NATICK, Mass. (Dec. 12, 2012) -- An official from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center was named to the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM, Advisory Council in Massachusetts.

Donna Bulger, acting director, Business and Operations, NSRDEC, was sworn in by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray in a recent ceremony at Natick Town Hall. Later, Murray talked of the longstanding relationship between Natick Soldier Systems Center and STEM.

"Governor Patrick and I value collaborating with our partners in both the public and private sectors," said Murray, chair of the STEM Advisory Council. "We appreciate Donna's leadership and participation on the STEM Council, and I look forward to working with her as we increase STEM awareness and promote opportunities for students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields."

Governor Deval Patrick welcomed Bulger to the advisory council in his appointment letter to her.

"Lieutenant Governor Murray and I appreciate your willingness to serve the Commonwealth in this capacity," Patrick wrote. "Your experience and sound judgment will contribute substantially to the Board."

Bulger said that she was honored to be named to the council.

"I am excited to be working with my counterparts from industry and academia as we work together to inspire the next generation of problem-solvers to address the challenges and opportunities faced by our country," Bulger said. "I am constantly humbled by our great educators and the work they do to prepare our students, and (I) look forward to continuing to do what we can to help them."

Bulger had become involved with the Department of Defense STEM Outreach Program in 2008 as the Army Outreach Coordinator for Massachusetts, whose fourth- and eighth-graders rank among the best in the world in science and math.

"Because of the NSRDEC, we were identified as the ninth state to become active in the National Defense Education Outreach Program STEM initiatives," Bulger said. "NSRDEC had always been active in educational outreach, and with the appointment came resources to support more robust activities."

Bulger pointed to teacher training events hosted during the past four years at NSRDEC. She added that the sessions provided teachers "with not only training but additional resources for their classrooms."

It didn't take Bulger long to realize the high level of commitment to STEM in Massachusetts.

"In meetings and events, I met fellow STEM outreach advocates from academia and industry," Bulger said. "Together, we all had the same goal -- inspire more students to pursue STEM careers.

"Industry and academia are important partners and collaborators in our scientific and technical accomplishments, and the STEM outreach efforts have provided the opportunity to share that collaboration and provide Massachusetts students a better understanding of the full array of career opportunities, including those in the Department of Defense."

As Bulger pointed out, information also flows the other way.

"I am in a unique perspective to share what is going on within the state with my counterparts in science and technology labs across the country," Bulger said.