about us: Beyond the horizon


Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a national network whose mission is to provide young women with opportunities to meet and interact with inspiring female role models who are active in STEM careers.

In 1983, EYH was first introduced to the Flathead Valley by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at Flathead High school for girls in grades 6th through 12th. Pretty cool!

In 2007, the Soroptimist International clubs of Bigfork, Kalispell, Polson and Whitefish stepped up to continue the Flathead EYH program – growing, organizing and fundraising for this super rad, one-day conference held at FVCC. Each year, 400-500 girls rock it (and rocket!) for a day mentored by awesome, STEM-career women and volunteers.

Through the years, as the demand for STEM programming steadily grew, these powerhouse EYH organizers dreamed of expanding their scope.

This dream became the STEAM Alliance whose mission is to become THE central resource that connects those offering STEM opportunity to those seeking it.

Meanwhile…another group of local professionals, Northwest Montana STEM Partners, were dreaming up a STEM scene in the Flathead Valley that would inspire future generations by providing diverse scientific and technical opportunities.

In 2019, the Partners joined the STEAM Alliance and as a 501c(3) entity, we are setting goals and taking names (literally) to cultivate a STEAM ecosystem that serves as the hub for all things STEAM in the valley

Our team

Man oh man, our team is dedicated! When we are finished at our day jobs, we become the STEAM Alliance. Why? Because we believe in your potential and your opportunities. We are here to help you feel capable, empowered and uninhibited as you learn, grow and explore STEAM right here in our beloved Montana.


Callie Schieffer

Board chair

Callie crushes big problems into bits, then systematically solves the bits with bytes and chips and who knows what other kind of semiconductory stuff. Kind of like Thor, but she doesn’t even have time to know who that is. In a different time and space, she might have had a hand in discovering penicillin, just as a side gig. When she retires, she’s going to go into theoretical physics. So little time. 

Amy Stewart

vice chair

Are those backpack or accordion straps? Either way, the hills are alive and this one is listening! Someday she wants to make documentary films, but for now, she’ll keep wandering the globe, never far from wifi so she can keep her day job. After hours she drops some tech skills at the Alliance and maybe a few beats. How did this former off-the-gridder get so plugged in?

Diane Yarus


This financial report nerd might have invented the sewing machine if she was born in a different age. Thankfully, she’s of our time, sharing her mad skills, relentless drive and passion with us! But, you might catch her in the holodeck interviewing “Speranza”, aka Jane Francesca Agnes (Oscar Wilde’s mother). And, of course she’d choose Thor! She IS the hammer…and the HEART.

When you master time travel, look this lady up! She’ll be the first to book a trip to the future. Or, dial up the Dalai Lama, current or otherwise…she has a few questions. When she’s not walking miles of the earth for fun, Cynthia is throwin’ all kinds of fierce organizational mastery, procedural mandates, and structure and stuff at us. And, we love her for it. And then, there’s that Loki side of her…

Tom Ritzdorf

Board Member

When asked to name a dream job, THIS guy described at least three! Doing is what Tom does best. We share his dreams to eliminate plastic waste and like to imagine with him how humans might first arrive on Mars. When he gets back from “somewhere in time”  and the plasma storm and haze dissipates,  we’re pretty sure Darwin and a sampler pack of dinosaurs will emerge from the doors of the DeLorean, scratching their heads in wonder. 

Anita Emerson

Board Member

Pretty soon our not-so-little Flathead Valley will know ALL about the STEAM Alliance because Anita knows all the ninja-marketing techniques. Anita didn’t do her bio homework, so we just have to blabber on about how great she is until she gives us some creative fodder to make up imaginative details about how she might travel through time, meet Loki AND Thor and then invent something amazing.

Miranda Devereaux

Board Member

This one is always asking for something to do. I mean, can you believe that? For reals, Miranda is the BEST kind of Alliance member – she’s a tomboy, science-geek teacher person. And, she takes the prize for who would you interview? She said Dumbledore. Stop with the amazeballs, Miranda. We can’t compete. She is going to invent our time machine – in fact she already has, but she hasn’t traveled back to the time when she invented it yet. So, we’re still waiting.


We are the conduit, the channel…
the duct, the pipeline, the tube. 

Join us!
we’ll get you there.