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Oakton’s Liu to be Recognized as one of "100 Inspiring Women in STEM"

(August 5, 2015) Gloria Liu, coordinator for the Center for Promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at Oakton Community College, is a recipient of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award.

“I’m extremely honored to be in the company of other women who exemplify the tireless commitment to igniting a passion in the next generation of women in STEM,” said Liu, a resident of Buffalo Grove.

The honor is presented as a tribute to women across the nation whose work and achievements encourage others in their individual STEM fields and also motivate a new generation of young women to consider careers in these high-demand areas. Liu—along with the other 99 recipients representing academia, government, corporate, and nonprofit industries—will be featured in the magazine’s September 2015 issue, which comes out online and in print on Aug. 24. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

“To advance diversity, promote equality, and build a stronger workforce, we at INSIGHT Into Diversity realize the importance of increasing the number of women working in STEM professions,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “Our sincerest congratulations to Gloria on receiving this prestigious national honor. She is truly inspirational to all of us who work so diligently to make a difference in the lives of all women and other underrepresented individuals.”

“Having worked with Gloria on a number of diversity initiatives at Oakton, I know firsthand of her commitment to equity,” said Oakton President Joianne Smith, Ph.D., noting Liu’s leadership and service on the college’s diversity council and anti-racism team. “Her two passions are underrepresented students and STEM, and by connecting the two in a meaningful way, she inspires young people—especially women—to pursue careers in these fields. Her students absolutely love her.”

Since 2007, Liu has offered support and mentoring, while facilitating field trips, guest lectures, and more to expose Oakton students to the breadth of careers in STEM fields and to build their confidence. She originally joined the college in 1997 as a learning specialist overseeing math and science tutoring. Liu received her master’s degree in business from the University of Phoenix and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brandeis University.

“The more women know about STEM, the more critical and interested they will be in thinking more logically and being more efficient in everyday life,” Liu added. “I hope to inspire and empower as many people as I can to be future innovators.”

“Gloria is an amazing staff member who leads by example,” said Margaret B. Lee, Ph.D., the recently retired Oakton president who nominated Liu. “Gloria’s commitment and enthusiasm to find new ways to engage all students in STEM is extraordinary. Her recognition is a noteworthy accomplishment.”

 

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Alfred Hegyes wanted to make a difference outside the classroom while being challenged within it.