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College Series encourages more females to enter STEM fields

Some of Houston’s most outstanding women in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will share their experiences to encourage more females to enter these professions where women represent less than one-third of those in the field.

Lone Star College-Kingwood will host a series of STEM career nights March 29, April 14 and May 4 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. in the Student Conference Center. The series is sponsored by the Women’s Center, the Career Center and the Intercultural Center.

“Our goal is to have successful career women serve as role models, information sources, and motivators for parents and young women in college, high school, middle school and the community who want to pursue a career in STEM fields,” said Diane Blanco, Women’s Center director.

To accomplish this goal, the series will feature many notable women who have successful careers in the STEM fields. On March 29, Jill Jarvis, an electrical engineer, Colette Lewis, a mechanical engineer/manager, and Tammy Ahlgren, MATTCO Manufacturing president, will discuss the paths to their careers and the great opportunities that exist for young women today.

“Engineering is male-dominated, but that does not mean women are not allowed. Teaching is female-dominated, but that does not mean men are not allowed,” Jarvis said. Maybe it is because we've been calling them ‘boy jobs’ and ‘girl jobs’ instead of just ‘jobs.’”

Jarvis pursued a career in engineering based on her love of math and science. It did not hurt that she was surrounded by engineers, her dad, uncle, brothers and cousins are also engineers. After earning her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2001, she worked in the telecommunications field for 13 years and left a year ago to start her own marketing business and highly successful blog, BigKidsSmallCity.com. Jarvis is the mother of 3 children under 6.She is also the author of a book, ‘Entrepreneurial Secrets of Garbage Mane Joe, How to Raise Hard Working Kids in an Instant Gratification World’.

“Telecommunications and technology will only advance with a new wave of hard working, intelligent and level-headed graduates,” Jarvis said. “Some of these graduates will be young men, but young women are equally qualified and will certainly make a difference in the future of technology.”

Ahlgren has been president of MATTCO Manufacturing since the 1900s. MATTCO Manufacturing, an independent manufacturer specializing in the oilfield service industry since 1947, provides a full array of products from custom engineered components to complete OEM solutions for many of the world’s largest reciprocating pump and drawworks equipment companies.

Future STEM Career Nights will feature Dr. Priscilla Smith, Global Lead for Technology at British Petroleum, Megan Marietta, chief operating officer at Kingwood Medical Center, and Cheryl Ash Simpson, engineer, manager and filmmaker. Tracy Borgmeyer, engineer, author and blogger at SheLovesScience.com will join the panel as well. Borgmeyer has authored a book, ‘She Loves Science:  A Mother’s Guide to Nurturing her Daughter’s Curiosity, Confidence and Creativity’.Earin Persson is a client delivery manager for IBM. She received her B.S. from UT-Austin and has worked in the Computer/Technology field for the length of her 21 year career. She began her career as a consultant working on mainframes and now specializes in managing customers that want to build online solutions using analytics. 

For more information on the STEM series, contact Diane Blanco at 281-318-4332 or email Diane.K.Blanco@LoneStar.edu

Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar.  Classes are offered days, evenings or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit LoneStar.edu/Registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit LoneStar.edu/Kingwood.

Known for its leadership, innovation and steadfast commitment to student success, Lone Star College provides high-quality academic transfer and workforce education/career training programs to more than 83,000 credit students each semester, and a total enrollment of 95,000 students. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to promote student success and economic prosperity. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, which consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.