Dr. Colleen Bielitz, associate vice president of strategic initiatives and outreach, has received the 2023 Stand Up for STEM Mentorship Award from Million Women Mentors in Connecticut. The award was presented to Bielitz on May 3, 2023, at the 2023 Stand Up for STEM Mentorship Awards Reception, held in East Hartford, Conn.
The Stand Up For STEM Mentorship Award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the field of STEM and have helped lift up the next generation of STEM professionals. At Southern in particular, Bielitz has helped lead strategy and partnerships in the blue economy, metaverse, and various technology and sustainability initiatives.
Prior to arriving at Southern, Bielitz had an extensive career as a senior-level education executive with experience in operational leadership, new program initiatives, fundraising, strategic planning, branding, and marketing at K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in Pennsylvania and New England.
She holds a doctorate in education leadership, and has presented at local and international conferences on important issues regarding social justice, gender and equality, social impact and sustainability, women in STEM, technology trends, and challenges shaping education.
“I am grateful to everyone who has helped me on my journey, especially my wife, who supports me every day, and my son, who inspires me to continue to work for a more equitable world,” Bielitz said during her remarks at the award ceremony, before shifting her attention to the young girls and women in the room.
“Please remind each other of your talents and strengths,” she advised. “Remind each other daily of your awesomeness. Don’t put each other down, lift each other up.”
The event was hosted at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, where alumna and Southern Foundation Board member, Dr. Jacquelynn (Jackie) Garofano, ‘06, is the chief technology officer (CTO). Garofano, a “self-styled STEMinist,” was also on the dais to receive a Stand Up for STEM Mentorship Award.