Diversity in STEM
How do issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity show up in STEM - both in school and in the workforce? What is imposter syndrome and what are ways to you can both be aware of the issue as well as challenge the dominant narratives that pervade STEM and our society?
Join us in the panel series as we invite guests, Foothill College alumni and community members, to share about their academic and career paths as they navigate issues of diversity at the same time. All sessions are interactive with breakout sessions and will be held on Zoom.
The Diversity in STEM panel series is complete for the 2021-22 school year. Come back in the fall for more and in the meantime, watch all our past panels using the recording links posted below or via our YouTube channel.
Engineering Pathways: Fri, 10/29/21
Join us for a panel on engineering pathways from Foothill and beyond.
- Marie Ako, Facilities Design Engineer at Chevron
- Marie Ako, originally from Ivory Coast, is a Mechanical Facilities Design Engineer with Chevron El Segundo Refinery. In this role, Marie provides Mechanical Engineering support for routine daily operation of refinery process units, participates in the planning and execution of unit turnarounds, collaborates with diverse groups of people to troubleshoot issues in process plants, manages projects, prepares engineering work instructions to repair, upgrade, install, and/or replace equipment, and develops purchase specifications for engineered mechanical equipment in compliance with industry and corporate standards. Before joining Chevron in 2020, Marie worked for Schlumberger as a Cementing Field Engineer where she was responsible for supervising cementing jobs across the U.S for various Oil and Gas companies. During her tenure at Schlumberger, Marie earned multiple Health Safety and Environment (HSE) awards and was honored as Top performer of her cementing school class. Marie holds a B.S in Mechanical Engineering (Petroleum) from the University of Southern California, from which she graduated Cum Laude in December 2017. Marie's LinkedIn profile
- Lakevious Battle, Senior Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft
- Native of Tarboro, NC. Graduate of Winston Salem State University and North Carolina Central University. Majored in Management Information Systems for my bachelors and masters degree. I was a 4 year collegiate athlete at WSSU. Started in a Helpdesk role in the education system. Worked in couple of Technical Program Manager roles at Verizon. Moved over to engineering as a wireless solution engineer before moving to Netapp as a solutions engineer (storage focused). Later, I moved over to a Cloud role supporting a Netapp based product within Microsoft Azure. That role then led me to the role I have currently as a Senior Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft. I also teach as a adjunct professor at Nash Community College based out of Rocky Mount, NC.
- Melody Bake, Mechanical Engineer at Nuro
- Melody transferred to Foothill College as a pre-med student. During her time here she became an NSF scholar, introducing her to a mentor. Through building that relationship she became familiar with engineering and started working at the Biomedical Devices Lab on campus where she began designing and prototyping medical devices. She decided to major in mechanical engineering because she found it to be the perfect combination of art and mathematics. She transferred to SJSU where she participated in the SJSU Formula SAE team. Eager to gain experience in her field she interned at Nasa, Tesla, and Nuro. Upon her 2020 pandemic graduation, she began working full-time as a mechanical engineer at Nuro.
- Viet Le, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Iron Ox
- A mechanical engineer that is interested in working on cool things. Currently working at Iron Ox as a senior mechanical engineer, developing automation for sustainable greenhouse agriculture. I have a somewhat eclectic background - I've worked on EVs, aerospace, robots, start-ups, and now I'm in high-tech agriculture.
- Marissa Yañez, Founder of Empoder
- Marissa joins Foothill College in the Fall of 2021 as a STEM Workforce Specialist with the goal of helping empower the next generation of underrepresented students in STEM. She is a Foothill alum who transferred to U.C. Berkeley and majored in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and then went on to get a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. As a scientist, she researched the use of biomimetically coated nano-particles to develop novel diagnostic techniques with applications in developing countries. With a deep passion and over 20 years of experience working on efforts to empower underrepresented students to pursue STEM degrees, she eventually pivoted full-time towards developing programs and systems to support increased representation in STEM. She has led efforts for Facebook, and international non-profits to increase representation in Computer-Science across Mexico and Latin America, and currently runs her own non-profit Empoder Latinas Code to empower the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM. Outside of work you can find her hiking, salsa dancing, traveling and spending quality time with friends and family.
Health Science Career Pathways Fri, 2/4/22
Join us for a panel on health science career pathways from Foothill and beyond.
Susana Frasher, Physician Assistant, MS PA-C: I am a general surgery physician assistant currently working for Santa Clara Valley Medical center/ O’Connor hospital. I migrated to US at age 21. I started working as a nursing assistant in nursing homes while learning the language. I developed a desire to become a physician assistant while working on a small community clinic that precepted PA students. I was accepted into the Foothill/ Stanford primary care program around age 35. I have practiced multiple specialties including primary care, emergency medicine, trauma, surgery and custody. My academic path has been hard very hard because of language barrier and resources that where not available during my time in college.
Dayna Hashimoto-Barao, Dental Hygienist Educator at Foothill College, WaterPik, Corporate Dentistry-Apple Park: Dayna completed her Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene at Foothill College and then went on to get her B.S. in biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara and her M.S. in dental hygiene from UC San Francisco. Her areas of expertise are professional education and preventative oral health. She currently holds multiple titles as a Professional Educator for Waterpik, Part-Time Instructor for Foothill College Dental Assisting and Clinical Dental Hygienist.
Sherdonna Jackson, Certified Pharmacy Technician at Stanford Hospital: I am a Certified Pharmacy Technician graduate from Foothill College, class of 2020. I work fulltime alongside pharmacists in an inpatient hospital setting to aid nurses and medical personnel in providing critical care to admitted patients, for over a years time. I’m a first generation college graduate from San Jose State University with a BS in Marketing. I’ve worked in various roles and industries prior, all of which, have helped guide me along my career path and expose my true passion for being a part of a patient’s journey to better health.
Edgar Ramirez-Montiel, Scientist at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals: I am a first-generation college graduate with a degree in Human Biology from UC Santa Cruz, class of 2015. I have over four years of biotech industry experience with specializations in immuno-oncology, neuroscience, and protein expression and purification. Currently, I am undergoing a project management program through UC Berkeley Extension with the goal to become a certified project manager.
Women in STEM Career Pathways Fri, 3/11/22
In celebration of Women's History Month, join us with four amazing women who are currently in STEM-related careers.
Yasaman Damestani, Director and Head of Digital Medicine at Karyopharm Therapeutics. Prior to joining Karyopharm, Yasaman was a Manager in the Digital and Quantitative Medicine group at Biogen and a Senior Engineer in the Device and Final Drug product group at Amgen. Yasaman attended Foothill College from 2007 to 2008, and then transferred to University of California, Davis to complete her Bachelors of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2010. She graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2015. Yasaman actively champions diversity and inclusion to enable women to achieve their ambitions, educate each other, and empower a more diverse workforce.
Sarnai Gantumur, UX Researcher at Meta Reality Labs via ICONMA. Previously, Sarnai worked at Amazon Lab126 as a human factors usability specialist, and as a research assistant at Google. Sarnai's current and past work include wearables, AR, vision science and gamification research. She graduated from Foothill College in 2016, SJSU in 2018 and is currently finishing her master's degree at SJSU. In her free time, Sarnai likes traveling, meeting new people and reading books.
Katherine Mavromatti, software engineer at Noah Medical. Katherine started her journey at Foothill College in 2013 and was taking courses to transfer to a 4-year university and major in Biomedical Engineering. After 2 years, she transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a Biomedical Engineer and was introduced to programming during her senior year, when she built a system to track the position of a patient's leg during surgery using an Arduino and an IMU sensor. That's when she decided to pursue software engineering as a career. She interned and then got a job with TrueVision, a small company in Santa Barbara. From there, Katherine moved to Think Surgical and is now currently working at Noah Medical, where she is part of a talented team of engineers that is revolutionizing development of medical robotic platforms.
Applied Math Career Pathways Fri, 4/29/22 11:30am - 1pm
Learn about careers you can pursue with a degree or interest in math, data, and statistics.
Adriana Chavez: product marketing specialist at Epson America. Adriana works at the intersection of Data and Product at a multinational electronics company. As an undergraduate, she had wonderful mentors who nurtured her curiosity for problem solving. This led her to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Math and Linguistics minor. In her down time, she enjoys listening to music, learning new skills, and exploring recipes.
Samba Reyes Njie: data scientist at LinkedIn. At LinkedIn, Samba uses techniques from mathematics, statistics, computer science, and business/marketing to provide valuable insights to customer marketing stakeholders and increase their bottom line. He graduated from De Anza College as a biochemistry major in 2014, making the switch to Mathematics/Statistics when transferring to UC Berkeley due to a passion for quantitative methods to solve scientific problems. While at work, he is also pursuing a Master's degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics online, and hopes to apply data science and quantitative techniques in the field of medicine via bioinformatics or computational neuroscience in the future. In his free time, Samba enjoys practicing martial arts, learning about personal finance, and listening to podcasts.
(UNABLE TO ATTEND) Marissa Ramirez de Chanlatte: Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley. Marissa is studying Applied Math & Computer Science. Her research focuses on computer vision & 3D geometry and how we can use that technology to solve hard scientific problems. She attended Foothill Middle College from 2009-10 before applying as a freshman to UC Berkeley. From 2017-18 she came back to Foothill as a tutor in the STEM center. She currently lives in Palo Alto with her husband and one year old daughter.
Jimmy Tran: quantitative analyst at First Republic Bank, leveraging technology and a few cups of coffee to build statistical models, maintain production-level code, communicate findings to key stakeholders at First Republic Bank. He completed the Graduate Certificate Program in Data Science at Harvard Extension School in 2020. Prior to that, he completed his undergraduate studies in statistics and economics at the University of California, Berkeley in 2018. During his final undergraduate term, he studied abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also a proud first-generation college graduate. His parents fled from Vietnam to the United States as war refugees over 30 years ago and instilled in him a strong work ethic and a passion for learning. To this day, he continues to pay it forward by making data science and financial technology more accessible fields at UC Berkeley Extension as an instructor.