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Females are encouraged to enter STEM fields at college series

Cheryl Ash Simpson
Cheryl Ash Simpson
Earin Persson
Earin Persson
Dr. Gabriela Alvez-Manoli
Dr. Gabriela Alvez-Manoli
Megan Marietta
Megan Marietta

In the last 40 years, more women have found successful careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industry.

But according to the United States Census Bureau, women’s representation in the trade still remain significantly underrepresented in various fields that make up 80 percent of all STEM employment. To further increase the number, Lone Star College-Kingwood invites students and the community to its second of three STEM career nights on April 14 from 6-8 p.m. in the Student Conference Center. The next and final career night is on May 4. 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.

Dr. Gabriela Alvez-Manoli, research chemist; Megan Marietta, chief operating officer; Earin Persson, computer technology; and Cheryl Ash Simpson, automotive and chemical; will share their experiences to encourage more females to enter these professions, where women represent less than one-third of those in the field.

“The STEM industry is male-dominated because even though the numbers are higher now than before, women tend not to gravitate to the field of study required,” Simpson said. “I hope to encourage young ladies to think about and prepare for potential careers in the STEM field. Having more women will bring diversity of thought.”

Simpson has more than 25 years of experience in international and domestic leadership in the automotive, chemical and aerospace industries. She has held director positions at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Rolls Royce.  She most recently worked in Singapore for Pratt & Whitney, where she was responsible for international trade compliance for the South East Asia region.

“Having more women in this field will definitely help the industry. Women may have different points of view than men, in the same situation, that will help to resolve problems quickly,” Alvez-Manoli said. “I hope that my experience can help get more women in the science field. Science is not easy, but it is a beautiful career.”

Dr. Alvez-Manoli is a heterogeneous catalysis expert with industrial and academic experience focus on catalysts design and formulation, physical-chemistry characterization and catalytic process development. Currently, she is a research chemist at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company L.P. in the Kingwood Research Center. There, she is seeking to address efficiency/cost issues of industrial chemistry research and development.

Persson is a client delivery manager for IBM. She has worked in the computer/technology field for 21 years. She began her career as a consultant working on mainframes and now specializes in managing customers that want to build online solutions using analytics.

In her current role as the chief operating officer at Kingwood Medical Center, Marietta is responsible for overseeing and implementing the day-to-day operational strategies. Before the promotion, she was the associate administrator at the hospital. Prior to Kingwood Medical Center, Marietta completed her administrative residency at Woman’s Hospital of Texas in 2004, where she was promoted to associate administrator as part of Hospital Corporation of America’s Chief Operating Office Development Program.

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 www.lonestar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm.

Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Stephen C. Head is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.