With the help of January’s MVP for Iowa STEM, Rockwell Collins, an aerospace engineering company in Cedar Rapids, Cindy Dietz, its director of external relations, has used her expertise to send Iowa STEM soaring to new heights.
Dietz, an original member of the STEM Council, was one of a handful to help birth the state’s STEM effort by contributing to the Iowa STEM Education Roadmap, a proposal that ultimately shaped the STEM Council. She contributes to various working groups, including ones that developed the STEM Seal of Approval, built the Iowa STEM Regional Network and landed a partnership with Strategic America for a public awareness campaign. She has even emceed a day-long, statewide STEM Summit on behalf of the STEM Council.
The Executive Committee of the STEM Council enjoys the valued presence of Rockwell Collins President and CEO Kelly Ortberg who has served since 2014. Adriana Johnson, senior diversity and community relations specialist, also serves on the Southeast Regional STEM Advisory Board.
Along with the company’s time and talent, Rockwell Collins has financially supported various events and programs of the STEM Council, including STEM Day at the Capitol, the annual STEM Summit and STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair. The annually-produced STEM Gem poster series that is mailed to thousands of Iowa classrooms each year features two Rockwell Collins’ employees, including Mr. Ortberg and Barry Miglia, senior software engineer. To top it off, the company has hosted nine Teacher Externs since 2010 through the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships program.
Dietz says her involvement with the STEM Council has allowed Rockwell Collins to expand their reach statewide in STEM education.
“The STEM Initiative has been able to engage other businesses and the resources of public and private universities and community colleges to extend STEM opportunities to all corners of the state,” Dietz said. “It is very satisfying to know we are exposing more Iowa students to STEM and the possibility that they might pursue a STEM career—becoming an engineer, a dentist, a botanist or a science teacher. STEM is an investment in our future.”
Thank you Cindy, Rockwell Collins and all 46 other members of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for your contributions to Iowa’s widely-acclaimed, public-private partnership that is inspiring thousands of youth day after day.