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2007 Judges:

  • Israel Cook - Senior Production Designer, BET.com
  • Trish Millines Dziko - Co-Founder & Executive Director, Technology Access Foundation
  • Aprille Ericsson, Ph.D. - Instrument Manager, NASA
  • Jay Green - Reporter, National Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Arleyah Morris - Deputy Executive Director, National Society of Black Engineers
  • Malcolm Player - 2004 Skins Challenge Winner, North Carolina A&T
  • Stephon Watson - Program Manager, Microsoft


2006 Judges:

  • Nichol Bradford - Global Director of Strategic Growth, Vivendi Universal Games
  • Malcolm Player - 2004 Skins Challenge Winner, North Carolina A&T
  • Keith Toussaint - Windows Media Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
  • Jay Green - Reporter, National Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Michael Smith, Ph.D. - Program Director, National Society of Black Engineers

 

2005 Judges:

  • Israel Cook - Graphics Designer, BET.com

  • Roger Hughlett - Technology Reporter, Washington Business Journal

  • Tavis Smiley Commentator, The Tavis Smiley Show

  • Syreeta Thomas - 2004-2005 Chairperson, NSBE Region 6

  • Keith Toussaint - Windows Media Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

  • Omar Wasow - Executive Director, Blackplanet.com

  • Roger Zimmerman, Ph.D. - Integrated Media Systems, University of Southern California

 

 

2004 Judges:

Media:

Community:

  • Trish Millines Dziko - Co-Founder & Executive Director,
    Technology Access Foundation (Seattle, Washington)

Industry:

  • Ray Blakeney - Diversity Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
  • Keith Toussaint - Windows Media Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation

 

Nichol Bradford
Global Director of Strategic Growth
Vivendi Universal Games

Nichol Bradford is no stranger to Action-Adventure! She works in the fast growing, exciting video and computer game industry.

As the Global Director of Strategic Growth at Vivendi Universal Games (VUG), Bradford reports to CEO Bruce Hack and works on special projects, portfolio planning, and manages the strategic/marketing relationships with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Before moving into this special role, Bradford spent two years in Marketing at VUG. As a Sr. Global Brand Manager she marketed video games tied to major film properties like Van Helsing, Fight Club and Scarface. She worked extensively with Universal Studios Motion Picture Group, Twentieth Century Fox and other Studios/content holders to bring properties to the 3-D interactive world.

Prior to VUG, Bradford spent two years at Disney Interactive/Buena Vista Games, a division of The Walt Disney Company, as a Marketing/Licensing Manager on video games for Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Lilo & Stitch and Spy Kids among others. During this time, she worked closely with Miramax Films, Pixar Animation Studios, and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Nichol Bradford is committed to the growth and development of the video game industry as evidenced by her Chairmanship of an annual art exhibit titled, Into The Pixel: A Celebration of Video Game Art. Into the Pixel is a joint project between E3, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) where Bradford sits on the Board of the Prints and Drawing Council (PDC).

She is passionate about encouraging diversity in the video game industry. To that end, Bradford is a Board Member of the Urban Video Game Academy (UVGA), whose mission is to better prepare students in disadvantaged areas for postsecondary education and technology careers by teaching them the fundamentals of video game development. In addition, she organizes an annual dinner at E3 for diverse executives.

In 2001, Nichol received her MBA in Strategic Management from the Wharton School of Business. Before graduate school, Bradford worked in New York in cosmetics and fashion licensing at Estee Lauder and The Anne Klein Company. She earned her BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston.

Bradford is an avid reader. When asked to describe her literary influences for her novel My Sister’s Keeper, she cites three main writers: James Clavell’s deep, long lasting plots with intrigue at every turn, Barbara Taylor Bradford’s grand sweeping epics of indomitable business women, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s all important quests that can change the world.

During her spare time, Bradford dances the Tango

 

Trish Millines Dziko
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Technology Access Foundation

www.techaccess.org

Trish was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended Monmouth College and received a Computer Science degree in 1979. After graduation, Trish spent 15 years working in the high tech industry as a software tester and developer, program manager, consultant, and database designer in industries as diverse as military weapons, business systems, communications, and medical equipment.

It was during her 8.5 years at Microsoft that she became active in diversity. In 1995, Trish worked as a Senior Diversity Administrator. She traveled the country to recruit technically trained people of color and found that the pool of people she had to choose from was very small. Trish came to realize that the lack of diversity in the work place was not due to the efforts of her employer--Microsoft was a great example of a company actively working to recruit a workforce reflective of its customer base. The problem was that there were not enough people of color coming out of college with high tech training.

Trish realized that in order to increase the number of qualified people coming out of college, she would need to find a way to increase the number of people of color enrolling in university to gain technical training. Capturing the interest of children of color early in their lives, and providing them with the opportunity to become users and creators of technology is the foundation on which TAF is based.

In 1996, Trish left Microsoft, and with the support and help of friends and family, created the Technology Access Foundation.

 

Roger Hughlett
Technology Reporter
Washington Business Journal
washington.bizjournals.com

Roger Hughlett has covered technology and telecommunications for more than six years. Before joining the Washington Business Journal, he was a reporter with the Baltimore Business Journal. Prior to that he was on the business desk at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He has served as contributing reporter for both public television and radio stations. Hughlett has won several reporting awards from the Maryland Delaware DC Press Association. He is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University.

 

Tavis Smiley
NPR Host
The Tavis Smiley Show

His late night television show, Tavis Smiley, is the first program in the history of PBS to broadcast from the West Coast. Host of The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR, he is the first African American to host his own signature talk show in the history of National Public Radio. He hosts The Smiley Report, heard daily on urban contemporary radio stations across America, and appears twice weekly on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. In addition, Smiley has an imprint (Smiley Books) with Hay House, creating a series of products including empowerment cards, audiocassettes, mini-books and success seminars. He was previously the host of the award-winning BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley.

The mission of his nonprofit organization-Tavis Smiley Foundation-is to enlighten, encourage and empower Black youth. Tavis Smiley Presents, a subsidiary of The Smiley Group, Inc., brings ideas and people together through symposiums, seminars, forums and town hall meetings. His advocacy work has been profiled on 60 Minutes. Smiley is a graduate of Indiana University.

 

Leonard Washington
Founder and President
Paramount Digital Entertainment

Leonard Washington is founder and president of Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE), the interactive division of Paramount Pictures. Since its inception in 1994, PDE has focused on leveraging technologies to market, extend, and protect Paramount's brands in the digital realm. Mr.
Washington is responsible for leading PDE's creative and business efforts in developing strategies and partnerships that both enhance the marketing of Paramount.s traditional programming and lead to the creation of new forms of entertainment content for emerging consumer platforms and devices.

Mr. Washington has been involved with Paramount's digital activities in various capacities for more than fifteen years, including PDE's initial groundbreaking initiative: the creation of the first Web site to promote a motion picture -- Star Trek Generations -- in October 1994.

Mr. Washington also serves as Vice President of the Digital Coast Roundtable, is a member of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council, and the founder of a digital filmmaking class for inner-city youth in partnership with Break Away Technologies and the Intel Computer Clubhouse of Los Angeles.

Prior to joining Paramount, Washington designed satellite systems for TRW's Electronic Systems Group. Mr. Washington holds an MBA from the Anderson School Management at UCLA and a BS in electrical engineering from Howard University.

 

Omar Wasow
Executive Director
Blackplanet.com
omar@mail.blackplanet.com

Omar Wasow, 33, is the Executive Director of BlackPlanet.com at Community Connect Inc. and a technology analyst for WNBC and NPR. Under Omar's leadership BlackPlanet.com became the leading site for African Americans, reaching over two million people a month. Omar also works to demystify technology issues through weekly TV and radio segments on WNBC's Today in New York and NPR's Tavis Smiley Show . Similarly, Omar tutored Oprah Winfrey in her first exploration of the Net in the 12-part series 'Oprah Goes Online'.

Wasow's success as a credible and friendly guide to the Internet led Newsweek to name him one of the "fifty most influential people to watch in cyberspace," and People magazine to call him the "Sexiest Internet Executive, 2001." Successful Meetings Magazine named him one of the "21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century."

As a result of his active participation in a number of social issues, particularly the charter school movement, Omar was selected to be a fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation's Next Generation Leadership program. In Fall 2003, a K-4 charter school that Omar helped found opened in his hometown of Brooklyn. He can be reached at omar@mail.blackplanet.com

 

Steve Wildstrom
Technology & You Columnist
BusinessWeek
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/

Steve Wildstrom created BusinessWeek's Technology & You column in 1994. The goal of the column, which appears weekly with regular supplements at BusinessWeek Online , is to help readers understand and use personal technology to enhance their jobs and their lives.

Before starting Technology & You, Steve served as senior news editor in BusinessWeek's Washington bureau and edited the Washington Outlook column. Since joining the magazine in 1972, he has served in variety of capacities, covering politics, economics, and labor in Washington and Detroit and was also deeply involved in the computerization of editorial operations in the 1980s. A native of Detroit, Steve is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

 

Aprille J. Ericsson, Ph.D.
Instrument Manager
NASA

A Howard University Board of Trustees member since 2004, Dr. Ericsson is an Instrument Manager and Aerospace Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She received a B.S. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Howard University, where she served several terms as the President of the Graduate Student Council. She is the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University.

She has 20 years of experience in structural dynamics, controls, and instrument management of spacecraft missions, was featured on the NBC Nightly News Series Women to Watch, and is listed in history books honoring African-Americans in Aerospace and Science. She has received numerous awards, including the 2002 HU College of Engineering, Architecture, Computer Sciences (CEACS) Alumni Excellence Award, and the 1997 Women in Science and Engineering Award for Best Female Engineer in the Federal Government.

The HU Upward Bound Math and Science Initiative Program is named in her honor. She is a charter member of the HU CEACS Alumni Network, and her board posts include: Forestville Military Academy, The Center for Quality in Urban Education and the HU Middle School of Mathematics and Science.

 

Stephon Watson
Program Manager in Windows Core OS Deployment
Microsoft

Stephon Watson, a 24 year old Chicago native, is a Purdue University College of Electrical Engineering graduate. Stephon has served in several leadership roles, including 2005-2006 National Society of Black Engineers Region 4 Chairperson. Stephon led the Region 4 Executive Board in executing the NSBE mission, vision, and directives throughout the Great Lakes Region. Under his leadership, Region 4 had a 40% membership increase and secured record funding. In 2006-2007, Stephon served as the Region 4 Chairperson Emeritus, where he handled region's governing policies, documents, and elections. He also served as an advisor to the regional executive board. Stephon served as the NSBE Training and Transitioning Coordinator, where he organized the training and transitioning activities for NSBE's National and Regional Leadership programs.

At Purdue University, Stephon was a teaching assistant for freshmen engineering courses, assisted the Minority Engineering Programs Office, conducted undergraduate research, tutored 6th-8th graders, and participated in bible study. In all of these activities, he demonstrated a commitment to serving others in a manner leading to opportunities and rewards for all. Stephon is excited about his Microsoft responsibilities as a Program Manager in the Windows Core Deployment Organization.