Community Spotlight

IEC employees have been active in our community and enjoy volunteering their time to a number of worthy causes.

Solar in the Rain?

IEC Educates Students About Solar Energy at a Rainy Planet Party

The Manteca Unified School District (MUSD) hosted its annual Planet Party Day for all MUSD 6th Grade Students on a recent rainy day in April. The event focused on clean air and water; recycling and conservation; energy; and green innovations to enhance what the sixth graders are learning at school. As an ongoing MUSD educational partner, IEC donates it's time to support the Planet Party event each year. This year our engineers helped the kids learn about solar energy with a presentation and hands-on demonstration with miniature solar powered cars.

Run to Feed the Hungry

IEC employee Pat Sullivan (second from left) participated in the Sacramento Run to Feed the Hungry road race and fundraiser. The event is a 5KM or 10KM run held in Sacramento on Thanksgiving morning with over 28,000 runners. The money raised is donated to Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

IEC employee Tracy Jenkins (fifth from left) led a team to fundraise and participate in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The annual event is held in October throughout the U.S. to honor and celebrate breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about the disease, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society save lives from breast cancer.

College & Career Day

IEC employee Mayra Vega participated in the Options for Youth Charter Schools - Annual College and Career Day. There were a variety of careers represented at the event, including those from the engineering, medical, and business fields. Mayra talked to student attendees about the types of projects we work on at IEC and explained what engineers do in general. Many of the students had very little idea about what engineers do on the job, so it was a great opportunity to describe the variety of careers available to engineers. Mayra also talked with the students about different scholarships and other opportunities available to engineering students.

Latinas in STEM

IEC Mayra Vega participated at a “Latinas in STEM 101” -- a Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematic (STEM) conference -- taken place at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Hayward, CA. This is a series of nationwide workshops focused on inspiring middle and high school students (and their parents) to pursue and thrive in science and engineering fields.

During the one-day workshop, Mayra worked on robotics with middle school and high school students from the bay area. The students were able to work on robots individually or in pairs and were supplied with robotics kits. They not only learned how to build a robot but how to give it directions through programming. The classes were 90 minutes each and once the students were done building and programming their robot, they were encouraged to modify their work.

Throughout the conference, the students got an opportunity to dress up as engineers and scientists and take pictures at the photo booth. Mayra also has a chance to share with the students and parents about her journey through college, what it took to become an engineer, and what some of the challenges were.

While the students were in classrooms learning about robotics, career options and colleges, the parents were also given information about financial aid and other resources to help their children succeed in college.

A college and career expo available where the students could get more information about college and what type of careers engineers, scientists and mathematicians work in, as well as a panel where parents and students could ask more questions about what it’s like to work in science and engineering.

About Latinas in STEM

Established in the summer of 2013, Latinas in STEM Foundation is run by a group of MIT Latina alumnae, with a mission is to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue, thrive and advance in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics fields. According a National Science Foundation Study, Latinas only comprise 1% of engineers in this country.The five founders of the organization are all first generation American women who have been the first in their family to attend college. They are also all MIT graduates with careers in industry and a long track record of community service.The organization’s main goal is to increase the number of Latinas in science and engineering fields by spreading awareness about STEM, encouraging middle school and high-school Latinas, especially within under-served communities, to strongly consider pursuing a STEM career. It aims to not only educate students, but most importantly their parents so that they may be better positioned to support their daughters along this academic journey. In addition, the organization also help Latinas in STEM thrive in their college and professional careers through mentorship, networking and recognition.

Runnin' for Rhett / Sactoberfest Volunteer Weekend

IEC employee Christie Correa participated in a volunteer day for the Runnin' for Rhett (R4R) organization at the  Sactoberfest in West Sacramento. R4R was one of the volunteer organizations teamed up with Sactoberfest staff members who organized and put on the weekend event – a traditional Oktoberfest-style outdoor festival. R4R earned proceeds for every volunteer who served at Sactoberfest. Volunteers worked the ticket booths, manned customer service stations, and helped with clean up. Christy commented, "It was a lot of work but the event was an overall huge success. I was happy to help out a great organization that inspires others to improve their lives with exercise.

About Runnin’ for Rhett
Rhett Seevers was born on February 7, 1997. His proud parents, Beth and Randy Seevers brought home their bundle of joy to join their family of four. At four months, they were devastated by the news that their little boy had severe cerebral palsy and would face a life full of challenges. They dove in headfirst and learned all they could about his disabilities. On March 13th, 2004, after 7 years of full-time care, love and devotion, Rhett passed away at home unexpectedly with his family by his side.

In the spring of 2005, as the anniversary of Rhett’s death approached, a friend of Beth’s introduced her to running. She learned of the 1st annual Shamrock’n ½ marathon. It was ironically being held on the first anniversary of Rhett’s passing. Completing the run was such an inspiration to Beth. The following year, she asked that her friends and family join her. Join her they did; 35 additional friends and family donned the first baby blue running shirts that year. In the spring of 2007, with the addition of an organized training group, over 125 people participated in the race.

On December 7, 2007, the "Runnin' for Rhett Non-Profit Foundation" was founded. The organization has now inspired 1000's of youth and adults in the Sacramento area.

Our mission is to LET RHETT’S STORY INSPIRE those who feel defeated, UPLIFT those who feel down and ENCOURAGE ALL TO take that first step, like Beth did in the spring of 2005, and MOVE INTO LIFE.R4R Youth Fitness Program: Each year, over $60,000 is funded to over 50 Sacramento area schools. The grant awards include a 5-week after school training program that provides a twice weekly coached training program.

Sierra Native Alliance Big Time Pow Wow Event

IEC employee Anne Kennedy and her husband Bob volunteered  for the Sierra Native Alliance Big Time Pow Wow event on October 17th and 18th, 2014. Dance groups, drummers, singers and artists come from many states to participate in this event.The Big Time Pow Wow supports Native families, cultures and environments. Anne notes, "I especially love the fact that it fosters inter-generational sharing - helping to bring history and support to the Native youth of today. Teaching traditional values and sharing knowledge also gives the elders purpose, and the opportunity to pass on wisdom from their years of learning. It was a wonderful family event that Bob and I enjoyed supporting!"

About the Sierra Native Alliance

The Sierra Native Alliance was formed in 2007 by a group of Native community members dedicated to the preservation of Native families, cultures, and environments. Incorporating as a non-profit organization in 2009, the Sierra Native Alliance provides cultural education, family resources and environmental preservation activities in the Sierra Nevada Foothills region.