STEM Higher Ed Council Formed to Increase America's STEM Talent Pipeline

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WASHINGTON, March 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- STEMconnector® is proud to announce its newest initiative - the STEM Higher Education Council (HEC) – a national forum for college and university leaders to address America's need for STEM talent through innovative education, training and strategic partnerships with business and industry.

Rob Denson, President of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), will Chair the Council with Martha Kanter to serve as its Senior Advisor. Dr. Kanter is the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at New York University, having previously served as US Under Secretary of Education from 2009 until 2013. In addition, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will play a key role at the Council's first Summit on October 8, 2014. Denson and Kanter will guide the design and implementation of the Council's vision, goals and accomplishments.

Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council and chair of STEMconnector®'s Food & Ag Council, enthusiastically supports the HEC, "we're pleased Rob will take his passion and leadership to STEMconnector®'s Higher Education Council as its new chairman. Rob is an engaged member of the Governor's STEM Council and will help drive the message that great careers await students who obtain the STEM skills to fill the jobs."

Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector®, is thrilled to have the team of Rob Denson and Martha Kanter, noting that "Martha has devoted her life to drive change in higher education to increase student access and success. Her commitment to innovation and her drive and commitment to new initiatives are legendary; moreover, her advocacy for providing viable and adaptable career pathways for students is second to none."

The STEMconnector® Higher Education Council (HEC) mission is to bring focused energy to Higher Education's leading high impact practices, increasing the emphasis on STEM pipeline-to-jobs (and what we call STEM 2.0). The HEC will inventory and integrate current efforts whenever possible, building on the energy of others in support of boundary-breaking collaborations between higher education (two and four year institutions) and industry to achieve significant results that can be recognized and scaled-up.

An Impact Summit will be held October 8, 2014. The Council will kick off with its first Summit "From Opportunity to Impact" in New York City. Business and higher education leaders will showcase pioneering examples of partnerships that ensure student success in college and careers. Participants will share best-in-class STEM models of workplace learning through internships, co-op programs and mentorships, especially focused on engaging underrepresented populations in STEM fields leading to employment. A variety of face-to-face and virtual meetings and events will be held each year to encourage game-changing collaboration between higher education, government and industry.

Other activities will be announced with the strategic plan. Achieving impact is the organizing principle of the STEM Higher Ed Council by assembling key thought leaders to inform decision makers from business, government and higher education to improve access to viable STEM career pathways for students and optimizing their success. A unique characteristic of the Council will be its composition of 2 and 4-year colleges and universities focused on bridging early excitement in STEM to success in higher education and careers. HEC members will stimulate dialogue, collaboration and innovation between diverse stakeholders from industry, state and local government, federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to improve STEM outcomes. The Council will couple student preparation with highly dynamic workforce demands driven by the rapidly changing global marketplace. STEMconnector®'s business-led initiatives like its STEM Innovation Task Force (SITF) and the STEM Food and Ag Council (SFAC) and its communications platform, including the STEMdaily® online newsletter, will be integral to the Council's work, amplifying the HEC's reach and impact.

Some distinguishing characteristics of the STEM HEC are that it:

  • Leads a high-energy and national "boundary-breaking STEM collaboration" of industry, government and education with an action-oriented agenda.
  • Promotes high-impact strategies that improve outcomes in STEM education at all levels.
  • Focuses on the unique role of Higher Education connecting students to the workforce and STEM careers.
  • Collaborates with business to calibrate supply with workforce demand.
  • Emphasizes providing workplace-learning experiences to inform student preparation and career choices.
  • Showcases model partnerships between higher education and industry that achieve measurable results and scale.
  • Incorporates a diverse array of institutions including Community Colleges, Public and Land Grant Universities, Private Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.

To find out how you can become involved with the STEM Higher Education Council, contact Ted Wells, Chief Strategy Officer, STEMconnector® at

About the STEM Higher Education Council – The STEMconnector® STEM Higher Education Council (HEC) is the leadership forum of pubic and private colleges and universities intently focused on STEM education and careers and committed to the highest levels of achievement and success for students, institutions, businesses and communities in all STEM related educational and professional endeavors, serving to fill the pipeline for jobs. Some of the inaugural members include: Des Moines Area Community College, Arizona State University, Taft College, Austin Community College, Olin College of Engineering, Iowa State University, the University of Florida and the National FFA Organization, Apollo/University of Phoenix, Grinnell College, Howard University and Tuskegee University.

About STEMconnector® – STEMconnector® is the leading national platform driving collaboration between stakeholders in STEM education with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for all students. Launched in 2011 with the mandate of identifying, informing and connecting stakeholders in STEM education, STEMconnector® has over 90 sponsoring organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors. STEMconnector® is a subsidiary of Diversified Search LLC – the nation's largest woman-owned executive search firm. Learn more at

CONTACT: Ted Wells, Chief Strategy Officer

Source: STEMConnector