Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School Hosts College & Career Panel for Students

Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School Hosts College & Career Panel for Students

On October 19, 2018, as part of Hartford Public Schools College and Career Readiness Month, Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School hosted a panel conversation with students about careers.

The conversation was moderated by Vanessa de la Torre, a reporter with WNPR. Ms de la Torre came to WNPR after more than a decade as a newspaper reporter at the Hartford Courant, where her storytelling and investigative work on Hartford education was recognized regionally and by the Education Writers’ Association. She has also written for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and interned at the Washington Post and the Imperial Valley Press in her native El Centro, Calif., a desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her master’s from Stanford’s journalism program.

Panelists included:

Ms Leticia Colon de Mejias is the Founder and CEO of Energy Efficiencies Solutions (EES) a Connecticut based full service Energy Conservation Company, which offers comprehensive solutions to conserving energy including, direct residential and commercial weatherization, renewable energy options, insulation, and energy education. Ms de Mejias was the first Latina inductee to the Building Performance Institute’s National Award for Excellence in Advancing the Home Performance Industry and is co-founded of Green Eco Warriors, a nonprofit Environmental Conservation group located in Windsor, CT. G.E.W. – which fosters leadership skills, scientific inquiry, community activism, and environmental stewardship among young people. Ms Colon de Mejias volunteers throughout CT and is the recipient of numerous awards, as well as a former keynote speaker for Hartford’s STEM Expo.

Dr. Ronald L. Mallett received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the Pennsylvania State University. He worked for United Technologies from 1973-5, and in 1975 joined the physics faculty at the University of Connecticut in Storrs where he is currently Research Professor of Physics. Prof. Mallett has published numerous papers on black holes and cosmology.. His breakthrough research on time travel and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, has been featured extensively in the media around the world, including print media such as New Scientist, the Village Voice, the Boston Globe, the Hartford Courant, Rolling Stone magazine, Smith Journal and The Wall Street Journal, and broadcast media such as NPR’s This American Life, the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Science Channel, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show and CNN. Prof. Mallett has appeared in a feature-length documentary documentary “How to Build a Time Machine” and gave a TED talk on time travel in Vienna, Austria. Prof. Mallett’s recently published memoir “Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality” has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.

Ms Mikayla Alexander grew up in Windsor, CT and went to high school at The University High School of Science and Engineering where she was introduced to the various opportunities available in STEM-related fields. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering in December of 2017. During her undergraduate career, Mikayla held various Internship positions in engineering and project management roles at Cigna, Medtronic, and Nestle. She is currently a Regional Distribution Coordinator at Unilever working in Supply Chain Transportation.

Dr. Linda Barry is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at UConn School of Medicine. She is the Diversity Representative for UConn at the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Barry also is the Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Director of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn. Within CICATS, Dr. Barry serves as the Director of the CICATS Young Innovative Investigator Program, Director of the CICATS Mentorship (M1) Program and Co-Director of the CICATS Pilot Program. Dr. Barry received her B.A. from Yale University in Psychobiology and her Medical Degree, from Cornell University Medical School. Dr. Barry loves mentoring your students and doctors and has received numerous awards.

Ms Shakira Ramos Crespo is the Deputy Regional Fleet Manager for Asia/Pacific Region, in Engines Services for Commercial Engines & Aftermarket at Pratt & Whitney. Ms. Crespo graduated from Miss Porter’s School in 1998; from Trinity College with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering in 2002 and University of Hartford with a Masters in Business Administration in 2013. Ramos joined Pratt & Whitney, a division of UTC, in 2002 as an Aero/thermal engineer. She served in this role until 2008 until becoming a Technical Analyst supporting the Commercial Engines sales team. In 2014 she joined the Fleet Management Team as a Fleet Manager overseeing aftermarket contracts Pratt and Whitney have with airlines in the Asia Pacific region. Recently she was promoted to Deputy Regional Fleet Manager. Shakira served as the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Ms Crespo also served as the President for Pratt and Whitney’s Hispanic Leadership Forum, is an avid volunteer and serves on various boards.

Ms Begum Abadin is an Assistant Account Executive at Travelers. She graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a major in Communications and a minor in Business. Ms Abadin was awarded the Traveler’s EDGE Scholarship, a highly selective 4-year leadership business program and maintained High Honors, while at UConn. She also excelled in mathematics and continues to love math! In addition to English, Ms Abadin is fluent in Bagla, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic and Spanish – which serve her well in her position at Travelers. In her spare time, Ms Abadin volunteers at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Kids Korner, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and in various other programs. Her hometown is Middletown, Connecticut.

The panel also included Mr. DJ McKernan, an HVAC Service Technician, and Mr. Dave Mack, a Musician- Singer, Guitarist & Music Producer.

Students had the opportunity to ask many questions of the panel who were generous with their time and information.

To see all event photos, click here.