NEW YORK, NY, June 23, 2021
Infosys Foundation USA and CBS’s multi award-winning television series Mission Unstoppable are teaming up to showcase the important role that teachers play in inspiring young girls to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Hosted by Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly, Despicable Me) and executive produced by Cosgrove and Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, Mission Unstoppable will present a new episode on Saturday, July 3 featuring Khamphet Pease, a STEM teacher at Wilson Middle School in San Diego, California and an Infosys Foundation USA Pathfinders Institute alumna who is inspiring her students to break barriers in computer science, technology and engineering. The series spotlights diverse, female STEM professionals in an impactful, age-appropriate way in an effort to break long-held stereotypes and encourage adolescent girls to pursue STEM careers.
Infosys Foundation USA is committed to increasing access to computer science and maker education amongst underrepresented groups, which includes girls and women. In order to achieve this goal, the Foundation invests heavily in professional development for K-12 teachers in the U.S. Out of a mutual interest to highlight the foundational role that teachers play in shaping young girls’ views about the possibilities that exist for them in a technology-enabled world, the Foundation approached Litton Entertainment to explore opportunities for a partnership.
“Being able to shine a television spotlight on the magic that happens when a passionate teacher uses computer science and STEM to inspire her students was incredibly rewarding,” said Kate Maloney, Executive Director, Infosys Foundation USA. “Partnering with Litton Entertainment and the Mission Unstoppable team was an exciting new venture for us as we all share a belief in the importance of inclusion and creating role models for young girls in technology.”
“Representation and visibility in the sciences is crucial, particularly for impressionable young people,” said Nicole Small, CEO of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and co-founder of the IF/THEN Initiative. “Several reasons, including environment, stereotypes and social bias contribute to a gender gap in STEM professions, and our goal for every episode of Mission Unstoppable is to help bridge this gap by spotlighting STEM superstars like teacher Khamphet Pease to inspire the next generation of diverse female STEM pioneers.”
Khamphet Pease began her career at a biotech company, but then transitioned into education when she realized she was getting more personal fulfilment out of volunteering as a tutor than she was from her full-time job. Since making that switch, Pease has fully immersed herself in ensuring her students are exposed to a wide range of STEM opportunities regardless of their backgrounds or socioeconomic status.
“I want my students to know they can achieve success in STEM no matter what their ZIP Code is,” says Pease.
Pease was introduced to the Infosys Foundation USA through its Pathfinders Institute, a professional development program for K-12 teachers in computer science and maker education. She joined the inaugural Pathfinders program in 2018 and has attended all of its iterations since, continually working to hone her skills for the classroom and constantly inspiring her students to achieve more.
Mission Unstoppable airs on Saturday mornings as part of CBS’s Educational/Informational programming block. It is produced by Litton Entertainment in collaboration with IF/THEN®, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies®.
ABOUT INFOSYS FOUNDATION USA
Infosys Foundation USA was established in 2015 with the mission of expanding computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the United States, with a specific focus on increasing access to underrepresented communities. The Foundation achieves impact through delivering professional development programs for teachers, partnering with leading nonprofits, and delivering innovative media campaigns that inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology. For more information, visit infosys.org/USA.
ABOUT LITTON ENTERTAINMENT
Litton Entertainment, a division of Hearst Television, is the preeminent independent producer and distributor in the U.S. television industry, creating quality programming for over 20 years with distribution across linear, cable, streamers, digital and social platforms. Producing more than 800 hours of programing a year across genres and demos, Litton talent and crews can often be found traveling the globe producing Emmy-winning, content distributed worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.litton.tv. Litton is majority-owned by Hearst: http://www.hearst.com.
IF/THEN®, an extension of Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ commitment to fund game-changing advancements in science and nature, seeks to further advance women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Rooted in a firm belief that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models, IF/THEN® is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers by: (1) funding and elevating women in STEM as role models, (2) convening cross-sector partners in entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia to illuminate the importance of STEM everywhere, and (3) inspiring girls with better portrayals of women in STEM through media and learning experiences to pique their interest in STEM careers.
ABOUT LYDA HILL PHILANTHROPIES
Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving of founder Lyda Hill and includes her foundation and personal philanthropy. As one of its priorities, Lyda Hill Philanthropies funds transformational advances in science and nature. To learn more, please visit https://lydahillphilanthropies.org/.
Jodi Davis/For Litton Entertainment
Marianne Romano/For Litton Entertainment
Justine Moscatello/For Infosys Foundation USA