COVID-19 Updates

Our guidelines have been updated for this coming fall.

Empowering Minds: Culturally Sustaining STEM from Theory to Practice

Saturday, April 10, 2021


Join us in the spring for this exciting conference, which will focus on best practices in Culturally Sustaining STEM teaching and learning.

This event is a follow-up to our Oct. 17, 2020, conference, Empowering Minds: Culturally Sustaining STEM as Literate Practices.

Conference Schedule

  • 9:00–10:00 a.m. Panel: Digital Equity & Inclusion in STEM Education (main room)
  • 10:00–11:00 a.m. Breakout 1: Meg Ormiston, Equity and Technology in the Mathematics Classroom
  • 10:00–11:00 a.m. Breakout 2: Theresa Y. Robinson, Ph.D. S.T.E.M for Cultural Relevance & Sustainability
  • 11:30 a.m.–Noon: Dr. Debbie Cosgrove (main room)


Valerie Ross

Panel: Digital Equity & Inclusion in STEM Education

Valerie Ross, senior engineer for Caterpillar, Inc.Valerie Ross is a senior engineer for Caterpillar, Inc., with a background in powertrain design and analysis. In her current position, she works on transmission clutch software and collaborates with multiple teams to resolve friction disc design issues. She is a strong believer in life-long learning, completing her master’s degree in 2013 in mechanical engineering and earning her Six Sigma Black Belt in 2017. Valerie continues to notice a lack of representation in her field. To help address the disparity, she talks with students about STEM careers at her local Urban League Guild, mentors the next generation of Black STEM students through Girls Who Code, and tutors students in math through her church.

Van Richardson

Panel: Digital Equity & Inclusion in STEM Education

Van Richardson, Chief Information Officer at iManageVan Richardson is the Chief Information Officer for iManage globally, leading IT teams across multiple disciplines and geographies. With expertise including infrastructure management, enterprise applications, and cloud technologies, Van focuses on providing IT value to the business by forging key relationships with stakeholders throughout the organization. He is a doctoral student with a specific focus on “The Under-Representation of African Americans in Leadership Positions within the Information Technology Sector,” with an expected completion date of early 2022.

Meg Ormiston

Equity and Technology in the Mathematics Classroom

Meg OrmistonBringing the 4C’s of communicating, collaborating, creativity, and critical thinking into the mathematics classrooms is critical to success and equity for all learners. Join this breakout for practical ways you can restructure mathematics instruction to actively involve all learners using technology tools.

Meg Ormiston is often called “The Teacher of Teachers” as she delivers professional development locally, nationally, and internationally. Meg is also an award-winning author/co-author of 12 books focused on teaching and learning using digital tools. Meg has been teaching online for over 10 years, and her upbeat presentation style will have you laughing as you are learning practical skills you can start using immediately. @megormi

Hashtag: #NOWclassrooms

Theresa Y. Robinson, Ph.D.

S.T.E.M for Cultural Relevance & Sustainability

Elmhurst University Education Professor Theresa RobinsonThe dual pandemics of the COVID-19 virus and racial injustice drew attention to the need for creativity and equity in STEM education. Join this breakout for ways to provide science education that fosters cultural competence and sustains the language and histories of diverse students. The session will explore how to empower students while offering access to high-quality science education for conceptual understanding and achievement.

Theresa Y. Robinson, Ph.D., is the founder of Science 3000 Consulting group ( with provides professional development to Pk-12 schools and STEM programming for nonprofit organizations around culturally responsive and sustaining STEM practices. She teaches courses in Science Methods for Middle and Secondary Schools and Social and Cultural Foundations of Public Education for future teachers. She is an active member of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and her passion is using her talents and gifts to make high-quality STEM education accessible to marginalized communities, families, and children.

Hashtag: #Science3000

Empowering Minds: Culturally Sustaining STEM as Literate Practices Conference

  • October 17, 2020 (Virtual Conference)
  • Presenters:

Register for the Conference Below

Fill out my online form.

Connect with #elmhurstu