CSM’s Young Women + Math Conference, Workshop

Keynote Speaker is Nationally Acclaimed Money Coach, Author Olivia Mellan

When Westlake High School senior Debbie Subocz spoke of her experience attending the College of Southern Maryland’s first Women + Math Conference and Workshop to students gathered three years later, she said that her mother had to practically drag her there.

Then a freshman, Subocz was concerned that getting up early in the morning for the event would zap her energy for the night’s basketball playoff game. Instead, the event, and specifically the workshop with a NASA aeronautical engineer, jazzed her up and had her looking at careers using math in a whole new light.

 “Boy, I didn’t know that math did all that,” Subocz told her mom Sue Subocz, CSM chair for distance learning and faculty development.

“From that point on Debbie has been focused on engineering—the workshop changed her outlook,” Sue Subocz said. Debbie Subocz is now a sophomore at Florida Technical University majoring in civil engineering.

Teenage girls, grade 8 and up, parents and math teachers attending this year’s Women + Math Conference and Workshop Oct. 17 at CSM’s La Plata Campus will have the same opportunity to be ‘wowed,’ ‘jazzed up’ and ‘blown away’ by professional women in exciting careers–who happen to use math in their work every day. Students will also have the opportunity to hear from nationally acclaimed professional speaker, money coach and author, Olivia Mellan, who has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “Today Show,”  “20-20,” and “Fox Morning News.”

 “We are delighted that Ms. Mellan agreed to speak to the young women attending the workshops,” said CSM Professor of Math Sandra Poinsett. “Their exposure to a speaker of Ms. Mellan’s caliber will not only inspire the girls to reach for careers that they may have thought were not open to women, but will also instruct them on the importance of setting long- and short-term goals, money management and planning.”

Mellon’s address, “Women, Money and Empowerment: Moving from Money Shy to Money Sure,” is geared toward teens.

Since 1982, Mellan has worked in the field of money psychology, couples communication and money conflict resolution. A five-time author, she gives talks to business and professional groups and to the general public on topics such as gender differences and money, kids and money, women’s seven money myths, and women, money and empowerment. Mellan was named one of Investment Advisor’s Top 25 most influential in shaping the financial planning industry. Mellan writes a monthly column, “The Psychology of Advice,” in Investment Advisor Magazine.

The Women + Math Conference and Workshop, in its fifth year, is the brainchild of Poinsett and peer CSM math instructors Mary Bilmanis and Stephanie McCaslin who felt that young women were often unaware of the many careers they could pursue using math skills.

 “When we gave young women an opportunity to interact with professional women who are successful in their math and science careers, it was as if a light went off,” said Bilmanis.

“They see that women can have exciting and rewarding careers—and have families, too,” said McCaslin.

The Women + Math Conference and Workshop is Saturday, Oct. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes a free breakfast and lunch for student participants. The event is open to area math teachers. Following brief welcoming remarks, students will break into workshop sessions of their choice, including mathematics, health science, computer science, architecture, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, pharmacist, financial services, test flight engineering, cyber security and astrophysics before reassembling for the keynote address, lunch, and panel discussion. Presenters will be available throughout the day for one-on-one discussions with students and math teachers.

Students who register online before Oct. 12 are automatically entered to win a $50 gift certificate.

To register, visit http://www.csmd.edu/Women&Math/registration/index.htm.  For information, contact Poinsett at 301-934-7808 or Sandrap@csmd.edu or visit http://www.csmd.edu/Women&Math/.

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