For Immediate Release Danielle McNamara (510) 987-0230
October 25, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwestern College Students Chosen for Leadership Conference
A select Southwestern College student recently honed her leadership skills at a special invitation-only conference in Sacramento for math-based majors. The event was sponsored by San Diego Gas and Electric and six other companies.
The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference held last weekend offered extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers. The hand-picked MESA students, all science, engineering, or math majors, represented over 30 universities and community colleges from across the state, including Southwestern College.
The Southwestern student was Maite Totorika.
Students participated in mock interviews, connected with industry representatives from seven national and California companies and heard guest speakers such as former NASA astronaut Tammy Jernigan, who also led a women in STEM panel discussion. California Public Utilities Commissioner Tim Simon was named the 2012 MESA Champion for the commission’s longstanding support of the program.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) was a major sponsor of the event. The company’s $40,000 grant allowed students from 20 Northern California campuses to attend. PG&E employees volunteered their time to work closely with the students during the conference.
San Diego Gas and Electric donated $1,250 for Totorika, one San Diego City College and two San Diego State University students to attend the event.
Other sponsors included Pacific Gas and Electric, Edison International, Southern California Gas Company, Vanir Construction Management, Inc., Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District.
“We know that California’s economy needs more STEM workers to stay competitive,” said MESA Executive Director Oscar F. Porter. “These students provide the solution to industry’s need for well-trained professionals.
“They were selected to attend the conference because these students have strong leadership skills. This event gives them a chance to interact extensively with STEM professionals currently working in industry,” said Porter.
Student attendees represented the following campuses: CSU Chico, CSU Fresno, CSU Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Sacramento, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of the Pacific, American River College (Sacramento), Butte College (Oroville), Cañada College (Redwood City), City College of San Francisco, Cosumnes River College (Sacramento), East Los Angeles College, Los Medanos College (Pittsburg), Mission College (Santa Clara), Napa Valley College, Rio Hondo College (Whittier), Sacramento City College, San Diego City College, San Joaquin Delta College (Stockton), Santa Rosa Junior College, Skyline College (San Bruno), Southwestern College (Chula Vista), and Yuba College (Marysville).
MESA is one of the largest academic preparation STEM programs in the country and supports over 21,000 educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with math-based degrees. Seventy percent of MESA high school graduates statewide went directly to college after graduation compared to 48 percent of all California graduates. Sixty percent of MESA students go on to math, science or engineering majors.
For more information about MESA visit http://mesa.ucop.edu/home.html.
The students are pictured with students from the San Diego MESA Alliance Southwestern College and San Diego State University students as well as a San Diego Gas and Electric representative.