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Award Winners of the Eighth Annual Women of Innovation®

Connecticut Technology Council Announces Winners of the Eighth Annual Women of Innovation Awards Program

Women leaders in technology, science and engineering honored at March 1st gala


Fifty three women from across Connecticut were honored for their innovation and leadership during the eighth annual Women of Innovation awards dinner held March 1st at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Category Award winners are listed below.

These women have broken through the glass ceiling. And not only have they broken through it — they are keeping it open for other women to come through.

-Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman

The Connecticut Technology Council held the awards program to recognize women in the workforce who are innovators, role models and leaders in the fields of technology, science and engineering. Outstanding young women in high school and college were also recognized. More than 500 guests attended this year’s event, which was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation, Covidien, the law firm of Day Pitney LLP, and United Technologies Corporation.

“Many of Connecticut’s most extraordinary and talented women working in technology are here tonight,” said Matthew Nemerson, President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council. “This awards event puts a spotlight on exceptional innovators and leaders, while also introducing them to a professional network of peers who are equally accomplished.”

The keynote speaker for the awards ceremony was Dr. Alicia Abella, executive director of the Innovative Services Research Department at AT&T Labs and chair of its Fellowship program. Dr. Abella manages a group of researchers specializing in data mining, user interfaces, IPTV, mobile services, SIP/VoIP technology, and environmental sustainability. She is also executive vice president for the Young Science Achievers program and a strong advocate of fostering the development of minorities and women in science and engineering. In 2011, President Obama named Dr. Abella to his Presidential Advisory Commission for Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

The 2012 Women of Innovation category award winners:

Academic Innovation and Leadership

Susan Brown, Teacher – Applied Technology, New Haven Public Schools-Mauro Sheridan Magnet School. As a science, technology and robotics teacher for middle school students in New Haven, Ms. Brown is passionate about teaching children how to think, create, and find their authentic selves.

Joan Feigenbaum, The Grace Murray Hopper Professor of Computer Science, Yale University. Ms. Feigenbaum conducts research that includes Internet algorithmics, security and privacy, massive data-set algorithmics and the interplay of economics and computation.

Collegian Innovation and Leadership

Nicole Wagner, Graduate Student- Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut. As CEO of LambdaVision, a company that is a direct outgrowth of her graduate studies, Ms. Wagner is working on getting her company’s protein-based retinal implant through preclinical trials.

Community Innovation and Leadership

Kimberley McLean, Principal Engineer, Electric Boat. Ms. McLean has been working with the Girl Scouts for almost 20 years to develop and present STEM programs for girls of all ages. She has provided opportunities for girls at camp to learn about astronomy and the use of telescopes.

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership

Jyl Camhi, Founder and President, Great Play. Ms. Camhi has developed a unique interactive children’s gym called Great Play that helps develop motor skills, sport skills, fitness and coordination. Great Play has been named one of the most innovative brands in youth fitness worldwide.

Small Business Innovation and Leadership

Betsy Didan, Vice President, COCC. Ms. Didan develops, promotes and supports technologies to reduce paper and increase payment speed and security for community banks and credit unions for COCC customers in the Northeast.

Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Elizabeth Garypie, Black Hawk Chief Engineer, Sikorsky Aircraft. As chief engineer for Sikorsky’s Army & Air Force programs, Ms. Garypie provides overall technical leadership for domestic BLACK HAWK development and production programs, including the UH-60M, HH-60M MEDEVAC, UH-60M Upgrade, and future product requirements.

Research Innovation and Leadership

Amy Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Connecticut. Ms. Anderson leads a UCONN research group to discover and develop novel drugs for treating infectious diseases and cancer as well as understand and overcome mechanisms of drug resistance.

Youth Innovation and Leadership

Mary Kuchenbrod, High School Student, GHAMAS (Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science). Ms. Kuchenbrod conducted her own high school research to test the early development of zebra fish embryos in environments that mimic that of a developing human fetus whose mother is consuming alcohol or caffeine, as well as environments that test the effects of progesterone pollution in water systems.

Public Sector Innovation and Leadership

Deb Santy, Director, Connecticut SBIR Office. Under Ms. Santy’s leadership, the Connecticut SBIR Office has helped high-tech small businesses and entrepreneurs compete for and win federal SBIR/STTR awards. Her office also facilitates commercialization by collaborating with industry, government and academia.

About the Connecticut Technology Council

The Connecticut Technology Council ( is Connecticut’s industry association for the technology sector. CTC’s mission is to “connect people, ideas and opportunities to the global technology and innovation community.” CTC provides members with business assistance and specialized programs, in addition to promoting and supporting public policies that globally position Connecticut’s “culture of innovation” that helps attract great ideas and entrepreneurs to develop new jobs and wealth for the state.


Attention Media: Photos and full bios for each winner are available upon request.

CONTACT: Michael Scricca Connecticut Technology Council 860-289-0878, x334;

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