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October 21, 2008
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NPower Awards;

Big shout-out to great sponsor the University of Maryland! The A. James Clark School of Engineering and Robert H. Smith School of Business partner to deliver a groundbreaking executive education series. See ad to the right for more details!


We can't resist a good awards ceremony (heck, we're suckers for bad ones too) so we happily attended the annual NPower Technology Innovations Awards late last week at the National Association of Homebuilders on 15th St. They fall into the "good" category, by the way, because they recognize non-profits who creatively use technology to advance their mission.


NPower Greater DC Region president Julie Chapman with Agilex's Tim Hoechst and Microsoft's Stuart McKee. Stuart spends his days talkin' IT with government officials. "Sometimes we discuss how Microsoft can help them, but to be completely honest, that's not always the case," says Stuart, who returned home last weekend to Washington State for a rare quiet weekend with his two kids.


Northern Virginia Family Service's Peter Yamaguchi (no relation to the figure skater) and NPower New York president Peter Gordon. Peter tells us he just moved to Northern Virginia from Hawaii, where he grew up. We love NoVa as much as anyone, but seriously, Peter?


The entertainment: Howard University's a cappella jazz ensemble Afro Blue. Award winners for the afternoon were Peace X Peace and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Peace X Peace created an open source online platform for sharing information about best practices to advance women's causes and peace across the world, while Elizabeth Glaser was honored for creating a system designed to combat slow Internet speeds and limited infrastructure in the 18 countries where it operates.

HotJobs PostDocs

NIH sizzled with brainpower late last week as more than 500 recent grads hunted for work at the 2008 PostDoc Conference and job fair. Also attending were more than 50 companies aiming to poach from the uber-educated workforce in front of them. Above, Kauffman Foundation's Sandra Miller, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Tshaka Cunningham, Philadelphia Biotechnology and Life Sciences Institute co-founder Dr. Chad Womack and Rockville Economic Development Executive Director Sally Sternbach.


Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Chuck Schultz, FDA's Kim Benton, Sterne Kessler's Betsy Haanes and freelance science writer Laura Bonetta led a panel for docs who use their education in a field outside their area of study. "The ones who can successfully work in other fields have the most people skills that translate to other areas like being in the media or representing a company on regulatory issues," Kim says. Apparently it's a one-way street, as nobody seemed thrilled when we tried to put our English degree to good use performing angioplasties on passers-by.


Next up in the hot seats: Sequella's Carol Nacy, UMD's Lawrence Sita, Dr. Bhavesh Joshi and Edgar C. Harrell Associates Ed Harrell discussing something near to our hearts: Entrepreneurship. Ed told the crowd VCs and angel investors are not interested in pharma companies (the return takes too long), so the best places to start companies are therapeutics and diagnostics.

Rocky Mountain "Hi"

You're bound to run into a DC-area techie anywhere in the country. We spotted StackSafe CEO Loren Burnett, wife Richelle and son Brendan at the University of Colorado parents' weekend in Boulder. (Brendan's a freshman.) StackSafe tests software infrastructure in a simulated environment to catch glitches before they happen in the real world. Loren tells us Richelle is about to become an entrepreneur herself through the "ACTIVATE" program at UMD that helps women in technology start their own companies. We were thinking of posting this adorable photo to Brendan's Facebook, but then he'd just have to go in and de-tag it.

David Stegon usually tries to write something witty in this space while asking for story ideas, but his brain is not functioning today. You can still send story ideas to David@Bisnow.com.

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