STEME Education Weekend

May 3-5, 2012

Sci Ed Innovators - STEME Education Weekend 2012

Featured Guests

Master of Ceremonies

Christopher Emdin, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Christopher Emdin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of Secondary School Initiatives at the Urban Science Education Center. He is author of the book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation, and also a columnist for the Huffington Post, where he writes the "Emdin 5" series. Dr. Emdin holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology, Masters degrees in both Natural Sciences, and Education Administration, and Bachelors degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry. 

Dr. Emdin has coauthored proposals to start New York City Public Schools, taught middle school mathematics and general science, and high school physics, and chemistry. He has also been a researcher on many NSF funded research projects in mathematics and science education.

Dr. Emdin was recently awarded the “Best paper for Innovation in Teaching” by the The Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) and was named  "Groundbreaking Educator" by Arrive Magazine. He was also awarded the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Outstanding Dissertation and Emerging Leader Awards. 

His research focuses on issues of race, class, and diversity in urban science classrooms, the use of new theoretical frameworks to transform education, and urban school reform.  Dr. Emdin researches, consults, and delivers speeches on various issues in schools such as science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, urban education, school and classroom climate, fostering dialogue in schools, and student engagement.

He is a noted public speaker on issues such as the Obama Effect on Urban Education, Hip-hop culture and education, improving STEM education, and various educational and socio-political issues related to urban youth of color. 

Symposium Keynote Speaker

Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Yale University

Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist and lecturer of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University. Her research focuses on smart materials and nanomaterials. Dr. Ramirez received her training in materials science and engineering from Brown University (Sc.B.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide.

Before joining the faculty at Yale University, she worked as a staff scientist at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill, NJ for 4 years. At Bell Labs, she developed an advanced solder that can bond directly to glass and ceramics, for which MIT awarded her the TR100 award—designated for the top 100 young innovators. Currently, this technology is commercialized by Adhera Technologies ( to which she serves as its technical adviser. She has also been awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the NSF CAREER award, and MIT’s MLK visiting professorship. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Materials Research Society (with 15,000 members) and on NSF’s congressionally mandated Committee for Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE).

Dr. Ramirez is also passionate about improving the public understanding of science and is the founder of Yale’s premier science outreach program, a science show for kids, called Science Saturdays ( She also is the host of a science video series for the general public, called Material Marvels ( Additionally, she serves as a science adviser to NOVA/ WGBH and recently gave a TED talk on the importance of STEM education.

Mary Brabeck, Ph.D.
Gale and Ira Drukier Dean
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Mary M. Brabeck, Ph.D., has served as dean of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development since 2003.  A leader in the field of applied psychology with outstanding credentials in research and scholarship, Dean Brabeck serves in significant posts in professional organizations that include the National Society for the Study of Education and the American Psychological Association (APA).  She currently chairs the APA's Board of Education Affairs Task Force on Applications of Psychological Science to Teaching and Learning.  She was previously a professor of counseling and developmental psychology at Boston College and served as dean of the College's Lynch School of Education from 1996-2003.

Dean Brabeck has served on boards and councils for organizations that include the Holmes Partnership, Carnegie Corporation's Teachers for a New Era, and the National Church Leadership Roundtable.  From 2004-2005, she was chair of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. Most recently, Dean Brabeck was named an inaugural fellow of the American Educational Research Association in honor of her sustained contributions to research in education.  She is also a fellow of APA, Divisions 7, 35, and 52.

Dean Brabeck's research interests include intellectual and ethical development, gender and culture, values and conceptions of the moral self, human rights education, professional and feminist ethics, and interprofessional collaboration through schools.  She has published more than 90 journal articles and book chapters, and her most recent edited works are Practicing Feminist Ethics in Psychology and Meeting at the Hyphen: Schools-Universities-Professions in Collaboration for Student Achievement and Well Being, 102nd Yearbooks of the National Society for Study in Education, Part II.

Dean Brabeck's numerous awards include the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, a Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Joseph's University, an APA Presidential Citation, a Service Award from the Boston Higher Education Partnership, and the Kuhmerker Award from the Association for Moral Education.  In 2008, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from St. Cloud University from which she received a master's degree in English education and urban education.  She received her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Dipak Basu
Co-Founder, Jhumki Basu Foundation

Dipak Basu has spent much of his life employing technology in humanitarian missions worldwide.

In 2001 Dipak founded and served for three years as Executive Director of NetHope, a consortium of the world's largest aid agencies, applying innovative technology solutions for humanitarian operations in poor, disaster-affected and war-torn regions. He currently leads strategic programs at NetHope.

In 2006 Dipak set up the Anudip Foundation, a nonprofit with offices in USA and India. Anudip's mission is to improve the livelihood of the rural poor by creating entrepreneurial and employment opportunities through training in information technology.

From 1995 to 2006, Dipak held senior management positions in Product Management and Professional Services at Cisco Systems, the foremost Internet equipment manufacturing company. His last position at Cisco was Director, Global Center of Expertise. Dipak is considered a pioneer in Voice over IP and Metro Ethernet technologies.

During the 1980s, Dipak founded and served as CEO of network consulting firm, Informatica, and as Vice President at CMC Ltd. While at CMC, he set up INDONET, India's first public computer network. As a consultant, he was instrumental in creation of telecom networks for India's steel, energy and banking sectors.

Dipak began his career as R&D Engineer at Tata Electric Companies in Mumbai. Later, he was associated with Verizon in the US in telecom hardware design and system engineering.

Dipak holds a B.Tech. from IIT Kharagpur and a MSEE from the University of Southern California. He has been a guest lecturer in computer networks at IIT Delhi. He has secured the prestigious Tech Laureate award for IT in Humanity for NetHope in 2004, and received the President's Award from Save the Children. Dipak is a Cisco Leadership Fellow, a Reuters Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University, and a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers.

Radha Basu
Co-Founder, Jhumki Basu Foundation

Radha Basu has over 30 years experience in executive management. She is widely recognized as a leading woman entrepreneur in technology companies and as a pioneer in the Indian software business. Radha was born and raised in Chennai. She holds a bachelors degree in Electronics & Communications from the University of Madras, a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Management program.

Radha held the position of Chairman & CEO of SupportSoft, a Nasdaq-listed company, from July 1999 to May 2006. She led the company through initial and secondary public offerings in 2000 and 2003, and built it into a worldwide market leader in support automation software. SupportSoft's customers include General Electric, Cisco Systems, Bank of America, Comcast, British Telecom, BellSouth, Procter & Gamble, Verizon, IBM and Bharti Telecom. SupportSoft is today considered a leader in the activation of consumer broadband offerings.

Prior to SupportSoft, Radha spent 20 years at Hewlett Packard with her most recent position being Senior General Manager of the Electronic Business Software Organization, which she grew to a global $1.5 billion business.

Radha joined HP in 1978 as an R&D engineer in HP Laboratories, working in the field of ultrasound imaging. In 1983 she moved to Germany as European Sales & Marketing Manager of diagnostic medical products. In 1985 she set up HP's Sales and R&D operations in India, including the India Software Operation, where she served as Managing Director. In 1989 Radha returned to the US to become General Manager of HP's International Software Organization with responsibility for eight offshore software centers around the world.

Radha has had significant impact on two groups during her career. First is the Indian software industry. In the mid-1980s she set up HP's software center in Bangalore and the HP-TCS joint venture in Chennai. While today many high-tech companies have software subsidiaries or development groups in India, the HP India software operation with its first satellite data link was truly ground-breaking. Radha has also had strong influence on women in technology as a whole. In addition to blazing a trail for other women executives, she makes an effort to mentor young girls in science and woman professionals in the technology industry.

Radha has won numerous awards including Excelsior Leadership, Top25 Women of the Web, CEO of the Year 2000, Leader of the Millennium, and has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Upside Magazine and Economic Times. She has featured as a guest speaker at Wharton School, MIT Sloan School, Stanford Business School, Santa Clara University, and the Forbes Executive Summit. She is currently serving as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Simmons School of Management and on the boards of Interplast, MIT Global Climate Change Consortium, Center for Science Technology and Society and C.E.O. Women.

After retiring as CEO of SupportSoft, Radha and her husband Dipak created a global social enterprise, the Anudip Foundation. The goal of Anudip is to generate livelihoods for the unemployed and marginalized poor of India through rural centers for development of entrepreneurs and their empowerment with access to markets and capital. It is now a well established social enterprise in economic empowerment of youth and women.

She currently holds the position of managing director at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) at Santa Clara University. CSTS is a University Center of Distinction, and undertakes three integrative activities: educating students, engaging the public, and exemplifying the realization of social benefit through our flagship Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBITM).The mission is to understand and enable the innovative application of science, and technology for global human benefit. We pursue this mission by linking the practices of scholarship, education, and science and technology innovation, in order to foster conscientious and responsible action on behalf of those most in need. The GSBI is a capacity-building program that provides social entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to develop and execute strategies for achieving at scale. Through the discipline of business planning, the GSBI helps social entrepreneurs to understand the process of early and mass-market adoption in target beneficiary populations as well as the vital role of "business models" in generating the capital for accelerating growth.

Radha and Dipak are avid trekkers and have reached base camps on Mount Everest on the Tibet and Nepal sides. Radha applies this experience of resilience, risk-taking and extreme effort to achieve success in every aspect of her life.

This event was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Additional support provided by ExxonMobil.