For Immediate Release: June 13, 2014
From: International Association for STEM Leaders
International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation’s capitol and recognizes the Northern Virginia Community College’s SySTEMic Solutions program as a national pipeline model for engaging students in STEM. SySTEMic Solutions is led by Ms. Amy Harris, a statewide leader for STEM Education, and we are looking forward in supporting her in replicating her model throughout Virginia.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
The IASL STEM Pipeline Model Leadership Award was presented to SySTEMic Solutions, a regional program of the Northern Virginia Community College, who is recognized as a statewide leader in STEM. Accepting the award was Mr. Charles Britt, STEM Education Coordinator with SySTEMic Solutions. This program was birthed in the heart of the defense contracting community of Northern Virginia and is state supported. Its STEM pipeline model serves several of most prominent school divisions in the country, to include Fairfax and Loudon Counties. This program was, in part, a spin off program from Micron Technologies, the only U.S. based semi-conductor company.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.
The STEM Leadership Summit was help in conjunction with the world’s largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education. Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in “turn key” laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support. DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. On the online side of STEM, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as sponsors.
Ms. Harris has close to 20 years experience in Virginia Public Schools as an educator and school administrator. Her experience in public education carried her into the corporate arena implementing regional educational programs for a variety of audiences. Through her education connections, she has had the opportunity to foster relationships and forge partnerships with K12 and higher education institutions which provided her with the foundation to establish her career at Micron Technology, Inc.
In her role as university and academic relations manager at Micron, Ms. Harris was responsible for guiding initiatives involving programmatic support for STEM education at the K12 and community college level as well as initiating opportunities for research in the university arena.
Through the development and cultivation of strategic STEM partnerships while in her role at Micron, she was then given the opportunity to launch NOVA’s STEM outreach program, SySTEMic Solutions. This position ties in with her previous experience because the initiative connects K12, higher education and industry to establish a robust infrastructure that is strengthening the technical workforce pipeline.
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she has finished the coursework for her Ph.D at George Mason University and is currently beginning research for her dissertation.