Of the 2.04 million bachelor’s degrees that were awarded in 2020-21, approximately 437,300 (21 percent) were in the STEM fields. Of those STEM graduates, only 45% are women.
The US slowly increases its presence in the STEM field, but how will we be able to keep up when these industries are estimating that 3.5 million jobs will need to be filled by 2025?
Corissa McClammer and Tapiwa Mzumara join ClickSide Chat Facilitator Tori Harper Mercado for a moderated discussion on STEM from the college student's point of view. We will discuss barriers that college students in STEM have encountered, how they have overcome those challenges, and the impact those barriers have on non-traditional students.
Corissa is a non-traditional student studying biotechnology at Ivy Tech and plans to transfer into IUPUI to complete her Bachelor degree. Tapiwa is currently studying Biology at IUPUI.
Corissa isn't the traditional college student. She originally started college at IUPUI in 2012 and has changed her major twice in her 10 years she's been in college. She is committed to catching up, volunteering as much as she can and getting her name out there. She is currently the Lab Assistant at Ivy Tech Community College and preps the science labs while also pursuing her AAS in biotechnology. In fall of 2023 she will be taking classes at Ivy Tech, while also taking classes at IUPUI to pursue her bachelor's degree in biotechnology with a focus on genetics and DNA. She chose biotech because of its rapidly growing pace and its development of technologies and products that help improve the lives and health of our planet. She also works two other jobs bartending. She joined Women and Hi Tech after winning the Ivy Tech Leading Light Awards Scholarship in October 2022. Since then, she has volunteered and joined many events. In her free time, she enjoys doing photography, canvas art, and resin art. She loves listening to biotech podcasts and trying to stay up to date with as much as she can while also learning new things.
Tapiwa is a rising Biology Junior at the IUPUI Purdue School of Science. She is a non-traditional college student. In 2022, she graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with her Associate of Science in Biotechnology. She is originally from Malawi, Africa but also considers herself an Indianapolis native. She grew up on the West Side in Wayne Township and is a Ben Davis High School graduate. She joined Women and Hi-Tech in 2019 after becoming one of the Women and Hi Tech Leading Light Scholarship recipients. In 2020, she entered the STEM workforce as an Associate Engineer-Technology at Virtusa. She now works at Ivy Tech Community College in the Office of Student Life, Development, and Leadership as a Graduate Advisor, which feeds her passion for helping students navigate the college experience. With the rising concerns surrounding immigration and diversity in this nation, she takes every opportunity to advocate for Black Women in STEM, and Undocumented and DACA students, like herself. She enjoys singing, playing instruments, and learning new languages in her free time. Tapiwa is excited to make a positive impact and share her story.
The event is FREE and exclusive to Women & Hi Tech members! Space is extremely limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Once registration is filled, no wait list will be initiated. Registration for ClickSide Chat is required in order to provide you with the final login instructions.
Women & Hi Tech’s ClickSide Chats are monthly, virtual discussions amongst our members to share ideas, resources, and perspectives about the professional and personal challenges we are facing and serve to build new connections with fellow members. ClickSide Chats are held on the third Wednesday of each month, except July, from 4-5pm. One or more members serve as co-hosts and share their experiences, advice, talents, and resources for our greater good. ClickSide Chats are presented by the Membership Engagement Committee, led by Women & Hi Tech Board Member Sahara Williams and facilitated by committee member Tori Harper Mercado.
Sahara Williams is an attorney at Koenig, Oelsner, Taylor, Schoenfeld & Gaddis PC (KO Law), focused on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance law as well as general commercial and corporate matters. Previously, she operated her own engineering and construction management firm for nine years and served as the executive director of a nonprofit equestrian learning center for youth for five years.
Sahara earned her J.D. from the IU McKinney School of Law. She graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and earned a MS in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. She is an alumnus of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (Class XXXVII), the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series (2012-2013) and the IBJ 2013 Forty Under 40 Class as well as a Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Tori Harper-Mercado joined the Women & Hi-Tech organization in October 2022 and joined the tech industry just under two years ago. She has previous experience in civil engineering and sports & entertainment working in a variety of marketing roles. Currently, she works as an Account Executive for Onebridge, a local data and analytics consultancy, that specializes in decision intelligence and helping their customers become heroes in their own organizations.
Tori participates and involves herself in areas where she feels she can give back to her community such as coaching and mentoring athletes of her high school track and field team and being an active committee member for Rebuilding Together Indianapolis.
In her spare time, she is a new experience fanatic that thrives off of fun adventures, connectivity, and the love of animals (especially dogs).
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***PLEASE NOTE: W & HT event registration is non-transferable. ***