Women To Become Drone Ambassadors

Lisa Marie Payne

UTICA - On Monday, October 15, 2018, a select group of women business leaders will participate in a drone technology ambassador program from 7:00 to 9:30pm in the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing.  With the help of the Women’s Fund of Oneida Herkimer Counties and the Air Force Research Lab, CNY Drones and students from the SUNY Academy of Model Aeronautics Student Club (SUNY AMA) will deliver a hands-on introduction to drone technology that can be shared with colleagues, friends and family of female students who are either in or will soon be moving through Jr. High and High School.  

The single evening event will introduce participants to drone technology, the lingo and equipment. The goal of the program is to spread the word through women’s business, friend, family and parent/teacher circles about the opportunities that exist regionally in this fast-growing field. The hope is to gain enough interest to snowball the program into additional offerings that help young women.

“We’re determined to encourage young women to enter an emerging, male-dominated STEM field right here in Central New York,” according to CNY Drones Administrator, Lisa Marie Payne. We’ve learned the importance of mentors and role-models who can share information with the influencers of young women - their family and friends.  We’re targeting a cross-section of women who can share positive information with parents. Young women rely on their family support system when choosing an educational path. We’re providing information that can guide them towards STEM education and employment choices.”  

CNY Drones is volunteer group promoting STEM through an annually themed Team Drone Challenge, information hub and introductory programs that encourage exploration of the regional drone education & employment pipeline. Interactive exhibits, flying sessions, workshops, races, and tech meets lead into and support their low-cost indoor student competition, open to schools, clubs and community based teams. CNY Drones collaborates on projects with the SUNY AMA to promote STEM in the community.  AMA Club members gain experience in mentoring, fundraising, and connecting with area organizations. Programs brought on campus introduce students and families to college life through one of the most active student clubs.   

For information on CNY Drones and SUNY AMA, visit or email:

For more information about the Women’s Fund of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., go to or email:

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