The National GEM Consortium convened its 2022 Annual Board of Meeting and Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on September 8-10, 2022. The conference was a 46th anniversary celebration of GEM’s achievements toward its mission to advance scientific impact. The workshops, seminars, and sessions were related to educating and preparing engineering and scientific talent for leadership careers, particularly for historically underrepresented minorities (URM). The 2022 national conference attendance almost doubled in size from previous years!
The 2022 GEM Leadership Awards Gala honored leaders among industry, academic, and alumni communities. The Gala opened with welcome remarks from Dr. Jorge Leis, is a partner in Bain & Company’s Houston office, (GEM Alum) who also served as the GEM Gala Chair. Conference attendees were also greeted by the GEM Board Chair, Dr. Johney B. Green, Jr, serves as the associate laboratory director for mechanical and thermal engineering sciences of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), (GEM Alum). Award recipients included the “Young Alum Award”, Dr. Loretta Cheeks, CEO and Founder, String TIES (GEM Alum), the “Corporate Leadership Award”, Shantanu Narayen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Adobe Inc., the “Alumni Leadership Award” Mary Spio, CEO and Founder, CEEK VR Inc (GEM Alum), and the “Academic Leadership Award”, President of Stanford, Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne.
IBM served as the lead sponsor of the 2022 GEM Leadership Awards Gala Dinner and Reception as well as the conference. 3M Company, Adobe, Intel, Underwriters Laboratories were all Gala Dinner table sponsors.
Prior to the Gala, Consortium members gathered for a Pre-Gala Networking Reception, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, which facilitated a reuniting of GEM Fellows, GEM Alumni, and GEM Representatives. As a mainstay of the Gala, there was a text-to-pledge and pledge card tally announcement, with the proceeds to benefit the GEM Fellowship program. Following the Gala, attendees networked at a Gala After Party, sponsored by GEM Employer member, CEEK VR., and the 2022 Conference Registration was sponsored by MIT Lincoln Labs.
The Friday breakfast plenary session, sponsored by University of Delaware, featured GEM alumnus, Dean of Engineering, Dr. Levi Thompson, and Dr. Percy V. Gilbert, Vice President, Enterprise Systems Product Engineering and Memory/Flash Development at IBM as the moderator.
The lunch Plenary was sponsored by Aerospace and NASA.
Sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, the fair offered undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to interact directly with GEM University and Employer representatives to discuss graduate degree and post-doc opportunities. More than 80 GEM University and GEM Employer members were present to engage with the GEM Fellows and GEM Alumni.
The National GEM Consortium’s Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees (GRAD) Lab, sponsored by Arizona State University, exposed underrepresented minority undergraduates to the benefits of pursuing an advanced STEM degree, including how to successfully apply and gain admission to graduate school, as well as the best practices on funding a STEM graduate degree. The GRAD Labs culminated with a panel discussion featuring a diverse array of speakers, who offered practical and actionable insights regarding their graduate research and career experiences.
The 2022 Technical Presentation Competition was sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Originally developed to showcase the technical assignments and research of prospective and current GEM Fellows during their summer internships and research experiences, the TPC has expanded to showcase students’ skills in conducting research, performing technical writing, and delivering oral presentations.
The 2022 winners by category, as announced at the awards ceremony are:
The Technical Poster Session and Awards Ceremony were sponsored by Lam Research. Undergraduate, graduate, and GEM Fellows presented internship-based research to a panel of judges. The winner of the 2022 Technical Poster Session is Kenneth De Jesus, Georgia Institute of Technology.
GEM’s networking event, sponsored by IBM, and held at Palma/Champagne Lanes, brought together GEM Alumni, Fellows, and Representatives for networking, dining, dancing, and good cheer. GEM periodically has a Celebration event to commemorate the organization’s mission of Advancing Scientific Impact through our Consortium of stakeholders, such as GEM Alumni, GEM Fellows, and the entire GEM community.
If you missed this year’s conference, don’t worry because GEM’s 47th Annual Board Meeting and Conference will be here before you know it! So, mark your calendar for September 14-16, 2023! As you know, we look forward to seeing you at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!