Madison Women Honored as Champions of Change

December 6, 2011 4:46 PM

I want to add my congratulations to Barbara Bitters and Angela Byers-Winston for their recognition as Champions of Change!


WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, December 9th, twelve local leaders in the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields will be honored at the White House as Champions of Change. These men and women, who include teachers, industry leaders, students, and non-profit leaders, have each taken great strides to reduce the barriers that drive many girls and women to turn away from high-paying, highly rewarding careers as the Nation's top innovators.

"These 'Champions of Change' are community heroes, helping to build the ranks of women in the Nation's STEM workforce and ensuring that America's science and engineering enterprise is fueled by the diverse talents of all of its citizens," said Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. "The bold work of these Champions epitomizes the President's vision of an 'all hands on deck' effort by government, academia, non-profits, and industry to maintain America's leadership in STEM fields for decades to come. "

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.

To watch this event live, visit at 3:30 pm ET December 9th.

Barbara A. Bitters is the Assistant Director for the Career and Technical Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ( Barbara is both the state leader of the Wisconsin Girl's Collaborative Project ( and the co-leader of the Wisconsin STEM Equity Pipeline Project under the auspices of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE) ( As the leader for these two projects her focus has been to develop and refine strategies and activities that attract, serve, and support the success of girls/women and other under-represented groups to build STEM skills and to explore STEM Careers. She was the state Sex Equity Coordinator under federal vocational education requirements U.S for over 12 years. In 1980, Barbara, under an intergovernmental exchange program, served in the Department of Education as a Special Advisor on Women's Issues and Vocational Equity to the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education. She was co-director of the National Leadership Development Conference for Vocational Sex Equity Coordinators from 1979-1987.Barbara is a Past Chair of the Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education (AGELE) ( and is on the Executive Committee of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) (

Angela Byars-Winston, Ph.D. is a counseling psychologist and Associate Professor (tenure track) in the University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine, section of General Internal Medicine and the UW Center for Women's Health Research. Her research examines cultural influences on academic and career development, especially for racial and ethnic minorities and women in the sciences, engineering, and medicine with the aim of broadening their participation in STEM. Dr. Byars-Winston has translated her research into evidence-based, culturally-relevant interventions to increase the persistence of underrepresented groups in STEM, working with middle school students to early career professionals. She is currently Principal Investigator for an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to measure the impact of mentored research experiences on career outcomes for diverse undergraduates in biology and biomedical science and co-Investigator of another NIH grant to promote retention of racial and ethnic minority doctoral students in the biological and behavioral sciences. In addition, Dr. Byars-Winston is a member of the STEM Equity Pipeline National Advisory Board, the Wisconsin Career Development Association Executive Committee, and the National Career Development Association Diversity Committee. She is a graduate of San Diego State University (bachelor's and master's degrees) and Arizona State University (doctoral degree).


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