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Episode 37: Pioneer Valley Women in STEM- Part 2

Her Stem Story

Release Date: 11/27/2018



Organizers: Melissa Paculli, Michelle Rame (HCC); Beth McGinns-Cavanaugh (STCC), Alysha Putnam (GCC); Constance West & Liliana Lagsklodowska (BCC) and Dan Montagna & Yarida Cruz (UMass Center of Springfield).

This is the 2nd part of our 2 part series of our live recording at the #MYSTEMSTORY at UMass Centre of Springfield, which was a part of the #MASSSTEMWEEK celebrations. Listen to Episode 36 for the first part. 

The STEM Starter Academies at Holyoke, Springfield Technical, Berkshire, and Greenfield community colleges, along with the Society of Women Engineers affiliate at STCC, sponsored the networking workshop called #MySTEMStory. Organizers want to build a network for Pioneer Valley women in STEM. The Oct. 24 gathering featured a panel discussion and Q&A was led by us.

The discussion covers how community colleges are working on bridging the gap in STEM fields by making education more affordable, accessible and creating a community to help women students. We also discuss what inspired the panelists to choose STEM. 


1) Carlo Velez Garcia - Originally from Cialis, Puerto Rico. She is a mother and alumni of HCC and Smith College. She has a Masters of Science and now works as a science teacher at Van Sickle Middle School, Springfield. 

2) Michelle Rame -  A non-traditional student, she started school 6 years out of high school after working in the non-profit world. She is an HCC/NSF scholar alumni and is currently a Senior Civil Engineering Student at Western New England University. She is a STEM Ambassador at HCC. She also spent 4 months in China, building a house in China's 2018 SoDecathlonalon. 

3) Mary Berrio - Mary was born in Cali, Colombia and came to the US in 2009. She is the first generation to obtain a higher education degree in her family. She is both a Berkshire Community College and UMass Amherst Alumni and she received her Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. She currently works as the systems engineer for the Littoral Combat Ship ( LCS). She also actively participates in the local Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.