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Archive for October, 2013

American Pharmacists Month: Were the first #STEMinists Pharmacists?

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

For those of you who don’t know, October is American Pharmacists’ Month.  And while I’m rocking this Kickstarter STEMPrincess project, I wanted to bring you a new twist on the holiday and national recognition of my peeps in pharmacy, both Indiana and STEM style!

First off, as pharmacy is a part of life sciences/STEM, and I’ve been shouting from the rooftops that we need more girlpower in STEM, I haven’t exactly connected the two up very much online.  Why?  Well, because the majority of pharmacists coming out of pharmacy schools now aren’t men…they are actually women.  Yes, women now dominate the profession (although, I’d personally still like to see more women in leadership roles within the profession, but I’ll save that rant for another day.)

Let’s go a different direction with this.

A friend of mine who is always watching my back from Historic Indianapolis gave me heads up on an article from the local paper dated September 30, 1979 that featured the very first woman who was a licensed pharmacist in the state of Indiana.  Her name was Ada Rush.  She passed the Indiana state pharmacy licensing exam in 1910.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: whoa, Albert. This STEM girl shortage rubber isn’t meeting the road here.  Why are there so many women in pharmacy (a life science, healthcare and STEM profession) when you keep on touting there aren’t that many women in STEM?

Back to Ada: she actually didn’t finish high school and got married at age 18.**  But, her husband, Leroy, was a pharmacist.  When Leroy and Ada opened up the second pharmacy, guess who was encouraged to head back to school to get a degree in pharmacy?

Yes! Leroy encouraged his wife Ada to head to the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy for the-then-13-month pharmacy degree program, so Ada could mind pharmacy #1 while her husband Leroy opened pharmacy #2.

Do you get where I’m going with this?  I’m trying to say that, in my own quirky way, my first profession (pharmacy) and the men within it were in this case, some of the very first STEMinists* in the state of Indiana!  Ada was the only woman in her pharmacy class, but she was urged by her husband, a pharmacist, to rock pharmacy school.

So, love to my fellow man and womankind pharmacists, and a particular universal shout out to both Ada and Leroy Rush, wherever in the universe they may be (Ada was 93 at the time this article was written in 1979).  For Indiana, Pharmacy, STEM and Hoosier women in general are the richer for both of them stepping up to the plate and showing the state of Indiana and the universe that men and women BOTH can rock STEM!

Last but not least, special shout out to all the men STEMinists out there.  Without you, we’d be even more behind in STEM, but thanks in part to you, we are moving on up even faster.  THANK YOU, GENTSTEMinists!  And let me finish with clarity: there still are NOT enough women in most if not all the other STEM professions.  We’ve still got a LOT of work to do here!

__

*STEMinist = a man or woman who encourages other women to get into a STEM profession.

**Actually, back in the 1900s, one didn’t need to be a high school graduate to attend pharmacy school.  That’s no longer the case.

***GENTSTEMinist = a man who encourages women to get into a STEM profession.

Inside Indiana Business – Supports the #STEMPrincess Project!

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I must give a huge shout out to my friends over at Inside Indiana Business, who have been 100% supportive of the women and girls of Indiana.  Not only did they give me the shot at talking about the alarming stats with girls in STEM (or not in STEM) in Indiana today as a Perspectives piece for their ultra cool mover and shaker newsletter, Big Wigs and New Gigs, but I’m also headed there later this week to share even more on #STEMPrincess via – video.

Love it!

Thanks, @IIB!

(And you do follow them all over social media, don’t you…? Of course you do, because you’re awesome like that!)

Social Media Roundup: The #STEMPrincess Kickstarter Project

Monday, October 14th, 2013

AmazingAdventuresPrincessesPlanetSTEMWell, my fab 13, we’re almost half way through this Kickstarter shin dig – WOOT!  Forgive me for a moment with this post, but I must do a little herding of all the info on social media around this #STEMPrincess project, to have it nicely and neatly fit into one blog post – ready?  Here. We. Go!

The Kickstarter Site – where the magic happens, and where you can become an amazing Superstar STEM backer!

The Campaign within and behind the campaign – here’s where I post all the updates, and a few backer-only updates, like our campaign button program – for backers only.

PR on the Kickstarter program – at the launch.

All about the Princess Manifesto – both at the blog and prettied up at Slideshare – both as a slide set and as a one pager.

Inside Indiana Business Studio (i) video – on girls, Indiana and STEM.

Two infographics:
1. Indiana, Girls and STEM and
2. Girls and STEM – by the numbers.

Video 1 – Best part about the entire campaign
Video 2  - Why not STEAMED instead of STEM?

The STEM Princess Pinspiration board – #STEMPrincess

Slideshare

about.me page – all about why I’m doing this in the first place

STEM Princess Happily ever after video series:
1. Kristin Eilenberg – Lodestone Logic
2. Tasha Phelps – Phelco Technologics, Inc.
3. Dr. Nichole Wilson – Community Health Network
4. Dr. Julie Koehler – Butler University COPHS
5. Shelley Myers – Simplee Wellness 
6. Kate Gundlach – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Inside Indiana Business’s Big Wigs and New Gigs Post on WHY we desperately need Girls to Engage in STEM in Indiana.

Pete the Planner’s radio show - original airdate – October 13, 2013 – 2nd hour.

The Local Lady of Richmond’s blog post on our project.

A piece I wrote for Drug Topics on why I’m doing this project, and why it is important.

The primary Twitter page @ErinLAlbert, and our extra special hashtag at Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc – #STEMPrincess.

This may be a little bit of overkill, and of course, the haters are already coming out.  Haters gonna hate, but I don’t really give a damn.  Why?  Because girls aren’t winning in STEM in Indiana, and as a STEM professional and native Hoosier girl myself, I can’t let this problem go until we get more girls in Indiana fired up about STEM, and create a better future not only for local and national economies, but for my entire gender.

There you have it! More goodies will be coming, but I wanted to get them in one nice neat little package for you and me to keep track of.  If you’re one of our current almost 60 backers on this project, btw, THANK YOU for helping Hoosier girls.  If you’re not–we’re running out of time!

#STEMPrincess Project: On the Radio

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Tomorrow (Sunday, October 13), I’m on the radio with Pete the Planner, talking about the #STEMPrincess Project – yay!  He’s on WIBC, 93.1 FM in Indianapolis from 10 am – noon eastern time.  If you’re not in the Indianapolis area (since my amazing 13 fans are spread throughout the universe, like that!) feel free to hop on over to WIBC.com and click on the ‘Listen Live‘ red button on the upper right of their homepage.

Thanks, Pete!

My Old Pal, Failure

Saturday, October 12th, 2013
Killerthepowerwasher

Killer the power washer

The weather here in Indiana has been awesome lately.  Yesterday, I wanted to set aside the madness of the Kickstarter program for a moment and get my domesticity on by power washing and sealing the driveway – a biennial tradition that harsh winters require here in the Midwest.  So, I pulled out Killer the power washer.

Killer has been around for awhile in our family.  We were trying to think back how far, and for me, I was introduced to Killer at least 2 houses ago.  I didn’t name the power washer – my brother did.  And it’s a very scary day when a professional mechanic wants nothing to do with an engine, and my bro doesn’t want anything to do with Killer anymore, either.  That’s how old and bad this machine is.

After refueling and oiling Killer, he fired up after about 100 pulls on the engine, just before my right arm was ready to fall off.  I managed to get 2 sections of the driveway done, then Killer decided to die.  I realized as I poured more gasoline in him, it was running out the bottom as quickly as I was pouring it in.

Needless to say, I headed to the store to buy a new power washer.  Killer was retired to the end of the driveway, where he magically disappeared this morning, much to my elation.  (To the new acquirer of Killer – two items: 1. good luck with that and 2. don’t bring him back.)

Why am I telling you this?  Because this is yet another in a long stream of failures in my life.  When I saw Scott Adams was talking about Failure in WSJ today, I thought–what the heck, failure is my middle name!  Failure is also a key part of my new Princess Manifesto too.  We all need to get better with failure.  It’s inevitable, and it’s a great teacher.

So, chalk one more up to my old pal failure!

(And BTW, the driveway was power washed and completely sealed this morning–3 blisters and a splinter later…)

Happy International Day of the Girl

Friday, October 11th, 2013

I had no idea, until a friend of mine, sent me the link last night to Day of the Girl, which just happens to be October 11th every year, which, if you’ve got a calendar handy, you know is today.  Of course, I had to check out the site.  They even have an actions toolkit for today, and included in this kit is to make some noise on social media.  The hashtag is #EveryGirlCounts.

After recently seeing the documentary film, It’s a Girl, I realize that while girls in America and girls in Indiana in particular are still far behind, we are light years ahead on equality than countries like China and India, where girls are still aborted, murdered and neglected from birth and beyond.  On top the horrible gendercide happening, the creation of an overpopulation of males without potential women partners has created yet another problem–where girls are being stolen and kidnapped to become future brides.

This. Must. Stop. Until we start embracing, accepting and treating both genders equally, our world will remain a mess.  Let’s face it, our world would be a much better place if we had more women in leadership roles.  That’s why I will continue the crusade of crazy to get the children’s book done to inspire girls to be anything they want to be in STEM.  STEM is one area where there is less pay gap between genders, and STEM careers give women the opportunity to be financially independent.

Two things I’ll leave you with on this Friday:

1. We are at 44% to goal with the children’s book, and today, my update is another episode of – Did the STEM Princess Live Happily Ever After? With Tasha Phelps, CEO of Phelco Technologies Inc.  Watch episode #11 to find out.

2. Make some noise on social media today for girls – use the hashtag above and make sure that in fact, every girl DOES count.

Princess, Redefined: A Manifesto

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

DakotaWhen I was little, and even to this day, I’m a sucker for a great princess story.  Who doesn’t love to watch a girl walk through a challenge and come out on the other end “happily ever after?”

But, when you first hear the word “princess,” what is the first word that pops into your head?  Is it pink…tulle…frilly…waiting to be saved…helpless…spoiled…wearing a crown…or something else?  When I posted this question on the Faceplace recently, I was blown away by all of our baggage (my own included) when it comes to the word.

The primary objective of my new book, The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses of Planet STEM is to introduce girls ages 5-9 to STEM careers—everything from computer programming to physics and many STEM careers in between.  However, I have a secondary objective in this book as well:

I want to redefine what it means to be a princess.

There have been other attempts to redefine what it means to be a princess.  Ironically, Disney themselves created this video, which I think moves more toward what it really SHOULD mean to be a princess.  Did they go far enough?  I don’t think so.  Sometimes, being kind and nice isn’t enough – princesses sometimes have to make unpopular decisions because they are the right things to do. Princesses need to speak up and be heard, too.  Consider the film Brave–as an example of princesses moving toward a new definition—the film took several years to finally see the silver screen, and there were even efforts after the film to make Merdia “prettier.”

I’m not quite sure we’re there yet with the best definition of a princess.

However, since the word itself has so many connotations and baggage attached to it (positive, negative, and somewhere in between), I thought it was time to write a manifesto on what a princess SHOULD or COULD be, not necessarily what everyone may conjure up on the idea of the word.  After all, the saying goes, “Own it. Or it owns you.” right?  So, why not try and own it!

Here goes.

Princess, Redefined: A Manifesto

1.  Being a princess isn’t about a look, a dress, a color, a crown, tiara, or a prince.  Being a princess instead is a state of mind.  Each is rare, glorious, and one-of-a-kind.

2.  A princess never seeks perfection, because she realizes there is no perfection.  Instead, she seeks excellence—in herself, and helps others to find their own inner excellence.

3.  A princess is pleasantly persistent, fierce, and 100% authentic, even if her authenticity isn’t popular or mainstream.  She listens to her gut.

4.  A princess zealously and passionately advocates for herself and others, especially when others cannot advocate for themselves.

5.  A princess welcomes challenges as opportunities to learn and shares knowledge with others, even when she is trying something for the first time, and even when she is scared.

6.  A princess isn’t afraid of failure.  Instead, she seeks out failure as an opportunity to learn and become a better person.  She believes that nothing is really a failure anyway, if she tried her hardest to make something happen and learned along the way.

7.  A princess flexibly collaborates, experiments with and embraces change, and can also work independently.

8.  A princess is adventurous, curious, creative, resourceful, and intrinsically motivated to make the world a better place.

9.  A princess is vulnerable, but she is not weak.  Admitting, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out” does not make her weak. It makes her strong.  It makes her even stronger when she DOES find out and follows up.

10. A princess seeks out different points of view, people who inspire, and diversity of opinion and debate in order to create positive change in the world.

11.  A princess realizes that no one is coming to rescue her.  She must save herself.

 

What do you think?

Top 5 Things I’ve Learned Running a Kickstarter Campaign Thus Far

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

1. This. Is. Hard.  One of the hardest projects of my life.  Asking for money is one thing, (and not my favorite) but keeping the momentum going is almost like running a business within a business.  Or a campaign within a business.  Every day I’m trying to come up with fresh content to share with my backers, and that means I have to live in the present and the future at the same time.  While I’m a futurist and I love dwelling on what is coming, this is also very, very hard to do.  Thirty days is a very short amount of time to raise funds, but also very, very long.

2. Storytelling.  Once upon a time, there was a girl with a crazy dream.  She wanted to get other girls to come along with her and join her in a magical land called…STEM.  See?  Also, there’s cutting to the chase storytelling, which is also a skill I’m attempting to get better at here too.  I’ll also state for the record that the behind the scenes daily fresh content I’m producing for backers has me thinking very, very deeply about the book itself.  Will that create a better book on the back end?  Methinks so…stay tuned.

3. Tech, moviemaking and infographics – oh my.  Before now, I never had the time to do stuff, like really dive in to editing movies and/or creating infographics.  Nor did I pay that much attention to social media – I just dabbled.  But now, I feel as though, while I’m STILL no Steven Spielberg, my skills in these arenas are improving.  (Even though it may not look like it – ha!)  Let me be clear: this is a full-time job.  So if you’re thinking of running a Kickstarter campaign on top of your day job and starting a business, really, really think about it before you dive in; otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for a big fat FAIL.*

4. Create a kick @$$ hashtag, and own it – I’ve got to give props to my friend, Amy Stark of Stark Reality Check on this one – she taught me that you MUST own a cool hashtag for your campaign or project online, use it across platforms, then it makes indexing better with Google and keeps your program tight.  She’s right. I just did a search on #STEMPrincess and guess who’s owning it…?

5.  Never, ever, ever give up – It has been surprising to see who has really stepped up to support this project, and equally interesting to see who hasn’t.  I’ve read a lot about Kickstarter, and amazingly, a lot of backers are surprised at the end of their campaigns, in that strangers ended up backing the most, and friends and family the least.  While it’s too early in my own campaign to put a stake in the ground on this, just know that if you’re going to run a campaign, you may be surprised by who really gets behind your project…and who doesn’t.

If you’ve backed this project, by the way, THANK YOU.  I’m still cranking here, and trying to get the girls of Indiana some books so they can dream bigger.  I appreciate you coming on this journey with me!

*Not that there’s anything wrong with failure, if you did try with all your might, and you learned a few things along the way.  You did learn, and you did try, right?

Forbes, Fanmail and Fabulousness

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

First off – to the backers out there of the Kicktastic #STEMPrincess project – we’re sailing along – thanks to you!!!! Let’s keep the energy up out there on this project so we can get this puppy funded and get the books in the hands of little girls so they can dream big.  While we had a fab day yesterday, we’ve got to get to 50% funding soon, as all the stats I’ve seen about Kickstarter note that 50% funding is a key to getting to 100% funded, and friends, this is an all or nothing campaign.  That is, if I don’t make the goal of $6300, the girls in Indiana get nada. Nothing. Zero. Boo! Let’s not even go there!

I’m also updating on the project behind the Kickstarter campaign.  Today’s update (update #8) is on what Peter Higgs of Higgs boson fame has in common with women in STEM – you can check it out at the link.

Second, I had a great day yesterday, when I discovered that Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. was featured in Forbes! Yay! I must confess, however, that I had totally forgotten about this interview.  It took place awhile ago.  But hey – I’m ALL FOR getting tribes that I write for our there in the ether – whether it is women entrepreneurs, girls with dreams of STEM careers, or those already in STEM going to the next level of their careers…

Which leads me to my last bit. Got an email from a fan this morning, who read of all things, my law review note.  Seriously–what are these students doing actually reading law review notes?!? Ha! J/K…sort of. With Cali now giving pharmacists what they deserve–provider status–I’m in hopes that other states will follow soon.  Although, I am also glad to hear that the next generation of professionals are checked in – that’s a good sign.  A good sign…for better things to come.

Fab!

Campaigning

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Why do I feel like I’m in the middle of a campaign?  Well, because I kind of am in the middle of a campaign.  But instead of campaigning for myself, I’m campaigning for women and girls in the state of Indiana and everywhere.

I shared with my friend Abdul of Indypolitics.org this morning when he was interviewing me about these subjects that I feel like I’m the Don King of women and girls right now.  But you know what? I’ve got NO PROBLEM with getting women and girls into the spotlight.  Zero problems whatsoever.

Why?

Because we need more girls moving into stable careers for themselves (i.e. STEM), where they can SAVE themselves by having great lives without needing a man.  They can earn closer to dollar for dollar what a man makes in this country in a STEM career, and they can be ultimately, independent.

Because we need more women speaking their voices and sharing their stories to inspire other women to great heights – to leadership positions and to places we’ve never been before.  We can be what we can see.

When Abdul and I were talking this morning, I think we nailed a lot of the problems with both women and girls on the head when talking about social media.  Social media is a vehicle to debate, disrupt and potentially divide (in some cases).  However, women and girls are taught that they shouldn’t debate.  They shouldn’t discuss, and they definitely should NOT disrupt.

Maybe that’s why I love social media and see it as a force for good – not only for the technical aspects, but more for the cultural challenge and call to women and girls through social media.  Ladies, it’s TIME to discuss, debate, disrupt and yes, in some cases, even divide.  Because that’s called DEMOCRACY.  That’s what this country was founded on and by and for.

It’s TIME to step up and be fierce.  We can do it – we have the mic (social media) we just need to cue the music and start singing that tune!!!  And maybe, just maybe if we start singing, speaking and sharing our opinions, our world can be a better place.  Let’s face it – we could use the help!

p.s. The Indypolitics article will be up later this week.