Several professional women and current college students recently shared their success stories in a program entitled “Women in STEM: We are Unstoppable!” The program was provided to encourage young women to consider a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The idea for the program came from Jarrod Tollett, Associate Professor of Engineering and Physics at SSC. As a father of three young daughters, he became inspired to encourage other girls and women to pursue STEM related academics and careers.

“I went to a conference recently that featured a Girls in STEM video, and it really captured me. I thought about my own daughters and how I want them to know they can do anything and that they should never restrict themselves. I decided to bring the idea back to SSC. Student Support Services and STEM Student Support Services jumped on board and we co-sponsored the event,” Tollett said.

Emily Carpenter, SSC Assistant Professor of Math and Transitional Math Coordinator, moderated the event and also invited the guest speakers. “I wanted to make sure we had a wide range of professionals represented. I also wanted to include current college students so that young girls could see that young women are in the process of achieving their goals. We had several area schools attend and I believe they heard a lot of inspirational stories as well as a lot of information about career fields,” Carpenter said.

Professional women who spoke included: Melanne Greenwood, GCTC STEM Outreach Coordinator; Jean Lancaster, Accountant; Theran Hernandez, SSC Assistant Professor of Life Sciences; Shakira Judeh, Physical Therapist and Director of the SSS Physical Therapy Assistant program; Chrissie Boatman, Registered Nurse; and Amber Stachmus, Physician’s Assistant. Students who spoke at the program included: Vanessa Sisseck, SSC Medical Lab Tech student; Tijah Johnson, SSC Pre-Nursing student, Mattie Wood, SSC Pre-Engineering student; and Lilly Bryant, OU Architectural Engineering student.

“I am thankful that Jarrod and Carpenter asked our two grants to jump on board and support this program. It was very enriching and encouraging to hear the different success stories from our faculty, students, and area professionals. This is our second year and Emily did a great job incorporating new voices into the program. It is not only good for young girls, but for all of our college students to hear these great success stories,” Manlapig said.

For more information about STEM degrees at SSC, contact Tollett by phone at 405-382-9217 or by email at j.tollet@sscok.edu. For more information about Student Support Services or STEM Student Support Services, please contact Manlapig at 405-382-9642 or visit www.sscok.edu/sss.