2023 NJ STEM Month awardees
Science & Technology

NJ STEM Month Award Honorees Recognized

The New Jersey STEM Pathways Network (NJSPN) recently celebrated this year’s NJ STEM Month award honorees at the Watershed Institute in Pennington. The event took place during the NJSPN’s quarterly meeting on June 1st, where each honoree had the opportunity to present on the work they’ve done in STEM that earned them their honor

NJ STEM Month is an annual celebration in March co-hosted by the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network and Research & Development Council of New Jersey that highlights the Garden State’s accomplishments in science, technology, engineering, math and innovation. This year, over 74,000 learners were impacted by NJ STEM Month, surpassing the initiative’s goal of 37,500. This includes the participation numbers from its valued partner, NJ Makers Day.

The NJ STEM Month Awards highlight the most outstanding examples of leadership, collaboration and achievement in STEM in New Jersey. Awards are open to all stakeholders responsible for learning, achievement and innovation in the state, including: schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, philanthropies, science centers, museums, and faith-based organizations.

The 2023 NJ STEM Month Award Winners are:

STEM Advocate of the Year: New Jersey Technology and Engineering Educators Association (NJTEEA)

The New Jersey Technology and Engineering Educators Association (NJTEEA) has been recognized as a true spokesperson for STEM in New Jersey. This prestigious honor highlights an organization or individual that effectively communicates the significance of STEM to the state and its citizens.

STEM Civic Leadership Award: Reeti Rout, President at WeMake 4-H

This award recognizes an organization or individual who showcases exceptional civic leadership in the field of STEM within their community. The award is given to those who have actively worked towards improving and enriching the quality of STEM by undertaking initiatives that involve volunteerism, mentorship, and/or training. Rout has been granted this esteemed honor in recognition of her unwavering commitment to increasing the participation of women in STEM and fostering gender diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields through her leadership at WeMake4H.

STEM Collaboration of the Year: Governor’s STEM Scholars and the Network Contagion Research Institute

This award celebrates the individuals and/or organizations moving beyond silos to create a more connected New Jersey. To qualify, submissions must exhibit collaborations between three or more individuals or organizations. This year’s honorees have demonstrated outstanding teamwork and dedication throughout the year. Their collective efforts have resulted in the creation of the Governor’s STEM Scholar Social Cyber Forensics Lab, an innovative initiative designed to provide New Jersey high school students with comprehensive training in the emerging field of cyber-social threat identification and forecasting.

STEM Corporate Champion of the Year: Allan Croly, Senior Program Manager at Lockheed Martin

An honor highlighting an organization that has demonstrated a deep commitment to supporting New Jersey’s STEM economy. Croly earned this award for supporting the Delran STEM Ecosystem. From helping Delran receive funding to coordinating volunteers to participate at their annual STEM Fair, he has been an integral part of all that this award encompasses.

STEM Educator of the Year: Krystina Valdes, Science Teacher at North Brunswick Township Middle School

Awarded to an individual or organization that has dedicated their time and energy to successfully improving STEM learning outcomes for students in New Jersey. The STEM Educator of the Year understands STEM as more than an acronym and promotes STEM as a way of thinking, developing a growth mindset and STEM identities in all learners. Valdes was bestowed upon this award for her tireless commitment to expanding STEM education and making it inclusive for all students.

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