March in Review

Salzburg Global Seminar Fellowship on Social and Emotional Learning
Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Carol O’Donnell, traveled to Salzburg, Austria as a Fellow for the Salzburg Global Seminar on “Social and Emotion Learning (SEL) – A Time for Action,” which took place March 10 – 15, at Schloss Leopoldskron. The program built on insights from the series of regional and global workshops organized by Salzburg Global and partners in order to advance solutions to the key challenges that hinder the implementation of SEL programs in education systems around the world. O’Donnell was invited to the seminar after her article, “Science Education, Identity, and Civic Engagement: Empowering Youth through the UN Sustainable Development Goals," was featured in the "G7: The Executive Talk Series Global Briefing Report" for the 44th G7 Summit. SEL is one of the hottest topics in global education today. Evidence shows that SEL can help young people acquire the skills to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution and shape new jobs and career pathways. SEL skills can also help communities and populations grapple with complex socio-scientific issues and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is the focus of the SSEC’s “Smithsonian Science for Global Goals” project.


Spring 2019 Advisory Board Dinner & Meetings

The Smithsonian Science Education Center held its Spring 2019 Advisory Board meetings and dinner March 6th – 7th in Houston, TX. On Wednesday, March 6th, SSEC held a meeting at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) which centered around STEM Diversity. The group was welcomed by HMNS Vice President of Philanthropy, Amy Chaisson, and moved into presentations from SSEC Board Member, Frazier Wilson, on The Diversity Initiative: 30K by 2030 and a panel discussion titled “Attracting, Retaining and Building Leadership Capacity to Diversify the K-12 STEM Teacher Workforce” which was moderated by SSEC Division Director for Professional Services, Amy D’Amico. Dinner was held that evening at the Houston Rodeo. The board meeting was held on Thursday, March 7th at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). The meeting opened with welcoming remarks from MFAH Director of Development, Kristen Flack. The focus of the meeting was centered on developing SSEC’s new strategic plan and organizational goals. All events were sponsored by Shell and coordinated by SSEC Board Member Frazier Wilson, Vice President of Shell Oil Company Foundation and Director, Workforce & Community Strategic Initiatives, Shell Oil Company.

Women in STEM Panel

On March 20th, the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and news site Axios, hosted a breakfast panel to discuss gender parity in STEM fields and the global and local implications of that gap. O'Donnell was one of the featured panelists. The impending move of technology giant Amazon to the DC region is slated to bring 25,000 new STEM jobs to the DC region. With this move, the lens has focused on gender disparity in STEM fields. Despite diversity initiatives, it remains more challenging for women to land and to keep jobs in STEM fields — including professional positions at major tech companies like Amazon — than it is for their male counterparts.



Images courtesy of Salzburg Global Seminar/Katrin Kerschbaumer and Olga Imbaquingo

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About the Author

Kate Echevarria
Human Resources Liaison



Kate Echevarria is the Human Resources Liaison for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. She is responsible for handling recruitment, internships, performance management, and all aspects of human resources at the Center. She was previously the Executive Office Manager at SSEC for 10 years. Prior to SSEC, Kate was in human resource management having worked for an international hotel chain, the U.S. Government, and a science non-profit.