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2020 Leading Light Award Nominees 

Women & Hi Tech is pleased to announce the nominees for The 2020 Virtual Leading Light Awards as well as the applicants for Women & Hi Tech and partner scholarships and grants. This year’s outstanding group of LLA nominees and scholarship and grant applicants come from all over the state of Indiana and have a wide variety of careers and educational pursuits in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Equity and Inclusion Champion Award Nominees

Anyone may be an Applicant/Nominee for this award. Nominees must have demonstrated a long-term commitment, sustainable efforts, and significant impact to mentor, recognize, champion, and/or promote diverse female students or personnel in STEM. Nominees of this award should have demonstrated notable action and/or provided visible advocacy to positively change professional or academic environments to be more equitable and inclusive such that more diverse women in STEM are recognized, promoted, and/or advanced to leadership positions. Exemplary nominees will have implemented programs, changed policies or procedures, and/or established considerations and metrics that have been utilized or implemented in a sustainable manner to ensure that more qualified diverse women are empowered to have a seat and a voice at the table. Special consideration will be given to nominees who have positively affected multiple or numerous diverse women in STEM via their efforts.

  • Erica Diebold, Senior Intellectual Property Manager | Diabetes Care Patents,Roche Diabetes Care, Inc.
  • Anna Eaglin, Principal Product Partner, Innovatemap
  • Jill English, Director of Interupting Racism for Children, Child Advocates, Inc.
  • Angela B. Freeman M.S., J.D., Intellectual Property/Patent Attorney, Barnes & Thornburg LLP*
  • Karen Hyman, Head of Digital Collaboration, Indianapolis, Rolls-Royce Corporation
  • Amber Maynard, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Consultant, Corteva Agriscience

OperationALLTM Male Allies Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as male or with the pronouns he/him (“male nominees”). Male nominees must have demonstrated a long-term commitment, tangible efforts, and significant impact to mentor, recognize, champion, and/or promote female students, peers, or employees. Exemplary male nominees should hold or have held a supervisory, leadership, or managerial position that oversees one or more female STEM personnel or students. Special consideration will be given to male nominees who have exemplified dedication to being an ally for multiple women or girls in a way that is recognized to have positively changed the trajectory and/or opportunities provided by their STEM career.

  • Gregory Ballard, Former Mayor of Indianapolis/ Co-Founder Indy Women in Tech, Techpoint Foundation for Youth
  • Sergio Buccilli, Sr. Manager of Strategic Operations, Roche Diabetes Care, Inc.
  • Richard Conley, High School Science Teacher, Carmel High School
  • Gerry Dick, Host and Creator of Inside Indiana Business*
  • George George, Associate Director, Covance
  • Lamont Hatcher, CEO, AIS
  • Loring Nies, Professor, Purdue University
  • Nicholas Schumacher, Technical Lead, Appirio, Inc.
  • Mark Wilson, Senior Vice President, LibertyWorks, R&T, Rolls-Royce North American Technologies, Inc

Mentor Me! Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). This award is presented to a female nominee who has exhibited a commitment to the encouragement and advancement of women in STEM in Indiana by fostering intellectual, creative, and professional growth. She has demonstrated success in providing career, leadership and education opportunities for women, and has served as a positive role model for others.

  • Neslihan Alp, Dean, College of Technology, Indiana State University
  • Negar Garizi, Discovery Chemistry Natural Products Leader, Corteva Agriscience
  • Heather Jones, Group Leader - Fermentation Development and Media Preparation Labs, Corteva Agriscience
  • Anmol Khanna, Senior Salesforce Thrive Engineer, Appirio, Inc.
  • Vanessa Li, Technical Manager, Novelis
  • Jaclyn McClellan, System Performance Lead Engineer F-35B LiftSystem, Rolls-Royce Corporation
  • Kristen Meehan-Wiesner, Managing Partner of Data Sales and Business Operations, Verizon Business Group
  • Rupal Thanawala, Tech Editor, Indianapolis Recorder
  • Korey Smith, Sonya Dugan, and Nora Husani, Information and Digital Solutions Analysts, Eli Lilly and Company

Leadership Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). This award will recognize a female nominee who has increased the impact, representation, and effectiveness of women in STEM through outstanding leadership, advocacy, and social contributions in her organization and/or the broader community. She has demonstrated the ability to motivate and energize, to build successful teams, to create an inspiring vision of the future and to deliver on promises.

  • Jeanine Brosch, Product Management Portfolio Leader, Digital Health, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Tina Carter, Senior Director, PSL Engineering, Application & Architecture Engineering, Sallie Mae
  • Alexa Clingerman, Associate Technical Consultant, Appirio, Inc.
  • Lacey Lavies, Executive Product Partner, Innovatemap
  • Karen MacKay, CDIO Defense, Rolls-Royce Corporation
  • Christine McDonnell, Co-Founder & CEO, Codelicious
  • Courtney Sullivan, Vice President of US Sales, Diabetes, Roche Diabetes Care, Inc.
  • Keeanna Warren, Principal, Purdue Polytechnic High School North

Risk Taker Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). Female nominees must have demonstrated courage in promoting purposeful change for which success was not guaranteed. The winner will have pursued innovation focused on STEM-related products, services or ideas in the face of personal or professional sacrifice.

  • Amy Brown, Founder and CEO, Authenticx
  • Pardis Khayyer, Advanced Feature Development Engineer, Aptiv Corporation
  • Teresa Plummer, Director, IT Governance and Delivery Services, Sallie Mae
  • Jessica Schilling, Cloud Engineering Manager, Appirio, Inc.

Rising Star Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). This award will honor a female nominee who has demonstrated exceptional and substantive achievements early in her professional STEM career, and who shows promise for future contributions.

  • Allison Adams, IS Senior Security Administrator, Indiana University Health
  • Cassandra Bautista, Software Engineer, Preventia Group, LLC
  • Shilpi Bhargav, Global Head of Requirements Modeling Group, Roche Diabetes Care, Inc
  • Morgan Bosshardt, Software Engineer, Kerauno
  • Gloria Davidova, Student, Cornell University
  • Natalie Giampietro, Discovery Chemistry Intiative Leader, Corteva Agriscience
  • Kate Harrison, Product Manager, Angie’s List
  • Kristin Hess, Principal Product Marketing Partner, Innovatemap
  • Rachel Irelan, Project Portfolio Manager, Kerauno
  • Lauren Natkin, Associate Consultant, Appirio, Inc.
  • Katherine Obbagy, Systems Integration Engineer, Cummins Turbo Technologies
  • Kathryn Osterland, Supplier Operations Support Executive, Rolls-Royce North America
  • Kylie Pfeiffer, Sr. Manager, IT Risk & Compliance, Sallie Mae
  • Amna Sohail, Senior Analyst, Investment Team, Elevate Ventures
  • Stephanie Sponsel, Operations Director, netlogx
  • Elyse Swoverland, Senior Software Engineer, Sallie Mae
  • Jennifer Wright, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

You Inspire Us! Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). Female nominees must have demonstrated success in inspiring others in STEM to look beyond their own horizons and set professional and personal goals that exceed those originally conceived. Based on her advocacy, leadership, presence, and/or visibility in the community, she has advanced STEM in Indiana and inspires us all to push the limits.

  • Vanessa Adler, Software Manager, Engineering Innovation, Angie’s List
  • Emily Atkinson, PhD Candidate, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Kelly Canada, Manager, Adjacent Propulsion Services, Rolls-Royce Corporation
  • Rachel Clark, Chief Information Officer (CIO), BMV, State of Indiana
  • Latasha Jackson-Hamer, Associate Data Consultant, Appirio, Inc.
  • Rabia Khan, President, Managed Systems Solutions
  • Kimberly Steward, Discovery Chemistry Fungicide Group Leader, Corteva Agriscience
  • Rupal Thanawala, Tech Editor, Indianapolis Recorder
  • Ashley Zappia, Regional Systems Support Engineer - Tissue Applications, Roche Diagnostics

Outstanding Education in STEM Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). Female nominees must have made a significant impact on the lives of their students, and have demonstrated excellence in teaching engaging programs that promote student interest, success, and leadership in STEM. Special consideration will be given to those who have implemented programs to teach these disciplines in a hands-on environment and to those who have demonstrated a commitment to young women in these areas. Female nominees must be an educator at a K-12 school or an institution of higher learning in Indiana and must have a primary academic focus in STEM.

  • Megan Hammond, Assistant Professor, R B Annis School of Engineering, University of Indianapolis
  • Stacy Hoehn, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Franklin College
  • Liz Irk, Design Teacher, Purdue Polytechnic High School
  • Kristina Lawyer, Assistant Professor, Applied Engineering and Technology Management, Indiana State University
  • Ronni Moore, Lead Instructor, Purdue Polytechnic High School
  • Keeanna Warren, Principal, Purdue Polytechnic High School North

Outstanding Achievement in STEM Award Nominees

Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). Female nominees have positively promoted or provided significant value or innovation in a STEM field. The winner will have made noteworthy contributions in areas that may include but are not limited to research & development, design, engineering, operational efficiency, process improvement, sustainability, logistics, legal, human resource management, marketing, information technology, or supply chain management.

  • Suzanne Abram, Associate Consultant, Appirio, Inc.
  • Mary Lee Gambone, Head of Materials Engineering, Rolls-Royce North America
  • Mary McCain, SVP, Global Head of Supply Chain, Roche Diagnostics

Change the Landscape Award Nominees

Developed in honor of Women & Hi Tech’s founding member, Jo Basey, Applicants/Nominees must identify as female or with the pronouns she/her (“female nominees”). The female nominees for this award have demonstrated notable action, provided visible advocacy, and/or made significant impact to positively change the landscape of one or more institutions or workplace environments to more easily recognize, promote, and/or champion women in STEM to leadership positions. Exemplary nominees will have implemented programs, changed policies or procedures, and/or established equitable considerations and metrics that have been utilized or implemented in a sustainable manner to ensure that qualified female candidates have a seat and a voice at the table. Special consideration will be given to those who have positively affected multiple or numerous women or girls in STEM via their efforts.

  • Kristen Cooper, CEO & Founder, The Startup Ladies
  • Michelle Pool, Civil US HR Lead/ Senior People Partner, Rolls-Royce Corporation
  • Audrey Taylor, CEO, netlogx
  • Rupal Thanawala, Tech Editor, Indianapolis Recorder

Undergraduate Scholarship Applicants

  • Alexis Mann, Ball State University, BS Biology
  • Alyssa Guffey, Manchester University, BS Biology-Chemistry
  • Alyssa Hernandez, Butler University, BS Biology
  • Ashley Shepherd, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS Mechanical Engineering
  • Aubrianna Radee, Butler University, BS Biology, Pre-Vet Track
  • Audrey Shaw, Purdue University, BS Agriculture
  • Braelyn Stacy, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS Software Engineering
  • Callie Wilder, Hanover College, BA Engineering and Art/Design
  • Camila Lopez, Purdue University, BS Supply Chain, Information and Analytics, Marketing
  • Chelsea Tinsley, Purdue University, BS Mechanical Engineering
  • Cheyenne Rutherford, University of Indianapolis, BS Human Biology
  • Courtney Valmore, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS Chemical Engineering
  • Doonyah Alucozai, Purdue University, BS Computer Information Technology/Sciences
  • Isabel Lopez, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, BS Informatics
  • Jessica Potts, Anderson University, BS Biochemistry
  • Jordyn Blakey, DePauw University, BS Computer Science
  • Julie Tadrous, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, BS Informatics with a Specialization in Web Design & Development
  • Karen Hubbard, Purdue University, BS Interdisciplinary Engineering
  • Kathryn Fisher, WGU Indiana, BS Computer Science
  • Kehinde Anifowose, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, BS Biology
  • Kendal Merry, Indiana University Southeast, BS Biochemistry
  • Kendal Tinsley, Purdue University, BS Mechanical Engineering
  • Kendyl Smith, Ball State University, BS Computer Science
  • Lindsay Freije, Franklin College, BS Applied Mathematics and Actuarial Science
  • Linh Lam, Purdue University, BS Supply Chain Management, Marketing
  • Madelyn Sturgeon, University of Southern Indiana, BS Civil Engineering
  • Makayla Irish, Indiana State University, BS Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Makayla Ray, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS Civil Engineering
  • Marielle Berin, Purdue University, BS Mechanical Engineering
  • Mazey Wilson, Indiana University Bloomington, BS Biochemistry
  • McKenzie Murff, Indiana University Bloomington, BS Biology of Disease
  • Megan Marshall, University of Indianapolis, BS Mechanical Engineering
  • Megan Singer, Purdue University, BS Electrical Engineering
  • Melody Davis, WGU Indiana, BS Business
  • Mengzhou Chen, Purdue University, BS Supply Chain, Information, Analytics, & Marketing, Industrial Management
  • Mia Stoffel, Purdue University, BS Cybersecurity and Network Engineering Technology
  • Michelle Sanders, Indiana Technological Institute, BS Business Administration
  • Morgan Stutzman, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, BS Computer Information Technology
  • My Dang, Anderson University, BS Mechanical Engineering
  • Nola Wilson, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS Biomedical Engineering
  • Rebekah Holcomb, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, BS Informatics
  • Rose Meyer, Butler University, BS Biology
  • Sally Sagarsee, Indiana State University, BS Computer Science
  • Taylor Young, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, BS Informatics
  • Tosin Ajayi, WGU Indiana, BS Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
  • Victoria Akles, University of Indianapolis, BS Biology/Spanish
  • Vivian Evans, Indiana University Bloomington, BS Biology
  • Whitney Jeffers, Purdue University, BS Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Yazmin Calixto, Indiana University Bloomington, BS Pre-Med
  • Yukthika Sajja, Purdue University, BS Cybersecurity

Graduate Scholarship Applicants

    • Aashika Varadharajan, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, MS Computer and Information Science
    • Amanda Goodridge, Indiana University Bloomington, MS Cybersecurity Risk Management
    • Binita Pokharel, Purdue University, MS Construction Engineering
    • Carla Dalton, WGU Indiana, MS Data Analytics
    • Cherish Ardinger, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, PhD Addiction Neuroscience
    • Elizabeth Grimes, Indiana University Bloomington, MS Healthcare Management
    • Jennifer Fleming, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, MS Informatics
    • Josuenny O'Donnell, Purdue University, MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Juliana Pereira, Purdue University, PhD Civil Engineering
    • Junchi Lu, University of Notre Dame, PhD Electrical Engineering
    • LaJoi Robinson, Ball State University, MS Information and Communication Science
    • Lindsey Neeley, Ball State University, MS Information and Communication Science
    • Malissa Magiera, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, JD/MS Law/Biology
    • Melissa Davis, WGU Indiana, MS Management and Leadership
    • Nahum Metto, Ball State University, MS Information and Communication Science
    • Payoshni Kulkarni, Indiana University Bloomington, MS Human Computer Interaction
    • Regina Pequignot, WGU Indiana, MSN-FNP Nursing
    • Richa Patel, Indiana University Bloomington, JD Law

    • Sara Boukdad, Indiana University Bloomington, MPA Policy Analysis
    • Taymee Brandon, Purdue University, PhD Environmental Engineering
    • Wafaa Kanakri, Ball State University, MS Computer Engineering

      Community College/Coding School Scholarship Applicants

      • Aliya Tudor, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne, AS Nursing
      • Ashley Herrick, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne, AS Biology
      • Aysia Farley, Ivy Tech Community College Muncie, AS Radiologic Technology
      • Eunice Macharia, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne, AS Database Development and Administration
      • Fatimah Omotoso, Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, AS Biology
      • Lauren Alayza, Eleven Fifty Academy, AS Web Development
      • Tammy Maness, Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne, AS Cybersecurity

      Professional Development Grant Applicants

      • Andre’a Crowder, Startup Ladies Membership
      • Anelis Susana Chiluisa Calvache, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Membership
      • Donna Martz, Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
      • Krista Harris, Medical Technologist Certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (MT-ASCP)
      • Maria Javaid, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Membership
      • Soma Mukhopadhyay, Biotechnology Quality & Regulatory Compliance Graduate Certificate from Purdue University


      *Honorary

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