Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Study Says Lack of African Americans in Science Field Hurting Industry

by J. Coyden Palmer

A study that surveyed Fortune 1000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) executives representing leading science and technology companies in the United States, was released last week by Bayer Corporation.

The survey found that women, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and that the result could hurt the nation as a whole. The findings of the study should alarm whoever is going to be the next president of the United States the report stated. Minorities are seen as perhaps the saving grace for the country if America is going to keep its place as the leader in the STEM industry, the report noted.

What is most dramatic about this survey is the extent to which the Fortune executives speak with one unequivocal voice on these issues,” said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation. “Almost without exception, they overwhelmingly recognize this country’s great need to tap the potential of the entire STEM talent pool, and the importance of doing so at every point on the development continuum beginning in elementary school with high-quality, hands-on, inquiry-based science education, on through college where STEM talent is refined and recruited, and then into the workplace where it must be further nurtured and encouraged.”

Molnar and other executives believe that African Americans are being exposed to science at an early enough age to pique student’s interests. Chicago native Dr. Mae Jemison, who is also the first African American woman to travel into outer space, agrees and said more has to be done to find talent in the Black community.

The report further stated that diversifying the STEM talent pool is one solution to the problem of understaffing. Nearly 55 percent of the Fortune executives say their companies are experiencing a shortage of STEM talent. Almost nine in 10, 89 percent, agree that bringing more women and minorities into STEM fields will help solve this issue. Moreover, diversity has other benefits for STEM companies, according to the executives, including increasing innovation and the ability to be more competitive in the global marketplace.
Part of what makes America great is that we have people from every culture and race on earth as our citizens,” Jemison. “We need to do a better job of using this to our advantage. We must build a robust STEM pipeline that includes everyone and equally values their ideas, creativity and potential.”

Those surveyed also said how science is being taught in grammar school must change. They said the best way to teach science is through a hands-on approach, not with textbooks and perhaps, only the teacher conducting an experiment at the front of the class.

There have been studies conducted throughout the years that have attempted to justify why women are not as good as men when it comes to math and science. Dr. Jemison said all of those studies were done basically to try to keep women in “their place” and that studies in the past were used to justify why African Americans could not do certain jobs. She said female mentors and people of color in top management positions at companies show potential employees if a company is serious or not about their contribution.
The proof is in the pudding so to speak,” she said. “For younger employees, seeing people who look like you achieving at the highest levels in your chosen field is a strong signal that a company is serious about diversity. Being actively mentored takes that seriousness of purpose one step further and shows younger employees the company is committed to developing their talent and ensuring their success. It’s leading from the front.”
Recently the Chicago Public Schools has tried to address the problem by creating schools that focus specifically on math and science. Several schools are devoted to these disciplines on both the elementary and high school level. One of those is Lindblom Math & Science Academy located at 6130 S. Wolcott. Lindblom also became the first high school in the city to go to a year round schedule starting this school year. Principal Alan Mather said his students get a bit more instruction in the math and science disciplines, but he agrees with others that it is something that needs to start at the elementary level.

I think the earlier you can get kids excited about education, the better off we will be in general,” said Mather during an interview with Crusader in 2005 when Lindblom reopened after a $38 million overhaul. “Math and science can be difficult subjects so the more exposure our students have to it, the less intimidating it can be.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

President Profile: BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Chapter (Frank Shines)

Frank Shines, President
BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Chapter

Address: PO Box 47105
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: (813) 454-5325
Website: http://www.tampabdpa.org/
Newsletter: None

BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Chapter was at a crossroads earlier this year. The chapter activity slowed down considerably over the past year or so. The chapter either needed a new leader to emerge or face possible end of BDPA in that city. Frank Shines rose to the challenge when he agreed to become acting president pending elections.

Frank Shines is a former IBM executive and Ernst & Young consultant. Frank has flown Air Force jets, trained and competed with Olympic athletes and traveled the world as an award-winning business advisor to Fortune 500 executives. He has worked under the guidance of management and quality pioneers, Drs. W. Edwards Deming (the American who taught the Japanese quality) and Mikel J. Harry (co-founder of Six Sigma). Frank has been published by John Wiley & Sons (The Controller's Function: "Performance Measurement" Chapter, 1999) and is the author of a book examining the impact of the next generation of the Internet and its impact on individuals and organizations (The New Science of Success: How to Outsource Proof Your Job in a Web 2.0 Economy, 2007).

Currently, Frank serves as the Director of Business Development at Industriaplex, a next generation global sourcing and consulting firm, where he focuses on the intersection of business, technology and organizational change . He holds a BS in Management from the US Air Force Academy and MBA in Marketing Statistics from National University of Sacramento.

He resides with his wife in Tampa, FL and mentors at-risk youth through the Tiger Woods Foundation and Skill of Success. Frank is an avid golfer and enjoys world travel.

Frank's favorite quote: "The mind can only see what it is prepared to see" - Dr. Edward DeBono.

His favorite BDPA memory: "First learning of the history, vision and accomplishments of BDPA."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Diversity in the Sciences: Latinos

Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 thru October 15) is the American celebration of the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Soulclap from the Urban Scientist for using this timeframe to create a Diversity in the Sciences Meme challenging everyone to name five (5) Latino Scientists, Engineers, and or Mathematicians. In the end, we should have a remarkable list of Latino talent in each major STEM discipline.

All too often, the story of the scientific discovery doesn’t mention anything about the discoverer. And without a human story or face to attach to the discovery, very often, most students (elementary through college) simply assume that the scientist was a Man, was middle-aged or older, and was white or European. One of the easiest ways to promote diversity in STEM is to make a conscious note of the diversity within the discipline and share a real human story. So, the question being asked is simple:

Can you name 5 Latin/Hispanic Scientists?

  1. Be sure to name their discipline or field
  2. You can't choose people from your own institution or company
  3. You can't Google or use the Internet to aid in your search. (But if you know someone is a scientist, but not sure what disciple, you can look that up)
  4. You can consult textbooks, journals, and class notes
  5. You can ask others to help you brainstorm, but they can't use the Internet just to get 5 names fast (see #2).
  6. Living and deceased scientists are acceptable
  7. Links to or references about the named scientists are greatly appreciated. Let's share the knowledge ... tell us as many as you can ... even if it isn't five.

Some major scientific fields or disciplines for your consideration are: Astronomy, Biology, Biomedical & Medicine, Chemistry, Engineering, Genetics, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Social Sciences and Space & Planetary Sciences.

Well BDPAers ... what say u?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Message from Columbus Chapter President

We are very proud to introduce our BETF-Blog readers to Reggie Hillery, the new president of our BDPA chapter in Columbus OH. He shared a message this week with his chapter members, sponsors and supporters. Here is what he had to say:


Last week was tough on everyone in Central Ohio. On behalf BDPA, I hope and pray everyone is okay and safe.

Despite the challenges of the power outages, we held our Information Exchange meeting last week at TechColumbus. It was an awesome meeting and we hope to continue our relationship with them by having another meeting in the near future. The knowledge shared was invaluable, as a result we uploaded the presentation to our website. If you are an IT entrepreneur or aspiring IT entrepreneur, TechColumbus can help you with funding, coaching and mentoring.

Another exciting event that took place last week, our very own Andre Young taped an interview on Tei Street's Talk Show program 'Education is Everybody's Business'. Andre provided information on our upcoming High School Computer Competition (HSCC) training program. In addition, one of our previous HSCC student's Jacob Wilson provided insight from a studentsʼ perspective. The episode aired this past Saturday and will continue to air on the local government public access channel. We will upload a copy of the program soon to our website.

As you see the BDPA Columbus chapter is reaching out into the community and providing outstanding programs for our members. Your continued participation is the key to our success in expanding to new heights.

Our next Information and Exchange meeting is scheduled for October 30th. Save the date and check the website for more information!

Reggie Hillery, President
BDPA Columbus Chapter
(614) 746-1963

Please take a moment to welcome Reggie to his new leadership position! With any luck we will have a presidential profile posted on Reggie in the near future.

Grant Proposal: FedEx Social Responsibility

BDPA New York and BDPA Foundation submitted a joint grant proposal to FedEx Social Responsibility earlier this week. We requested $13,570 funding in support of the 2009 SITES program taking place in greater New York area.

The mission of the FedEx Social Responsibility department is to actively support the communities they serve and to strengthen their global reputation through strategic investment of FedEx people, resources and network.

Corporate resources include financial contributions, in-kind shipping services and coordination of volunteer services by FedEx employees.

Requests are accepted year-round and generally are reviewed within three weeks of receipt. FedEx prefers to contribute to specific program needs rather than special events or capital campaigns.

FedEx is especially interested in supporting nonprofit organizations that request: 5% or less of a total project budget; contingency grants; or seed monies with the thought that other sources will contribute matching amounts. Organizations must show evidence of competent management, low administrative/fundraising expense ratios, and a nondiscriminatory program benefiting broad segments of the community.

Stay tuned to the BDPA Foundation blog for future updates on this grant proposal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Letter of Inquiry * RGK Foundation

BDPA Philadelphia chapter and BDPA Foundation agreed to submit a joint 'letter of inquiry' to RGK Foundation seeking $15,000 funding to support the 2009 SITES program in the greater Philadelphia area.

RGK Foundation awards grants for education-based programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly mathematics, science and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education. We feel that the youth education programs put on by our Philadelphia chapter match nicely with this focus area.

There are no geographic restrictions to the Foundation's grant-making program and most grants are awarded for a one-year period. Click here to view listing of recent grants awarded by the Foundation.

We will keep BETF-Blog Readers updated on our progress with this potential funding source.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gary Vaynerchuk: 'Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape'

I am trying very hard to encourage BDPAers to advance careers with social media as part of the toolkit. Here is a great video from recent Web 2.0 Expo held earlier this month in New York. Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library) talks about 'Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape' .

Did you take anything from this video that you can use in advancing your career?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grant Proposal: Corning Incorporated Foundation

BDPA Triangle chapter and BDPA Foundation agreed to submit a grant proposal to the Corning Incorporate Foundation seeking $16,422 funding to support the 2009 SITES program in Raleigh/Durham area.

Over the years, the Corning Incorporated Foundation has contributed more than $108 million through its programs of giving. Resources are directed almost exclusively toward initiatives which improve the quality of life in and near communities where Corning Incorporated is an active corporate citizen. Currently, the Foundation annually fulfills approximately 136 grants totaling some $3.0 million.

Support goes to institutions that are tax-exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and which are public charities as defined in Section 509(a) of the Code.

Selected public K-12 school districts, community colleges and four-year institutions of higher learning are the consistent beneficiaries of Corning Foundation support.

Corning's areas of involvement have included community service programs for students, curriculum enrichment, student scholarships, facility improvement and instructional technology projects for the classroom.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Grant Proposal: Gannett Foundation

BDPA New York chapter and the BDPA Foundation submitted a joint grant proposal to the Gannett Foundation. We requested $13,570 funding in support of the 2009 SITES program in New York City.

The Gannett Foundation is a corporate foundation sponsored by Gannett Co., Inc. They give grants to organizations in the communities in which Gannett owns a daily newspaper or television station.

The Gannett Foundation’s mission is to invest in the future of the communities in which Gannett does business, and in the future of our industry. They value projects that take a creative approach to fundamental issues such as education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Grant Proposal: Progress Energy Foundation

BDPA Triangle chapter and the BDPA Foundation combined for a $16,422 joint grant request to The Progress Energy Foundation.

We've asked this foundation to fund part of the 2009 Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program taking place in Raleigh/Durham, NC.

The Progress Energy Foundation partners with nonprofits in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina to improve the lives of their customers. Programs funded by foundation grants are typically larger in scope and impact than corporate grants, serving multiple regions or the entire state. The Progress Energy Foundation invests over $7 million annually in the communities they serve.

Grants are limited to organizations that serve Progress Energy customers in Florida, North Carolina or South Carolina. (Click here for a list of counties served by Progress Energy.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

BDPA Legacy: Betty Hutchins

Mayo Clinic's Pavilion Building at their world headquarters in Rochester MN was dedicated and renamed the Rosa Parks Pavilion. One of the longtime Mayo Clinic associates honored with a permanent display at the Rosa Parks Pavilion is Betty Hutchins.

Betty founded BDPA chapters in Chattanooga TN and Rochester MN. She has been on the national BDPA executive committee for the past four years as both a vice president and outside director. Betty Hutchins would be in the BDPA Hall of Fame if we had such a thing.

Here is her story as told at the Rosa Parks Pavilion:

My entire life has been in homage to my ancestors, who gave their lives for me to have the opportunities I have. I will never forget them or take the opportunities for granted.

My personal definition of workplace diversity is people from many different backgrounds and cultures working together to ensure that all history, including slavery and the Holocaust, is respected. My definition also includes allowing all people to operate within their uniqueness, with equal, unlimited opportunities for career success.

When I moved to Rochester from Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1998 to work as a project manager in Mayo Clinic's Information Services Department, I knew no one in Rochester or at Mayo. There was no chapter of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), so a couple of us chartered the Southern MN Chapter of BDPA in 1999. We sponsored the first High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team in 2000, and since then, Rochester students have won the national web development competition three times and placed second three times. The program has grown from fewer than 10 students in the first class to more than 50 students in the current class at Century High School.

In 1999, Mayo Clinic had no networking group for employees of African descent. About five years ago, a couple of us formed Mayo Clinic's African Descendants Support Network (ADSN). Today, I serve on the Steering Committee of ADSN. I also serve on the board of directors of the local chapter of BDPA, the United Way of Olmsted County, and on the National BDPA Executive Committee and Board. In the past, I have served on the board of the Rochester Public Library, the Rochester Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and in various positions within BDPA Southern MN Chapter. Through all these relationships,

I have developed lifelong friendships that have helped me through some pretty tough health scares and served as my surrogate family in my true family’s absence.

Mayo Clinic's support for diversity-related employee networking groups such as ADSN validates the institution's commitment to an inclusive work environment. In the future, businesses that avoid diversity will not be able to recruit and retain the best employees. Companies that become diverse only when they're forced to will be the last choice of good candidates. Today's wise organizations, such as Mayo Clinic, are creating welcoming, opportunity-filled environments for all employees at all levels of the organization.

BDPA Foundation blog is proud of the legacy that has been established by Betty Hutchins. Do you have any memories of Betty that you would like to share with us in the COMMENTS section below?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Personal Giving by Nonprofit Board Members: Why 100% Matters

There are many factors that determine fundraising effectiveness and feasibility in the nonprofit sector, but success almost always starts with the board of trustees. Board members are selected for a variety of reasons and they have varying degrees of direct responsibility for raising funds. Personal giving by board members, however, should always be understood as a core responsibility.

One of the most basic measures of organizational health is the commitment of every board member to contribute within his or her means. If board members don’t provide regular support, it suggests that they do not understand what it means to lead on the organization’s behalf. It could also suggest that they don’t understand why the organization needs financial support. Nonprofit staff members and board chairs have an obligation to make sure that the reverse is true. A high functioning board should strive for a personal 100% participation rate.

Read the rest of this article here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Visual Explanation of Web 2.0

Web 2.0 ... The Machine Is Us/ing Us - Watch more amazing videos here

How many of you remember the various evolutionary stages shown in this video? Where do you think that Web 2.0 will take us as we move into the future?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Twitter Grader * Where Do You Rank?

By simply entering your Twitter username into Twitter Grader. The site calculates your grade using a combination of factors including:
  • The number of followers you have
  • The power of this network of followers
  • The pace of your updates
  • The completeness of your profile
  • …a few others

The top-ranked Twitter account is Barack Obama. My account is ranked in the 35th percentile. Where do you stand?

ACT Test Dates

2008 – 2009 ACT Test Dates

In the United States, U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada In other countries

Test Dates:
October 25, 2008
December 13, 2008
February 7, 2009*
April 4, 2009
June 13, 2009

To view the deadlines for regular and late registration click the link below:

Current ACT Registration Dates

* No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February test date

Please Note:

If you choose going in as a Standby Tester, make sure you go to the registration location early, have your application packet completed along with the correct registration fee. Try to choose a site that won't be packed or crowded with already registered students so that you will have a better chance in gaining admittances for the exam.

If you know of a high school seniors that is planning on attending college, please share this information with them. In the end, knowledge is power, if used properly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BDPA Southern Minnesota Takes Youth Education to the Next Level

The Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program has been in place for over 20 years. One of the strongest elements of SITES is the High School Computer Competition (HSCC). In recent years, the most successful HSCC teams have been trained by BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter.

One reason for success in Rochester MN is the connection that the chapter has made with the local school district. All BDPA students participating in the SITES program in Rochester MN receive credits towards their high school graduation.

Zack Garbow is the SITES Technical Coordinator for BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter. He built an AGILE prototype earlier this year to assist in teaching Southern Minnesota students while he was out in California for 3 months. Zack assigned students their home work activities and graded students via the web site. The web site has a blog that allows students and teachers to interact online at anytime of the day or night.

This year Zack is updating www.bdpastudents.com so that parents and mentors may sign onto the web site and track a specific student's progress; down to lessons assigned, lessons turned in and their individual ranking in the class. The next logical step after this is to establish individual "blogs" for student, parent, mentor and teacher interaction.

63 students enrolled in the High School Computer Science Session hosted by BDPA Southern Minnesota this year. Five of those students took home the 2008 National HSCC championship. The chapter hopes to reach student enrollment of more than 80 students in 2008-2009 session.

The primary issue has been lack of laptop computers. However, the chapter president, Nat Calvert, indicates that this issue has been resolved.

The chapter requested wireless Internet access for their classroom sessions. Wireless Internet Access via classrooms allows them scale sessions to available classrooms and teachers. There is a huge opportunity for growth since classrooms are not in use on Saturdays. If they can scale up to four (4) classrooms near the computer lab ... they can teach over 150 students at a time. That means we can teach upward of 150 students by obtaining laptops.

I wonder which of the other 49 chapters will tap into this 'best practice' from our chapter in Rochester, MN to improve the quality and quantity of student success in their geographic area? Is your chapter using creative ideas such as these in your SITES training?

Monday, September 15, 2008

BDPA IT Showcase Winner * Tiffany McCormick (North Carolina A-T State University)

One of the best things that occurred during my time as an elected leader with National BDPA was getting Dr. Jesse Bemley to create and lead the BDPA IT Showcase. It began as a pilot program in 2003. Our goal was (a) to create a venue for HSCC alumni and college students to participate at the annual conference and (b) to encourage the recruitment of future African American Ph.D. candidates in the hard sciences.

The BDPA IT Showcase include presentations (both paper and poster) of advanced computing topics. The focus is leading edge technologies, hardware and software methodologies, research proofs of concepts encompassing intelligent, wearable computing, web technologies, high performance computing (HPC), computing curricula and computational science.

Tiffany McCormick won the 2008 BDPA IT Showcase gold medal in the college division. Tiffany is a senior pursuing her degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro NC. Oddly enough, she is not currently a BDPA member.

Tiffany volunteers with Girl Scouts, Habitat for Community, her church and the Greater Metropolitan Restoration Center. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers. Tiffany meditates, reads and spends time with her family. She strives to develop her abilities to their fullest in order to realize her purpose in life.

Tiffany is a gifted sister. The BDPA Foundation encourages you to check out the paper that helped her win first place at the 2008 BDPA IT Showcase. Her topic was ‘Synopsis of Power System Analysis’ and you can find her 11-page paper here.

My hope is that we can have at least one IT Showcase participant from each of our 50 chapters next year. For now, I encourage you to share some love with Tiffany for winning the 2008 BDPA IT Showcase!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Message from Cincinnati Chapter President

BDPA Cincinnati was 1st Runner-up for Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row. I am a long-time member of the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. As such, I am proud to see the current chapter president, Janice Lee, reaching out to her stakeholders on a regular basis with monthly newsletter, monthly program meeting and upcoming annual banquet.

I had a chance to socialize with Janice and many of the Cincinnati chapter members this past weekend at the annual cookout. I played game called 'cornhole' for the first time in my life.

Anyhow, here is message that Janice shared with her members, sponsors and community earlier this month:

Greetings Friends,

The National BDPA organization recognized the Cincinnati Chapter for the 2nd consecutive year, as 1st Runner-up as Chapter of the Year. The Cincinnati Chapter beat out 49 chapters with the exception of the Philadelphia Chapter for the 2007 – 2008 Chapter of the Year award.

The Cincinnati Chapter was also recognized for the 2nd consecutive year as having “the” premiere professional services for adults and student membership. We accepted the National Professional Service Award.

What does it take to earn National BDPA recognition? The National BDPA has 50 chapters. The Chapter of the Year Award is an award bestowed upon an individual chapter and its members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the mission and objectives of the National Association for the previous year. This award is a combination of four awards (Membership, Management, Professional Service and Community Service).

FACT: The Cincinnati Chapter has over a decade of continued success honored by National BDPA four times as Chapter of the Year and four times as 1st Runner-up Chapter of the Year…and more.

Interested in volunteering? Click on volunteer link or please send email or call us on (513) 956-0636.

Interested in joining or renewing your membership in BDPA? Click on membership database link.

Best Regards,
Janice A. Lee, President
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

BDPA Philadelphia is back-to-back defending Chapter of the Year. Perhaps it is time for the other 49 chapters to begin to recognize some of the best practices from Philadelphia chapter. For example, the chapter president, Monique Berry, communicates on a monthly basis with her stakeholders. Here is the message she shared with them for September 2008:

Why is it that after years as professionals many of us still don't understand that landing a new job is not an end result, but part of a larger career management process? A job search is not a binary transactional process; it's not a matter of "mission accomplished" and you now have the perfect job. Career success is a process and not an event, and I have yet to run into a job genie!

Most often people are surprised when they find out that there is no magic bullet; no job genie who gives them 3 wishes or delivers 50 perfect jobs every week to their e-mail box. There aren't 50 perfect jobs for every candidate, especially if you haven't done your homework. You have to know what the perfect job looks like for you! Most job seekers use a pinball strategy, bouncing from target to target until they score an offer. You can't rely on external forces to deliver when career management is really an internal process.

I read an article last week which discussed the need for career insurance. Unfortunately, I haven't run into anyone selling career insurance. And much like flood insurance; no one wants to worry about it until they need it. And when you hit a career road block, you get downsized, right sized, smart sized, or bored with your current job, then you pay attention to your career, and look for a quick fix to find a new position. It doesn't work that way! Your career insurance is to keep networking, keep talking to people about new opportunities, and continue to help others looking for career advancement.

Taking ownership of your career is like the deductable portion of you career insurance, You should start by looking inside yourself , do some serious soul-searching to understand your strengths and weaknesses, where you tend to succeed and fail, and how you can improve those skills that matter. Once you have a firm understanding of what motivates you and how you can succeed, you can take that knowledge and start building your career strategy.

Targeting companies to hire you is a similar process. Identify companies that you would like to work for, that can use your talents, and that will offer challenges and help you grow, save the list. Begin to cultivate your contacts within those companies, even if you aren't actively looking for a job. You should continue to make career contacts, just as you would continue to work with a client or customer. Those relationships will pay off over time as you create new career opportunities for yourself.

No one is going to hand you the perfect job, no matter how skilled you are. You are the one who needs to take charge of your career. So make sure that every move is part of a larger game plan, and stay in the game by staying connected with those who can help you along the way.

During our
next program meeting, September 17th; Karen Hueller with demonstrate how to include LinkedIn in your game plan.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Monique F. Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia
Vision: Partnering for Continued Growth!

Is your chapter president sending out similiar messages?

Friday, September 12, 2008

BDPA Foundation Blog Milestone: 500 Posts

Our BDPA Foundation Blog hit the 500-post milestone this week. We began on this blogging journey on August 16, 2007. This is my second blogging effort. I created the Electronic Village (BBR #23) back in January 2007. Admittedly, the BDPA Foundation Blog (BBR #606) has a smaller niche audience than the Electronic Village.

I'm pleased with the growth over the past few weeks since our live-blogging at the 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference. Hopefully the progress will continue over the next 100 posts...

My overall goal with this blog is to provide information and discussion about BDPA that gives people a reason to financially support our non-profit foundation. BDPA exists to advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from the 'classroom to the boardroom'. The BDPA Foundation wants to fund BDPA programs and services ... especially those related to our youth.

I encourage all of you to subscribe to BDPA Foundation Blog so that you won't miss our positive growth over the coming weeks and months! Currently, we have 28 subscribers to our blog. I hope to increase that number to over 100 by the end of the year. If you like the flow of our blog ... then I encourage you to subscribe today!

Our favorite topics over the past 500 posts have focused on program meetings, BDPA Cincinnati chapter and BDPA Philadelphia chapter.

One of the best things to happen recently is the addition of a guest blogger. Callie Herd and I talked at the annual BDPA Technology conference last month. She agreed to share information about scholarships for IT professionals, IT students and African Americans here on our blog!

This blog averages 53 visitors a day right now with 85 daily page views. I'm told that BDPA members appreciate the information that is shared here. I want to thank each of you that takes a moment of your day to view our blog updates. Personally, I believe you get what you measure. We track our metrics to show when we've done our best (see date in parenthesis):
  • Highest Feedburner Subscribers - 28 (9/13/08)
  • BlogCatalog Ranking - 46.6 out of 100 (6/30/08)
  • Highest Technorati Authority Ranking - 23 (2/18/08)
  • # Blogs Between BETF-Blog and #1 Blog in the World - 360,865 (2/18/08)
  • # Blogs Linking to BETF-Blog - 115 (9/7/08)
  • # Bloggers listing us as a 'favorite' - 10 (9/3/08)
  • Top Daily Visitors - 101 (3/3/08)

We're not TechCrunch, but, we do our best! I have no idea where the next 500 posts will take us. However, I pledge to be consistent in efforts to grow our BDPA Foundation blog community.

I hope that you will regularly visit with us and POST COMMENTS so that we know what you're thinking. With your support we can grow our organization, our foundation and our blog! Asante sana!

30 Skills Every IT Person Needs

Can you call yourself an accomplished information technology employee? Find out by reading about the 30 IT skills you should have.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Letter of Inquiry * AstraZeneca Foundation

BDPA Northern Delaware, BDPA Philadelphia and BDPA Foundation partnered to submit a $15,000 online letter of inquiry to the AstraZeneca Foundation. Funding would be used to support the 2009 SITES program for each chapter.

In 2007, AstraZeneca Foundation provided over $47 million in contributions to nonprofit organizations for programs and projects aimed primarily at health across the USA. As one of the largest employers in Delaware, AstraZeneca maintains a significant community presence. Each year, they contribute to more than 140 nonprofit organizations focused on health, disability, seniors, science and math education, families, women and children, youth development, community services and the arts.

We will keep you informed of our progress on this funding effort. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to partner with the BDPA Foundation to obtain funding for your chapter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 National BDPA Technology Conference (Atlanta)

UPDATE: You can find a post-conference review of events here.

The theme for our 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference is 'Harnessing Emerging Technology to Advance IT Careers'.I am looking forward to the 30th annual National BDPA Technology Conference in Atlanta. It should be a record-setting event for attendance by young people, entrepreneurs, IT professionals and corporations. Corporations are encouraged to contact BDPA Corporate Sales immediately to reserve their speaking opportunities and career fair booth placements.
  • Hotel Reservations - (800) 233-1234. The special BDPA rate for a single, double or triple rate room is $129 per night.

  • Conference Registration Rate: $600/Members or $800/Future Members. You can join BDPA and become a member for only $75. You do the math!

You can contact BDPA Headquarters for more information on the 2008 conference by phone (800.727-2372) or email (conference@bdpa.org).

Well, BETF-Blog Readers, are you planning to attend the 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference in Atlanta GA in August?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

15th Conference of the Association for Learning Technology

Later this week, several hundred people from the UK and around the world are getting together to talk, listen and have fun whilst learning about learning technology and the Digital Divide at the ALT-C conference.

The keynote speakers are David Cavallo, Chief Learning Architect for One Laptop per Child, and Head of the Future of Learning Research Group at MIT Media Lab; Dr Itiel Dror, Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Southampton; and Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and Director of the Gapminder Foundation.

Click here if you are interested in seeing the keynotes in real time.

Frances Bell, along with Helen Keegan, Josie Fraser and Cristina da Costa is running a workshop called Learning about the Digital Divide, based a successful one we ran last year.

I hope that many BDPA Foundation readers will check out this conference and learn more about ALT even if you cannot be there in person.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Potential Class of 2009 -- John B. Ervin Scholars for Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL)

My son is a John B. Ervin Scholar. As a Scholar of the program, he is currently providing recommendations of potential "John B. Ervin" candidates for the Class of 2009. This Fall of 2008 marked the first year that students with family income of $60,000 and below would attend free and those with up to $100,000 would be adjusted. In case you didn't know, Washington University cost about $50,000 a year to attend (includes tuition, room and board). Washington University school workload is considered the 2nd heaviest in the country, but you can graduate within 4 years and also do it with a dual major.

The Ervin Scholars Program is competitive; awards are based on academic achievement, leadership, and service. They encourage students to apply who are U.S. citizens, who have challenged themselves and excelled academically, who have demonstrated leadership, who have engaged in or shown a commitment to community service, who can demonstrate their commitment to bringing diverse people together (as, for example, by
having been involved in diversity initiatives in their schools or communities), who have demonstrated a commitment to serving historically underprivileged populations, and/or who can demonstrate achievement and determination in the face of personal challenges. Ervin Scholars should embody the spirit of John Ervin and continue his legacy in the Washington University community.

[More information]

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Sep 7-13)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that our blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:

We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

If you like what you are seeing on this blog ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Will You Support 'Day of Blogging For Justice: Community Organizers'?

I am a member of The AfroSpear. I think that Sarah Palin is out of line with her caustic criticism of community organizers like Martin Luther King Jr. or Norman Mays.

As such, I will participate in the Day of Blogging for Justice: Community Organizers on Monday September 8, 2008. I will join other AfroSpear members by blogging about community organizers and the great work they have done in America's communities.

I invite you to participate as either a blogger or a blog reader.

Top Ten Black Blogs (Sep 2008)

I am pleased to enter into the 2nd year of the Villager's Black Blog Rankings (BBR)! None of us knew what would happen when we posted the initial BBR with 75 Black blogs in Sep 2007. This month we publish over 1,400 Black owned & operated blogs! I met a number of these brothers and sisters last month at the Blogging While Brown conference in Atlanta.

Here are some of our posts on the BBR from over the past year. You can see how some blogs have risen and others have dropped. Is your favorite Black owned & operated blog on our list?

Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Blogs for Sep 2008:

  1. Pam Spaulding: Pam's House Blend* (Authority: 1,117 / Rank: 1,995) - [Politics] Pam maintained her position as the top blogger of African descent in the universe! Her hometown newspaper wrote a detailed article on the growing respect that Pam is getting throughout the blogosphere. Others in Others in the mainstream media are beginning to notice Pam as well. Pam was part of history in Denver last month in her role as a credentialed blogger at the Democratic National Convention.

  2. Ahsmi Rawlins: Nah Right* (Authority: 925 / Rank: 2,673) - [Entertainment] This blog held onto the BBR #2 slot for the second month in a row. Ashmi (a.k.a., ESKAY) has operated his blog since May 2005 and he is widely recognized as one of the top five writers on hip hop in the world. One reason for the success of his entertainment blog is his ability to share MP3 versions of songs before they go public.

  3. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop* (Authority: 844 / Rank: 3,066) - [Entertainment] Angel Laws is the young sister who started this blog as a hobby. Angel's blog gained a spot to BBR #3 this month. She went through some controversy earlier this year in her efforts to partner with Love B. Scott (BBR #26). Obama must truly be a rock star as he made it to Concrete Loop!

  4. The Bossip: Bossip.com* (Authority: 832 / Rank: 3,131) - [Entertainment] Until recently, Bossip.com was the top-ranked Black blog in the world. Many Black bloggers respect the way in which The Bossip has been able to monetize Bossip.com. However, Bossip.com occassionally gets in trouble with posts that appear to denigrate women of color, such as Elizabeth Acevedo and Maya Angelou. I'm still trying to figure out if The Bossip is a brother or sister. Do you know?

  5. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 692 / Rank: 4,111) - [Politics] Oliver is an ol' school blogger. He began his blog in April 2005. He was witness to history last month in Denver as one of the few Black bloggers credentialed to cover the DemConvention. I encourage those of you with Web 2.0 knowledge to follow Oliver on twitter as well!

  6. Natasha Eubanks: Young, Black & Fabulous* (Authority: 670 / Rank: 4,321) - [Entertainment] Natasha Eubanks is the writer & editor of the site, the most famous African American entertainment/gossip blogger in the world. The YBF is the product of her obsession with all that is Hollywood and celebrity. Eubanks said blogging has opened doors for her career as well. As a result of running her own blog, Eubanks got chance to blog for King Magazine’s Web site and Sohh.com, a hip-hop weekly news site.

  7. Baratunde Thurston and Cheryl Contee: Jack and Jill Politics* (Authority: 517 / Rank: 6,255) - [Politics] Baratunde (a.ka. Jack Turner) and Cheryl (a.k.a. Jill Tubman) have one of the fastest moving blogs on the BBR this month. Jack and Jill were both in Denver this past month as credentialed bloggers at the Democratic National Convention. I encourage all villagers to visit the blog with its new look and feel.

  8. Kimberly Kira: The Angry Black Woman (Authority: 451 / Rank: 14,008) - [Social Commentary] Kimberly Kira (a.k.a., Tempest) attended the School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati OH. She describes herself as a "bisexual polyamorous pagan gamer geek" ... which might explain the focus that her blog places on sexism and racism. The frequency of posting continues to grow as Kimberly now has a number of guest bloggers. Sista has some Cincinnati roots ... so give her blog a look-see this month!

  9. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly* (Authority: 445 / Rank: 14,252) - [Entertainment] This gossip blog created in August 2004 teases us the tagline "Shouldn't you be working?" From Kanye West to the Reverend Al Sharpton, C&D takes no prisoners. The photos, quotes and YouTube-of-the-Day selections make this blog a pleasure to read. Okay, time to get back to work.

  10. Steve Spaulding: How To Split An Atom* (443 / 14,763) - [Technology] How To Split An Atom is a blog about using, abusing, and surviving in the Web X.0 landscape. It's Internet culture, split open. Steve provides a sprinkling of life hacks, meta filtering, personal projects and journalism all at a break neck pace. This blog rarely goes more than a few hours without a new post.

HONORABLE MENTION (11-25): Sandra Rose*, Necole Bitchie*, What About Our Daughters, Real Talk NY Provides The Latest Hip Hop News, The Field Negro*, La Shawn Barber's Corner, Keith Boykin, Raw Dawg Buffalo, Angry Black Bitch, AfroBella*, Ill Doctrine*, Electronic Village, Clutch Magazine, SoulBounce.com and Too Sense

This ranking is open to any blogger of African descent. We invite all Black bloggers to apply for membership into The AfroSpear or join our Facebook group known as the Afrosphere Bloggers Association.

Those blogs with an asterisk after their name are finalists for the 2008 Black Weblog Awards.

Black Blog Rankings lean heavily on the Technorati Authority and Rank score for each blog. The Technorati authority and rank numbers are shown in parenthesis. The authority figure includes a number of factors including the number of blogs that are linked to this blogger over the past six months. The rank number indicates how many blogs are between the one listed and The Huffington Post, which is the #1 overall blog in the universe.

We do think that these Black blogs are important spheres of influence. Let them know that you appreciate the work they have put in over the past few months and years to get on this list. I encourage all bloggers to provide some link-love to this post so that your readers can learn about the Villager's Black Blog Rankings! Next step is yours ... what say u?

Friday, September 5, 2008

14th Annual Education & Scholarship Luncheon (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati is the 5th largest chapter in the nation. This chapter won the Professional Development Award at the national conference last month. The chapter now extends invitation to all BDPA Foundation Blog readers to attend their 14th Annual Education & Scholarship Luncheon on Saturday, September 20, 2008.

One of the highlights of the event will be the keynote speech by Clifford Bailey, President/CEO or TechSoft Systems. Clifford is an elder statesman of technology business owners in the state of Ohio. He has been a supporter of BDPA Cincinnati for over a decade.

Here are the logistic for this banquet:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Xavier University’s
Schiff Conference & Banquet Center
at the Cintas Center

1624 Herald Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45207
11:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Tickets: $30.00 per person

You can purchase or donate banquet tickets here.

For rates on tables and ads, please contact us at (513) 956-0636 or cincinnati@bdpa.org

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Giving USA 2008

The Giving USA Foundation has released its "Giving USA 2008" yearbook of philanthropy, revealing that donors gave an estimated $306.39 billion in 2007 — an increase of more than $11 billion, or 3.9% (1% adjusted for inflation), over 2006 figures.

Statistics from 2007:
  • Giving by individuals was the largest single source of donations, accounting for $229.03 billion or 74.8% of all estimated giving in 2007. This is an increase of 2.7% over the previous year.
  • Charitable bequests totaled $23.15 billion for the year, making up 7.6% of total donations. When added to the giving statistics for living individuals, it represents 82.3% of all estimated giving in 2007.

To read more about the "Giving USA 2008" yearbook or to order your copy, visit the Giving USA Foundation Web site.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

5 Technologies That Will Change Information Technology

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation is very proud of our board members. One of our board members is Larry Quinlan (CIO, Deloitte). We invite you to listen in as Larry draws on vast IT experience to discuss the tehnologies that will change the industry.

What did you think of his presentation?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Compuware Sponsors BDPA Atlanta Chapter

L-R: Keota Lynn Golden, Sr. Account Manager; Charlotte Simmons, Product & Sales Account Manager;
Karen Porat, Technical Recruiter; & Jay Hughes, Services Account Manager

The Atlanta Compuware team (Keota Lynn, Jay, Charlotte, & Karen) all attended the BDPA Atlanta chapter's program meeting. Compuware presented BDPA with a check in the amount of $2,500. The chapter's program meetings in September, October and November will be sponsored by Compuware. In addition, Compuware will play a large role in the 2008 chapter awards event.

Compuware wants to take an active role in partnering with the Atlanta chapter and the chapter leadership is very excited to have them as a new sponsor.

Monday, September 1, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Kunle Roberts (Southern Minnesota)

BDPA Southern Minnesota is the most successful dynasty in the 22-year history of the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC). Students from that chapter have won over $62,000 in scholarship funding from the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation since 2003.

One of the shining stars from the chapter is Kunle Roberts. Kunle is a 3-time national HSCC member. He earned $7,000 in Bemley Scholarships and another $2,500 from the Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students. We asked Kunle to share his thoughts on his time with BDPA. Here is his testimonial:

A lot of my time over the last four years has been contributed to BDPA, and thankfully a lot of it has paid off. I have been in BDPA since 9th grade and I’m happy to say that I’ve continued to participate in HSCC each year. BDPA creates a unique experience for learning a new skill and meeting new people and I’m extremely blessed to have been a part of the Southern Minnesota chapter.

My first year in BDPA was spent crawling my way through things trying to develop an understanding for web programming. Though I had no previous experience with binary, HTML, or ASP.Net, I managed to be chosen as an alternate for the HSCC team by the end of the year. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to the National Conference in Detroit, but after some urging by the chapter’s coordinators I decided to go. At that conference (besides having to wake up early and dress up each day), I had an awesome time. I was completely stunned and amazed by the surroundings of the GM Renaissance Center. I recognized the true scope of BDPA since I was suddenly surrounded by each of the chapters from around the country. After returning from the conference and seeing my teammates win 1st Place, I was sold on BDPA.

The next fall I jumped into BDPA with a renewed fervor. I worked steadily throughout the year and emerged as one of the top five students in the class, earning me a spot on my chapter’s HSCC team. This is where the real work began as our team started to truly train for the competition. We spent many long hours studying together through the summer months. Our team went into the competition confident that we could do well, even though there was only one returning member from the previous year. We did very well despite our inexperience and took 2nd place. We came home happy but with a burning desire to do even better the following year.

My third year in BDPA seemed to go by quickly. The Southern Minnesota chapter had taken steps in streamlining the program and by now nothing was unfamiliar to me. I was once again chosen as an HSCC team member and the other team members were all very capable and experienced. We knew we hadn’t proved anything yet, but we were confident that we had what it took to win. This was exactly what we did, as we took the first place prize in 2007.

BDPA has been a central part of my life and has had a profound effect on me over the last four years. As I head off to Rice University, I am doing so with the goal of majoring in Computer Science, mostly due to the influence of BDPA and web programming. Competing in the HSCC competition is by no means an easy thing to excel at and I am thankful to have found success in it. I am extremely glad to have been a part of the Southern Minnesota chapter, and I look forward to being involved in BDPA in the future.

Kunle wrote this testimonial before the 2008 national BDPA HSCC held earlier this month in Atlanta. His team defended their national championship! Share some love with Kunle in the COMMENTS section below! What say u?