Panel Discusses STEM Career Path

Left to right, Top: Mary Sullivan, Donna Mathews; Bottom: Isaac Alvarado and Dan Domikaitis

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

The Valencia College Math Club hosted a virtual “Launch Your STEM Path” career panel on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, and 91 students were in attendance. This event was sponsored by the East Campus Mathematics Department and Student Development.

Three panel members from the community shared their personal STEM career journeys as well as the skills they learned in the classroom that have applied to their careers. One panelist noted that he uses analysis and physics components every day in his work life. The speakers consisted of:

  • Dan Domikaitis, integration and test engineer at Relativity Space
  • Mary Sullivan, civil engineer for Sasaki and Associates
  • Isaac Alvarado, University of Central Florida Physics student and NASA intern

All speakers stressed that networking is the place where you start building your relationships with coworkers who are like-minded. You need to value these relationships because you never know when you will need to work with them again. Communication, passion and enthusiasm are the keys to a successful work environment. There was also a question-and-answer session at the end of the event.

“I now realize that very successful people get their best results through hard work,” Math Club President Disneyana Davenport said. “The STEM Career Panel was an awesome event. I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Professor Donna Matthews was the panel chair for this event, and she led the panel through many interesting and informative topics about jobs and their careers. Learning from these panelists in such a fun and interactive way definitely broadened my perspective on STEM opportunities.”

The panel was organized and supported by Professors of Mathematics Agatha Shaw, Joanne Kiriazes, Michelle Karkkainen, Patrick Murphy, Abdul Zainulabdeen and Donna Matthews. There are plans to schedule additional STEM career panels each semester with a focus on medical professions, architecture, computer programming and web development.

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