Barbara Bitters was among 12 individuals who were recently honored as White House Champions of Change, under President Obamaâ€™s Winning the Future Initiative. Bitters is among those who strive to increase awareness of the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Champions of Change honorees include teachers, industry leaders, students, and non-profit leaders, have each taken great strides to reduce the barriers that drive many girls and women to turn away from high-paying, highly rewarding careers as the Nationâ€™s top innovators.
Barbara Bitters is the Assistant Director for the Career and Technical Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and a NASDCTEc Member. Barbara is both the state leader of the Wisconsin Girl’s Collaborative Project (www.ngcproject.org) and the co-leader of the Wisconsin STEM Equity Pipeline Project under the auspices of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE) .
As the leader for these two projects, Bittersâ€™ focus has been to develop and refine strategies and activities that attract, serve, and support the success of girls/women and other under-represented groups to build STEM skills and to explore STEM Careers. She was the state Sex Equity Coordinator under federal vocational education requirements U.S for over 12 years. In 1980, Barbara, under an intergovernmental exchange program, served in the Department of Education as a Special Advisor on Womenâ€™s Issues and Vocational Equity to the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education. She was co-director of the National Leadership Development Conference for Vocational Sex Equity Coordinators from 1979-1987.
Bitters is a Past Chair of the Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education (AGELE) and is on the Executive Committee of NAPE.
Bitters said â€œI am thrilled to be recognized as a Champion of Change for promoting access, equity and diversity for girls and women in STEM, and I am proud of the CTE contributions to the development of STEM skills for students and the promotion of STEM Career Development.â€
Bitters also shared â€œI am hoping that people will incorporate this critical career equity work. To get started, become a member of NAPE, and subscribe to www.stemequitypipeline.org. Another NASDCTEc Member, Mimi Lufkin, is the Chief Executive Officer of NAPE.
NASDCTEc offers hearty congratulations to Barbara Bitters on her amazing achievement.
Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager