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Talithia Williams

Thursday, March 1, 2018
8:15–9:30 a.m.

Dr. Talithia Williams takes sophisticated numerical concepts, including her specialty field big data, and makes them understandable and relatable to everyone. As illustrated in her popular TED Talk, "Own Your Body's Data," she demystifies the mathematical process in amusing and insightful ways, using statistics as a way of seeing the world in a new light and transforming our future through the bold new possibilities inherent in the STEM (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering) fields. As an associate professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, she has made it her life's work to get people—students, parents, educators, and community members— more excited about the possibilities inherent in a STEM education.

Dr. Williams develops statistical models focusing on spatial and temporal data and has partnered with the World Health Organization to develop a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for developing countries. Her professional career includes research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the National Security Agency, and NASA.

She holds a Ph.D. in statistics from Rice University and earned two master’s degrees, one in mathematics from Howard University and one in statistics from Rice University.

Plenary: The Education to Employment Pipeline in New England

Friday, March 2, 2018
8:30-9:30 a.m.

Are postsecondary graduates ready for the world of work? Are we meeting the workforce demands of New England’s employers? 96% of academic leaders reported feeling “confident” they are; yet only 11% of business leaders agree. To help address this perceived divide and to increase the employability of graduates in the region, this past year the New England Board of Higher Education convened the Commission on Higher Education and Employability. Hear from education and business leaders about the challenges facing our education to employment pipeline. This plenary will explore what the Commission learned and consider how education professionals across K–12 and Higher Education can embed employability into their work to improve student success and the socioeconomic sustainability of New England.

Moderator: Michael Thomas, President & CEO, New England Board of Higher Education


Susan Brennan, Associate Vice President, University Career Services, Bentley University

Freddy Cruz, Student, Eastern Connecticut State University

Christine Cruzvergara, Executive Director and Associate Provost for Career Education, Wellesley College

Christopher Maher, Superintendent, Providence Public Schools

Salvador Pina, Workforce Development Director, Roxbury Community College