Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen greeted 100 young women at the 2016 STEM Leadership for Girls workshop on Thursday morning and challenged them to be part of the generation that increases the percentage of women working in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“There is so much opportunity in STEM fields that we want to help girls and young women tap into,” said Bowen. “Arkansas Tech is investing in this future, and we want young women to embrace the opportunities that STEM provides. That opportunity is now.
“Great leaders live with passion,” continued Bowen. “They follow their passion and they share their passion. I have crossed paths in life with many that have regretted that they did not follow their passions. As future leaders, do not be afraid to be passionate about what you do. Follow your dreams. The STEM fields are not as diverse as they need to be. It often deters students from pursuing their dreams because the doors do not always appear to be open. I encourage you to knock the doors down.”
Thursday’s event was hosted by the Arkansas Tech STEM Institute. Participants learned about a variety of skills and careers in the STEM fields, including 3-D printing, electric circuits, robotics and computer forensics.
Dr. Patricia Buford, associate dean of engineering and professor of electrical engineering at Arkansas Tech, delivered the day’s closing remarks. She shared her background of earning an engineering degree at a time when 96 percent of engineering students were male.
“The interesting part is that you can achieve in the STEM fields just as much as any guy in your schools,” said Buford. “We all come from different backgrounds, but if we are super motivated and work hard we can do it. If I can, you can. You saw today how much you can achieve with these skills. Everyone in this room has the potential to do it. It doesn’t matter if your parents went to college or not. Know that your life is right in front of you. Technology is all around you. You can do it.”
Individuals interested in other educational opportunities provided by the Arkansas Tech STEM Institute may visit www.atu.edu/stem.