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Ashby Ponds to Host Panel of D.C. Area Higher Education STEM Professionals

November 7, 2014

Ashby Ponds resident-coordinated STEM group will moderate a discussion with representatives from The George Washington University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, and Northern Virginia Community CollegeWednesday, November 12 | 2:00 pm

WHAT:  The Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) resident group at Ashby Ponds has invited STEM professionals working in higher education in the D.C. Metro area to come together and discuss the importance of STEM programs at their academic institutions.  In November 2013, the Ashby Ponds STEM group hosted a panel of school administrators from four Northern Virginia school divisions (Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Loudoun County) to discuss their STEM education programs.  This year, the panelists will include:

Kamaljeet Sanghera, PhDGeorge Mason UniversityExecutive Director, STEM Outreach Vogelnau School of EngineeringAssociate Professor, Applied Information Technology

Paula D. HarperGW Virginia Science & Technology CampusExecutive Director, Program Development and Management

Tosin AdetoroNorthern Virginia Community CollegeSTEM Education Coordinator (Loudoun),SySTEMic Solutions

Jennifer CarterVirginia Tech Research Center Associate DirectorContinuing and Professional Education

BACKGROUND:  In August 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe unveiled a major workforce development initiative.  According to a press release from the Governor's office, part of this initiative focuses on the need for aligning education with the needs of businesses, and diversifying the economy:  "With its favorable economic climate, quality of life, regulatory environment, and low unemployment rate, Virginia has been designated as the best state for business. Also named the Best State for STEM Jobs, Virginia has the highest concentration of high tech jobs per capita in the nation. In light of these positive factors, it is critical to prepare for changes to Virginia's employment marketplace and retiring workforce."  This panel event also comes on the heels of a STEM career fair hosted by Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus on October 29.

Noting the importance of STEM education, Ashby Ponds resident Bob Squire launched a STEM resident group at the community on May 14, 2013.  There are about 20 members of the group who meet on a monthly basis.  Most members have spent their careers in one or more of the STEM occupations and volunteer to talk about aspects of their careers at the STEM meetings.  Ashby Ponds resident Polly Liss has organized this STEM panel at the community.  For several years, Liss served (and still serves as an ex officio member) on the Arlington County Public Schools Citizens Advisory Committee on Career, Technology, and Adult Education.

WHEN:  Wednesday, November 12 | 2:00 pm

WHERE: Ashby PondsCardinal Clubhouse21170 Ashby Ponds BoulevardAshburn, VA 20147

CONTACT: If you'd like to cover this event, please contact Jessica McKay, Public Affairs Manager, at, 703-923-4690 (office), 703-472-0964 (cell), or via Twitter @JMcKay_EricksonAt this time, this event is open only to media and members of the Ashby Ponds community.

About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 18 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.).  The community is home to over 850 residents and has over 120 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at