2017 Session: “Volunteers in STEM”

Posted in: Kickoff Conference

Track: Community STEM Action & Volunteerism 

The Arizona SciTech Ecosystem is huge, with hundreds of organizations working to engage their communities and thousands of STEM events happening every year. With so much STEM happening around you, how do you find the best ways to get involved? In this session, professionals from 10 different STEM organizations all over Arizona will share the work they do and the roles that volunteers play in their programs. Each professional will host group discussions where you can interact in an intimate group setting. You can choose three 10-minute rotations to join during this session.




  • Moderator: Kaci Fankhauser, AmeriCorps VISTA, Chief Science Officer Program, Arizona SciTech Ecosystem, Arizona Technology Council Foundation













  • Carol Popovich, Senior STEM Outreach Programs Representative, Microchip Technology Inc., FIRST Robotics / VEX Robotics 




  • Yasmine Straka, CEO and Founder, S.Y.STEM Coalition 

Yasmine Straka graduated with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona (go Wildcats!) and is currently is an engineering manager at Raytheon in Tucson. Yasmine is an active member in the Tucson community, a member of the Tucson Metro Chamber’s Emerging Leadership Council and an avid supporter of STEM business and education in Tucson – and all over the US

  • Arti Rao, President, S.Y.STEM Coalition, Phoenix Chapter 

Arti Rao is the President of the Phoenix Chapter of S.Y.STEM Coalition. In addition to her role within S.Y.STEM Coalition, Arti is currently employed as a researcher at Arizona State University’s Emergence Lab and is pursuing a degree in Astrophysics with minors in Physics and Philosophy. She is passionate about dancing, singing, acting and helping others through her volunteer work. Arti plans to continue her research as a scientist in the area of Astrobiology, with a focus in the science of life’s origins.
  • Eshe Pickett, Cloud Automation Engineer, Intel Corporation, Chandler  

Eshe Pickett is a Cloud Automation Engineer at the Intel Corporation in Chandler, AZ; she has been with the company since 2005. Eshe participates in STEM outreach, specifically targeting women in engineering. She has worked with several organizations to partner with Intel Involved, the internal volunteer matching program, coordinating volunteer outreach and project opportunities. Eshe is the founder of the 100 Girls STEM Day @ Intel Field trip, currently in its 10th year.


  • Mindy Bell, STEM Coordinator, Flagstaff STEM City 





  • Alysse Lerager, Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator, National Audubon Society, Audubon Arizona 





  • Destiny Madaje, STREET Team Lead, Arizona SciTech Festival 






  • Katie Hamati, Volunteer Coordinator, Arizona Science Center 










Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!