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niversary over three exhilarating days in October 2010. This conference be- gan 15 years ago to meet the need for role models for dynamic young wom- en in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Co- inciding with the annual fall issue of Women of Color magazine (published by the Baltimore-based Career Com- munications Group), this conference honors the movers and shakers, the trailblazers and the innovators of STEM with the recognition they so richly deserve. These three days were packed with


a powerful array of programs, semi- nars, and awards ceremonies. The K-12 educational program targeted future generations of leaders in STEM through a series of interactive activi- ties and events honoring student lead- ers. Technology was set vividly in motion via Vex Robotics, which showed that engineering is no longer an all-boys’ club. The Right to Oppor- tunity Career Fair linked employers with enterprising students and profes- sionals, reinforcing the fact that STEM sectors are expanding, even in a trou- bled economy. Women of Color in STEM Confer-


ence attendees were invited to “Re- fresh. Reenergize. Reconnect”. Gain- ing footholds in traditionally male-dominated fields can be tricky business, so the Women of Color con- ference offered informational semi- nars that addressed the issues and needs specific to working women. Participants learned about ways to ef- fectively communicate as team-mem- bers and managers; they developed strategies to make strides toward the ever-elusive work-life balance, and they connected with mentors who


2010 Women of Color in STEM Conference T


he Women of Color in STEM Conference celebrated its 15th


an-


Pictured left to right: VADM Adam M. Robinson, Jr. & RDML Eleanor Valentin, Technologist of the Year


could offer them the unique insight and advice that comes from years in the trenches.


Unquestionably, the highlights of


this year’s conference were the nu- merous opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of truly remarkable women. Women of Color awards were issued in a myriad of categories, from Technical Innovation to Educational Leadership, Research Leadership to Diversity Leadership in Industry (and many more). These winners were hon- ored at a special dinner when leaders from their organizations were given the rare chance to openly acknowl- edge their appreciation for their em- ployees’ contributions. As the celebra- tory remarks made by military and corporate elite reflect, these contribu- tions impact more than just individual companies or branches of the service, they impact our nation—and our world—as a whole. The conference hosted the Women of Business


Achievement and Special Recognition Dinner, as well as the Technology Recognition Luncheon and the STEM Education and Student Leadership Awards Brunch. Many WOC award winners are true originals, and this year’s Technologist of the Year awardee, Rear Admiral El- eanor Valentin, is no exception. The first woman to reach flag rank in the Medical Service Corps and the first minority officer to lead the Medical Support Command, Rear Admiral Val- entin also is an exemplar of a stunning turnaround in the treatment of Asia- Pacific Americans—especially of Fili- pino-Americans—in the U.S. military. The labs under her jurisdiction devel- op solutions to crucial battlefield is- sues such as traumatic brain injury, combat trauma, and infectious diseas- es. Her work has made her a champion for wounded warriors. Her success is a testament to the strength of will re- quired to achieve your dreams.


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