter of students who start with a STEM major do not graduate with one. Yet in the next five years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be nearly 9 million additional jobs in STEM fields. Additionally, the Brookings Institute published a report this week on “The Hidden STEM Economy.”

And from June 17-19, leaders and visionaries in education, business and government from around the country will convene in Austin for the U.S. News STEM Solutions 2013 national conference. The conference will focus on targeted outcomes that create an impact to fill jobs and advance the future of the STEM workforce. This year’s theme is “Teach. Inspire. Hire.”

The University of Texas at Austin will have representation from the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Education. The Cockrell School is also a conference sponsor.

Tricia Berry, a leader in the STEM domain and director of UT Austin’s Women in Engineering Program (WEP), will moderate a session on “Bringing — and Keeping — Women in the Fold on Campus.”

An alumna of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, Berry joined the Cockrell School in 1999, after six years as an engineer at The Dow Chemical Company. As WEP director, she is responsible for leading the efforts on recruitment and retention of women in the Cockrell School.

Berry concurrently runs the Texas Girls Collaborative Project, through which she connects Texas organizations, companies and individuals who are working to advance gender equity in STEM fields. At last year’s STEM Solutions conference, she was named one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM.

Also at the conference, College of Education associate professor Jill Marshall will represent the UTeach program at a panel on “Overhauling Teacher Prep to Improve K-12 STEM Instruction.” Marshall studies how people come to understand and engineer the physical world, how teachers can facilitate that process and how the outcomes can be assessed.

According to its site, U.S. News STEM Solutions 2013 will bring together leaders “who have long recognized the need to connect the dots between STEM education and careers.” Participants will attend conference tracks that will help them better understand the current STEM challenges and, as a result, create innovative, sustainable solutions.

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WEP Receives $5,000 from Governor's Commission for Women

In June 2013, the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) received $5,000 from the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women for the Texas Girls Collaborative Project’s (TxGCP) work to disseminate “Role Models Matter,” a curriculum designed to train organizations and their role models on how to most effectively engage kids in STEM.

WEP is the lead organization for TxGCP, serving as the main liaison to the National Girls Collaborative Project. The TxGCP connects those across the state who are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in STEM.

wep governor's office check presentation

Lesley Guthrie (right), executive director of the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, presents the $5,000 contribution to Tricia Berry, director of the Cockrell School’s Women in Engineering Program.