Education: Giving Girls the Power to Change

FRI, OCT 30, 2015 (1:12)

The prospects for girls in many parts of the world are dim. Some face lives of poverty, backbreaking work, illness, early marriage and early childbearing. In places where girls do have access to schools, they often turn away from studying science, math, and technology. In the U.S., for instance, the number of college computer science graduates has dropped from 37% in 1984, to 12% today.

Initiatives to turn these trends around are getting new energy and traction. Technology is helping to push knowledge to all corners of the world, educating and empowering girls (and boys). Some of the young people involved in unlocking the potential of girls discuss their transformative work.

+ BIO: Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is an Indian-American lawyer and politician. She is the founder of the tech organization Girls Who Code. She was previously the Deputy Public Advocate at the Office of the New York City Public Advocate.Saujani lost the 2010 Democratic primary (19%-81%) for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 14th congressional district against incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.Saujani was the first Indian-American woman (and the first South Asian American woman) to run for Congress. She ran as a Democratic candidate for New York City Public Advocate in 2013, coming third in the primary.

+ BIO: Maria Klawe

Maria Margaret Klawe is a computer scientist and the fifth president of Harvey Mudd College (since July 1, 2006).Although born in Toronto in 1951, she became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2009. She was previously Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University.

Klawe has been heavily involved with increasing the representation of women in STEM fields.In 1991, together with Nancy Leveson, she founded The Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research and served as its first co-chair.

+ BIO: Zorica Pantic

Dr. Zorica Pantić became the president of Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the first female engineer to lead a higher-education institution of technology in the United States, in 2005. Under her leadership, Wentworth became a master’s degree granting institution by starting four graduate programs (architecture, construction management, facility management, and technology management), and it is on its way to achieving university status. The Institute earns annual recognition in national and regional rankings by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and has been ranked by PayScale among the top 10% U.S. schools in terms of return on investment.

Dr. Zorica Pantić serves on various boards and professional organizations, including the Board of Directors for the World Association for Co-operative Education, American Association for Presidents of Independent Universities and Colleges, New England Association for Schools and Colleges, Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board as well as the Presidents Council for the NCAA Division III. Before joining Wentworth, Dr. Pantić was the founding dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio; director of the School of Engineering at San Francisco State University; Fulbright fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; and associate professor at the University of Niš, Serbia. She has received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Niš.

+ BIO: Dana Dixon

Dr. Dana-Marie Morris Dixon was appointed Executive, Business Development and Research in June 2013 and serves as the Society’s Chief Research Officer, developing and driving the organisation’s research agenda.

Prior to joining JAMPRO, Dr. Morris Dixon was the Director of Development Policy Planning and Strategy at the Office of the Prime Minister. She has also previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses, focused on international trade, finance, development, globalisation and Caribbean foreign policy at The University of the West Indies, Mona.

She is the recipient of the George Beckford Award for Economic Development, 2003, and is an Awardee in the UWI Department of Government Fellowship in 2001. One year later, she was inducted into the Faculty of Social Sciences Dean’s Honour Society. She is a member of the Grand Jamaica Homecoming Advisory Council, Executive of the International Women’s Forum, and the Jamaica Fulbright-Humphrey Alumni Association. She is a former Director of the National Land Agency and the Runaway Bay Development Company Ltd.

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