September 2021 C-STEM Newsletter

Message from Dr. Reagan Flowers

Impact on Student Attainment: Ethnicity vs. Socio-economics

I recently attended a conference, and a loaded question raised from a member of the audience was, “When it comes to student attainment, which factor has the potential to hold a student back more? Is it ethnicity or socio-economic background? Their questions inspired me to challenge the audience to think about what it looks like when both play a major factor in student achievement and attainment. This month, I’m exploring these great questions.   Read the Full Article…

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Opportunities & Deadlines

Take action!

Watch this section for great opportunities coming up or closing soon.

Call to Action for Science Education: Building Opportunity for the Future
Join leading scientists, educators and other key stakeholders, appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, as they share their perspectives on the need to improve K-12 science and STEM education.
Zoom Webinar
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
12:00 pm ET
Register here
Free Virtual STEM Conference

The Women’s Energy Network (WEN) is inviting all C-STEM students, parents, teachers, and supporters to participate in an exciting virtual STEM conference on October 9, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is geared toward girls in grades 9-12 in the Houston region. The first 50 students to register will receive free CEEF STEM boxes to go along with the hands-on experiments track.  

Register for the conference here.

YWE 2022 Academic Scholarships

WEN Houston Young Women Energized (YWE) is awarding ten $10,000 scholarships to outstanding Houston area female high school graduating seniors pursuing STEM degrees.  The criteria focuses on academic success, leadership potential and financial need.
Apply by Oct. 23

WISE 2021 Summit

World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) is hosting its global summit Dec. 7-9 in Doha, Qatar, but participants are welcome to attend virtually.  This year’s theme is “Generation Unmute: Reclaiming our Future through Education.”

Sign up to receive more information.

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This Month’s Highlights

Halliburton Foundation Grant Update

We are happy to announce that the next phase of our web-based game development initiative can continue because of the generous $15,000 grant given to us by the Halliburton Foundation, Inc.  Last Spring, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we started on the path to developing an educational resource that would enhance our C-STEM Challenge curriculum.  We are now fortunate that we are able to continue working with Mr. James Isaacks, Adjunct Professor of Computer Information Technology and his students from San Jacinto College.  Under the direction of Mr. Isaacks, students will complete the development of three web based games that will be used as a resource for teachers to support students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills through a fun and engaging medium.  We cannot wait for the finished products to be implemented as part of our project based/problem based curriculum.  

C-STEM’s Executive Vice President Crystal Donatto Brown also had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the new South Campus Engineering and Technology Building and receive a tour led by Mr. Isaacks and Dr. Roger T. Watkins, Department Chair of Business & Computer Technology.  Brown said that her favorite stop on the tour was placing a virtual reality headset on and stepping into the “dungeon”.  “The details of the virtual environment were so rich and vivid, it felt as if I was really walking on cobblestones, could read the inscriptions on the chests, and feel the heat from the torch on the wall.  The experience was so exciting that I can see how VR/AR could enhance education and teacher training.”

C-STEM appreciates the on-going support of the Halliburton Foundation as we continue to provide students with interactive STEM learning experiences.



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C-STEM Welcomes New Interns

Please take a minute to read about our newest interns. We’re excited to welcome them to the C-STEM family!

Lauryn Stovall
Texas Southern University

Lauryn is a senior majoring in business marketing. She is looking forward to gaining more hands-on marketing experience through her internship. 

“The opportunity could enhance the skills I currently have,” she said. “I also want to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.” 

In her spare time, Lauryn enjoys being a foodie and a music lover.

SJ Newton
University of Houston

SJ is majoring in technology and innovation management. He is currently a sophomore.

“This position will be the sweet spot between what I want to go into and what I can learn here,” he said.

In his spare time, SJ enjoys gaming, cooking, voice acting, and writing.

Mentors Matter

Professionals Step Up to Lead Next Generation

C-STEM is honored to welcome four accomplished professionals to our expanded internship program as mentors. These experts in their respective fields have aim to influence the personal and professional growth of their C-STEM Mentee.  Their volunteer efforts will guide and help our interns develop and achieve their goals, and prepare for their future careers.  We are thrilled to give our college interns the opportunity to learn about today’s careers from those who live it every day.  And we are confident that this mentoring program will broaden the skills of both the mentee and the mentor.

We are growing our pool of mentors and excited to introduce them to you!  

Seun Harris – Engineer, Energy Industry

Our lead mentor, Seun Harris, is a C-STEM community volunteer who has been instrumental in developing our Intern Mentorship Program.  As our first mentor in our pilot program, we witnessed the positive effect that professionals who work in a STEM field or industry could have on the future STEM workforce.  We knew we needed to expand the resources and experiences we provided our interns to better prepare them for the workforce or life as an entrepreneur.  Harris collaborated on the creation of our mentorship guidelines, recruited our first group of mentors, and matched our mentors with their mentees.  His vision for the creation of a program in which students are able to receive support and guidance as they navigate the waters of completing college and entering the workforce is inspiring.  And we thank him for choosing C-STEM as the recipient of his kindness and commitment. 

Harris received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.  He started his career with Chevron as a Facilities Engineer, working on asset development and operations support projects.  He has spent 12 years with Chevron, working in the energy industry in locations including Houston, Louisiana, Angola, and South Korea.  His roles have included piping engineering, project management, complex module fabrication, and onshore and offshore construction.

For 9 of his 12 years at Chevron, Harris has been an expat working overseas.  He is currently on assignment in Kazakhstan, working on a major capital project expanding production of an existing facility. He is also a licensed Project Management Professional and is currently developing programming skills.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to travel to various places while on assignment. It’s given me a perspective on life I don’t think I would have had otherwise. I generally appreciate things more. Though it’s hard to always remember how good you got it relatively, I try to remind myself when complaining sets in,” he said. “I’ve felt the need to pay it forward for a long time. It’s important to ensure we have people coming behind us with the right mindsets and skill sets to solve complex problems, while maintaining empathy for those impacted and a sense of self. I hope to pass on what I’ve learned and look forward to the opportunity.”

In his spare time, Harris enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, do-it-yourself projects, learning new skills, and of course, volunteering with C-STEM.  

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Dr. Busola Oke – Physician

Dr. Busola Oke received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Houston, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate from Saba University School of Medicine.

Her 13 years of experience in health care has included several hospital settings such as the University Health Science Center, West Houston Hospital and Memorial Hospital.  She has also served as Director of Nursing for home health and psychiatric nursing; and had the opportunity to work alongside other first responders during the initial wave of the pandemic.  Dr. Oke is currently completing an internal medicine residency training in New York, with hopes of pursuing a cardiology fellowship afterward. 

“Becoming a mentor affords me the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ to those following behind,” she said. “I believe providing youth exposure to people who have navigated careers is a rewarding endeavor. It also involves dedication on my part, in which I am willing to serve in any way I can.”

In her free time, Dr. Oke enjoys working out, writing songs and watching movies.

Busola Oke

Brandon Cheatham – Engineer, Energy Industry

Brandon Cheatham received a BS in Civil Engineering from Prairie View A&M University.  He was drawn to the energy industry because of the opportunity to manage large, complex projects and help solve some of the world’s energy problems.  He started his career with Chevron as a Facilities Engineer and his 12 years in the energy industry have included various roles in areas such as engineering, project management, operations, and business supplier management, including an assignment as an offshore operations supervisor.

Cheatham lived in London, UK, for four years, supporting one of the largest energy projects in the world, with accountability for $200MM in global business supplier deliverables.  He is currently working as a Product Manager supporting digital innovation and IT development efforts within Chevron.

Cheatham enjoys traveling, attending art exhibits, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.

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Mayowa Olubori – Finance & Marketing Expert

Mayowa “Mayo” Olubori earned a BBA in Economics from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MBA in Finance and Energy from the University of Oklahoma. He spent 15 years in finance, working as a Financial Analyst for companies including KPMG, AIG, HP, Lehman Brothers, NRG and Microsoft.

Olubori then transitioned into Marketing Operations and is currently the Program Manager for Microsoft‘s Loans and Giveaway Program.  In this role, he oversees all activities of this large scale program, helping to drive revenue for the company.  He has been with Microsoft for four years. 

“I have always had an urge to give back to my community; in college I got into a prestigious leadership academy, which really helped develop me and provided a substantial scholarship that helped me get through school,” he said. “This program also provided me with mentors who helped shape my career. I feel like it is finally time for me to give back and this program will provide the perfect opportunity for me to do that.”

Olubori said he loves to spend time with his wife and daughter. He’s also an avid soccer fan who loves to travel, hike, run, and listen to audible books.

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Dr. Flowers Honored in Top 30

Congratulations to C-STEM Founder and CEO Dr. Reagan Flowers, who has been named one of the 2021 Top 30 Influential Women of Houston. She will be honored at the Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Awards Gala.

The Top 30 Women recognition celebrates the accomplishments and giving spirit of hundreds of diverse, influential and powerful women in Houston and the surrounding areas. The Top 30 Women come from different backgrounds, share different beliefs and have overcome different obstacles, but their common denominator  is their undeniable quest for success and passion to mentor the next generation of leaders.

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Blast From the Past Corner

We get the biggest joy going back down memory lane. C-STEM has touched so many lives. We have been serving communities near and far for more than two decades. It is our hope that this memory places a smile on your face and warms your heart. This month, we’re bringing you a video of our 2012 Challenge Day. Enjoy hearing firsthand from those who enjoyed the event, including U.S Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

C-STEM Upcoming Events


The Gift of Robotics This Holiday Season!

Please help Cloth & Cord this holiday season by donating, October 11th – December 3rd, to provide preschoolers with Robotics Toolkits.

Find out more…


11th Annual C-STEM Holiday Social

Save The Date!!!

From 5:30 PM until 7:00 PM Timezone: Central Central Time (US & Canada), Mexico City time

At Five Woods, LLC

Find out more…


10th Annual State of STEM Education Stakeholder Breakfast

The 10th Annual State of STEM Education Stakeholder Breakfast brings together P-12 schools, higher education, professional organizations, corporations, and public servant leaders to receive updates on C-STEM’s community impact and the current state of STEM education.

From 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM Timezone: Central Central Time (US & Canada), Mexico City time



See all upcoming events here

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners

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Executive Board

Board Members_2021

Advisory Board

Michael Aldridge
Shomari Williams
Joi Beasley
Zawadi Bryant
Bobby Bryant
Lucy Bremond
Antonio ‘Tony’ Canales
LaQuita Cyprian
Laolu Davies Yemitan
Gayle Fallon
Ruthie Esene
Michael Harris
Renee Logans
David Medina
Antoinette Jackson
Scott Minnix
Dr. Sandra Saldana Ortega
Susan Taylor
Dr. Frazier Wilson
Syalisa Winata
Ross Peters
Dr. Robert Satcher
Charles Samuel
Miloni Shah
Cherrilyn B. Nedd
Dr. Martina Ogbonna
Dr. Letitia Franklin Ozoude

We are C-STEM!

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WISE Award Finalist

STEM Access Champion of Change by The White House