DALLAS, TX – A delegation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) faculty and students recently attended the 17th Annual WOC (Women of Color) STEM Conference held at the Hilton Anatole. The conference recognizes outstanding women in the STEM fields and provides excellent opportunities for professional development, networking and recruiting. The WOC conference is focused on the development of STEM women and ensures that the superior achievements and importance of these outstanding women in STEM are highly visible to all conference participants.
The conference schedule of events included seminars/workshops, awards/recognition luncheons and dinners on the student and professional levels, professional networking mixer, K-12 educational programs, poster contests, technology recognition (professional), a black tie awards gala, and myriad other activities. Through the DIEL (Development Institute for Emerging Leaders) program, STEM students are encouraged to attend and afforded the opportunity to participate in the majority of the conference activities. DIEL’s mission is to encourage students to sustain an interest in and commitment to the STEM industry/education, and it is a comprehensive leadership and professional development program designed to help students succeed in the work place. The cost of UAPB students’ attendance was partially underwritten by the DIEL program.
Many varied seminar sessions were available to the professionals, college and high school students in attendance. UAPB STEM students chose events based on their individual interests, but all attended the Career Fair to peruse the booths and interact with prospective employers on career opportunities. Some of the exciting, enlightening seminars attended by STEM students were: Pursuing Higher Degrees-Applying for and Being Accepted to Graduate School; The “X” Factor-Strategies for Winning Images, Lasting Impressions, and Brilliant Brands; Fundamentals of Executive leadership: 5 Most Critical Leadership Skills; Innovative Chefs-Exploring the Recipe for Technology Readiness; The Next Big Thing-Industry Experts Share Pioneering Technical Advancements and Visions for the Future; College Study Hall-Access Mentors, Build Resumes, Get Academic Support and Guidance; and A Spotlight on Women’s Health-What You Need to Know to Live a Longer, Healthier Life.
The Women of Color Conference was a first-time experience for most of the students who had the opportunity to attend this year. While initially some were excitedly anticipating the trip and what they might experience, they were very impressed with what their peers from other universities were engaged in and the honors they were receiving in STEM education as well and the careers and heights women are reaching in the STEM fields. They liked seeing minorities being awarded for what they have done and achieved. Some were even inspired to pursue Master’s and Doctorate degrees.
The faculty working with this group of students felt that the WOC Conference, unlike many others, is uniquely designed to provide students a comprehensive set of exposure through seminars sessions, a real world look at job market requirements via the career fair, an opportunity to shake hands and chat one on one with professionals in an informal networking setting, and the black tie gala event. This full-spectrum exposure, while still focused completely on STEM careers, is priceless to the growth and development of young professionals who take full advantage of what the conference offers.
For more information about the UAPB STEM Academy, call (870)575-7165.