Keynote Speakers and Special Events
October 7th, 2020: (12:30pm - 1:30pm CST)
Leading with Curiosity, Passion and Integrity
Steve Kaniewski serves as President and CEO of Valmont Industries, Inc. In his role, Steve is responsible for day to day operations for the company’s four operating segments. Valmont operates with 87 manufacturing facilities in 22 countries and 9,800 employees and has been in the international markets for more than five decades. Steve has been with Valmont since 2010. Prior to his current role, Steve also served as the President and Chief Operating Officer, Group President of Valmont’s Utility Segment, Vice President of Global Operations for the Irrigation Segment, and Vice President of Information Technology.
In addition to his work at Valmont, Steve currently serves as a Member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board Committee for the United Way of the Midlands and as Chairman Emeritus of the Board for the AIM Institute where he has served since 2011. The AIM Institute in Omaha, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building vibrant communities through technology. Steve also served on the Board of Advisors for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Information Science and Technology from 2010-2013.
Steve is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Santa Clara University in California.
October 8th, 2020 : (10:30am to 11:30am CST)
Building Machines that Empower Humans: How a Purpose Guided my Career rather than a Plan
Canvas Co-Founder and CTO Dr. Maria Telleria brings her vision, values, and Ph.D. from MIT to bear on a construction industry in need of reinvention. Maria grew up in Mexico until she was 14, when her immediate family moved about an hour north of Detroit to Lake Orion, Michigan, where her father sold tools for the auto industry. Being around factory plants while growing up deepened her interest in the field and commitment to be an engineer. Once at MIT as an undergraduate, Maria knew mechanical engineering was her calling even though it was initially a step back from the tangible into the theoretical. Ultimately, she wanted to build things, and constantly questioned why difficult and often dangerous tasks were still being done by people. Maria stayed at MIT for a Ph.D., with her work focusing on centimeter-scale robotics (tools that can get into small places) and “no barcode” machines (inexpensive, low-energy use robotics feasible for one-time use). The DARPA-funded work was a collaboration between MIT and Boston Dynamics, which is where one of her future Canvas co-founders, Kevin Albert, was stationed.
Maria's company, Canvas, is developing an industrial robot for applications in the construction industry to free workers from repetitive, physically taxing, and dangerous tasks. The company was incubated at Otherlab, an accelerator specializing in advanced manufacturing, energy, robotics, and software and hardware interfaces.
October 9th, 2020 : (10:30am to 11:30am CST)
Systemic Change in IT Education: Frameworks and Stories from the Field
Dr. Lecia Barker is a Senior Research Scientist for the National Center for Women & Information Technology and Associate Professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Lecia conducts research in attracting, retaining, and advancing groups underrepresented in professional computing careers. Her studies focus on the structures that shape individuals’ choices to pursue or avoid technical education and careers by understanding issues such as social climate, identity/belonging, faculty adoption of teaching and curricular practices, and sustainable organizational change. She also designs programmatic interventions to advance women’s meaningful participation in computing from secondary through graduate education.
Liecia will speak about NCWIT's systemic change approach to diversifying information technology education at all levels, from K-12 through graduate programs. Systemic change assumes that girls and women are not deficient and that piecemeal efforts are insufficient. Instead, change leaders should identify the social and cultural structures in place that can be modified to accomplish their gender diversity goals. A systemic change approach improves the climate for all students using research-based strategies. This talk will overview the research-based systemic change frameworks NCWIT uses at each level of education and highlight success stories of NCWIT members.
We plan on hosting virtual networking events in between sessions and during the posters event. More information is forthcoming.