STEM professionals who spoke at the second event April 14 are, from left: Dr. Gabriela Alvez-Manoli, Chevron Phillips research chemist; Cheryl Ash Simpson, engineer; Dr. Katherine Persson, LSC-Kingwood president; Earin Persson, IBM client delivery manager; and Megan Marietta, Kingwood Medical Center chief operating officer.
While there has been an increase in the number of women who have successfully worked in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industry in the past 40 years, more are needed.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women’s representation in the trade still remains 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 last STEM career night May 4 from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Student Conference 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.
Tracy Borgmeyer, chemical engineer; Dr. Priscilla Milam Smith, IT professional; and Dr. Yemi Oyerinde, research chemist; will share their experiences to encourage more females to enter these professions, where women represent less than one-third of those in the field.
Borgmeyer is an engineer and a mom who writes about inspiring girls to be curious and confident about science. She has worked in the offshore oil industry as a project engineer and supervisor. Her engineering passion is process safety, which is ensuring safe and reliable operations. Borgmeyer also blogs at SheLovesScience.com, which gives readers simple and easy ways to try out fun science experiments at home. She is also the author of a book, “She Loves Science: A Mother’s guide to Nurturing her daughter’s curiosity, confidence, and creativity.”
“I hope to help moms (and parents) inspire their girls to love science and encourage their natural curiosity and creativity to become future problem solvers," Borgmeyer said. “I believe engineering is a career path that will change the world and help other people tremendously and girls should be a part of that.”
Smith is an informational technology professional with more than 30 years of IT operations experience. She has a deep background in IT infrastructure and application support. She has created operational processes and delivered solutions on information technology in the marketing, trading, and oil and gas industries, and currently serves as delivery manager for the Global Service Center. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree and master's in computer science from Texas A&M University and has a doctorate from Oklahoma State University. She has presented at regional conferences on IT best practices and was a finalist for the International IT Service Management Thought Leadership Award in 2016.
“My hope is to inspire women to challenge themselves in a male-dominated world,” Smith said. “By including more women in STEM careers, it will bring diversity of thought and inclusion of disparate ideas that are critical to the success of global organizations.”
A native from Nigeria, Oyerinde has worked as a research chemist at Chevron Phillips since 2014. Prior, she worked at Celanese Chemicals. As a research chemist, Oyerinde’s work centers on catalysis for commercial chemical processes. She earned a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Princeton University in 2007.