The first-of-its-kind Innovation Academy for Women of the Americas announced Emilia Gonzales Ávila de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Sandra Bejarano Jiménez de la Universidad La Salle México, Ana Gonzales Pérez de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Nelly Núñez Ontiveros de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México y Sofía Cervantes Berumen del Instituto Tecnológico de La Laguna, the winners of a graduate-level scholarship to pursue a degree in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, or Architecture (STEM+A) at the University of New Mexico (UNM). The Academy is a partnership between UNM, Universidad La Salle México and Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán and supported by a grant from 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere.
The Academy launched earlier this month as a pilot program bringing together 15 undergraduate women from New Mexico and 15 undergraduate women from Mexico whose majors are in the field of STEM+A, with a special focus on those from indigenous backgrounds. The Academy provided the women with the opportunity to receive one month of intensive career mentorship, research, and leadership training. At the closing of the Academy, each participant presented on her research accomplishments.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson remarked, “I am proud to congratulate the 30 young Mexican and U.S. women who graduate today from The Academy for Women of the Americas, a partnership funded by an Innovation Fund grant from President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere – 100,000 Strong in the Americas – with the generous support of "Banco Santander N.A.”
The Academy aims to: 1) Increase bidirectional student mobility between the U.S., Mexico, and the Americas through an innovative academic and career development program for underrepresented, minority, and indigenous women in the STEM+A fields; 2) Increase the preparedness and representation of women in STEM+A higher level research and senior leadership roles in the workforce; 3) Provide support for women in the STEM+A fields through on-going web-based forums and mentorship designed to provide encouragement and individualized, meaningful guidance; and 4) Discover and leverage ways institutions can collaborate in the STEM+A field over long periods of time.
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is a public-private collaboration of the White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced by Secretary of State John Kerry in January 2014. Since then, 70 Innovation Fund grants have been awarded to teams of 153 higher education institutions from 19 countries in the Western Hemisphere. Learn more at www.100kstrongamericas.org or via #100KStrongAmericas.
The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.
With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education. Learn more at www.nafsa.org and www.connectingourworld.org and on Twitter at @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld.