Angela Hemingway says her new private sector job will build off of her old state job as head of Idaho’s STEM Action Center.
And by joining an international wireless communications firm, she hopes to help address a nagging problem in Idaho education.
“During 2020, largely due to the educational impacts of the pandemic, I became even more focused on the digital divide as well as digital equity, access, and digital literacy,” Hemingway said in an email Wednesday. “Having the opportunity to focus on these issues on a larger scale was appealing to me. The job found me and will allow me the opportunity to work in the private sector in a professional role for the first time in my life.”
Hemingway joined T-Mobile this week, taking a new position as the company’s education industry segment advisor. It’s a sales position within T-Mobile’s government sales organization — and the company says part of the job is to “uncover new business opportunities within the K-12 education space.”
Hemingway had been the executive director of the STEM Action Center since 2015. Established by the Legislature earlier that year, the center is charged with promoting the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.
One of the center’s main efforts is a computer science initiative. Supported by state dollars, grants and industry contributions, the goal of the initiative is to expand computer science course offerings across the state.
On Wednesday, Hemingway touted the center’s fundraising success. In 2015-16, the center raised $72,000 in donations; in 2019-20, it collected $1.8 million. “This illustrates that we have created awareness of the importance of (and need for) STEM (and computer science) education and programs that Idaho businesses are willing to support.”
But, as she noted Wednesday, the center began in 2015 at the ground level.
“I vividly remember my first day,” she said. “I walked into the office and stopped at the door realizing it was just me and I had no work phone, no website, no email, not even a pen!”
On Monday, Kaitlin Maguire was promoted to head the center on an interim basis.