Graduate Education for Minorities (GEM) and ASEE Showcase Advanced STEM Research

Leading Diverse Faculty and Graduate Students Present to Companies and Universities at First-of-its-kind Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C., VIRGINIA, USA, February 5, 2018 / -- The National GEM Consortium partnered with the American Society for Engineering Education to showcase advanced STEM research from academics and PhD candidates, who presented on subjects ranging from artificial intelligence and advanced cyberinfrastructure to computer networks and bioengineering transport systems.

The Mayflower Hotel gathering illuminated the opus of invited doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and new faculty. They displayed leading edge technical research to potential agency sponsors and academic employers. The research – interdisciplinary and single engineering and computing discipline – was presented in poster format. Held in conjunction with an Agency/University Fair, the January 22 event featured representatives from government research agencies and universities seeking the best and the brightest new faculty. During the showcase attendees throughout the sprawling Hotel participated in interactive breakout sessions such as advancing a research program and managing the research enterprise; innovations in teaching and the promotion of learning; professional service opportunities; and maintaining work-life balance.

Speakers included GEM Fellow Dr. Darryll Pines, Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Dr. Kimberly Jones, Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Howard University, who discussed the challenges of an academic career and maximizing the advantages of a research-focused career. A quarter of the attendees were GEM Fellows. GEM’s CEO Brennon Marcano delivered closing remarks.

The two-day event served as a coefficient for the two organizations’ related missions. Marcano said afterward that, “We felt that the Showcase was a unique opportunity to align our related goals to achieve significant impact. ASEE is a venerable organization that we are proud to partner with. A forum for this type of dynamic exchange of ideas, which will ultimately benefit our nation, had never been done before, but we are at a unique moment in time. A time for fresh scalable ideas. The future of STEM requires everyone’s participation to ensure that the best and the brightest throughout America have the opportunity to participate, and to succeed.”

Marcano took over the helm of GEM in September 2016. Charity Navigator, the country’s leading online charity evaluation service, recently awarded GEM its highest honor: a four-star ranking, and a rating of 90.58 out of 100.

Marcano added, “Given the impending White House budget cuts to both STEM education and NASA’s education initiatives, organizations such as ASEE and GEM are critical. The movie about the Black women mathematicians and engineers instrumental to the successful Apollo 11 mission -- Hidden Figures -- mirrors GEM’s experience. Since 1976 GEM has placed more than 4,000 STEM professionals in the academy, the executive ranks and at leading IT companies and government research labs within our consortium. Ursula Burns, the former Xerox CEO (who was recently appointed to Uber’s board) is a GEM fellow; two of the four female engineering school deans are GEM Fellows, Yale’s first tenured African-American Engineering school professor (appointed in 2017); and Ms. P. W. Valerino, a Native American and NASA senior scientist (recently honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts) are also GEM Fellows. But few people know about these folks. I’m happy to say that Ms. Valerino, like so many other GEM Fellows, are no longer hidden figures. The Showcase is one of many initiatives we’ll undertake to educate the larger public about the contributions of GEM Fellows to America’s safety and prosperity. The Showcase also provided a rare opportunity to learn about the advances of tomorrow, while underscoring our mission of producing the best and the brightest STEM professionals for our nation.”

Mark Mills
The National GEM Consotrium
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