Galveston College Welcomes

Galveston College Welcomes Over 1,100 High School Girls and Women at the 2024 Women In Industry Conference

Galveston College – along with eight other community colleges which comprise the Texas Gulf Coast Community College Consortium – welcomed over 1,100 high school girls and women to the 2024 Women In Industry Conference on April 3 at the Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston. The 7th annual Women In Industry Conference was a sell out as it has been every year.

“The Women In Industry Conference is the highlight of my career. Over the past 7 years, we have empowered thousands of girls and women to pursue careers in male-dominated industries. I am especially thankful to our sponsors, speakers, and panelists who made our 2024 event so successful,” commented Vera Lewis-Jasper, dean of technical and professional education at Galveston College.

Twenty-five successful women working in male-dominated industries served as speakers, panelists, and role models at this conference. Attendees benefitted from hearing about their personal experiences and recommendations and were encouraged to pursue career opportunities in the petrochemical, avionics, biotech, and IT industry sectors.

Morning keynote speaker Maci Chambers, process slider at the ExxonMobil Baytown Refinery, kicked off the conference with energy and enthusiasm. Chambers graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in corporate communication and a minor in business from the University of Houston. At ExxonMobil, she operates on, improves, and maintains equipment. Chambers’ topic “From Gucci to ExxonMobil” delved into her journey in the industry and experience as a woman in the field.

Chambers emphasized the importance of being willing to learn and adapt. She suggested that even with limited work experience, every day is an opportunity to learn something new, to grow, and to challenge yourself. Chambers said, “I came from a strong woman, and strong women will come from me.”

Luncheon keynote speaker Tracie Griffitt, vice president of project delivery at Worley, has deep experience in operations management, project management, business development, engineering, quality management and organizational change across the petroleum refining, petrochemical, chemical, brewery, and pharmaceutical industries. Griffitt, who originally wanted to be a veterinary but was dissuaded, graduated from the prestigious Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. She shared highlights of her career and provided helpful insights and perspectives for conference participants.

“There were so many wonderful speakers and role models from leading industry companies at the 2024 Women In Industry Conference. They demonstrated that being a woman in this field is a challenge AND an exciting opportunity,” commented Sophie Garcia, Galveston College dual credit welding student and Ball High School junior.

In addition, to the keynote presentations, the conference featured 30 breakout sessions that were led by panelists representing Chemours, Chevron Phillips, ExxonMobil, Olin, Oxy, Phillips 66, Shell USA, TechLabs, Turner Industries, and Worley. Panelists included Gabby Romo, Sammantha Villarreal, Tisha Pruneda, Dawn Smith, Janis Lucas, Catie Engels, Hayley Allen, Natarsha Carter, Bailee Phari, Uquay Baker, Rhonda Koenning, Brenda Wakeland, Jocelyn Gutierrez, Lauren Miller, Christina Torres, Michelle Baker, Elizabeth Beckham, Casey Yeager, Sonja Higgins, Amanda Deaver, Crystal Poole, Crystal Schulz, and Samantha Doerr.

“The energy in the room was empowering. Knowing that I have so many women rooting for me is so inspiring. Attending the Women In Industry Conference has opened my eyes to the endless number of possibilities and opportunities that await me,” said Neia Vargas, an 8th grade student at Central Middle School in Galveston.

For a full list of speakers, panelists and the conference agenda, please visit

For more information, please visit

About 2024 Conference Sponsors

The 2024 Women in Industry Conference is supported by the following sponsors: ExxonMobil, Worley, Phillips 66, Chevron Phillips Chemical, OXY, The Chemours Company, Olin, Turner Industries Group LLC, INEOS, PCL Construction, LyondellBasell, Arkema, Shell USA, National Center for Construction Education and Research, Freeport LNG, TechLabs, DOW Chemical Company, and Workforce Solutions.

About Galveston College

Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education, and community service programs. For more information, please visit

About Texas Gulf Coast Community College Consortium

In addition to Galveston College, the Texas Gulf Coast Community College Consortium includes Alvin Community College, Brazosport College, College of the Mainland, Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College and Wharton County Junior College. Representatives from all nine colleges attended the conference to discuss education and training programs, financial aid, student services, and career services.

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