MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Naveen Jain, CEO, Intelius today announced the selection of two exemplary women as Intelius Scholars to participate at Singularity University's Graduate Program on full scholarship. Mr. Jain noted that the women were selected due to their "extraordinary achievements in fostering growth and prosperity for those in need."
Singularity University accepts 80 highly credentialed students for its Graduate Studies Program. The competition is fierce to win a classroom seat to study with an incredible caliber of students and to learn from famous thought leaders. Each degree costs $25,000, bringing Intelius' financial support of these women to $50,000.
At the June 20 opening ceremony, which will be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, Sharron and Emily will begin the intense 10-week summer graduate program where they will learn from a diverse group of the most accomplished international experts in academia, business, government, technology, science and other disciplines. The program immerses participants in a learning environment like no other, where professor and student collaborations create disruptive solutions to the global challenges we face today.
"The Intelius Women's Initiative is dedicated to benefiting the bottom billion in the world today through incentives and education in Science and Technology. Intelius is proud to sponsor Sharron and Emily through this phase of their journey toward making the world a better place for women in need," said Naveen Jain, a serial entrepreneur, CEO of Intelius, and Singularity University Board of Trustees.
Specifically, Sharron McPherson was chosen due to her exceptional leadership track record and commitment to solving women's issues through Government Policy and Financing. Emily was selected for her pioneering spirit in breaking gender stereotypes in Science and Math and innovative efforts to improving public health in Kenya.
- Sharron McPherson: Sharron secured her undergraduate degree in economics and macroeconomics from the College of William & Mary. Following graduation, she became a Wall Street banker and attended Columbia Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor Degree in Comparative Constitutional & Transnational Law. A professor introduced Sharron to George Bizos, Nelson Mandela's Chief Legal Counsel, who, noting Sharron's academic prowess and dedication, asked her to be a Judicial Clerk of the South African Constitutional Court. This chance encounter forever changed her personal path and inspired her to Clerk in South Africa before founding another law firm in Johannesburg. It did not take long before Sharron was recruited by Tanaka Investment to be its Chief Executive Officer, overseeing $200 million in investments throughout Africa. There she became keenly aware of the great need to help the underserved women of society, but also what she refers to as "the middle, middle," which need technology to grow a successful business.
- Emily Kuria: From the time a professor told her that "physics was not a women's playground" and recommended she change majors, Emily became passionate to find out why there is such a disparity between the number of women and men in Science and Technology. Her passionate search for this answer has led her from studying Physics at the University of Nairobi to Neurological Science at the International School of Advanced Studies in Italy, and finally to General Neuroscience at the Charite University School of Medicine. While a student at University of Nairobi, Emily founded "Rise of the Eves," a mentorship program that is now used throughout Africa to encourage female students to stay in school. She also co-founded the Youth Agency for the Development of Science Technology and Innovations (YADSTI), which is now a registered NGO. Emily founded the Ubongo Initiative to educate the community on public health issues and is a founding member of the Kenya chapter of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World. She is a global speaker on the disparity of women in science throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
"As a banker and attorney, my main interest is to increase women enterprises by leveraging technology. The Intelius Singularity University Scholarship is irresistible because I can learn how to further entrepreneurship and empowerment for women through technology for my new venture Women's Enterprise Development Initiative (WEDI)," said Sharron McPherson. WEDI provides technical assistance programs that employ technology to help Sub-Saharan women-owned African businesses develop their resources and receive financing to accomplish their goals. Sharron likes to say, "investing in women's business is not only the smart thing to do, it is the right thing to do."
"At Singularity University, I will have the opportunity to learn from the industry's preeminent thought leaders, which I am confident will further inspire me to generate innovative solutions to bridge gender gaps and motivate other women to improve their economic conditions," said Emily Kuria. "I am honored to have been presented with this amazing opportunity and am extremely appreciative that Intelius has offered me the resources to attend Singularity University's prestigious Graduate Studies Program."
Intelius is a leading information commerce company providing businesses and consumers with information to empower the decision-making process for peace of mind and security. To date, Intelius has gained more than 12 million unique customers who use Intelius' information to reconnect and protect their loved ones, businesses and assets. Intelius has 30 million unique users visiting its sites each month. Intelius' services include background checks; people search services, comprehensive employment screening services and an award-winning identity theft prevention product, IDProtect™. Intelius is one of the top 100 most trafficked sites on the Internet, according to comScore/Media Metrix. For more about Intelius' business, news and policies, visit http://www.intelius.com/corp
About Singularity University
Singularity University is an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity's grand challenges. With the support of a broad range of leaders in academia, business and government, Singularity University hopes to stimulate groundbreaking, disruptive thinking and solutions aimed at solving some of the planet's most pressing challenges. Singularity University is based at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. Information at http://www.singularityu.org
About Graduate Studies Program
Each summer, the Graduate Studies Program class (GSP) is challenged with "Ten to the Ninth Plus" team projects – a highlight of the ten week program. The students spend several weeks working toward the goal of developing ideas and solutions that have the potential to positively impact at least one billion people within ten years. This year, GSP11 students will choose one of six "grand challenge areas" to focus their projects: Education, Security, Energy, Global Health, Poverty and Space.
For additional information please contact:
Kelly Fogelman Group
415 388 8009 (o)
415 328 3966 (m)