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Invest in women and underserved students in STEM 

NEWSLETTER | September 2017
Happy 5th Birthday STEM Advantage!
On September 19th, STEM Advantage was 5 years old! Thank you STEM Advantage Scholars for being outstanding ambassadors for our program, and to our sponsors, donors, internship partners, mentors, and Board of Directors for changing lives. YOU are making a difference! A few results to date:
  • 92 STEM Advantage Scholars selected - each received a paid internship, scholarship, and was paired with a mentor
  • $545,300 in STEM Advantage Scholarships awarded
  • 3000+ students served through STEM career panels, personal and career development workshops, and outreach programs

STEM Advantage Scholars "Pay it forward"
STEM Advantage Scholars Ashley and Alejandra had IT internships at Farmers Insurance Group this summer. They partnered with Arlene Semwezi, Senior Program Manager, and Farmers employees to host a L.I.T. Learn, Innovate, Technology Day to get students excited about STEM!  

Middle school students learned about STEM and STEM careers through hands-on activities to get them motivated about science and computer programming. They experimented with different types of matter and created "flubber" (or "slime"), applied physics and engineering principles to design and build a marble run, and learned to code by creating a dance animation. 

Congratulations to Ashley, Alejandra, Arlene, and everyone who contributed to make this a special day for the students and help build the STEM pipeline.   

Welcome to the Beach! Cal State Long Beach
STEM Advantage is excited to launch our program at a 4th CSU campus: Cal State Long Beach.  We are collaborating with the College of Engineering, which includes Computer Science and a new Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering program, and the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST). 

BESST is a highly successful program created three years ago to provide incoming freshmen engineering students, particularly those from under-represented groups, with extra support aimed at improving students' academic performance and increasing their ability to graduate in four years. Plus, BESST is structured to build communities among students and faculty. 

STEM Advantage is a natural partner to help the BESST program achieve its goals. Our career panels, professional and career development workshops serve freshmen through seniors. Students apply for the STEM Advantage Scholars program as sophomores and juniors, which provides a continuum of support. STEM Advantage is building a strong pipeline and community of diverse STEM talent - now with four (4) California State University campuses.  

Introducing Dawn Digrius, our new Program Director
We are thrilled to welcome Dawn Mooney Digrius, Ph.D. as Program Director for STEM Advantage.  Previously, Dawn was Senior Program Manager for the California State University STEM Collaboratives project, a $4.64 million initiative at eight (8) campuses within the California State University system designed to increase persistence and close achievement gaps in STEM. 

Dawn's passion for higher education and student success brings her to STEM Advantage. Dawn received her AA degree with Honors from Raritan Valley Community College, earning 2nd place on the USA Today/All-Academic Team for NJ; her BA degree summa cum laude and with honors in Anthropology, her MPhil and PhD degree with Distinction in the History of Science all from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. She has presented at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, San Salvador, El Salvador, and across the US on the intersections of STE(A)M and development. Dawn is a first-generation college graduate and has two children.  

Dawn can be reached at

We received a record number of applications from students at:
 Cal State LA
Cal State Long Beach
Cal State Northridge
Cal State Dominguez Hills 

To provide a paid summer internship, be a mentor, or sponsor a scholarship, please contact  Dawn or  Lee Ann

If you are looking to hire entry-level STEM talent, please send a note to Lee Ann for a copy of the  STEM Advantage Talent Guide featuring recent graduates.

LA Business Journal Award

Los Angeles Business Journal honors 
STEM Advantage as 
Make a difference: invest in women and underserved students in STEM   
STEM Advantage is a 501(c)(3) public charity. 
Gifts are deductible to the full extent available under IRS regulations. 
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