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STEM Student Leaders, Industry Take to San Diego

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A select group of almost 200 community college and university students will hone their leadership skills at a special invitation-only conference for math-based majors.

The 11th Annual Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference is fully sponsored by industry donations. Edison International is the lead sponsor with additional funding from San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Gas Company, Pacific Gas and Electric and AT&T.

The conference, themed “Today’s STEM Students—Tomorrow’s STEM Leaders,” will be held October 31 to November 1 at the Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego. It offers extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers. The hand-picked MESA students, all science, engineering, or math majors, represent over 27 universities and community colleges from across the state.

Students will participate in mock interviews, connect with industry representatives, hear guest speakers and attend workshops.

San Diego Gas and Electric Company has been named the 2014 MESA Champion for the energy company’s longstanding support of the program. Marvin Lopez, Global University Relations Manager at Advanced Micro Devices, is this year’s MESA Distinguished Alumnus.

“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, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, American River College (Sacramento), Bakersfield College, Butte College (Oroville), City College of San Francisco, College of the Sequoias, Cosumnes River College (Sacramento), East Los Angeles College, El Camino College (Torrance), Los Medanos College (Pittsburg), Pasadena City College, Rio Hondo College (Whittier), Sacramento City College, San Diego City College, Santa Ana Junior College, Santa Barbara City College, and Southwestern College (Chula Vista).

MESA promotes STEM success for more than 28,000 educationally disadvantaged secondary, community college and four-year college students in California through project-based learning, academic counseling and exposure to STEM careers, 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. Ninety-seven percent of MESA community college transfer students go to college as STEM majors.

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Photo gallery courtesy Jose Islas:

Published in MESA Activities Student Leadership Conference