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Suffolk's Leonhardt Recognized for STEM Leadership

Suffolk County Community College’s Associate Dean for Continuing Education Nina Leonhardt garnered two prestigious awards this summer for her work as a role model and leader in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – education.
Leonhardt, of Ridge, was awarded the Margaret Ashida STEM Leadership Award by the New York State STEM Collaborative for her work as STEM leader for consistently demonstrating qualities of STEM Leadership, and creating connections between people and organizations in order to enhance STEM career paths in the community and for making a lasting and meaningful contribution to STEM career paths for the community.

"Nina has a proven track record of unwavering commitment to improving STEM education and career engagement," said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay. "These awards recognize professionals who are leading national efforts to better prepare students for tomorrow's workforce needs. Congratulations Associate Dean for Continuing Education Nina Leonhardt for this prestigious achievement."

Margaret Ashida was the first executive director of STEMx, a nationwide network of state STEM organizations who died in 2014 in a diving accident. Before becoming national STEMx director for the Battelle Memorial Institute, Ashida served as director of the Empire State STEM Learning Network at the State University of New York. In that role, she provided key input for the early development of STEMx, helping to tackle challenges and forge consensus among member states.

Leonhardt will also be recognized in the upcoming September STEM issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine with its INSIGHT Into Diversity 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. Leonhardt is one of 100 women nationally who will be honored. The issue will publish on August 24.

Suffolk County Community College has award winning STEM programs and is a nationally recognized leader in providing quality STEM education as well as research and transfer opportunities for STEM scholars.

Since 2004, Suffolk County Community College has been one of the strongest pipelines of interns to Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and is second only to Stony Brook University in total number of participants in BNL research programs. 

Since 2007, more than 100 Suffolk County Community College STEM scholars have been awarded competitive and paid research internships at DOE laboratories ranging from Brookhaven National Laboratory to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico.  Suffolk students have been selected for various research experiences at Stony Brook University since 2005.

This summer Suffolk County Community College has 25 students working in STEM research at National Laboratories, NASA and research universities.