Eastern Michigan University’s Digital Divas program to launch TV show examining the possibilities of young women in STEM

Bia Hamed, center, with young women on the set of "The Future of Me" women in STEM TV show.
Bia Hamed, center, with young women on the set of "The Future of Me" women in STEM TV show.

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University community, donors, business leaders, and supporters across Southeast Michigan will convene for an official viewing party of the new Digital Divas TV show “The Future of Me”, an insightful exploration of women role models in the industry who are breaking barriers and paving the way for young girls interested in STEM careers. The viewing party will occur at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 20, at Eastern Michigan University's Student Center, located at 900 Oakwood Street in Ypsilanti, Mich.

“The idea is to expose middle and high school girls to STEM majors and careers and build tomorrow's workforce – right with sustainable jobs that pay a really good wage to women,” explained Bia Hamed, EMU’s director of K-12 STEM outreach and Digital Divas program director. 

The show will premiere on the Michigan Learning Channel, Detroit Public TV channel 56.5 at 8 p.m. on May 18. 

According to Hamed, women make up only 28% of the STEM workforce, and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. The Digital Divas TV show was curated to impact those numbers with more hands-on projects, breakout sessions, interviews, and opportunities to build confidence in girls. 

Digital Divas is the longest-sustained STEM program of its type in Michigan and is heading into its 12th year of giving girls options in STEM programs and careers. Digital Divas brings more than 1,200 middle and high school girls to EMU’s campus, where they engage in hands-on breakout sessions delivered by women in the industry and students, faculty and staff. Digital Divas also boasts an after-school program that serves hundreds of middle school girls and provides more than 500 STEM kits for children throughout metro Detroit. Digital Divas also fosters EMU’s strategic plans to promote student success and engagement, deliver high-performing academic programs and quality research.

In the past, Digital Divas operated as an in-person initiative, however, COVID-19 caused a strain on the ability to continue the efforts. Hamed decided that this was an opportunity to incorporate videos of women impacting STEM-related roles. After releasing videos via the Digital Divas website, Detroit Public Television saw this as a chance to add another layer of exposure for the Digital Divas brand, which led to the creation of the Digital Divas TV show.

With the program's success, Hamed was able to secure funding for two pilot episodes that were themed to showcase women in manufacturing and cyber security careers. More episodes are planned for distribution at a later date. 

The event is by invitation only, however, media are encouraged to attend. For more information about the Digital Divas TV show email bia.hamed@emich.edu. To learn more about the program visit the Digital Divas website.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 11, 2022

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Contact:
Brittany Mobley
bmobley1@emich.edu
734-487-4402