By Joanne Liou, Communications and Impact Specialist
Four TechWomen fellows have been awarded a scholarship to attend the 2016 WiSTEM (Women in STEM) Conference in Dubai, on Oct. 25-26. Christelle Tayou, 2014 fellow of Cameroon; Diana Tsoy, 2015 fellow of Kazakhstan; Mercy Sosanya, 2015 fellow of Nigeria; and Nermin Mostafa, 2013 fellow of Egypt, will attend the conference with the support of the WiSTEM Scholarship – $500 toward travel costs and complimentary registration.
Christelle is an entrepreneur and teaches informational systems management at two universities. She has also volunteered her time to teach information and communications technology (ICT) at a public high school for the last six years, directly reaching more than 4,200 students. She is a Regional Ambassador for the Technovation Challenge and mentors female entrepreneurs, PhD students and undergraduate students. “As an entrepreneur and member of many women associations, (WiSTEM) will allow me to acquire more connections and skills to accelerate my startup and contribute more efficiently in the ICT field,” Christelle said.
Diana launched the Technovation Challenge in Kazakhstan, successfully enrolling 60 girls and 24 mentors, and had one team reach the final pitch competition in San Francisco in July 2016. After the 2015 TechWomen program, she received a scholarship to pursue her PhD at the Institute of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics in St. Petersburg, Russia. She maintains collaborative relationships she made during the TechWomen program with a professor at Stanford University and the Institute for the Future, in which she co-authored a blog post. She is also collaborating with another TechWomen fellow on a research group. “My research is within renewable sources of energy – night-radiative cooling effect – and I’m really excited by the opportunity to learn more about the future outlook on energy from the top industry representatives,” Diana said.
Mercy is an entrepreneur and lecturer at Federal Polytechnic in Bauchi, Nigeria. She launched “Girls Discover STEM” to expose middle and high school girls to STEM and career possibilities, has coached Technovation teams, and has partnered with Nigerian fellows in other STEM initiatives for girls and children in rural areas. She is collaborating with 2013 fellow Janet Fofang of Cameroon on STEM projects and has assisted 2015 fellow Simbo Sojinrin in recruitment for Solar Sister. Mercy remains engaged with her mentor and leaders from the Bay Area, who are supporting her initiatives. “I want to learn more about how to leverage impact in STEM and learn about more resources and tools I can use to inspire more women,” Mercy said.
Nermin is a lecturer of pharmaceutical chemistry and a manager of the startup, Teenpreneurs. She continues to work closely with her mentor Bianca Liederer of Genentech, and Nermin’s research on breast cancer treatment that included assistance from Genentech was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry earlier this year. She has collaborated with fellows on two projects funded by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. “I look forward to discuss possible educational reforms via introducing entrepreneurship to students with biology backgrounds; such skills are lacking in such disciplines,” Nermin said.
A panel of judges evaluated applications from TechWomen fellows based on how they have leveraged the TechWomen program, their individual impact and their potential to further impact women in STEM.
TechWomen partnered with the Meera Kaul Foundation (MKF) to create the WiSTEM Scholarship. The conference will feature 100+ speakers, investors, entrepreneurs and the world’s most influential women. TechWomen Director Arezoo Riahi will also speak at the event.