Rensselaer’s Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship hosted the fifth annual Women in Entrepreneurship Symposium on Oct. 24. The symposium, “Entrepreneurial Women Designing the Future,” featured rising stars who are making their marks on higher education, business, government, and the international landscape. The annual symposium is part of the Severino Center’s effort to spark the interest of young women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and careers in science, engineering, and technology.
The symposium provides an important networking opportunity for women entrepreneurs in the region and beyond,” said David Gautschi, dean of the Lally School of Management & Technology. “We believe hearing the personal experiences, challenges, and ideas about the ways that women entrepreneurs and women in entrepreneurial enterprises are shaping and redefining the workplace, business networks, institutions, and our culture can inspire others especially young women to pursue endeavors they never before imagined.”
The symposium was held on Rensselaer’s Troy campus in the Russell Sage Dining Hall. The audience included Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff, along with students and faculty and staff from area colleges and youth organizations. Area business leaders also were invited to attend the symposium.
The panelists included Ashleigh Cho, co-founder, Enter the Studio; Sunny Oh, head of consumer product marketing, Asia-Pacific, Google; and Kim Lloyd, vice president of marketing, Flatburger/Bright Hub. Gina O’Connor, associate professor and faculty director of executive programs at the Lally School, national consultant, and academic director of the Radical Innovation Research Program, served as the program moderator.
The program culminated with a ceremony that honored and celebrated 28 female high school juniors. The students are the second group of recipients of the Rensselaer Paul and Kathleen Severino Future Leaders Award for their academic excellence in mathematics and science, and leadership, service, and devotion to their respective schools and communities.
“As the number of high-profile, successful entrepreneurs continues to grow, more and more young women today are thinking of following in their footsteps,” said Gautschi. “The students selected for this award are known leaders in academics, in the classroom, and in the community. We are honored to celebrate these young women who are collaborative, able, smart, and looking for new ways to solve problems, to make a difference, and to change the world.”
In addition, Rensselaer’s Office of Enrollment Management will award the students with a $5,000-per-year merit scholarship that is guaranteed for four years (five years for the School of Architecture program) for each student who is accepted and chooses to enroll at Rensselaer.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the achievements of young women who have well-earned reputations as problem-solvers and doers while still in high school,” said James Nondorf, vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions. “These young women comprise a disproportionately small part of the nation’s science, engineering, and technology workforce. This award provides an ideal way to reach out to such academically talented young women in an effort to help them to learn and to grow into world leaders in their chosen fields.”
The students are drawn from the following states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Last year, 15 students received the first award.
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