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100+ Girls Attend STEM Summit at NJIT

Liza Negron Sutowski, Counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation, presented the keynote address to the 1st Annual STEM Summit for high school girls held April 9, 2016 at NJIT, Newark. Opening remarks by co-sponsors Jacqueline L. Cusack, Ed.D, Executive Director, Center for Pre-College Programs at NJIT and Judy Chapman, Founder of Garden State Woman Education Foundation welcomed the girls to the event. Charlotte Gillis handled registration and on-site planning for the college.

A panel of executive women in STEM careers was moderated by JoAnn Dixon, Secretary of the Garden State Woman Education Foundation. Panelists were Gloria A. Bachmann, M.D., Director of Women’s Health Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Marcia Firenze, CEO of Case Medical; Amy Eskilson, President/CEO of Inrad Optics.

The Interactive Activity and Networking was organized by Levelle Burr-Alexander, Ph.D, Senior Director for Curriculum and Program Development, Center for Pre College Programs.

After lunch a panel of women in STEM careers shared their career paths. Participating were Adasayo Sansui, Insight Analyst/Varick Media Management; Faith and Hope Zimmerman, Founders/Owners ZIMARCH; Candace Lynch/Inrad Optics; Loraine Hutcher, President/MarTech Systems

Jack Killion, trustee of the Garden State Woman Foundation, was moderator of a panel of current NJIT students who shared their personal stories with the attendees. Participating were Joshua Abraham, Suah Yekeh, Nikeita Tomlinson, Crystal Gould, Tiaja Harley.

The one day learning opportunities for high school girls is in its fourth year coordinated by the Garden State Woman Education Foundation. Additional information about future events can be learned by contacting Judy Chapman

Teenager Challenges the Status Quo

While visiting relatives in India, Ibanca Anand had a life altering experience. As Ibanca worked on her laptop one day, a young woman her age asked her what she was doing. As she tried to explain, she realized that this young woman who worked as a domestic had never received an education.

Ibanca decided to make a difference; she came home and created a non-profit organization 501(c) 3 which she named Suhanee. The mission of Suhanee is to provide young girls in rural parts of India with the opportunity to acquire an education. Its motive is to break the social barrier between men and women and assist females in their community. Suhanee helps young girls to build the power, mindset and determination needed to live up to their potential and show the world that when it comes to gender and one's abilities, there really is no difference.

Coordinating through IIMPACT – a non-governmental agency –Ibanca is sponsoring a learning center in a village one hour from New Deli. Here, at the Suhanee Learning Center, girls K-5 have the opportunity to obtain an education.

At a recent fundraising event at the Barnes & Noble in North Brunswick, young dance students (ages 5 – 7) performed traditional Indian dances in full costume. Mahmuda Choudhury, a recent Rutgers graduate born in Bangladesh, shared her story with the audience. The theme of the event "Give Her a Voice" was to raise awareness about the lack of opportunity for many women throughout the world. Letters of gratitude from students at theSuhanee Learning Center were read.

To learn more about Suhanee's mission and how you can help, visit

Restaurant Valenca

Valenca_RestaurantFinding ourselves with no afternoon commitments last Sunday, my husband and I decided to stray from the tried and true local eateries for something different. From a starting point in Millburn, we whipped out our smartphones and began searching for the best-reviewed restaurants in the area. Relying on several excellent reviews on google and tripadvisor, we ended up at Restaurant Valenca in Elizabeth for what promised to be an authentic taste of Portugal – and it did not disappoint!

We took advantage of the 30 minute wait for a table to sit at the small bar, order a pitcher of sangria (the best I've had, including travels to Spain), and peruse the menu. With a four-page menu, plus a full page of Specials, we found it very difficult to narrow the selection, but eventually decided to split three entrees so that we could get a broader experience. When we go back, however, I will definitely try the stuffed scallops appetizer which looked wonderful.

Rebecca Cenni Brings a Human Touch to Staffing

Rebecca_CenniIt’s not uncommon to look around a workplace and think, “If I were the CEO I would do this differently.” It is less common, however, to act on that impulse, and even less common to make that leap after only two years of experience in the industry. But that was exactly the bold move made by Atrium Staffing CEO Rebecca Cenni, and she has never once looked back.

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin and beginning a job at a staffing firm, Rebecca quickly discovered a passion for connecting people with the right job and felt that she could create a better agency – one that had a heightened focus on the candidates they were placing. With that credo in mind, Cenni formed Atrium Staffing in 1995 with an office in Manhattan. Sixteen years later, Atrium Staffing has eight offices, with the most recent office opened in San Francisco, CA. Four of those offices span New Jersey from Little Falls to Princeton, Iselin and Jersey City.

When asked about the key to her success, Cenni confidently asserts that the difference is in her Applicant Centric ™ approach, which provides benefits normally associated with corporate employment, including training and career counseling and a medical, dental and 401K plan that all applicants can buy into. She also implemented a fully automated “e-office” that applicants can access to log hours, check their job histories and view benefits and accrued vacation time.

“Everyone else in the industry focuses on the client - the companies and organizations with positions that need to be filled. At Atrium, we focus on the associate, taking the time to get to know them, find the right match between applicant and client, and offering benefits and services that foster positive and empowered working relationships for those we place. Being a temp is a hard job and it helps to feel that someone is invested in your success,” says Cenni. “What sets Atrium apart is knowing that it’s not just about putting someone in a job; it’s about finding the right opportunity for the applicant to feel comfortable and to grow and excel.”

AtriumLogoWith that theory driving the company, Atrium takes time during the pre-qualifying phase to best understand who the applicant is, what they are looking for and what they are passionate about and analyzing both the hard and the soft skills that will help identify the best match. With clients ranging from small five-person entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Atrium has the range of positions available to fit most applicants.

Despite the current unemployment rate, Atrium continues to place applicants and has many vacant positions, particularly in the finance and scientific sectors. In New Jersey alone, over the past 18 months Atrium has placed 2,300 associates in short-term, long-term and temp-to-hire positions. That number doesn’t include the significant number of direct placement positions they have helped to fill.

Atrium is actively seeking new candidates - to view a list of job opportunities or to submit your resume online, please visit the Atrium website.

Cenni’s human approach to staffing is garnering significant attention. Atrium has been named to the 2011 Women Presidents’ Organization ranking of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies™ in North America, ranked on TimeOut New York’s “Top Temp Agencies,” and on the INC. 5000, and NJ Biz’s “NJ’s Finest” from 2006-2010. Additionally, it made’s top Women, Diversity and Privately Held Firms Lists and Rebecca personally received the 2010 Enterprising Woman of the Year Award and is an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.

Cenni also understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance, devoting a significant amount of time to her 8-year-old son and supporting community organizations including CancerCare, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Dress for Success.

For more information on Atrium Staffing, including a list of all offices in New Jersey, please visit the Atrium Staffing website

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