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Carmen Sidbury Named Honorary Chair of Million Women Mentors-NC

Monday, January 07, 2019

Carmen Sidbury, director of UNCW’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has been named an honorary chair for Million Women Mentors – North Carolina. MWM is a national movement to encourage girls and young women to pursue STEM careers. The organization is active in 35 states, with more than 45 corporate partnerships serving over 30 million girls. Dr. Sidbury joins North Carolina Representative Graig Meyer as an honorary chair of MWM –NC. The appointment was announced in January.

Sidbury was selected for her vision and leadership in academia, entrepreneurship, and advocacy for STEM education.

“People at UNCW and our partners who have met Carmen know what an incredible colleague and resource she has become in a short amount of time with us,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey. “The MWM appointment is reflective of who Carmen is as a leader, an educator and an advocate. She is going to be a great champion for STEM for girls and young women.”

Sidbury has more than 30 years of experience in industry, government and higher education. She earned BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A & T State University and in 1995 became the first African-American female to earn a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her professional experience includes several years in technical positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies and two years at the National Science Foundation as a program director. Sidbury joined Spelman College as an associate dean in 2007, and served as the college’s Associate Provost for Research from 2011-2016. She is also founder of The Sidbury Group, LLC, a business focused on enhancing diversity and inclusion in STEM.

“It is an honor to be invited to serve in this role at MWM-NC,” Sidbury said. “Women have made tremendous progress in education and the workplace during the past 50 years. In science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), however, women’s progress has been slower, especially in engineering, computer science, and physics.”

“The structural imbalance between America’s need for, and production of, scientists and engineers, give real urgency to the question, ‘who will do science in the new millennium?’ To address this imbalance larger numbers of scientists and engineers must come from the talent pool comprised of women and people of color  – not to displace any group, but to expand our capacity to innovate within a framework of inclusiveness and opportunity for all,” she said. “As a mechanical engineer, I have benefited tremendously from a myriad of outstanding mentors. I look forward to partnering with Rep. Meyer and the MWM-NC organization to spark the interest and confidence of girls and women to pursue and succeed in STEM careers and leadership opportunities through the power of mentoring. “

Sidbury has served as director of CESTEM since July 2018.