Technology marketer to address girls’ STEM confere...

Technology marketer to address girls’ STEM conference Sept. 21

Kate Colson

Kate Colson

Marketing manager Kate Colson is passionate about technology.

The San Diego native now living in Nashville will share this passion Saturday, Sept. 21, during the annual Expanding Your Horizons in mathematics and science conference at MTSU. Starting in the McWherter Learning Resources Center and branching out to other buildings on campus, the event goes form 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, is for middle and high school girls in grades five through 12. The conference will inform participants about careers in math- and science-related fields. About 310 girls preregistered to attend this year.

“I am passionate about technology, specifically careers in technology because it has been a successful career choice for me and I feel that there is so much opportunity for young women who pursue technical training,” said Colson, who works for Nashville-based HealthTech. “Technology is now ingrained in any career choice a young person can make.

“I’m a marketer, and technology is steeped in my daily work activities. A young person that wants to pursue a medical career needs to not only understand the science, but also be well-versed in the technology used throughout the entire continuum of patient care.”

Colson said her presentation, which is titled “Be Curious and Live Beyond Your Wildest Dreams,” is the subject of her talk “because I don’t feel I was curious enough when I was a kid. I’m one of three girls, and my mom always told my sisters and me that we ‘could be anything we wanted to be,’ and I didn’t really ask questions to know what she meant.”

The keynote speaker said she “accidentally fell into a career in technology and I love it. I want young women to embrace technology, ask questions and be purposeful in their career choices. I think curiosity is a very important trait that is typically encouraged in young boys, but not always in young women. I want to encourage young women to ask questions and dive deep into things that interest them.”

Kelly A. Perry

Kelly A. Perry

Kelly A. Perry will be the keynote speaker for the high school girls. Perry is a research associate in the Microscopy Group in the Materials Science and Technology Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“Being a staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab allows me to help our country by advancing energy,” Perry said.

Workshops for the middle school girls will include “Barging Along,” led by Nissan USA team members Lisa Smith, Patti MacQueen, Emmalynne Head and Tara Lesieur; “Navigate Your Future,” led by Sgt. Victor Stephenson of the military science department and MTSU ROTC cadets Elizabeth Dang, Teana Harle and Sarah Thurston; “Wild Ride,” led by Carrie Reinholtz and Patty Stiggins of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex; and “Women in Control — the Air Traffic Control Experience,” led by Gail Zlotky and Andrea Georgiou of the MTSU aerospace department.

For more information about EYH, contact MTSU professor Judith Iriarte-Gross at 615-904-8253 or email

— Randy Weiler (