Industry Insights: New Technologies, New Opportunities
Industry speakers present exciting new tech and big innovations in STEM that will impact technician hiring in the not-so-distant future.
Dr. Mary Holland Russell (moderator) is a training specialist for Cook Medical, Winston-Salem. Dr. Russell is passionate about helping leaders provide safe environments conducive to uncovering potential and encouraging high productivity. As a training specialist, she uses her expertise in professional coaching, awareness inventories, and emotional intelligence to evaluate and create research-based leadership development experiences. Committed to lifelong learning, Dr. Russell explores the impact of essential (soft) skills on career success. She strives to help others develop the mindset necessary to embrace “upskilling” and “reskilling” for today’s rapidly evolving workplace.
Geoff Foster is CEO and President of Core Technology Molding Corporation, an injection molding solutions provider in the medical device, automotive, aerospace, gaming, biological-pharmaceutical, consumer goods, appliance, and outdoor lawn equipment markets with customers in 150 countries. Mr. Foster is a patent holder, an engineer, and a business leader who has been awarded multiple honors. He earned his BS and MS in Industrial Technology from North Carolina A&T State University and his MBA from Wake Forest University, and currently serves as an adjunct professor and K-12 STEM industry partner for advanced manufacturing.
Lisa Masciantonio is Chief Workforce Officer for the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute and is responsible for driving the Education and Workforce Development vision for ARM in conjunction with the ARM membership and other expert stakeholders. She brings over 25 years of experience as a performance-driven leader with notable success in cultivating and executing business strategies and formulating long-term strategic client relationships. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University and two master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.
Dustin Heath is an experienced executive with 12 years of experience managing teams in the cybersecurity field. He co-founded Vigilant Cyber Systems, Inc. (VCS) in 2013 to help solve the rapidly emerging problem of cybersecurity for cyber physical systems and internet of things devices. VCS is a cybersecurity company that primarily supports the Department of Defense in securing their cyber physical systems against cyberattack, and in the past three years have expanded beyond DoD systems to include medical, maritime, and energy assets. Prior to starting VCS Dustin worked for ManTech International as a project lead for DARPA's National Cyber Range (NCR) program. He received an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Bellevue University, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Strategies and Successes: Best Practices for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Colleges that have moved the needle on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion share best practices and tips for implementing and supporting change.
Dr. Kevin Christian (moderator) serves as the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Dr. Christian analyzes and monitors trends that affect diverse populations in community colleges and manages the diversity related issues that are key and priority to AACC’s mission and core values. His work at AACC includes advising AACC’s senior leadership and staff on elements essential to access and inclusion in post-secondary education. In addition, he serves on the Blue Ribbon Panel for the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE), the Advisory Board for National Association for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), and as a subject matter expert for the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL).
Dr. Floyd H. Hardin, III is Executive Officer of Equity and College Relations at Rio Salado Community College where his duties encompass both the responsibilities of Chief of Staff and of spearheading the college’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Prior to this, Dr. Hardin served as the College’s Senior Officer of Outreach, Inclusion and Strategic Partnerships, and operated as the institution’s primary contact for national partnership opportunities (educational transfer partners to support college-university transfer pathways and B2B partnerships to support revenue generating goals, industry and college-to-career pathway projects). Prior to his work at Rio Salado, Dr. Hardin was the Executive Director of Youth Programs and Compliance within the Department of Children and Family Services in the state of Georgia, and earned his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University.
Dr. Michael Torrence is President of Motlow State Community College, TN. Under his leadership, Motlow State has transformed into a cutting-edge, award-winning institution on multiple fronts. Dr. Torrence is a Technology Strategist, having worked with higher education for more than 25 years as faculty, mid-level, and senior administrator, and ultimately CEO. His diverse areas of expertise include Research, Adult Education, Student Success, Academic Affairs, Staff Development, Distance Learning and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Additional interests are Applied Learning within Open Education Resources (OER), Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Automation, Robotics, Mechatronics, and Gamification as platforms for education, learning, and training business and industry to increase efficiency and scalability. Dr. Torrence has a Ph.D. in Exceptional Learning (Literacy) from Tennessee Technological University.
Teresita (Tere) Wisell is is Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education (WDCE) and Interim Vice President of Student Access, Involvement and Success at Westchester Community College, SUNY. Ms. Wisell also serves as Executive Director of the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE), a national network of community colleges and other organizations committed to expanding programs for immigrants and leveraging the role that community colleges play in successful immigrant integration. Nationally, she serves on the board of the National Council for Workforce Development and the Advisory Board of the National Skills Coalition. Ms. Wisell has been recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House for her contributions to workplace citizenship programs and is a National Community College Hispanic Council fellow.