We End Our Maryland Program Knowing that our Protégés Have What it Takes to Change the World!

By Anika Lalmansingh.

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The atmosphere during our final Maryland Mentor-Protégé session on March 18 was full of excitement as protégés learned about the world of gaming and computer programming, listened to a dynamic panel discussion, participated in their mentoring sessions, and described how they will change the world during their graduation ceremony.

Try a career in Gaming
In an effort to diversify the field of game design, the Game and Technology Institute at George Mason University (GMU) has partnered with the Women In Technology Educational Foundation (WITEF) to encourage more girls to attend their Summer Game Institute. Sandhya Ramani, the Associate Director of the Game and Technology Institute, spoke to the protégés about her life experiences pursuing a double major in bioengineering and music, and her love for teaching at the Institute.

Drs. Houston Baker and Mercy ParbhuDas
Drs. Houston Baker and Mercy ParbhuDas

Small contributions, big impact
No matter how insignificant your task may seem, perform it with a smile because you never know the impact that it may have on the world. That nugget of wisdom was voiced by Dr. Houston Baker, Program Director in the Imaging Technology Development Branch of the Cancer Imaging Program of the National Cancer Institute of NIH, who has first-hand experience with that truth. As a college research assistant he made what he considered to be an insignificant suggestion to a senior research scientist who was having trouble with a project. That scientist, Allan Cormack, later won the Nobel Prize  for developing mathematical solutions to problems associated with the new technique of computer tomography (CT). The distinguished panel also included Dr. Mercy ParbhuDas, Program Officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease of NIH, who discussed her extraordinary scientific career that included breaking out of her quiet shell to show colleagues her intelligence and talent.

Maryland Mentors and Protégés
Maryland Mentors and Protégés

How YOU can change the world
The highlight of the evening was, by far, the graduation ceremony of the protégés. As each protégé came to the front of the room, amidst the applause of her friends, she shared with everyone the ways in which she planned to change the world. Some of the well thought out plans included:

  • Becoming the “superhero” behind the desk by sharing her knowledge of cybersecurity with the public.
  • Learning from the mistakes of past cultures to improve the future of our society.
  • Helping people better adapt and adjust to their prosthetic limbs.
  • Improving the ways in which information is shared during a crisis.
  • Making portable water available to those who are in most need of it.
  • Creating an environmentally friendly food franchise.
Irene Lane, Carmen Radelat, Trish Barber, Anika Lalmansingh
Irene Lane, Carmen Radelat, Trish Barber, Anika Lalmansingh

Our message to you
Do you think you can change the world? Let us know how you plan to do it. Also, share our GIT Mentor-Protégé program with any high school girl in your life that shows an interest in science, technology, engineering, art/design, or mathematics. We would love to have them as part of our program in the fall!

It’s been a great year
As we come to the close of our 2013-2014 Mentor-Protégé session in Maryland, those of us on the GIT Steering Committee and Maryland Program Committee are so grateful to the protégés who committed to preparing for their future careers and the mentors who took time from their busy schedules to inspire and guide their protégés.

We are also grateful to the many speakers who volunteered their time and expertise and to Judy Costello and the BioMaryland Center for hosting our sessions.

GIT Announcements:

  1. Submission deadline for the GIT Scholarship is May 18, 2014.
  2. GIT will host the annual Sharing our Success program on April 24 in McLean, VA and May 8 in Sterling, VA

Other Events:

  1. Admission for the Summer Game Institute is still open and they would love to have more girls!!
  2. USA Science & Engineering Festival will be held April 26 and 27.

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