Central Penn Business Journal has selected Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Bili Mattes to receive the 2019 Women of Influence award.
Thirty Women of Influence were selected by the editors of Central Penn Business Journal for their significant contributions to their respective fields and for their leadership in Central Pennsylvania in the following areas: civic leadership, communications, education, finance, general business, health care, law, philanthropy, real estate and technology.
In addition, 13 women will be inducted into the Circle of Excellence. This new award is a special recognition for women at the pinnacle of their careers and/or lifetime achievement. These women are truly the Icons of their industry and hold a sustained leadership role in their organization and the community. The inaugural honorees are comprised of 10 past Lifetime Achievement winners and three new honorees.
Central Penn Business Journal launched Women of Influence in 2010 to recognize those who are leaving a mark on the community throughout the state.
“Through their professional accomplishments and community engagement, the Women of Influence winners shape and enrich our region,” said Kathryn Ross, publisher of Central Penn Business Journal. “We are honored to recognize these women who demonstrate their influence in the community every day.”
As Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Harrisburg University, Dr. Mattes oversees all graduate and undergraduate degree programs and is responsible for academic outreach – including all non-traditional credit offerings, non-credit continuing professional education, contracted training, training grants and distance learning.
Dr. Mattes also spurred the establishment of HU’s research centers, which include the Government Technology Institute, the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies, the Security Center of Excellence, the Agile Lean Center, and the Center for Environment, Energy, and Economy.
Dr. Mattes has been recognized over the years for many innovative contributions to her institutions, adult learners, and continuing and professional education and training. These include awards from the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) in 1996 (for a joint technical training partnership developed with UMBC and Computer Sciences Corporation), 1999 (for the Egyptian Teacher Scholar professional development program developed with Egyptian Ministry of Education representatives), and applied research on the changing role of continuing education deans and directors in higher education (done in collaboration with colleagues from Penn State and Virginia Tech). Bili was also recognized for her contributions to continuing education in Maryland through a Proclamation issued by the Governor’s Office in 2005.
Dr. Mattes joined Harrisburg University in 2007. Under her guidance and commitment to inclusion, she has helped create HU’s diverse, expert faculty body that serve historically under-served students in urban environments. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the STEM fields. But due in large part to Dr. Mattes’ efforts, more than half of Harrisburg University’s undergraduate student population is female, as is a third of the University’s graduate populations.
During Dr. Mattes’ time at HU, the University has watched its student population grow into a model of inclusion. Of the 6,000 students who attend HU, 52 percent are females and 55 percent are minority. During the 2018 school year, the University’s graduate student population alone hailed from 110 countries.
HU’s faculty also reflects Matte’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Among the University’s 200 full-time employees (82 full-time faculty/118 staff), 41 percent are women and 26 percent are minority.
Dr. Mattes also is a founder and Executive Director of the STEM-UP Network, a social enterprise powered by HU, which provides women in STEM with real-world strategies, relationships, and a strong community that support their ability to flourish, prosper and advance both personally and in their careers.
Last year, The STEM-UP Network grew its base by nearly 400 members. It expanded its program reach to Philadelphia, where HU opened its new Philadelphia location in 2017, and the group recently won two prestigious advocacy awards.
For her efforts with the STEM-UP Network, Dr. Mattes was named the 2018 Moxie Award Winner during the Women in Technology Awards presented by the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania.
The STEM-UP Network also was awarded the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.
The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The STEM-UP Network was featured, along with 77 other recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives. The STEM-UP Network provides women in STEM with real-world strategies, relationships, and a strong community that support their ability to flourish, prosper and advance both personally and in their careers.
During the past eight years, the STEM-UP Network leveraged a $750,000 National Science Foundation grant to deliver its programs and services across the region and in Philadelphia. It offers a community-based and highly successful mentoring program, and it has established a variety of networking programs and services.
The STEM-UP Network, and the strength of HU’s diverse curriculum, staff, and student population, are a direct reflection of Dr. Mattes’ passion and commitment to equal opportunities in education, the workforce, and society.
The 2019 Women of Influence and Circle of Excellence awards will be presented June 24 at a reception and dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. at Harrisburg Hilton, 1 North 2nd Street in Harrisburg. Winners will be profiled in a special magazine that will be inserted into the June 28 issue of Central Penn Business Journal.