Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Academic Experts Address the Importance of Women in STEM Fields

CHICAGO, December 12, 2011

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., today joined academic experts from DeVry University, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Notre Dame for a panel discussion on the importance of women pursuing education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“It’s critical that we continue to inspire young women to pursue educational and career opportunities in STEM-related fields,” said Rep. Schakowsky during the discussion at DeVry University’s Chicago Loop Center. “There is a significant gender disparity in this sector with women holding less than 25 percent of all STEM jobs in this country. There is a tremendous opportunity for women to make a difference with America’s innovative capacity and global competitiveness.”

During the discussion, four STEM academic experts discussed their experiences and provided guidance for females pursuing an education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Program participants included Congresswoman Schakowsky; Carmen Lilley, associate professor with the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Veronica Arreola, director of the Women in Science and Engineering Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago and assistant director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Cathy Pieronek, assistant dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame; and Susan Brauer, dean of Academic Affairs at DeVry University.

As a long time champion of women in STEM education, DeVry University encourages young females through its HerWorld® program to explore STEM fields. HerWorld® is an interactive workshop given by DeVry University to high school juniors and seniors across the country each year during National HerWorld® Month. The workshop introduces young women to career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math through a series of games, hands-on projects and live discussions with successful women from top companies in the local community.

“DeVry University’s goal is to prepare students to be competitive in today’s job market,” said Piotr Lechowski, president of DeVry University’s Chicago Loop Center. “With educational and career training in STEM fields, students will successfully transition into these important career areas, ready to offer America’s workforce nothing less than the best.”

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About DeVry University 

DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within six areas of study: Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Media Arts & Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit


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