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STEM Conference for Educators Will Focus on Careers, Pathways

Dr. Valerie Taylor

Dr. Valerie Taylor, associate dean for academic affairs at Texas A&M University, will give the keynote address, “To Thrive in Computing: From a Diverse Perspective.”

​Contact: Debra Dennis or 214-378-1851

For immediate release — Feb. 20, 2017

(DALLAS) — Dallas-area high school and college educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — commonly known as STEM — are invited to attend a free learning event, the annual Dallas/North Texas STEM Degree Accelerator Conference, on Saturday, March 4.

The theme for the conference is “Pathways to Careers;” the event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bill J. Priest Institute, 1402 Corinth St., in Dallas, hosted by the Dallas County Community College District.

Visit the DCCCD Foundation website to register online.

The keynote address, “To Thrive in Computing: From a Diverse Perspective,” will be delivered by Dr. Valerie Taylor, associate dean for academic affairs at Texas A&M University. Taylor serves as the Royce E. Wisenbaker professor in the department of computer science and engineering.

“Cultivating skills in STEM is vital for the future and our country to open doors,” said Peggy Shadduck, district director of DCCCD’s STEM Institute. The goal of the conference is to broaden interest in STEM-related fields and explore how technology is changing our world, Shadduck said.

“Our focus is to do something for faculty who are teaching in this field,” Shadduck said. “We have a lot of employers who are part of this network as well. We want to see how the education process is good for people in this field.”

The conference will address the computer science gap between female and male students as well as the lack of exposure that minority students often experience. The conference also will connect STEM supporters to these underserved groups, Shadduck said.

“The employers really want an increasingly diverse workforce, and one of the challenges is finding a diverse applicant pool,” Shadduck said.

Over the next decade, Texas is projected to have one of the largest percentages of STEM jobs and requires a workforce that is proficient in computer skills.

About 100 participants are expected. The program includes breakout sessions, cross-institutional discussions and an industry panel. A group of students will talk with professionals about their experiences with STEM education and make contact with leaders in the STEM industry.

The conference is funded by a grant from the Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator Initiative, which provides grants to colleges and universities in the state, including DCCCD. All seven DCCCD colleges participate in the district’s STEM Institute.

For more information, contact Shadduck at or at 214-378-1553.

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