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Dow, CH2M and Smithsonian partner to empower STEM educators

Teachers from five states will travel to Washington, D.C. to begin a year-long professional development opportunity.

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and CH2M are partnering with the Smithsonian Science Education Center to empower 34 teachers from five states to participate in the 2016 Dow-CH2M Smithsonian Teacher Scholar Program. The six-day program, part of the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs), will be held in Washington, D.C. and is designed to heighten STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers’ ability to inspire and enlighten their students. Following the program this summer, the teachers will take their experiences back to their classrooms, while continuing their professional growth through peer networking, mentoring and interaction with Dow and CH2M employee volunteers.

Since 2007, Dow has supported approximately 240 teachers through this partnership with the Smithsonian Science Education Center of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. This year, Dow is partnering with a strategic business partner, CH2M, to support the program, in an effort to reinforce the companies’ aligned Global Citizenship strategies of building the future STEM workforce, engaging employees to cultivate positive community impact, and collaborating as a driver for creating sustainable communities.

“Dow is committed to building the workforce of tomorrow. We understand the importance of collaborations to empower educators so that they can inspire students in STEM subjects, and then channel that excitement into STEM careers,” said Rob Vallentine, director of Global Citizenship at Dow and president of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation. “We are extremely proud to expand our collaboration with the Smithsonian Science Education Center to include a key business partner, CH2M, in order to further our support for these educators.”

“We’re excited to partner with Dow to build upon our aligned Global Citizenship strategies by providing this wonderful opportunity to deserving teachers in our local communities,” said Ellen Sandberg, executive director, CH2M Foundation. “When you consider how many students each of these teachers will reach, you begin to understand the broad impact of this collaboration.”

Each teacher will participate in one of three professional development sessions in Washington, D.C.:

  • Biodiversity: June 19-24
  • Energy’s Innovations and Implications: July 10-15
  • Earth's History and Global Change: July 17-22

The following selected teachers for 2016 are from strategic Dow and CH2M communities:


Dylan Bland, College Park High School, Mount Diablo Unified School District, Pleasant Hill, CA

Shaw’sae Dodson, Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School, Pittsburg Unified School District, Pittsburg, CA

Michelle Howisey, Mt. Diablo Elementary, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Clayton, CA

Lindsey Nakashima, Valle Verde Elementary School, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Walnut Creek, CA

Cindy Novello, Gregory Gardens Elementary, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Pleasant Hill, CA

Corey Rose, Liberty High School, Brentwood, CA

Nyssa R. Ton, Black Diamond High School, Pittsburg Unified School District, Pittsburg, CA


Joshulan Allen, Iberville Elementary School, Iberville Parish School Board, Plaquemine, LA

Erika Augustus, Iberville Elementary School, Iberville Parish School Board, Plaquemine, LA

Lolita Chatelain, Lukeville Upper Elementary School, West Baton Rouge Parish, Brusly, LA

Kassie Cusachs, Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, Metairie, LA

Alexis Daniels, Port Allen High School, West Baton Rouge Parish, Port Allen, LA

April Languirand, Lakewood Elementary, St. Charles Parish Schools, Luling, LA

LaToya Samuels-Eugene, R.K. Smith Middle School, St. Charles Parish, Luling, LA

Tanya K. Taylor, MSA-West Academy, Iberville Parish School District, Plaquemine, LA


Gordon Culver, Frankenmuth High School, Frankenmuth School District, Frankenmuth, MI

Mary Jo Griffin, Adams Elementary, Midland Public Schools, Midland, MI

Jonathan Massung, Hartley Outdoor Education Center, St. Charles, MI

Shelley Rieger, Kolb Elementary, Bay City Public Schools, Bay City, MI

Victoria Stoddard, Bay City Western High School, Bay City Public Schools, Auburn, MI

Laura Trombley, Shields Elementary, Swan Valley School District, Saginaw, MI


Natalie Kline, Willow Dale Elementary School, Centennial School District, Warminster, PA

Allison Penaranda, North Penn School District Educational Service Center, Lansdale, PA

Pamela Sime-Cummins, Unami Middle School, Central Bucks School District, Chalfont, PA

William R. Smith, Bristol High School, Bristol, PA


Michaela Bratsch, Angleton High School, Angleton ISD, Angleton, TX

Phyllis Chappell, West Columbia Elementary, Columbia Brazoria ISD, West Columbia, TX

Kaitlin Eighme, Stephen F. Austin STEM Academy, Brazosport ISD, Jones Creek, TX

Juana Thomas, Stephen F. Austin STEM Academy, Brazosport ISD, Jones Creek, TX

Jennifer Janis, Clute Intermediate, Brazosport ISD, Clute, TX

Colleen Knight, Sweeny High School, Sweeny Independent School District, Sweeny, TX

Megan Land, Rasco Middle School, Brazosport ISD, Lake Jackson, TX

Danielle McDonald, Velasco Elementary School, Brazosport ISD, Freeport, TX

Rhonda Wendel, Danbury Elementary, Danbury, TX

Following the program in Washington, the participating teachers will form close local cohorts that will meet throughout the school year. Dow and CH2M will organize opportunities for the teachers to maintain their connection and receive additional support tailored to each community.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Dow and now begin a new partnership with CH2M to bring teachers to the nation’s capital for a week of scientific discovery and advanced professional development. This experience affords teachers the opportunity to engage in authentic STEM experiences by working directly with scientists and going behind the scenes at our Smithsonian museums and research centers,” said Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “We are grateful to both companies for their commitment to empowering teachers to prepare and inspire the next generation of our STEM workforce.”

In addition, Dow STEM Ambassadors, one of the Company’s innovative employee volunteer programs, along with CH2M employee volunteers, will provide ongoing engagement to the teachers in their classrooms by offering continued support on various topics including safety, how to bring technical expertise to life for students, and by offering in person STEM-related classroom demonstrations and career talks.

This collaboration is a strong example of both companies’ efforts to connect employee engagement with sustainability. Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goal, Engaging Employees for Impact, has committed to using employee volunteerism to impact the lives of 1 billion people; and CH2M’s sustainability priority areas highlight the importance of employee engagement to address global challenges.

To learn more about SSEATS and the Smithsonian Science Education Center, visit

More information about Dow’s commitment to building the workforce of tomorrow can be found at:

More information on CH2M’s education and Global Citizenship strategy can be found at:

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