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2013 Women of Innovation Finalist Biographies


Click on the names below to read about 2013 finalists. Lili Aramli Biology Teacher Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science and the Academy of Aerospace and EngineeringKatherine Ayers Director of Research Proton OnSiteDr. Cynthia Barnett Program Founder Saturday AcademyLisa Braden-Harder Founder & CEO, North America Appen Butler Hill, Inc.Meghan Brunaugh CMO & Co-Founder C2C, LLC – DBA Combat2CareerTreese Campbell Staff Scientist United Technologies Research CenterKate Donahue President Hampford Research, Inc.

Alicia Echevarria Graduate Student University of ConnecticutZoe Eggleston High School Senior Newtown High School

Alysia Evanitsky UAE Chief Engineer Sikorsky Aircraft CorporationEstelle Fanucci Science Department Chair Amity Regional High SchoolLynn Fraga General Manager, Customer Services Operations Pratt & WhitneySonja Glavaski Control Systems Group Leader United Technologies Research CenterAngela Grieve Project Manager UTC – Pratt & WhitneyJordan Henck High School Senior Amity Regional High SchoolMary Ellen Jones VP, Commercial Engines Customer Support & America Sales Pratt & WhitneyKrista Karlson High School Senior Greater Hartford Academy of Math and ScienceDelaney Kehoe High School Senior Glastonbury High SchoolMaria Keilich Manager, Systems Engineering United Technologies Aerospace SystemsDeborah Kennedy CEO NutritionOptions LLC

Yvonne Kielhorn Founder & CEO Why Science Kerry Kozaczuk Analyst, Engineering Services Pratt & WhitneyBrittney Lew High School Senior Greenwich High SchoolJamie Maciaszek Ph.D. Candidate University of ConnecticutMallory  Madfes High School Senior Greenwich High SchoolStacy Malecki Design Integration Manager UTC-Pratt & WhitneyRadenka Maric CT Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy University of Connecticut

Susan Marotta Executive Director, Quality& Records Management Unit Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Elizabeth Mercier Vice President, Personal Lines The Travelers Companies, Inc.Paiyz Mikael Ph.D. Candidate University of ConnecticutSandra Muller President Connecticut Science & Engineering FairPhyllis Pierce CEO and Founder My Luck ClubTeresa Piliouras CEO Technical Consulting & Research, Inc.Donna Ray Manager, General Engineering United Technologies Aerospace SystemsAmalia Rusu Assistant Professor of Software Engineering Fairfield UniversityKremena (Kemmie) Simitchieva Director, Pipeline Marketing Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Carolyn Slayman Deputy Dean, Academic and Scientific Affairs Yale Medical SchoolLindsay Soh Ph.D. Candidate Yale UniversityJoan Steitz Molecular Biologist and Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Yale UniversityRenee Sutherland Design Engineer UTC – Pratt & WhitneyMaria Tarczynska AIA, LEED A.P. MS3 Corp. ArchitectsAngela Throm Senior Biomedical Engineer CovidienJulie Trowbridge-Dillman Senior Vice President of Enterprise Business Intel The Travelers Companies, Inc.Amanda Van Wagner Director of Client Services Prometheus Research, LLC

Group Leader, Physical Sciences Department United Technologies Research Center

Carol Wallace President & CEO Cooper-Atkins CorporationZhaohui Wang Ph.D. Candidate University of ConnecticutTemeka White Manager, Global Supply Chain UTC – Pratt & WhitneyYvonne Will Associate Research Fellow PfizerZengmin Xia Ph.D. Candidate University of ConnecticutShiyu Zhuang High School Senior Amity Regional High SchoolJulie Zimmerman Associate Professor of Green Engineering Yale University

Lili Aramli | Academic Innovation and Leadership

Biology Teacher, Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science and Academy of Aerospace and Engineering

Lili received her Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at UCONN and continued her research training as a Post-doctoral fellow at Yale University.  She has since been teaching at GHAMAS/AAE and has developed an extensive research program that allows students to design and conduct research projects. She seeks to inspire a love of science, not only with high school students, but also with young people through the Girl Scouts.

Katherine Ayers | Research Innovation and Leadership

Director of Research, Proton OnSite

Kathy is responsible for developing and executing Proton’s research and development strategy in new materials and has been awarded numerous government research grants supporting this strategy.  She received her Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and now serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for their $125 million Energy Innovation Hub.  Kathy was part of a Department of Energy Hydrogen Production Expert Panel in 2012 and was awarded the 2012 R&D Award from their Hydrogen Production Team.

Dr. Cynthia Barnett | Community Innovation and Leadership

Program Founder, Saturday Academy

Cynthia is the founder of Saturday Academy, a scientific and educational enrichment program designed to create an interest in science and technology. Previously she worked in the Norwalk Public Schools for more than 30 years as a teacher, guidance counselor and assistant high school principal. Now retired, her mission is to spark an interest among girls for science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M).

Lisa Braden-Harder | Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

Chief Executive Officer, Appen Butler Hill, Inc.

Lisa is the CEO and a founder of Appen Butler Hill, a leader in linguistic technology solutions.  She is a seasoned entrepreneur experienced in accelerating technology to global markets.  Her expertise includes 25+ years of experience in technologies with cultural and linguistic components. In her spare time, Lisa has acted as Coordinator for the Fresh Air Fund for her hometown of Ridgefield.  She has sponsored several children throughout the years.  She enjoys Pilates and writing.

Meghan Brunaugh | Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

CMO & Co-Founder, Combat2Career (C2C)

Meghan, a military veteran and military spouse, is the Co-Founder of Combat2Career, a technology start-up developed to assist military veterans in pursuing higher education by providing them with an online work flow solution to facilitate the college search and application process.  The system maintains services to veterans throughout their academic career and through the transition from student life to the civilian workforce.

Treese Campbell | Community Innovation and Leadership

Staff Scientist, United Technologies Research Center

Treese is a staff scientist at United Technologies Research Center and has published and patented work in catalysis and fire suppression materials.  Inspired by her past mentors, Dr. Campbell is actively involved in organizations that promote science and engineering.  She is currently the Chief Judge for the Connecticut Science Fair, organizes events for the Connecticut Science Olympiad and has served as president for the New England Catalysis Society.

Kate Donahue | Small Business Innovation and Leadership

President, Hampford Research, Inc.

Kate is President of Hampford Research, Inc., a specialty chemical manufacturer serving Fortune 500 companies in the electronics, dental, personal care and industrial adhesives markets.  During her six year tenure at the helm of the business her father founded, she has turned the company around by focusing relentlessly on constant improvement, collaboration, teamwork and employee development.  The firm is well positioned for significant growth in the years to come.

Alicia Echevarria | Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Graduate Student, University of Connecticut

Alicia is a second year graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut.  She is originally from Paradise Valley, Nevada, and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Nevada.  Her research program entails studying the multi-hazard resilience of conventional and innovative reinforced concrete bridge columns. Alicia is also the co-founder and CEO of Advanced Column Solutions LLC.

Zoe Eggleston | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Newtown High School

Zoe is the patented inventor of the ‘Ice Device,’ a device that tests ice thickness. She credits the CT Invention Convention (CIC) for exposing her to a future in technology, and works to expand CIC and STEM education in Newtown schools. Zoe is the student board member for CIC, captain of the NHS swim and track teams, a lifeguard, swim coach, and is a motor head. She hopes to pursue mechanical engineering and make it known that Newtown is a proud place to call home.

Alysia Evanitsky | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

UAE Chief Engineer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Alysia is a Lead International Black Hawk Program Engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft. Alysia has worked at Sikorsky since 2005 and currently manages contracts to deliver Black Hawk to the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and serve as the main technical interface for them. Alysia holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA in Strategy and Finance from New York University Stern School of Business.

Estelle Fanucci | Academic Innovation and Leadership

Science Department Chair, Amity Regional High School

Estelle is the Science Department Chairperson at Amity Regional High School. She has overseen the expansion of its science program to introduce STEM based courses, including Science Research and Physics for Engineering, Studies of Subtropical Ecosystems, and Science Mentorship. She has developed curriculum materials for the Connecticut State Department of Education and served on the state’s Advisory Committee for First and Second Generation Science CAPT.  Estelle received the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association (CSSA) Fred J. Scimone Award in 2008.

Lynn Fraga | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

General Manager, Customer Services Operations, Pratt & Whitney

Lynn joined United Technologies in 2000 and has held positions of increasing responsibility at Hamilton Sundstrand, International Aero Engines and Pratt & Whitney.  She has been a leader in transforming Pratt & Whitney’s Commercial Engines customer support infrastructure.  Significant contributions include transforming the 24-hour Customer Help Desk into a World-Class Global Operations Center, modernizing the customer portal and replacing technical communication IT systems.  Lynn holds a B.S. from Northeastern University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Sonja Glavaski |Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Control Systems Group Leader, United Technologies Research Center

Sonja joined United Technologies Research Center in 2010 as the Control Systems Group Leader.  She is an internationally recognized expert in the field of control systems for commercial and defense applications.  Since joining UTRC, she has made significant technical contributions to UTC’s world-class product/technology portfolio, advancing new knowledge and technology critical to the implementation of cutting-edge control systems.  Sonja currently serves as the IEEE Control Systems Society Women in Control Chair.

Angela Grieve | Community Innovation and Leadership

Project Manager, UTC – Pratt & Whitney

Angela is a project manager at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford.  She has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Hartford, a Masters in Project Management from Boston University and is a Certified Project Management Professional. Angie is the Chair for the Career Development and Mentoring Team on the Pratt & Whitney Women’s Council, and the Vice President of her local Women at Work group and a Vernon Greenway Volunteer.

Jordan Henck | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Amity Regional High School

Jordan participates in many outreach programs sharing her science knowledge with elementary and middle school students. In the 2012 CT Science Fair, she received first place in computer science and several awards for her independent research. She is captain of the local swim team, a member of the Robotics Club, and President of the Anime Club. An amateur black and white photographer, she was inducted into the National Arts Honor Society and won a silver key in the CT Scholastic Art Awards.

Mary Ellen Jones | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

VP, Commercial Engines Customer Support & America Sales Pratt & Whitney

Mary Ellen is Vice President, Commercial Engines Customer Support and America Sales for Pratt & Whitney. She also chairs the Connecticut Airport Authority, which sets direction and strategy for Bradley International Airport and five general aviation airports in the state, chairs the P&W – Korean Air Institute for Collaborative Engineering and serves on the Board of Governors of the Wings Club.  Mary Ellen is a graduate of Michigan State University and Johns Hopkins University.

Krista Karlson | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science

Krista participates in a half-day program at the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science where she has developed a great love for the interconnectedness of math and science. She hopes to pursue environmental science and math in college next year. Krista plays lacrosse, participates in 4-H, the National Honor Society and the school newspaper. She loves snowboarding, water skiing and hiking.

Delaney Kehoe | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Glastonbury High School

Delaney is a senior at Glastonbury High School. For the past two years she has conducted research and this year she is working in the Biology department at the University of Hartford. Her research involves examining immune responses in shark livers that reflect the health of an ecosystem. Delaney is also the captain of her softball team, a peer tutor, and a member of both the Spanish club and National Honor Society.

Maria Keilich | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Manager, Systems Engineering, United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS)

AT UTAS, Maria leads a team of engineers developing software specifications and systems analyses for complex, space-qualified Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS). Maria created a system model of the ‘Personal Life Support’ model, which tracks water consumption for extra vehicular activities (EVAs). She is also Lead Systems Engineer on the Stratolaunch vehicle, part of the new wave of “commercial” space travel, designing a thermal management system for launch vehicle interface.

Deborah Kennedy | Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

CEO, NutritionOptions LLC

Deborah has studied food her entire life; learning to cook at age four, becoming a chef and then obtaining her doctorate in nutritional biochemistry. She is the founder of Build Healthy Kids®, which is currently used in over 240 schools nationwide. She founded the Integrative Therapies Program, for Children with Cancer at Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian. Deborah has written three books: Beat Picky Eating, Nutrition Bites, and Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids.

Yvonne Kielhorn | Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

Founder & CEO, Why Science LLC

Yvonne’s company, Why Science, provides customized inquiry-based learning systems that empower educators to teach STEM effectively. The Why Science® Learning System promotes science literacy and problem-solving skills aligned with frameworks and standards in any classroom.  Inspired by the critical need to improve methods of teaching STEM topics and produce a sustainable STEM workforce, Why Science creates learning systems that more fully engage educators and students.

Kerry Kozaczuk | Community Innovation and Leadership

Analyst, Engineering Services, Pratt & Whitney

Kerry is a member of several diversity initiatives at UTC, and served as chairperson of the Connecticut Stonewall Speakers.  She donates her artwork to non-profit organizations supporting equitable practices and respectful treatment of people and animals. Kerry earned a BFA in Illustration at the University of Connecticut, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She currently supports Pratt & Whitney’s Materials Engineering lab.

Brittney Lew | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Greenwich High School

Brittney is a member of National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society and Chinese Honors Society. Her research, using the luminescence properties of bee venom, suggests an economical, more accessible, and simpler method to detecting explosives and pesticides through a portable, battery-operated LED device. This research sparked her interest in pursuing engineering in college. Brittney also tutors several students and volunteers for the International School at Dundee’s Homework Club and the Adopt-A-Dog shelter.

Jamie Maciaszek | Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Connecticut

Jamie is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate studying biomedical engineering at the University of Connecticut. She currently works in Dr. George Lykotrafitis’ lab to study the signaling and adhesion mechanisms of red blood cells from patients with sickle cell disease using atomic force microscopy. Jamie received a highly competitive American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship for support from 2011-2013. She is first author on four publications for her work.

Mallory  Madfes | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Greenwich High School

Mallory is a senior at Greenwich High School and is enrolled in the Science Research program. Her previous research focused on core mediation of PCB soil contaminants with Pluerotus ostreatus. This year she focused on creating a dual component dressing. She is active in her school’s student government and has also started a chapter for her youth group. Mallory plans to major in engineering in college next year.

Stacy Malecki | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Design Integration Manager, UTC-Pratt & Whitney

Stacy is the Design Integration Manager for UTC Pratt & Whitney.  In this role she is responsible for Configuration Management and Control of all Pratt & Whitney Products and Processes. Her 27 year career has developed from its roots in Mechanical Design and Project Engineering, and has included a variety of technical and management roles including the distinguished role of Pratt & Whitney Fellow in Turbine Design.

Radenka Maric | Research Innovation and Leadership

CT Clean Energy Fund Professor of Sustainable Energy, University of Connecticut

Radenka is a noted Professor in Sustainable Energy in the UCONN Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. She has introduced innovative approaches to nanomaterial synthesis that have led to a number of industrial projects. Her most significant contributions is the development of a new manufacturing process for fuel cells that could make highly efficient, fuel cell-powered vehicles a viable commercial option. She is passionate in her commitment to nurturing and educating female engineers, contributing time toward mentoring female students in soft skills, as well as technological skills.

Susan Marotta | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Executive Director, Quality & Records Management Unit, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Sue is Executive Director, Quality and Records Management at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.  She is responsible for directing compliance functions within Development US and ensuring a vision of outstanding quality, compliance and ethics in accordance with the global strategy.  She has 27 years experience in Pharmaceutical Development, managing clinical trial supply and quality functions.  Susan earned a Bachelors Degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance from Kent State University.

Elizabeth Mercier | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Vice President, Personal Lines, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Beth is a results-oriented leader with 25 years of financial, operational, and technical delivery experience in a variety of complex financial services organizations. She is the VP, Personal Lines at Travelers and is responsible for investment prioritization, governance, portfolio controls, and the linking of critical business initiatives to the company’s strategic roadmap.  Beth is President-Elect for the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association (IASA), a trade association with 1000+ members and 26 chapters.

Paiyz Mikael | Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Connecticut

Bio to come.

Sandra Muller | Community Innovation and Leadership

President, Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair

Sandra has served 25 years on the Connecticut Science Fair Board, and as President she chairs scientific review, secures annual grants, and oversees 700 students from 120 schools. A retired nursing administrator, she worked in Houston with Dr. DeBakey performing heart transplants. Sandra has been honored as Woman of Year in Healthcare, appointed as Chair of Commission on Aging, and recognized by Cromwell for her 25 years of volunteering on the School Board and the Water Pollution Control Authority.

Phyllis Pierce | Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

CEO and Founder, My Luck Club

A seasoned entrepreneur and marketing guru, Phyllis is the founder and CEO of My Luck Club, a new patent-pending, crowdsourcing website that provides a monetary and social incentive for people to help one another find what they need – including jobs, homes, services, things, even love. Prior to My Luck Club, Phyllis founded two successful startups– a television production company and a gourmet pie company and café.

Teresa Piliouras | Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

CEO, Technical Consulting & Research, Inc.

Teresa is CEO of Technical Consulting & Research (TCR) and founder of Best We Can Be (BWCB). BWCB helps high school students prepare for college and careers by helping students interact with mentors and industry experts, providing them a variety of hands-on experiences. BWCB also helps close the achievement gap, and provides a safety net for at-risk students. Teresa holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois, an Iona College MBA, and a Ph.D. from Polytechnic University. She has held appointments in Computer Science and Management of Technology departments at Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Iona College. The author of many scholarly books and publications, she is a recognized educator, entrepreneur, and industry consultant.

Donna Ray | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Manager, General Engineering, United Technologies Aerospace Systems

Donna leads a cross-functional team at UTAS to design, develop and deliver complex space-qualified Environmental Controls and Life Support (ECLS) Systems for NASA’s next space exploration vehicle, Orion. She played a key role in systems management for the Environmental Mobility Unit (EMU), also known as ‘the space suit’. In 2004, Donna received the distinguished NASA Space Flight Awareness award and has also received 14 other awards from peers and customers.

Amalia Rusu | Academic Innovation and Leadership

Assistant Professor of Software Engineering, Fairfield University

Amalia was named the 2008 Frontiers in Education (FIE) New Faculty Fellow by the National Academy of Engineering Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (NAE CASEE). Her activities include three years leading the partnership with GE on the joint outreach program for the Connecticut High School Computer Science Contest and organizing a Google workshop for local secondary STEM teachers. She also participates in the ASAP AVANCE project for advancing the careers of women in STEM at undergraduate institutions. Amalia received her Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from University at Buffalo.

Kremena (Kemmie) Simitchieva | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Director, Pipeline Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Born and raised in communist Bulgaria, Kremena came to the U.S. as an internal medicine doctor looking to bring more health to patients. Inspired to affect global health through work at the WHO, she graduated as an international MBA from USC. Later Kremena was recruited by Merck, where she spent seven years, followed by five years at Regeneron Pharrmaceuticals before joining Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

Carolyn Slayman | Academic Innovation and Leadership

Deputy Dean, Academic and Scientific Affairs, Yale Medical School

Bio to come.

Lindsay Soh | Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University

Lindsay is a doctoral student in Environmental Engineering at Yale University working with Dr. Julie Zimmerman.  After completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, Lindsay moved to Yale, where she focuses on her dissertation research on biodiesel production from algae.  Her forthcoming research interests involve the application of green engineering towards sustainably producing biofuels and bio-based commodities.  Besides research, Lindsay is also passionate about teaching, music, and the outdoors.

Joan Steitz | Academic Innovation and Leadership

Molecular Biologist and Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University

Bio to come.

Renee Sutherland | Community Innovation and Leadership

Design Engineer, UTC – Pratt & Whitney

Renee has been working at Pratt & Whitney as a Design Engineer for the Compression Systems Module Center for almost two years.  She has been cross-trained as a structural analyst while providing support to integrally bladed rotors on the manufacturing floor.  In the community, she is serving as Chairperson to the Southern New England Association of Technical Professionals (SNEATP). Under her leadership she has taken on its mission to increase the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.

Maria Tarczynska | Small Business Innovation and Leadership

AIA, LEED A.P., MS3 Corp. Architects

Maria is a registered architect in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, and is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. She received a Masters of Architecture from Warsaw Polytechnic in 1976. She has worked on some large-scale projects including the American Airlines Terminal and ESA project, which will bring Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal. Since 2008, Maria has lived in Clinton, CT. She has two children.

Angela Throm | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Senior Biomedical Engineer, Covidien

Angela is a Staff Development Scientist at Covidien where she leads a team of biologists and chemists in the evaluation of biomaterials. At Covidien she serves as Development Committee co-lead for the Women’s Leadership Alliance and is a member of Covidien Cares. Angela has a doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and UMass Medical School. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Saint Louis University.

Julie Trowbridge-Dillman | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Senior Vice President of Enterprise Business Intel, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Julie is Senior Vice President leading eBusiness where she is accountable for the digital strategies and capabilities across Travelers Insurance. She also sits on the Achieve Hartford Board of Directors and Executive Committee – a nonprofit established to monitor, support and serve as a catalyst for education reform and community involvement in the Hartford Public School District. Julie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Wisconsin.

Amanda Van Wagner | Small Business Innovation and Leadership

Director of Client Services, Prometheus Research, LLC

Amanda joined Prometheus Research in 2008 as a junior analyst. Today, she holds the title of Senior Director of Client Services and manages a team of business analysts. Amanda’s innovations have led to numerous company-wide improvements in the areas of professional development, hiring, onboarding, business development, and project delivery. Amanda holds a B.S in Biological Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and plans to pursue a PMI certification.

Jodi Vecchiarelli | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Group Leader, Physical Sciences Department, United Technologies Research Center

Jodi has been at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) for ten years, holding roles in the areas of chemistry, materials, and characterization. Jodi’s responsibility is to lead the group that provides technical expertise across UTC in the area of Measurement Science advancement and Materials Characterization. Jodi received a B.A. in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts.

Carol Wallace | Small Business Innovation and Leadership

President & CEO, Cooper-Atkins Corporation

Carol  Wallace is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cooper-Atkins Corporation, a leading manufacturer of temperature, time, and humidity instruments for global foodservice, healthcare, HVAC/R, industrial and OEM markets. Prior to joining Cooper-Atkins Corporation in 1991 as Director of Planning, Carol spent 12 years in the manufacturing field. She currently serves on the Boards of the following Connecticut companies and organizations:  Connecticut Water Service, Inc., Zygo Corporation, The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, and Middlesex Hospital.

Zhaohui Wang | Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Connecticut

Zhaohui received her B.Sc. degree from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2006 and her M.S. degree from the Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in 2009, both in electrical engineering. She is currently a Ph.D candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Connecticut, under the direction of Dr. Shengli Zhou. Her research interests lie in the areas of underwater acoustic communications and networking.

Temeka White | Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Manager, Global Supply Chain, UTC – Pratt & Whitney

Temeka is an 11-year veteran at Pratt & Whitney, currently leading global project management efforts for large resource-based projects along with the change management process for work transitions.  Temeka is Co-Chair of the BOD for All Star Gymnastics, fundraising and obtaining grants to aid competitive gymnasts ages (6-17).

Yvonne Will | Research Innovation and Leadership

Associate Research Fellow, Pfizer

Yvonne began her industry career in 1999 at MitoKor in San Diego, a company dedicated to finding mitochondrial drug targets to cure Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. She joined Pfizer in 2003 where she pioneered many of the mitochondrial toxicity assays, new technologies and engaged in colleague career development. When she is not at work, she and her nine-year old daughter Natalia can be found at a nearby stable spending time with their two horses.

Zengmin Xia | Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Connecticut

Zengmin, a doctoral candidate in Wei Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, is conducting research that will help pave the way for faster, longer-lasting and more successful bone and tissue regeneration and repair.  Zengmin received her B.S. from Zhejiang University, M.S. from Beijing University of Chemical Technology, and then joined Invensys Process Systems, China.  She is currently working on the fabrication of novel polymer/ceramic tissue engineering scaffolds and eventually commercialization of the material.

Shiyu Zhuang | Youth Innovation and Leadership

High School Senior, Amity Regional High School

Shiyu is a representative of the Clean Energy Task Force and president of the Amity’s Global Warming Club. She is also secretary of Amity’s National Honor Society and student council vice-president. Outside of school, she has been performing ballet since age three.She is an avid enthusiast of the sciences and has pursued multiple research projects, winning 2nd place at CT JSHS. Shiyu currently interns at the Malone Engineering Center at Yale and hopes to continue studying biomedical engineering in college.

Julie Zimmerman | Research Innovation and Leadership

Associate Professor of Green Engineering, Yale University

Julie is an Associate Professor jointly appointed to the Department of Chemical Engineering and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her research interests broadly focus on green chemistry and engineering with specific emphasis on green downstream processing and life cycle assessment of algae biomass for fuels and value-added chemicals. She is also studying novel bio-based sorbents for purification of drinking water and remediation of industrial wastewater.

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