STEMM Idols Share Their Expertise

Students interested in STEMM fields had the opportunity to hear from a patent attorney, statistician and dietetics intern recently at the latest STEMM Idol Speaker Series presentations.

Ava Billimoria is a patent attorney for Thompson Hine law firm. She received her undergraduate degree at Kettering University in Michigan and her JD at Wayne State University also in Michigan. 

“I can do lots of different things like work with inventors and write patent applications,” Billimoria noted. “I argue the applications in front of the patent office and hopefully it will be a patent. A patent attorney can also litigate so I sometimes go to court to do that.”

Billimoria, who also has a masters degree in electrical engineering, said she hoped students understood there were several career possibilities available post graduation.

“I hope they realize that this is something else they could do,” Billimoria reflected. “It’s good for them to know what careers are out there.”

Dr. Neil Paton is the lead statistician at Cargill Animal Nutrition. He spoke to students on Pi Day (March 14).

“I want students to understand the significance of Pi,” Dr. Paton said. “I also wanted to share how I use Pi in my job and how I came to be in my career today.”

Dr. Paton also shared with students the significance of STEMM careers in the workplace today.

“We find it very hard to recruit quality people who are sufficiently skilled in STEMM areas,” Dr. Paton noted. “We need to do a better job attracting students which is bazaar because in general those jobs pay very well.”

Dr. Paton continued, “I always look forward to having students coming into STEMM fields and my field in particular, applied statistics. It’d be great to have more students come in.”

Erin Stark (pictured above) is in the final months of her dietetics internship at Miami Valley Hospital. During her time at the hospital, she has learned of several opportunities in the career including inpatient care, outpatient care, and family nutrition.

“I hope students learned that dietetics is a fun and upcoming career,” Stark said. “There are so many ways you can go with it and there is so much you can do to make it your own.”

Stark added something changing she has noticed in her career is the development of new nutrition labels.

“The new nutrition label shows added sugar which I  think is really important to show,” Stark stated. “For example, milk has natural sugars but yogurt or flavored milks can have a lot of added sugars.

“Nutrition education is important,” she emphasized.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM Coordinator at (937) 461-3740 x487 or at

Posted April 11, 2017