I watched the Teen Choice Awards with my daughter the other week…  She was tracking who won and whom she voted for via her iPhone.  I was “zoning” out all the noise and wondering what this could possibly teach her. Having moved to LA from the East Coast a few years back now, the influence of “Hollywood” is hard to escape, so trying to instill the message that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is smart and sexy is a real challenge. Referring to myself as a cool geek mom, I am often saying to my kids that science is cool, math is cool, and being a geek is cool!

My kids’ eyes start to roll when I get into my mom teachable moment stance and deliver my mantra of “be the best you can be,” “give whatever you try your best effort” and “education comes first above all else.”

We all go to sleep after the awards show… The next day, I’m bombarded with emails, tweets, and FB posts from friends in our industry telling me to go watch the Teen Choice Awards.  Watch Ashton Kutcher’s speech as he tells kids….


 “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap!”

Basically I was stunned.  This is exactly what our kids need to hear.  You don’t get what you want in life through luck, you get it through hard work and applying yourself.  This is a universal truth I hope that all of us who attend the International Microwave Symposium 2014 (IMS2014) in Tampa next June believe.  And I hope that all of you reading this can get behind it and become involved this coming year in Tampa because a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach effort is going to be underway that pulls “teens” to us and excites them about science and technology so that they want to do great things (high-tech things) as adults.

Let’s work together to change the world by taking our first step toward mentoring a teen into STEM*. If you have a teen yourself, look more into the STEM program for IMS2014.  Bring your teen along. We need to inspire this generation so they can inspire us by changing the world.

Help spread the word about the IMS STEM program and other key topics the IMS2014 Social Media Committee (of which I am the chair) will be blogging about in the months leading up to Tampa in June. Follow our blog (http://www.ims2014.org/) and join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, InstaGram, and YouTube.

*More about STEM

The STEM Education Coalition (http://www.stemedcoalition.org/) works aggressively to raise awareness in Congress, the Administration, and other organizations about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. The Coalition advocates for strengthening of STEM-related programs for educators and students and increased federal investments in STEM education. We also support robust federal investments in basic scientific research to inspire current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields. Members of the STEM Coalition believe that our nation must improve the way our students learn science, mathematics, technology and engineering and that the business, education, and STEM communities must work together to achieve this goal.

Sherry Hess,
AWR Corporation
Chair, IMS 2014 Social Media Committee

Sherry Hess brings to AWR more than 15 years of EDA experience in domestic and international sales, marketing, support, and management. Prior to joining AWR, she served as vice president of business development at CebaTech, Inc., where she was responsible for taking the R&D stealth-mode EDA/IP start-up to market, which included all aspects of sales, support, marketing, and business management.

For the majority of her career, Sherry served in various positions at EDA software developer Ansoft Corporation. She joined the company in 1990 as a sales and support engineer, and was instrumental in setting up new semiconductor / major accounts throughout North America. In 1995 Sherry was promoted to director of European operations, with responsibility for all company operations throughout Europe. In 2000 she was named vice president of marketing, directing worldwide marketing of Ansoft's high-performance EDA software product lines until leaving the company in 2005. Before joining Ansoft, Sherry spent two years with Intel Corporation, where she worked in the ASIC Group and developed relationships with companies such as Bell Northern Research and Northern Telecom.

Sherry holds BSEE and MBA degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.