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Women of Innovation® Winners in 10 STEM Categories Announced

Exceptional Leaders Advancing Connecticut Earn 2020 Awards

Twelve Connecticut women who excel in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math have been named as 2020 recipients of Women of Innovation® awards. The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) announced the winners during a digital awards ceremony on November 12. The winners in 10 categories were selected from 50 finalists, drawn from 150 women who were nominated earlier this year.

Women of Innovation® are nominated by their peers, coworkers, and mentors, and are selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. Finalists are the scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who create tomorrow’s advancements through their efforts in Connecticut today.

In one of the strongest fields in the 16 years of Women of Innovation®, this year’s finalists included researchers, educators, engineers, managers, students, and entrepreneurs who work in or study biotech, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, advanced materials, medical devices, IT, and associated fields. High school, undergraduate and graduate students who have exhibited extraordinary and unique achievements in their disciplines are also among the honorees, judged on inventiveness, STEM accomplishments, independent research, community service, and academic performance.

The 2020 Women of Innovation® award recipients:

Small/Medium Business Innovation and Leadership
 Carrie McCusker, Technical Lead | Sonalysts

Large Business Innovation and Leadership
 Sarah Wojiski, Director of Education and External Programs | The Jackson Laboratory

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
 Erika Smith, CEO | ReNetX Bio

Research Innovation and Leadership
 Beiyan Zhou, Associate Professor of Immunology | UConn Health Center

Community Innovation and Leadership
 Aundrya Montgomery, Research Assistant | University of Connecticut

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award [TIE]
 Kayla Cloutier, Principal R&D Engineer | Medtronic
 Sonya Richmond, Board member | Connecticut Invention Convention

Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership [TIE]
 Susan Dougherty, STEM and Special Education Teacher | Stamford High School
 Diane Pintavalle, Science Teacher | Glastonbury High School

Post-Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership
 Maria Chrysochoou, Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering | UConn School of Engineering

Collegian Innovation and Leadership
 Wanjiku (Wawa) Gatheru, Undergraduate Student | University of Connecticut

Youth Innovation and Leadership
 Sophia Wang, Amity Regional High School

“We proudly recognize these remarkable women who are leading Connecticut’s future in STEM, paving the way for tomorrow’s breakthroughs,” said Giovanni Tomasi, President/Chief Technology Officer of RSL Fiber Systems and Board Chair of CTC. “They reflect technical expertise, professional excellence and unrelenting determination. If Connecticut’s economy is to thrive and innovative companies are to take root and grow here, we will depend, in large measure, on ensuring that women in the STEM fields have every opportunity to excel.”

“Women of Innovation® brings together leaders and innovators from across Connecticut – reflecting the expertise and ground-breaking work being done in our state,” said Ron Angelo, President and CEO at CCAT. “Women are still under-represented in the STEM fields, which is why it is so important to applaud their contributions, and redouble our collective efforts to open STEM to their full participation and leadership.”

Learn more about Women of Innovation®, including videos featuring winners and finalists, at https://ctcreates.org/women-of-innovation/ Nominees had to be currently working or studying in the State of Connecticut, demonstrating strong leadership abilities, and serving (or previously served) as a mentor in some capacity – short- or long-term, life mentor, career mentor, or peer mentor.

Thanks to the Women of Innovation® 2020 sponsors… Premier sponsors: CTNext, Medtronic and Raytheon Technologies; Showcase sponsor: Accounting Resources, Inc.; Supporting sponsor: Pfizer; Contributing sponsor: UConn; Program sponsors: Axinn, Day Pitney, The Jackson Laboratory, and Sonalysts. Media partners: WTNH News 8, Connecticut magazine and Lite 100.5 WRCH.

The mission of the Connecticut Technology Council, a statewide association of technology-oriented companies and institutions, is to spark innovation, cultivate tech talent, foster business growth, advocate for industry-beneficial law and policy, expand the scope of industry networking and professional development, and celebrate industry achievements in the state. The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, validates, demonstrates, and encourages the adoption of leading-edge technologies into global industrial companies and the advanced manufacturing supply chain, while also providing the training and education necessary to utilize the capability of these advancements and drive efficiency.

Media Contact: Bernard Kavaler, 860.729.3021, bernard@express-strategies.com



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