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Three Cisco Employee Volunteers Recognized as “Citizen Teachers of the Year” by Citizen Schools

August 16, 2013 at 7:30 am PST

Three Cisco employees were recently named “Cisco Citizen Teachers of the Year” by Citizen Schools, one of Cisco’s longtime nonprofit education partners.

More than 125 volunteers from Cisco have stepped out of their jobs as engineers, sales executives, and technology professionals to become mentors and “Citizen Teachers,” leading groups of students in 10-week “apprenticeship” classes. Thanks to their commitment to the program, over 700 students have had access to caring mentors and developed an interest in pursuing future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

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Cisco and MIND Research Institute Are Reimagining Math Education

August 15, 2013 at 10:47 am PST

This post is derived from the 2012 MIND Research Institute Annual Report.

When Tylicia transferred to third-grade at Occohannock Elementary in Virginia’s Northampton County, her teachers described her as polite but extremely quiet in class. She was failing math, but wouldn’t ask questions when she needed help.

Two months into the school year, Tylicia had what her teacher describes as a breakthrough moment. She had created her own place value chart on a white board to work through a series of ST Math problems on the computer. “It wasn’t a strategy any one had given to her, and she was able to explain to me how she was using this tool she’d created,” says third-grade math teacher Jenna Bassette. “She was problem solving independently.”

Tylicia is one of 6,000 Virginia students who began piloting MIND Research Institute’s Spatial Temporal (ST) Math program in 2012 with a grant from the Cisco Foundation. ST Math is a web-based, self-paced software program that uses language-free animation to help students grasp key concepts.

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Cisco Among Top Bay Area Philanthropists

July 26, 2013 at 8:00 am PST

Cisco was recognized yesterday by the San Francisco Business Times as #6 on its list of Top Corporate Philanthropists in the Greater Bay Area.

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Cisco has a long history of supporting the communities where its employees live and work.

For example, one of Cisco’s longest-running traditions is a special program for Bay Area nonprofits, which has offered Community Impact Cash Grants to carefully selected community organizations for more than a decade. In recent years, the grant amount has been set at $15,000 each for programs focused on K-8 education and health. Cisco employee volunteers drive every aspect of the grantmaking process – from evaluating the applications to performing site visits to identifying the strongest applicants from a large and worthy pool.

Cisco gave $12.3 million to Bay Area-based charities in fiscal year 2012.

Read more about our current grantees at csr.cisco.com.

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Girl Scouts Wowed by Cisco Technology

Members of my Global Delivery Center (GDC) Public Sector Team at Cisco’s campus in North Carolina recently spent an evening with more than 60 Girl Scouts, who all have a passion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Girl Scouts, North Carolina Coastal Pines (GS-NCCP) serves girls and adults in 41 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Through this program, girls develop leadership skills while learning the important of personal responsibility, the value of goal setting, the spirit of teamwork, and the thrill of accomplishment.

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The girls visited Cisco on July 18, when 15 Cisco employees and college interns gave them a tour of Cisco’s lab, TelePresence technology, and Security Operations. The Public Sector team led the TelePresence portion of the night, during which Cisco’s TelePresence technology was shown off to the girls with an exciting game of charades and Pictionary.

RTP_GS_2At the end of the game, we shared with the girls how the TelePresence technology is used during our day-to-day lives at Cisco. They were amazed to hear that we were able to meet with people in other states and countries all over the world with such ease.

Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Padmasree Warrior, recently wrote “Girls at a young age must have something that sparks their interest in technology or science.” As the Girl Scouts entered the conference room to see another group of Girl Scouts in another building on three large screens, they shouted out beyond disbelief, “Oh! They can hear us?” By the end of the night, with quotes like “I want one of these at my house!” it was easy to see that Cisco definitely sparked every Girl Scouts’ interest in technology.

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It Takes a Village to Green a City

June 24, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

Over the past 18 months, I’ve had the privilege to assist the City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability in developing a city-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP).  This scope of this plan is not limited to the city’s own operations, although there is a plan for that as well, but instead looks at the entire carbon and environmental footprint for the whole city, it’s inhabitants, businesses, everything!

It goes without saying that this in an enormous undertaking that very few cities have even tried.  My biggest take-away from participating in and observing the process is the importance of broad stakeholder engagement when working to improve environmental sustainability.  And that thought resonates when I consider the success factors for the programs that I have been a part of in private industry.  The team working on the CAP included 50 individuals with sustainability expertise representing government, private companies, and community organizations in the greater Cleveland region.

Since joining Cisco three years ago, my job has been to reduce the climate impact of Cisco’s internal operations.  We achieved our 2012 carbon reduction goals of 25% and are now gearing up for our 2017 goal of 40% reduction (for a 2007 baseline).  As a resident of Cleveland, I was excited to take my experiences at Cisco and volunteer my time and expertise to Cleveland’s project.

So why is it important to cast a wide net when engaging stakeholders?

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