Event Details and Bios
The most important resource fueling growth of the global knowledge economy is a STEM-trained and experienced professional. Georgetown University recently reported that the U.S. economy is already demanding many more STEM professionals than are currently supplied, and though only 5% of U.S. jobs today are in STEM fields, this figure should rise to more than 30% over time. As the Austin/San Antonio corridor continues to grow we are acutely experiencing this shortage.
This panel discussion will feature various regional and national voices experiencing and working to address this challenge. Panelists will present perspectives on advancements in STEM education in K-12, higher education, and non-traditional education models. It will also look at investment in this space and the challenges and demands of various technology sectors. The panel will explore critical innovations that are needed to advance STEM education, and whether Austin has the right combination of resources to adequately meet the demands of the economy moving forward.
Joel Trammell is currently the Austin Technology Council Chairman, CEO of CacheIQ, Inc and co-founder of NetQOS Inc. Mr. Trammell was also a 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner and the Austin Business Journal's 2005 Private Company Executive of the Year. Mr. Trammell's achievements in information technology span two decades and also include numerous positions of leadership and management, including Advanced Micro Devices, UST Computers (where he was the President and CEO of the Austin-based provider of computer hardware and network services) and HomeSmart, a company that he co-founded in order to provide sales and marketing products for the residential construction industry. Joel graduated Magna Cum Laude from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He also remains a recognized expert in network solutions and large-scale IT systems deployment. Joel also serves as the Chairman of the Board for NetQoS, Inc.
Jeff Sandefer started his first business at age sixteen. After earning an MBA he founded Sandefer Offshore, an oil and gas company that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profits in less than five years. He then ran Sandefer Capital Partners, a half-billion dollar energy investment fund. Over the last fifteen years, Sandefer has worked with entrepreneur-teachers to build a nationally acclaimed entrepreneurship program, winning numerous teaching honors in the process. Sandefer is the founder or co-founder of five companies, and formerly managed Sandefer Capital, and was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top Entrepreneurship Professors in the nation. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS from the University of Texas.
Jeremy Robbins is a Policy Advisor and Special Counsel in the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, the bipartisan coalition of more than 450 business leaders and mayors making the case that smarter immigration laws will help our companies better compete and create American jobs. One of the Partnership’s primary legislative agendas is to reform our immigration laws to retain the top STEM graduates students from around the world who come to the US to train in our universities, only to be sent home after they graduate because there are insufficient visas for them. The Partnership has published multiple reports on the economic benefits of foreign STEM graduates and the costs to not keeping them in the US after graduation. Prior to joining New York City government, Jeremy clerked for a federal appellate judge, practiced law at a large national law firm, and worked on human rights issues in Argentina. Jeremy holds a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Allyson Peerman is AMD’s Corporate Vice President of Public Affairs, responsible for the company’s Government Affairs, Community Affairs, and Corporate Responsibility efforts worldwide. In her role as President of the AMD Foundation, Peerman provides strategy and tactical counsel for AMD’s successful games-based learning initiative, AMD Changing the Game, which inspires youth to learn critical STEM skills through the development of social issue games. She is also leading AMD’s NextGen Engineer initiative to help enhance engineering education by bridging the gap between industry and academia and infusing the experiences of its own engineers into academia. Peerman is a recipient of the Sam Walton Business Leader Award for her efforts in education, and has been named a “Hero for Children” by the Texas Education Agency. She was the first recipient of the Rostow Leadership Award given by The Austin Project, and was subsequently recognized by the Lone Star Girl Scouts Council as a “Woman of Distinction” and by the Austin Business Journal as a “Profiles in Power” winner. Peerman graduated with honors from the University of Texas with a Public Relations degree.
Dr. Timothy P. Scott is an associate professor of science education policy and currently serves as associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Scott also holds a joint appointment as an associate professor in the Department of Biology. His research focuses on teaching and learning in science and student success. Dr. Scott is co-director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at Texas A&M, he focuses efforts on national and state science standards and policy as it relates to STEM teacher certification, professional development and student achievement in science and mathematics. In 2001, he founded the university’s aggieTEACH program, which was developed to address the shortage of teachers in the high need areas of mathematics and science. In addition to aggieTEACH, Dr. Scott overseas a number of projects in the Center and serves as principal investigator on two NSF-funded projects, the Science Scholars Program and the Texas A&M Robert Noyce Scholarship Program. The projects Dr. Scott has acquired and collaborated on over the past 11 years total $26 million.
Joshua Pierce is an Entrepreneur in Residence at University Ventures, a New York-based investment firm focused exclusively on the global higher education sector. Among several ongoing initiatives at University Ventures, the firm has been exploring opportunities to address the STEM challenge with new, scalable postsecondary institutions that partner with traditional universities and employers. Mr. Pierce’s primary area of focus is on data/technology and student finance opportunities. He is also currently Chief Financial Officer of Synergis Education, a University Ventures portfolio company, which is an integrated service provider to private colleges in addressing the adult education market. Prior to joining University Ventures, he founded Socratic Ventures which worked with entrepreneurs and companies across both the K-12 and postsecondary spaces. Mr. Pierce began his career as an investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney and later moved into private equity with the Riverside Company before leaving Wall Street to join Edison Schools in their Charter School Division. He is an honors graduate of Texas A&M University and later received his MBA from Harvard Business School.