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San Diego STEM Education and Workforce Development Conference

The San Diego Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics (STEM) and Workforce Development Conference was presented on May 14, 2009 at San Diego Gas & Electric Headquarters from 11:00 – 2:00 pm.

This conference was sponsored by San Diego Gas & Electric, the College of Engineering at San Diego State University, and the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, a service mark of the University of California Regents.  MESA is grateful for the generous contributions of both its co-sponsor; without whom this conference would not have been possible.

The conference provided attendees with a detailed look at the shortage of highly qualified STEM professionals in the San Diego Region and what one national program model, MESA, is doing to address it.

San Diego is blessed with many strong and diverse math and science programs.  MESA was chosen as a spotlight because of its 40 years of history provides us with a robust track record of student outcomes, but also a diverse suite of services that spans the education continuum from elementary school to university.

Joined at this event were San Diego corporate, foundation, education and community leaders, as well as MESA students, alumni and staff.

The agenda consisted of:

  1. Introductory Remarks from Honorary Chair and Master of Ceremonies Dean David Hayhurst, College of Engineering, San Diego State University
  2. Private Industry Keynote from former FA-18 Fighter Pilot and Northrop Grumman’s Corporate Lead Executive Captain John Pettitt
  3. Host Keynote from Kimberly Freeman, Sempra Energy Regional Director, Community Relations
  4. Public Sector Keynote from Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Inc.
  5. Panel discussion consisting of MESA alumni participants Tashonda Brown, Alberto Frias, Daisy Galeana, Alejandra Lopez, Brianna Lutes, and Tarrence Mack, with moderator Ray Haynes
  6. Awards ceremony presented by MESA Executive Director Oscar Porter

Next steps:

  • Talk to the leadership of your organization about the possibility of sponsoring or hosting another conference like this one over the next 1-2 years.
  • Consider making a financial or in-kind investment in a program such as MESA that is making a difference in producing the highly qualified STEM graduates industry needs today and cultivating from the K-12 population those they will need tomorrow (this kind of action makes the biggest difference in growing the STEM continuum at the middle and high school levels, where San Diego’s most academically challenged school districts need it the most).
  • Consider collaborating with other organizations in the San Diego Region to grow the pool of qualfied STEMs or contributing your success stories online.

For more information, contact Christopher M. Rivers at the Statewide Office of MESA at (510) 987-0990 or via e-mail at

Published in News STEM Activities