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Strengthening STEM Core Pathways to the Tech Economy: March 7-8, 2019

A symposium bringing together members and partners of the STEM Core alliance, with Stanford University researchers in learning science.  The convening will explore pathways to the tech economy and address institutionalized low expectations for underrepresented students in math and science.

Image of workshopJo Boaler teaching

Explore with Professor of Mathematics Education Dr. Jo Boaler social-psychological factors in math learning strategies.

Time and Location

  • Welcome Reception: Thursday evening, March 7, 2019 - Building 53, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
  • Learning Session: Friday, March 8th at 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM at SLAC

Directions and parking instructions found on the SLAC website. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

 This workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation INCLUDES program.


Thursday, March 7, 2019 – Welcome and Learning Session


Registration, Building 53– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Science and User Support Building 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025


Reception and Poster Presentations
Sponsor: Milken Institute and JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy
Opening Remarks 5:30 p.m. (Does not include dinner)

Friday, March 8, 2019 – Education and STEM Tech Jobs


Registration, Building 51–Kavli Auditorium


Welcome and Introductions
Sponsor’s remarks JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy

STEM Core’s education alliance and the pursuit of discovery at the DOE National Labs
Jim Zoval, STEM Core Alliance Principal Investigator, Saddleback College, and Caz Pereira, co-director, Growth Sector

The STEM Core network as a model for needed improvement in employer-college relations (working title)
Brian Sherin, SLAC Deputy Director for Operations

Keynote Address
James E. Campos, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, U.S. Department of Energy


Connecting student strengths to employment demand in advanced manufacturing: Stanford-commissioned sector analysis of skills and labor
Rob Sentz, Chief Innovation Officer, EMSI


Networking break


Advanced manufacturing opportunities and needed improvements to the current higher education pipeline
Employer Panel Moderated by Jane Oates of WorkingNation with Panelist representatives of NASA JPL- Jenny Tieu, CalTrans- Tony Tavera, SLAC – Jim Alwyn, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Pete Schoenenberger, Cobham, Northrop Grumman

Parallel Session: Trinity Conference Room, Building 53

The role of mentorship in student persistence
Steve Cox, Asst. Prof, Northern New Mexico College and Director, Northern New Mexico STEM Mentor Collective - recommended for attending student support specialists


San Jose Work and Learn Dialogue with San José - Evergreen Community College District Chancellor and San Jose Mayor’s Office Designee
Facilitated by David Gruber, Director, Growth Sector


Luncheon Roundtable Discussions to Advance the STEM Core – Building 53
Table moderators: Steve Cox, Matt Horton, David Palter, Frank Savina, Beth McCormick, Rob Sentz, William Watson,  Lydia Young, Jim Zoval, Anne Palmer


Tour of the Accelerator Laboratories – Closed-Toe Shoes Required

The tour will be led by Enrique Cuellar, Program Manager, Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Participants on the tour will visit the Klystron Gallery in Building 29 and an advanced machine shop in Building 25


Collaborative Learning Across the STEM Core Alliance

Confronting low institutional expectations though professional development intervention – Kavli Auditorium
Jo Boaler, Stanford University Professor of Education, and Cathy Williams, Stanford University YouCubed

Creating a scalable and contextualized mathematics pathway to prepare science and engineering students for success in calculus. –  Trinity Conference Room, Building 53
Frank Savina and Stuart Boersman, Dana Center, University of Texas, Austin and Central Washington University


Plenary Session - Kavli Auditorium
Large-group discussion and reflective comments moderated by Matt Horton, Milken Institute and Jane Oates, WorkingNation on framing future recommendations and conducting evaluation

Wrap-up and Next Steps
David Gruber, Growth Sector



Presenter Biographies

Jim Zoval
Professor of Chemistry, Principal Investigator and Alliance Director, NSF INCLUDES Alliance Program, Saddleback College

Dr. Jim Zoval received his Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine in 1996.  He is a Professor of Chemistry at Saddleback College.   In addition to teaching, he has worked in the biotech industry for much of his career.  Dr. Zoval held positions as a Research Scientist at LightSense Inc., Sr. Project Engineer at Nanogen Inc., Research Specialist at University of California, Irvine, and Sr. Manager of Special Projects Research at Burstein Technologies Inc.  Most of his work has been in the chemical and engineering areas of medical and clinical diagnostic platform development.  Dr. Zoval’s professional publications include a course textbook (General, Organic, and Biochemistry), co-authorship in three other books, 30 journal publications, and several patents.  He is the founder and president of, an academic curriculum publishing company.

Brian Sherin
SLAC Deputy Laboratory Director of Operations

Brian Sherin has 35 years of experience in leading and managing environmental safety and health, security, crisis response and sustainability in high-tech industry and research settings. As deputy director for operations at SLAC, he is responsible for ensuring the effective integration and performance of operations functions that support the lab’s growing scientific mission. As SLAC’s chief operating officer, he oversees the lab’s Business & Technology Services, Facilities & Operations, Human Resources, Communications and Environment, Safety & Health divisions.

Prior to joining SLAC in 2007, Sherin was co-founder and managing principal consultant of Environmental & Occupational Risk Management, a national environmental and safety consulting firm.

Sherin is also active in the local and broader community, volunteering to support emergency management in various capacities. For 17 years he served as a volunteer firefighter in Santa Cruz County, Calif., where he served on the Santa Cruz County Emergency Management Council. He is also on the command staff of Disaster Medical Assistance Team CA-6, part of the Department of Health and Human Services national disaster medical system, with field response experience in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and in Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma/Maria in 2017.

James E. Campos
Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, U.S. Department of Energy

James Edward Campos was nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate on April 9, 2018, as the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the United States Department of Energy. As Director, Mr. Campos oversees the Office of Minority Economic Impact and the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity. He is tasked with helping to implement legislation and executive orders with an eye towards their effect on minorities and minority businesses, as well as ensuring that minorities are afforded an opportunity to fully participate in Department programs. Mr. Campos also serves as the Department of Energy’s Equal Employment Opportunity Director, which includes field sites across the United States. 

Mr. Campos also functions as the Department of Energy’s official Federal designee to the White House Interagency Working Group Initiatives, which includes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and the White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Additionally, Mr. Campos is the Department’s designee on the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.

Mr. Campos has served in both the public and private sectors, working in such industries as publishing, telecommunications, state and federal government, strategic business consulting, political consulting, as well as a small business owner and adjunct business professor. His business background has enhanced his expertise in the energy sector, marketing, international commerce, workforce development, higher education, management, operations and strategic analysis, and implementation.

Prior to his Presidential appointment, Mr. Campos was the Senior Advisor on Economic Development & Strategic Planning / Government Affairs to the College President of Nevada State College (NSC), where he was involved in the areas of government and community relations/strategic business consulting, and business development.

Mr. Campos held several state-wide Gubernatorial appointments in Nevada to include: the Nevada’s Equal Rights Commission (April 2011 to 2015); Nevada’s Judicial Selection Commission as a temporary member (July 2011); the Governor’s Workforce Investment Sector Councils on Gaming, Tourism & Entertainment (Jan. 2014) and Mining and Minerals (Feb. 2014); the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s International Trade Council (May 2014 to October 2017); and the Nevada Taxi Cab Authority Commission (March 2015 to April 2018).
Mr. Campos was formerly the Commissioner of the Nevada Consumer Affairs Division (Nevada’s Business & Industry Department), where he regulated seven industries and enforced state laws governing deceptive trade practices. He was appointed to the state-wide Commissioner’s position in February 2007.

Mr. Campos founded and served as Chairman to the Nevada FightFraud Task Force (2007-2009) while in his tenure as the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs.  The task force comprised local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies and was the first of its kind in the state of Nevada.  In the 2007 legislative session under Campos’ tenure as Commissioner, he was instrumental in helping to establish the Ombudsman for Minority Affairs for the Consumer Affairs Division and the Nevada Commission of Minority Affairs.

When the state agency duties were absorbed into the Office of the Attorney General in 2009, Mr. Campos left that position and went on to serve as Deputy Administrator for Workforce Solutions for the Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR). Mr. Campos was brought in on an interim basis to head up the time sensitive project of developing the infrastructure of the Workforce Solutions Section.  This group was designed to develop regional sector strategies / councils that seek to ensure training and investment of a workforce development system which meets the needs of businesses on a regional level. The Workforce Solutions Section was created to help position DETR in forming partnerships with other agencies and organizations committed to developing and retaining skilled workers.

Mr. Campos served from July 2009 to October 2011 as the Director of Renewable Energy & Government Relations for the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) where he was responsible for helping to develop and facilitate CSN’s renewable energy efforts institution-wide and perform duties concerning external government lobbying, as well as community and business relations.

Education and Awards
Mr. Campos holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and an Executive Program Certificate from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Washington, D.C.  While completing his master’s degree, Campos also studied at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford in England for business and literature studies and also studied cultural studies in Barcelona, Spain for a year.  He has taught college courses in the areas of organizational operations, international management, marketing, strategy, public relations and human resources as an adjunct professor.

Rob Sentz
Chief Innovation Officer, EMSI

Rob Sentz is the chief innovation officer at Emsi, where he leads in furthering Emsi’s vision and research around labor market data and analytics for higher education, economic development, workforce development, and talent acquisition. Rob also heads up Emsi’s content creation to create meaning out of labor market data and to help a broad array of audiences improve the way they connect people, economies, and work. For the past 13 years Rob has created newsletters, videos, articles, white papers, and led courses on a wide range of economic and labor market topics. Under his leadership, Emsi data became regularly featured by national news outlets. Rob is a Forbes contributor and has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at NYU School of Professional Studies in New York City. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental science. He enjoys photography and living in the Pacific Northwest with his family.

Jane Oates

Jane Oates is on the Executive Committee of Working Nation, a non profit that works through film and live events to tell the stories of successful training programs. Before joining Working Nation, Oates worked at the Apollo Education Group, managing Corporate Social Responsibilit and working on linking educators with employers through thought leadership events.

Oates served as the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training at the US Department of Labor (DOL) under Secretary Hilda Solis. Managing a $14 billion budget, and a talented career staff of 1100, Oates oversaw the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs, guest worker visas, unemployment insurance and Job Corps. She partnered with cities and states to strengthen local economies during the worst economic recession in recent decades. She worked with industry leaders to create policies that would give immediate assistance but also create long term opportunities. With her colleagues at the Department of Education she created the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College grant program with a one-time appropriation of $2 billion.

Oates became a national leader in education and workforce programs during her ten years with Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP). Oates served as the Commissioner of the New Jersey Council of Higher Education under Jon Corzine. Oates began her career as a teacher in the Boston Public Schools and later the Philadelphia Public Schools. She went on to become the Director of Field Services at the Temple University Center for Research and Human Development.

Jo Boaler

Dr Jo Boaler is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, and the faculty director of youcubed.  She is the author of the first MOOC on mathematics teaching and learning. Former roles have included being the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education in England, a mathematics teacher in London comprehensive schools and a lecturer and researcher at King’s College, London. Her PhD won the national award for educational research in the UK and her book: Experiencing School Mathematics won the ‘Outstanding Book of the Year’ award for education in Britain. She is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain), and a former president of the International Organization for Women and Mathematics Education (IOWME). She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation ‘Early Career Award’, the NCSM Kay Gilliland Equity Award (2014) and the CMC Walter Denham Mathematics Leadership award (2015). She is the author of nine books and numerous research articles.

Her latest book is Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students’ Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching (2016), and is published by Wiley. She also has an online course called: Mathematical Mindsets that shares over 30 classroom videos. She serves as an advisor to several Silicon Valley companies. She was an Aspen ideas speaker and a White House presenter on girls and STEM. She recently formed to give teachers, parents and students the resources and ideas they need to inspire and excite students about mathematics. Her work has been published in the New York Times, TIME magazine, The Telegraph, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and many other news outlets. She was recently named one of the 8 educators “changing the face of education” by the BBC.

Frank Savina
M.A.T., Course Program Specialist, Mathematics, Higher Education Services, the Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas, Austin

Frank Savina grew up in El Paso, Texas but likes spending as much free time as possible visiting family in Italy with his wife Ivette. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, and math. Frank and Ivette are the adoptive parents to 2 children—11-year old Anna, and 13-year old Matt, and they share a house with Anna and Matt’s mom, Patty. When not busy spending quality time with Ivette, raising two kids, or playing chess, Frank enjoys walking “Rocky and the Rabble” —a 2-year old Belgian Malinois and 4 mixed-breed pups.

Frank leads the design, development, and implementation of the pathway to Calculus for the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (formerly the New Mathways Project), an initiative to modernize entry-level college mathematics programs through working with states, universities, and colleges. He presents findings at national and regional conferences of professional mathematics organizations to inform the mathematics community about best practices in teaching gateway mathematics students. Frank collaborates with higher education services faculty at two- and four-year institutions to inform revision of the Center’s higher education courses to better serve gateway mathematics students.

Frank has 20 years of teaching experience at the university and high school levels. In addition to serving for five years as a mathematics professor at El Paso Community College, he was an adjunct math faculty member and director of the Educational Talent Search Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. Most notably, Frank was the first Mathematics Department chair for the first early college in El Paso, where he was selected as Teacher of the Year. Mission Early College High School, a collaboration between Socorro Independent School District, El Paso Community College, and the University of Texas at El Paso, went on to become a National Blue Ribbon School during his tenure.

Matt Horton
Associate Director, Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics

Matt Horton is an associate director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics. In that capacity, he interacts with government officials, business leaders, and other key stakeholders to provide outreach and support for California research and policy efforts while developing programming and coordinating Forums, briefings, and stakeholder meetings. He also monitors policy developments at the local, state and federal levels for their potential impact on the state’s position as a global economic leader. Horton works to enhance the center’s statewide impact and its efforts to promote best practices.

Previously, he worked for the Southern California Association of Governments, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. Horton served as the primary point of contact for external affairs with elected officials as well as sub-regional, state, and federal stakeholders in Los Angeles and Orange counties while helping leaders in Southern California develop plans to address growth and improve quality of life.

For more information, contact:

Anne Palmer, Executive Director
Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative

David Gruber
Director, Growth Sector


Stuart Boersma
Professor of Mathematics, Central Washington University

Stuart Boersma received his B.S. from the University of Puget Sound, his Ph.D. from Oregon State University, and is currently a professor of mathematics at Central Washington University.  He is a Project NExT Fellow (green dot), has been a member of the Pacific Northwest Section of the MAA since 2000, and served as Chair of the section from 2005-2007.   He is a member of SIGMAA-QL, SIGMAA-BIO, and the National Numeracy Network.  He also serves as an associate editor for the journal Numeracy.

Stuart has always been dedicated to the improvement of undergraduate mathematics education through innovative curricular change.  He is a co-author on a quantitative reasoning textbook, served as lead author on Quantway, Quantway 2, and the Dana Center’s Reasoning with Functions curriculum.

Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland
Chancellor of San Jose – Evergreen Community College District

Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland currently serves as Chancellor of San Jose – Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD). He served as President of San Jose City College from spring of 2013 until being named Interim Chancellor in July 2018.  He was appointed permanent Chancellor by the SJECCD Board of Trustees in November 2018. Dr. Clift Breland holds a Bachelor of Science degree in consumer economics and a Master of Science degree in family studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. He also has a Master of Science degree in education and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Clift Breland has held administrative positions at the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Southern California where he successfully led community development, outreach, and student success initiatives. Throughout his educational career, he has served as an Assistant Dean, Director of Judicial Affairs, serving both the undergraduate and medical school campuses, at the University of California, Irvine, Associate Dean of Student Development at Santa Ana College and Dean of Student Affairs and Associate Vice President/Provost at Long Beach City College.

Dr. Clift Breland was a Presidential Fellow at the University of Southern California and developed a broad base of academic interests. A few of his publications and presentations include: “Factors influencing the educational and career transitions of African American and Latino community college students,” “How Mental Health Influences Degree Attainment among African American Community College Students” and “Using Civic Engagement at a Community College to Develop Community Leaders.”

As a leader working in the field of education, Dr. Clift Breland has always known the importance of being engaged in the broader community, having served on a number of boards to promote equity in housing and economic opportunities, as well as gains in educational outcomes for traditionally underrepresented groups. Moreover, he has an extensive background leading and working with programs that create strategic community partnerships, particularly in urban environments, which have successfully served the needs of students who have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education, such as African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Pacific Islanders, or who are the first in their family to attend college.