2012 Inaugural STEM Youth Diversity Summit

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Youth Diversity Summit creates a forum for high school and college students from diverse backgrounds to gain a better understanding about career opportunities in STEM and the importance for diversity in these fields.



July 25, 2012



8:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.



University of Miami
Miller School of Medicine
Clinical Research Center
1120 NW 14th Street
Miami, FL 33136



Rueben M. Stokes
Group Director, Diversity & Inclusion
Ryder System, Inc.

Rueben Stokes is group director of Diversity & Inclusion for Ryder System, Inc., a FORTUNE 500® transportation and supply chain solutions company. Mr. Stokes is responsible for all aspects of diversity and inclusion at Ryder, which is a $5.1 billion business with more than 26,000 employees. He defines his mission as “leveraging diversity and inclusion to drive transformative performance and increase shareholder value.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Stokes has held diversity and inclusion leadership roles at Terex Corporation, ADT Security Services, and Tyco International. A global subject matter expert, he has written and spoken about increasing non-majority representation in leadership, multiple generations in the workplace, supplier diversity, and the effect of the global marketplace on diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Stokes works directly with Ryder’s Chairman and CEO Greg Swienton, the company’s Leadership Team, and its 11-member, cross-functional Diversity & Inclusion Council to set the strategic direction of the D&I program.

A native of Pasadena, California, he is a graduate of Dartmouth College. Mr. Stokes is also a member of the 100 Black Men of America, a graduate of Leadership Miami, and author of the book, Super Selling Secrets for the Real World. He and his wife have two children and live in Weston, Florida.

Pat Smith


Our Kids

Pat Smith has over 25 years experience in Information Technology in a variety of industries. For the past year, she had been the CIO at Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc., an umbrella organization that creates safe havens for children and families through adoption and foster care. Early indicators are that the software and systems she has implemented at Our Kids will fundamentally change the practice of child welfare. Prior to Our Kids, she spent nine years at Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., where she served as Global Vice President IT and member of the Strategic Planning Committee. While at Stiefel Laboratories, a global pharmaceutical company based in Miami, Pat sponsored a $60M business transformation project to implement SAP across the Americas.

A former SVP at Commercebank, N.A., she served as the Chair of the CBS/Fiserv banking software users group. She is an active member of the community, a former Adjunct Professor at Catholic University of America and on the Advisory Board of IT Women.. Pat has a graduate degree in Library and Information Systems from the University of Maryland and Certificate in Telecommunications from the University of Miami.

Brenda Westhorp


Westhorp & Associates

Brenda J. Westhorp, P.E. is the president of Westhorp & Associates, Inc. a company she founded in 1997 as a 100-percent woman-owned business. Ms. Westhorp has twenty-seven years of experience in managing and designing complex environmental engineering projects. Her expertise includes, but is not limited to site investigations, planning, permitting, design and construction of a wide variety of projects. She is currently the Principal-in-Charge for a $4.9 million design services contract for the South Dade Landfill in Miami-Dade County.

She holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida and is a registered professional engineer in Florida, California and Texas. She is a member of the following organizations:

  • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
  • Florida Engineering Society (FES)
  • Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

She is active in her community and currently serves on the board of Citizens for a Better South Florida. CITIZENS is dedicated to providing environmental education, particularly to the underserved community that inspires active stewardship and preservation of the South Florida environment.


  • 8:30 – 9:00am: Registration
  • 9:00 – 9:15am: Opening Remarks & Recognition of Sponsors
  • 9:15 – 9:50am: Keynote Speech and Q&A
  • 9:50-10:00am: Transition to Workshop Sessions
  • 10:00 – 10:50am: Workshop Sessions I & II
    • High School- Curriculum Preparation for College: What to take in high school to prepare for majors in STEM
    • College- Paid/Non-Paid Internships: How to enhance your resume to pursue a career in STEM
  • 10:50 – 11:00am: Transition to Executive Panel
  • 11:00 – 11:45am: Executive Panel: Careers in STEM Field
  • 11:45-12:00: Closing Remarks & Recognition of Sponsors

High School Workshop Speaker: College Workshop Speaker:
Vivechkanand Chunoo Christian Garcia
Academic & Career Adviser Executive Director

University of Miami Toppel Career Center

University of Miami

Sponsored by:

For more information about this event, please contact Ameerah Mukayed atameerah.mukayed@floridadiversitycouncil.org.