2018 STEM Recognition Night – SAVE THE DATE! April 5, 2018

Our annual STEM Recognition Night is fast approaching.  All are welcome to attend.  Come to our event to find out about the STEM Challenge Initiative and find out how we support STEM education in our region.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday April 5, 2018

Time: 6 PM to 8 PM

Location: Bliss Auditorium, St. Albans Historical Society Museum, 9 Church Street, Saint Albans, VT 05478

Program at a Glance:

Welcome and Introductions – Tim Smith – Chair, STEM Challenge Initiative and Executive Director of Franklin Grand Isle Industrial Development Corporation

2018 Mary S. Babcock  Teacher of the Year Award – Presented to a leading STEM educator from Franklin or Grand Isle Counties.

Updates from Past Challenge Grant Recipients

Updates from MVU Science Fair Award Winners

STEM Women in Science Panel Discussion –  A new event this year!  We will hold a panel discussion featuring some of Northern Vermont’s most successful young women who have gone on to careers in Science and Technology.

Panelists include:

  • Grace Dickinson Branon
    • Dr. Grace Dickinson Branon is a native of St. Albans, Vermont and co-owner of Dickinson Branon Dental where she has practiced dentistry for over fifteen years. She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Animal Science degree was from the University of Vermont.
      • Her professional affiliations include the following:
        • President of Vermont State Dental Society 2015 – 2016
        • Executive Board of Vermont State Dental Society 2010 – 2016
        • Member of Incorporators of Northwestern Medical Center 2008 – present

        Dr. Dickinson Branon has participated in research and received the following awards among others:

        • Tufts Alumni Clinical Excellence Award
        • Research fellow at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine specialized in composite and bur design under Dr. Gerald Kugel

        Her community outreach extends in many directions:

        • Health/wellness ambassador to local schools focusing on healthy habits and oral hygiene
        • Founder of “Small Town Big Smiles” Program directing grants by Northeast Delta Dental 2004 – present
        • Open Doors/Run Girls Run program coach 2002 -2005
        • Rotary International 2005 – 20013

        Grace lives in Fairfield, Vermont with her husband Dan and baby daughter.


  • Alayna Westcom
    • Born and raised in Vermont, Alayna attended Bakersfield Elementary school before completing high school at BFA- St. Albans. A Vermonter through and through she loves spending time outdoors with her dogs, baking and anything that has to do with maple syrup.
    • Currently an Autopsy Technician and a Medical Technologist, Alayna graduated from Bay Path University with a degree in Forensic Science, holds a Post Baccalaureate in Medical Laboratory Science, and ASCP certified as a Medical Technologist.
    • At the age of twenty-four, Alayna was crowned Miss Vermont 2015 and embarked on a year of travel across the state and nation advocating for STEM education initiatives and performing her award winning science experiment talent. Alayna won a national talent award at Miss America 2016 and was the first contestant to ever perform a Scientific Demonstration for the talent portion of the competition.
    • Alayna is a passionate advocate for STEM education. Speaking topics include but are not limited to:
      Women in STEM, STEM education, STEM mentoring, Women in Science, and Paying for College Via the Miss America Organization. Alayna was the cohost of the “Summer Science” segment on WCAX’s The :30 , Vermont’s CBS affiliate and continues to promote her personal program Success Through STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. She continues to live out her passion for promoting STEM education to all ages, focusing on encouraging young women to pursue a STEM career path.


  • Dr. Stacy Strouse
    • Dr. Strouse is the proud mother of two girls.  She lives in Georgia, Vermont, about 2 miles from where she grew up.
    • She attended BFA Saint Albans, and then went on to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Saint Lawrence University, where she was a student athlete participating in indoor and outdoor track.
    • After finishing her B.S. degree, Dr. Strouse was a researcher at the University of Vermont for three years.
    • She went on to apply to medical school at the University of Vermont, where she was accepted and completed her M.D.  She then completed a residency in Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
    • After her residency, she and her husband moved back to Vermont, where she is now a pediatrician at Northwestern Pediatrics (formerly Mousetrap Pediatrics).

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