2018 Women Breaking Through Conference

October 9, 2018

Public Information Officer

ST. PHILIP'S COLLEGE WELCOMES THE VENTUREGIRLS AUTHOR TO CAMPUS WHEN THE COLLEGE HOSTS FREE 2018 WOMEN BREAKING THROUGH CONFERENCE OF HANDS-ON STEM AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACTIVITIES FOR 150 GIRLS OCT. 12

Female Alamo Colleges District students who are actual STEM lab researchers give back by inspiring guests, and Sam Houston High School students announced as first-time participants. By meeting the researchers, organizers hope the girls should also be envisioning themselves in the not-so-distant future---tech startup CEO Dr. Luz Cristal Glangchai---bestselling author of VentureGirls: Raising Girls to Be Tomorrow’s Leaders---brings the perspective of a successful entrepreneurial role model directly to the girls 

St. Philip's College promotes future economic security for local young women by registering 150 teenaged females grades 8–12 for mentoring and hands-on STEM activities in the college’s free 2018 Women Breaking Through Conference Oct. 12 from 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. in the Center of Excellence for Mathematics of Building 1 at the college's Southwest Campus on 800 Quintana Road. Conference e-registration is available and encouraged now. For all information, contact Maria Rodriguez, 2018 conference organizer and center director at 210-486–7123 or mrodriguez108@alamo.edu.

Established in 2011 as an annual St. Philip’s College Saturday STEM recruitment program, the conference is designed for women by women to instill confidence and awareness of the faster-growing career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Rodriguez. While girls committed to attend as of Oct. 3 are from Jubilee San Antonio, Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio, Sam Houston High School and JSTEM Academy, the keynote speaker for the program is tech startup CEO Dr. Luz Cristal Glangchai, regionally-based bestselling author of VentureGirls: Raising Girls to Be Tomorrow’s Leaders.

Rodriguez shares that guests can expect several program firsts for the 2018 edition of the program. The event is being held on a Friday, Sam Houston High School is participating for the first time, and all girls will hear from Alamo Colleges District students who are performing lab research citywide under the leadership of professional researchers while they are community college students. While young women will engage in mini hands-on activities that involve STEM concepts and principles in the labs of the college, various female STEM experts will share how a balanced personal and academic plan can lead toward local young women becoming a professional in fields those young women desire.

The traditional highlights of the conference---workshops led by professional women in the STEM fields---return for 2018, said Rodriguez.

The workshops and new thinking by organizers will allow the girls to explore a bevy of science fields that will reward them in their futures, Rodriguez said.

“It’s on a Friday this year, and the interested students will arrive in busses from their schools for the first time. We might be more than ‘maxxed’ for registration due to this important logistic change. And in the future, I might have to get more presenters in order to host more girls. The most exciting part of our 2018 season programming is the participation of Sam Houston High School. That’s a great St. Philip’s College feeder high school, and it’s challenging to get a sponsor from the school to take their kids on a field trip here, so to have them on campus this year is great,” said Rodriguez. 

The bevy of firsts continues for the program and its guests as the registered girls will attend meet-the-researcher sessions led by females from the 2018 edition of the first program of its kind funded by the National Science Foundation at a community college to increase the completion rates of minority STEM students by pairing promising Alamo Colleges District member college scholars with St. Philip’s College and UTSA faculty mentors. The innovative program is known as CIMA. 

“Our CIMA recipients will present their posters and share their journeys and experiences, giving back and encouraging others in their first community engagement project,” said Rodriguez. “I tried to get combinations of girls from all five Alamo Colleges District colleges, and that group will present concurrently with all the other professionals. It’s another option. The girls pick the presentations they want to attend, but all of the girls will experience that CIMA session, because I want them to experience what is happening at Alamo Colleges District,” said Rodriguez.

“Our goal for the conference is to encourage underrepresented and at-risk young ladies to STEM careers by providing women in the STEM profession to present and share their own journeys,” Rodriguez said. “Over time, we realized that most of the girls this program is ideal for generally have to rely on family transportation for a Saturday event. School districts have been strong partners who stepped up to transport their girls to an event that is important to their lives and their future security on a Friday,” said Rodriguez.

A few of the many resources for this program traditionally include the college's 45,000-square-foot centers of excellence in science and math, an alternative energy lab and an adjacent 10,000 square-foot library to support student and faculty needs. Those facilities were built through federal funding to increase the flow of two–year college graduates transferring to four–year universities for science and related degrees that lead to high–pay jobs in the green economy and biotechnology/bio-energy. Find out how alumni of the STEM program excelled with these resources at the archival Southside Independent School District report CTE News: Women Breaking Through Conference @ St Phillip’s College

Glangchai is the second author-entrepreneur of note to help the college celebrate both Hispanic Heritage Month and STEM education in 2018. The entrepreneur closes a season that included the September Hispanic Heritage Month speaking debut of the Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly during both Historically Black College and Universities Week and Hispanic Serving Institutions Week at the nation’s only HBCU member institution with HSI member institution status---in the nation’s largest Hispanic-majority population city.

VentureGirls: Raising Girls to Be Tomorrow’s Leaders is “a conversation-changing parenting book about how to engage young women in stem.” According to the author's Google Books bio, Glangchai "is a scientist, entrepreneur, and mentor with a passion for teaching and engaging girls in entrepreneurship, science, and technology. She is the founder and CEO of VentureLab, a nonprofit that runs experiential learning programs in youth entrepreneurship. She is the director of the Texas Entrepreneurial Exchange at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Glangchai recently served as the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Trinity University. Prior to that, she founded a nanotechnology drug delivery company and ran the Idea to Product Program at the University of Texas at Austin." Start time for Glangchai’s interactive program on Oct. 12 is 2 p.m., and parents may want to e-register just to attend the lecture, Rodriguez said.

     

CAPTION: Archival images of female area high school students learning in St. Philip’s College facilities built through federal funding to increase the flow of two–year college graduates transferring to four–year universities for science and related degrees that lead to high–pay jobs are a reminder that the next day of opportunity in this project is the 2018 Women Breaking Through Conference Oct. 12 at the college's Southwest Campus on 800 Quintana Road. Additional archival images are a reminder that new for 2018, the girls will learn from scholars in the current CIMA program---the 2018 edition of the first program of its kind funded by the National Science Foundation at a community college to increase the completion rates of minority STEM students by pairing promising Alamo Colleges District member college scholars with St. Philip’s College and UTSA faculty mentors---during meet-the-researcher sessions. (Archival Women Breaking Through images are SPC courtesy images | Archival CIMA images are SPC courtesy images by Julysa Sosa)