Private All Girls School

Preschool-High School

Princeton, New Jersey

Mobile Navigation

Recent Press Releases

Stuart to Host Leadership Conference to address
Stuart to Host Leadership Conference to address

Stuart to Host Leadership Conference to address "girl gap" in STEM and Entrepreneurship

Featured Speakers: Chief Scientist at NASA and CEO of GoldieBlox
$8,000 in Cash Prizes to be Awarded to Students

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, recognized for its bold and innovative approach to all-girls education, announces that it will host a major leadership conference for girls in kindergarten through high school, to help conquer the so-called "girl gap" in entrepreneurship and STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

#LEADLIKEAGIRL: A Conference for Risk-Takers and Changemakers
Saturday, April 8, 2017
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The public is invited free of charge

Conference website:

There is a significant gender gap for women-owned businesses. According to a 2012 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, just 36% of privately owned businesses are women owned – and these are smaller, less profitable, and more short-lived than their male-owned counterparts. The gender gap also continues to persist for women in STEM fields. According to a 2016 NSF report, women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce – and even lower when you break out engineering (15%) and computer science and mathematics (25%).

"As experts in educating girls, at Stuart we know that it's crucial to educate young women to know that they are powerful, they can affect change, and their voices are just as important – particularly in male-dominated arenas," said Dr. Patty Fagin, head of school at Stuart.

About the Conference: #LEADLIKEAGIRL: A Conference for Risk-Takers and Changemakers is designed to showcase and inspire girls' confidence, creativity, and leadership in STEM and entrepreneurship. The conference will feature two notable speakers: Dr. Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA and Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. $8,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to young women in high school. The conference is presented by the Stuart Center for Girls' Leadership.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in two leadership tracks: Entrepreneurship and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Sessions will include keynote speakers, a Business Fair and Expo, STEM Talks, workshops and expert panel discussions. Additional information can be found on the conference website at

Call for Proposals - $8,000 in Cash Prizes: Proposals are currently being sought from young women in high school and educators for participation in the Business Fair, STEM Talks, workshops and presentations. High school students whose proposals are accepted for the conference may compete for $8,000 in cash prizes. Prizes will be awarded for business plans at the Business Fair and research projects presented in the STEM Talks. Proposals for all sessions must be submitted by January 15, 2017.

Advisory Committee: The school has assembled an advisory committee of educators and professionals in the areas of STEM and entrepreneurship to advise in the planning and organization of the conference. Advisory Committee members include: Regina Meredith-Carpeni '71, chief operating officer, Markets Group at BNY Mellon (retired 2016); Dr. Mung Chiang, Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, founding director of Princeton EDGE Lab, director of Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, and inaugural chairman of Princeton Entrepreneurship Council; Nadia Shahzad Khan, leadership and executive coach, and a consultant at MAG, a management consulting firm that specializes in the media and communications industries; and Suman Rao, a senior leader with over 20 years of experience in the information technology industry including several executive leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.


Dr. Ellen Stofan is the chief scientist at NASA, serving as principal advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency's science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Stofan was vice president of Proxemy Research in Laytonsville, Md., and honorary professor in the department of Earth sciences at University College London in England. Her research has focused on the geology of Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan, and Earth. Previously, she held a number of senior scientist positions at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., including chief scientist for NASA's New Millennium Program, deputy project scientist for the Magellan Mission to Venus, and experiment scientist for SIR-C, an instrument that provided radar images of Earth on two shuttle flights in 1994.

Dr. Stofan holds master and doctorate degrees in geological sciences from Brown University and a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary. She has received many awards and honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Dr. Stofan has authored and published numerous professional papers, books and book chapters, and has chaired committees including the National Research Council Inner Planets Panel for the recent Planetary Science Decadal Survey and the Venus Exploration Analysis Group.

Debbie Sterling: Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children's multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world's first girl engineer character. Debbie is an engineer, entrepreneur, and one of the leaders in the movement toward empowering girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures. She was named TIME's "Person of the Moment," honored by the National Retail Foundation as one of 25 "People Shaping Retail's Future," and was recently added to Fortune Magazine's prestigious "40 Under 40" list. In 2015, Debbie was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and honored by the National Women's History Museum with a "Living Legacy" Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Debbie received her degree in Engineering at Stanford University in 2005.

About The Stuart Center for Girls' Leadership: The Stuart Center for Girls' Leadership was established in 2015 to support and empower the next generation of female leaders. Through research, professional programming, and development of innovative curriculum, the Center serves as a resource to parents, students and educators throughout the world. The expansion of leadership programs at Stuart was made possible with support from the Harris B. Siegel Fund for Student Leadership, established by Patricia Costante and Stephanie Champi '12.

About Stuart: As the only all-girls school in Princeton, New Jersey, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart is uniquely positioned to provide an environment where girls put academics first, are willing and able to take risks, and explore every opportunity. Nestled on 55 wooded acres, our challenging curriculum takes advantage of the way girls learn in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math—as well as the arts, humanities, and athletics. Founded in 1963, Stuart enrolls girls in JK-12, and has a co-ed Early Childhood Program. Stuart is part of an international community of 150 Sacred Heart schools and is an independent Catholic school that embraces students of all faiths and backgrounds. Our graduates go on to become confident, intelligent and articulate leaders for positive change in our world. Visit for more information.

Powered by Finalsite