DigiGirlz Day Highlights Information Technology Career Opportunities for Women


KINGSPORT, Tenn., April 27, 2012 – About 50 female high school students from across the region gathered at Northeast State Community College Kingsport Center for Higher Education to participate in DigiGirlz Day, an event jointly hosted by Eastman Chemical Company and Microsoft to introduce young women to the Information Technology field.

“Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Day strives to provide young women with the necessary expertise and direction to succeed in a world becoming more dependent on the latest technologies and innovations,” said Donna Bank-Hoglen, operations and community manager, Heartland District, Microsoft Corp. “We are proud to partner with Eastman in a shared effort to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for women and build a pipeline of future workers ready for the challenges of the global economy.”

The DigiGirlz Programs are part of Microsoft’s longstanding commitment to strengthening the pipeline of women in technology by exposing young girls to the vast opportunities the technology industry has to offer. Since its inception in 2000, Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Technology Programs have provided free technology education and interactive experiences to nearly 19,000 young women around the world.

“We are excited to hold a DigiGirlz Day in Kingsport for a second time, and we appreciate the support we’ve had from the community for the event,” said Keith Sturgill, Chief Information Officer at Eastman Chemical Company. Reflecting on the event’s importance, he added, “IT offers great career opportunities and needs a diverse workforce. We hope DigiGirlz Day inspires some of these young ladies to consider a career in IT.”

The event’s keynote speaker Dr. Dawn Medlin, Chair of CIS Department, Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, opened the event. Small group sessions allowed girls to meet women with corporate and academic IT careers. These professionals shared their various roles and career paths and answered questions about the IT profession. In another session, attendees experimented with programming and had hands-on experience with diverse products that demonstrate how IT impacts our everyday lives.

In addition to delivering an engaging program, the young ladies received gift bags and had an opportunity to win prizes. Local event sponsors Microsoft, K&S Communications, and Tele-Optics provided an X-Box with Kinect, a personal computer, and a Kindle Fire as prizes. Various other local businesses also donated items used for prizes and in gift bags.

About Northeast State Community College, Kingsport Higher Education Center
The Kingsport Center for Higher Education (KCHE) offers the core classes and prerequisite classes for degree and certificate programs offered at the Northeast State at Kingsport and the Baccalaureate Programs offered in the KCHE. You can complete an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science (University Parallel Programs) and transfer directly into one of the senior institutions housed in the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. For more information, visit www.kingsporthighered.org.

About Microsoft Corporation/DigiGirlz Program
Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Programs give high school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.

About Eastman
Eastman’s chemicals, fibers and plastics are used as key ingredients in products that people use every day. Approximately 10,000 Eastman employees around the world blend technical expertise and innovation to deliver practical solutions. The company is committed to finding sustainable business opportunities within the diverse markets and geographies it serves. A global company headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, Eastman had 2011 sales of $7.2 billion. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.

Media Contacts:
Eastman Chemical Company
Lisa Adams
423-229-8211 / ladams@eastman.com 

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