Tag: African-Americans in STEM fields

Black and Latino Youth to Benefit from Google’s New ‘Code Next’ Lab

(Photo by Ariel Skelley via essence.com)

Tech giant Google is aiming to foster the next generation of leaders by increasing learning opportunities for students of color by spearheading an initiative aimed towards encouraging young people of color to pursue careers in technology.

Launched earlier this week by the multimedia behemoth, the Code Next program was established in an effort to combat recent Google statistics citing that 51 percent of Black students and 47 percent of Latino students lack access to computer science classes in their schools.

Stressing the importance of students being given adequate learning tools to broaden their knowledge of technology in today’s constantly evolving tech environment, Code Next will provide enriching curriculum that serves to connect computer science to the students’ daily lives.

To read full, original article, go to: http://www.essence.com/news/google-code-next-lab

Black Identical Twins Shonda and Shalisha Witherspoon Each Had the Highest GPA at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing

Shonda and Sharias Witherspoon (photo via blackhomeschool.org)
Shonda and Shalisha Witherspoon (photo via theblackhomeschool.com)

article via jbhe.com

Shalisha and Shonda Witherspoon are identical twins. They dress alike every day and both recently graduated from the College of Engineering and Computing at Florida International University in Miami. They also had identical grade point averages of 3.95, which was the best GPA of any graduating student in the College of Engineering and Computing. The sisters also earned minor degrees in Japanese language and literature.

The sisters will stay on at FIU to pursue master’s degrees and to work as graduate assistants for Professor Naphtali Rishe in the High Performance Database Research Center.

Professor Rishe stated that “those two ladies are extraordinarily responsible. They are very smart, they have great attention to detail, they are always reliable. Any project they are asked to do, it’s done perfectly. They are experts in geographic data analytics. They manipulate very large big data sets, and they have excelled. They have a great career path in front of them.”

The sisters’ ultimate goal is to move to Japan and start their own software engineering business together.

UNCF Teams with Fund II Foundation to Offer New $48 Million Scholarship Program for African Americans in STEM Fields

Now the Fund II Foundation has teamed up with the United Negro College Fund to establish a new scholarship program to help African American students seeking careers in STEM fields. Over the next five years, The Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program will identify 500 African American high school students who are determined to pursue careers in STEM fields. These students will receive scholarships, internships, mentoring, and other tools to help them reach their goals. The Fund II Foundation is contributing $48 million for the STEM Scholars Program. Continue reading “UNCF Teams with Fund II Foundation to Offer New $48 Million Scholarship Program for African Americans in STEM Fields”

Engineer Stephanie Lampkin Launches App to Curb Discrimination in Hiring

Blendor creator Stephanie Lampkin (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com; forbes.com

Stephanie Lampkin, a black female engineer, has seen her share of workplace discrimination. Despite the fact that she was a full-stack web developer by the age of 15 and then went on to get her education at Stanford and then MIT, she often had a hard time getting her foot in the door to get into the tech industry, which has long been dominated by white men.

But Lampkin has developed an app that would help to curb discrimination in hiring by eliminating even unconscious bias from the hiring process.

The app, called Blendoor, uploads resumes without a name or a picture so that candidates are judged solely on their merits and their technical abilities.

“My company resonates more with white men when I position it as, ‘hey, I want to help you find the best talent. Your unconscious mind isn’t racist, sexist — it’s totally natural, and we’re trying to help you circumvent it,’” she told Forbes.

Already, Lampkin has 19 large tech firms signed up to use the app, which will also collect job data to see how those who are seeking jobs are matching up with positions they would be qualified for.

To read more, go to: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2016/03/03/black-woman-engineer-launches-blind-job-match-app-to-take-bias-out-of-tech-hiring/#e3c5a05601c4

Dr. Alec Gallimore Named Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan

Professor Alec Gallimore (photo via pathwaytoscience.org)
Professor Alec Gallimore (photo via pathwaytoscience.org)

article via jbhe.com

Alec Gallimore was named the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan, effective July 1. He is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor of Engineering. He also is serving as associate dean for academic affairs.

Professor Gallimore joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1992 as an assistant professor of aerospace engineering. He was promoted to full professor in 2004. Dr. Gallimore is the founder of the university’s Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory. Also, he is the director of the Michigan Space Grant Consortium, funded by NASA and the director of the Michigan/Air Force Center of Excellence in Electric Propulsion.

To read more, go to: https://www.jbhe.com/2016/02/alec-gallimore-named-dean-of-engineering-at-the-university-of-michigan/

TECH: Urbangeekz and Atlanta Tech Village Partner for Women and Minority Entrepreneur Contest

Christian Ross, VP/Managing Broker, Village Realty at Atlanta Tech Village (photo credit: Kunbi Tinuoye)

UrbanGeekz has joined forces with Atlanta Tech Village to offer women and underrepresented minorities the chance to be part of a thriving technology innovation hub in the heart of Atlanta.

We have teamed up to offer an exciting opportunity for a talented tech entrepreneur to gain around the clock access to Atlanta Tech Village’s flourishing startup community in the Buckhead district. 40aba8ae1838d185c69dee7563b62134_400x400

To help foster inclusion and engagement of underserved communities in the technology space, we are launching a competition where one lucky winner will win six months of free co-working space at Atlanta Tech Village’s state-of-the-art facility. The competition is open to women of any background and underrepresented minorities.

This is an amazing chance for one fortunate entrepreneur to kick-start their startup without having to worry about the cost of office space. It is also an invaluable opportunity to network, exchange ideas, access curated mentors, and much-needed resources.

To participate applicants should apply here and submit a video up to 60 seconds introducing themselves and their startup. Each submission will be judged based on the mission, viability, and the long-term impact of the company.

UrbanGeekz is less than a year old and in a short time we have had a lot of success, including partnerships with the likes of AT&T and 20th Century Fox,” says Kunbi Tinuoye, founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz, whose editorial team is based at Atlanta Tech Village (the Village). “But this collaboration is by far the most rewarding on both a personal and professional level. We’re thrilled to partner with Tech Village to support an ambitious entrepreneur.”

“Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint-hearted, “she adds. “You need a huge amount of faith, self-belief, and dogged determination. Having access to a supportive community, resources, mentorship, business coaching, and guidance on raising capital in a space like Tech Village can give entrepreneurs a tremendous boost to scale their startup.”

Atlanta Tech Village, a thriving ecosystem for tech firms, is the Southeast’s largest co-working and office environment for emerging technology companies and tech startups. There are nearly 300 companies and 900 plus members based in the Village. As one of the fastest-growing technology startup centers, the Village is dedicated to fostering innovation, encouraging collaboration, and driving economic development in Atlanta community and beyond.

“Atlanta Tech Village is proud to partner with UrbanGeekz to support entrepreneurship and empower women and minorities on their quest to change the world through technology,” says Karen Houghton, director of Atlanta Tech Village. “We are a community of innovators that becomes greater with ever increasing diversity. We understand that startups are hard, and having a community of positive, supportive people around you can be inspiring.”

“The Village offers an abundance of resources from work space to meet-ups and networking events, to mentors and advisors for advice. We look forward to growing our community and supporting entrepreneurs on their startup journey.”

Atlanta Tech Village is an incredible place for new startups to land. It’s so much more than an office space,” says Aliceson Y. King, whose company Center for Excellence in Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance (CEDSPV) is based at the Village. “It is a community that provides amazingly talented colleagues in a diverse array of areas and super knowledgeable mentors who can assist in guiding you and your business to success from the start. Being at ATV for the last year has made all the difference in moving my startup to the next level.”

Since its inception in 2013, the Village has been home to some of the most successful startups in Atlanta, such as Yik YakBitPay, and Insightpool. Three years in, it is one of the top 10 tech hubs in the U.S. The technology hub also boasts a competitive accelerator, Atlanta Ventures, where startups receive mentor support and up to $120,000 in investment capital.

Applicants must…

– Submit a video (up to 60 seconds) introducing themselves and their startup.

– Be over 18 years old.

– Be a woman (any demographic) or male/female underrepresented minority.

We will consider entrepreneurs from any field but our focus is on tech startups and technology related companies. The application deadline is March 13th at 11:59 pm EST.

Read more at: http://urbangeekz.com/2016/02/atlanta-tech-village-and-urbangeekz-partner-for-women-and-minority-entrepreneur-contest/#sthash.fg2HNIUd.dpuf

President Obama Pledges $4 Billion Toward Computer Science in Schools

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House isn’t just relying on legislation to make computer science education a priority in the US. President Obama has launched a Computer Science for All initiative that gives states $4 billion in funding to expand computer science in K-12 schools through a mix of better course materials, partnerships and teacher training. The move also sends another $100 million directly to school districts, unlocks $135 million in funding from government organizations and gets further cooperation from both local governments as well as tech leaders.

Some of those leaders include companies that have already promised support for the President’s educational initiatives. Apple, Cartoon Network, Code.org, Facebook, Microsoft, Salesforce and Qualcomm are all widening their education efforts, investing in programs or both to help improve computer science in the country.

Throwing cash at a problem won’t make it go away, of course, and there aren’t any guarantees that the money will make a difference. However, the effort at least tackles one of the core issues head-on: getting computer science into schools in the first place. Roughly three quarters of schools go without any CS programs, and 22 states don’t accept these classes as credit toward a high school diploma. If the extra funding works as planned, it’ll get CS courses into more schools and help create a generation of kids that know how to code before they reach college.

article by Jon Fingas via engadget.com

11 Year-Old College Freshman Carson Huey-You Studies Quantum Physics at Texas Christian University

11 year-old college freshman Carson Huey-You (photo via risingafrica.org)

In this day and age, 11-year olds don’t usually go to college.  But it’s those who break the rules that get the most recognition.

Carson Huey-You is amazing and brilliant.  The young prodigy was accepted to Texas Christian University at the age of 10, where he chose to study the difficult field of Quantum Physics.  In case you’ve never heard of Quantum Physics, it is defined as:  The study of the behavior of matter and energy at the molecular, atomic, nuclear, and even smaller microscopic levels.

The young student speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently, and got 1770 on his SAT.  He is also a very good piano player, among other things.   He was so young that he wasn’t able to actually apply to the school online.  It turns out that the software would not allow applicants to state that they were born in the year 2002.

The child is expected to be a college graduate by the age of 16, which would make him a year younger than the youngest graduate the school has ever had. ‘‘I’m taking calculus, physics, history and religion. Those are my four classes,’ Huey-You told CBS DFW.

Claretta Huey-You and Carson Huey-You (photo via risingafrica.org)

This is not the first time that young Carson showed such promise.  He was reading by the age of 1 and doing pre-algebra by the age of 5, according to his parents.

“He’s definitely very talented and also he’s very serious about his work and he really enjoys it.  And that’s the best that a professor can hope for his students, right?’ Associate math professor Qao Zhang said to CBS DFW.

Carson says that his first week of college was “overwhelming, but exciting and fun.”

In the spirit of family learning and growth, Carson’s mother expects to join him on campus to get education of her own.  Claretta Huey-You says that she herself is planning on going back to school to study nursing.   Additionally, his brother is expected to finish high school by the age of 13.

To read more, go to: risingafrica.org

Serena Williams Covers and Serves as Guest Editor for “Wired” Magazine this Month

Serena Williams
Serena Williams (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

For the latest edition of Wired magazine, Serena Williams is doing more than just gracing the cover.

The tennis superstar is also serving as a guest editor in a special issue designed to look specifically at the issues of equality and diversity across a range of different communities and backgrounds. From science fiction to sports and from science to Hollywood, many different voices have joined together to tell their stories.

In her editorial, Williams talked about a multitude of ways that we can help fight for equality for ourselves and each other. She mentioned educational programs like Black Girls Code, and also noted the simple need to stand up for people who are being harassed (for example, she specifically mentioned the moment famed author J.K. Rowling stood up for and inspired her.)


She also called for more opportunity for people of every background:

Equality is important. In the NFL, they have something called the Rooney rule. It says that teams have to interview minority candidates for senior jobs. It’s a rule that companies in Silicon Valley are starting to follow too, and that’s great. But we need to see more women and people of different colors and nationalities in tech. That’s the reason I wanted to do this issue with WIRED—I’m a black woman, and I am in a sport that wasn’t really meant for black people. And while tennis isn’t really about the future, Silicon Valley sure is. I want young people to look at the trailblazers we’ve assembled below and be inspired. I hope they eventually become trailblazers themselves. Together we can change the future.

You can check out Williams’ full editorial here, and you should definitely go out and get the November issue for more amazing stories like hers, and to support black women having a much larger place in all technological fields and industries.

article via thegrio.com

Tech Giant Apple Appoints former Boeing CEO James A. Bell to its Board of Directors

James A. Bell (photo via macdaily.com)
James A. Bell (photo via macdaily.com)

Technology companies have been the target of questioning when it comes to hiring minorities. In fact, with the lack of adequate minority representation in companies like Facebook and Google, civil rights activists such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson along with the Rev. Al Sharpton have called out these companies. By calling out major technology companies with regard to their hiring practices of minorities to managerial and upper management positions, some companies are listening.

In a recent development, Apple has elected James, A. Bell to its board of directors. This move is without a doubt, a move in the right direction for a company as powerful as Apple.

Bell is the former chief financial officer and corporate president of the Boeing Company. With a 38-year tenure at Boeing, Bell served as the interim CEO of the the company in 2005.

When asked about his election to the board of directors for Apple, Bell said “I am an avid user of Apple products and have a tremendous respect for the company’s ability to innovate. I am delighted to join the Apple board and look forward to contributing to its continued success in any way I can.” according to The Root.

With all of his vast experience in corporate America, Bell brings quality leadership and strategic planning to the board. In addition to that, his experience in finance will definitely be a huge contributing factor.

“In August, Apple said it was making efforts to hire more women and underrepresented minorities, recruiting more diverse candidates in the past 12 months than in any previous year, but overall there was little change in the demographics of the company, which is overwhelmingly male and white, USA Today reported Thursday.”

Apple isn’t the only board appointment Bell has. He’s a board member of the following: Dow Chemical, JP Morgan Chase, and CDW. He’s also a trustee of the Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center

article via financialjuneteenth.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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