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DCCCD STEM students participate in the Fluor Engineering Challenge.

​Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — April 22, 2019

(DALLAS) — When the lightbulb literally turns on in the minds of Dallas County Community College District STEM students, their bright ideas can become new discoveries — but only if they take action.

Learning how to do that — take action and be innovative — is the focus of the 2019 DCCCD STEM Summit on Friday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the C Building at Brookhaven College. Students from the district’s seven colleges who want to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers will learn how to take cool ideas and make them become reality. In this case, actions can speak even louder than words and ideas.

This year’s half-day summit will kick off with keynote speaker Romelia Flores, master inventor for IBM.

“The main objective of the summit is to expose our students to a conference experience by introducing them to new ideas and also by providing a platform which they can use to network with business professionals,” said Dr. Jason Treadway, director of DCCCD’s STEM Institute. “This year’s theme is innovation.”

In addition to Flores’ keynote address, STEM scholars will attend an industry panel whose members will explore “From Idea to Action.” A panel of design students from the University of Texas at Dallas then will talk about their senior projects and about “The Power of Collaboration.” Lunch and business roundtables will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss “Finding the Right Fit.”

DCCCD STEM students visit the UTD Design Studio.

“The goal for our roundtables is to show business representatives how DCCCD STEM majors fit within their organizations,” added Treadway, “and also how they can help our students move beyond thinking solely about salary and, instead, focus on the many benefits that lead to a better quality of life.”

Flores, IBM distinguished inventor and master inventor, has 68 inventions and 38 patents to her credit, as well as 30 patents pending. The Latina innovator, whose parents were a milkman and a legal secretary in the Rio Grande Valley, started college as a biology major at the University of Texas at Austin. She then switched to mathematics and computer science, where she found her natural fit.

While she was a student at UT-Austin, Flores became a summer intern at IBM between her sophomore and junior years — and she’s been working for “Big Blue” ever since. “Any time you work on a diverse team, that’s when the sparks happen,” said Flores. “Why do I like inventing with some of my young folks? They have a whole different point of view. That ignites the fire of innovation.”

Treadway said that this year’s program was based on feedback from STEM League members in the district.

“The STEM League is a network for DCCCD students who are interested in pursuing degrees and careers in STEM,” Treadway explained. “Through the league — which is a centralized ‘voice’ for STEM across the district — students gain access to opportunities such as worksite visits, college or university field trips, scholarships, internships, part-time employment, research and STEM events.”

DCCCD STEM students who want to attend the summit are asked to register online.

The DCCCD STEM Institute furthers awareness, interest, engagement and success in STEM fields for students, educators and professionals in North Texas. The 2019 DCCCD STEM Summit is made possible in part by The W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation at the Communities Foundation of Texas.

For more information, contact Treadway at or at 214-378-1553.

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