Women of Innovation | 2015 Press Releases

Women of Innovation | 2015 Press Releases


CONTACT: Kaitlyn Mode, Connecticut Technology Council

(860) 289-0878 x338, kmode@ct.org


Connecticut Technology Council Announces the 2015 Women of Innovation®
Women innovators and leaders to be honored April 1

HARTFORD, Conn., Feb 23, 2015 – The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) announces that 56 women have been selected as Women of Innovation for the 2015 Women of Innovation awards program. The program recognizes women across Connecticut – those in the workforce and students – who are innovators, role models and community leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The 56 honorees will be recognized and a winner in each of eight award categories will be announced during the Women of Innovation awards program at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on April 1. Ticket purchases and registration for the 2015 event are available online through the CTC website; www.CT.org. The complete list of 2015 Women of Innovation is posted below.

The Women of Innovation were nominated by their peers and selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. Students were judged on inventiveness, accomplishment in science and technology, independent research, and academic achievement.

“Each year the Women of Innovation awards ceremony honors outstanding women who have made contributions in their professions, studies, and in many cases, their communities,” said Beth Alquist, planning committee chair for the Women of Innovation awards program. “The 2015 Women of Innovation awards dinner is an inspirational time to celebrate these women and their accomplishments.”

This year’s list of 56 women includes researchers, educators, engineers, managers, students and entrepreneurs who work in biotech, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, advanced materials, medical devices, and information technology.

High school, undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated extraordinary and unique achievements in their technology disciplines are also among the finalists. The winner in the Youth Innovation and Leadership category will receive a $4,000 scholarship from Covidien, one of the event’s presenting sponsors.

The Women of Innovation awards presenting sponsors are the pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation, medical device manufacturer Covidien, the law firm of Day Pitney LLP and United Technologies Corporation. Supporting Sponsors include AT&T, Frontier Communications, General Electric, and Pfizer Inc.

For questions regarding the program or awards dinner please contact Mike Scricca at 860.289.0878 x334.

Below is a list of the 2015 Women of Innovation with their affiliated towns:

Keshia AsheCo-Founder & CEO, ManyMentors, Newington
Serap AksoyProfessor, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven
Medria Blue-EllisPrincipal, Engineering & Science University Magnet School, Hamden
Lisa Braden-HarderCEO, Appen, Ridgefield
Shari BugajEngineering Part Family Manager, Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford
Stormy ChamberlainRaymond & Beverly Sackler, Assistant Professor of Genetics & Developmental Biology, UCONN, Farmington
Janis CollinsCo-Founder, The Refinery, Westport
Patricia CushmanManager of Environment Health & Safety, United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford
Emily DavisSenior Development Engineer, Covidien, North Haven
Wendy DavisFounder, GestVision, Inc., New Haven
Deborah DorcemusStudent, UCONN, Danbury
Wafa ElmannaiPh. D. Student, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport
Katherine EmeryCEO , The Walker Group/reSET, Farmington
Maureen EzzoAir Vehicle Project Lead Executive Transport Development Programs, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Northford
Lynn FiellinAssociate Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven
Marisha GodekPrincipal Research Scientist, Covidien, North Haven
Heidi GoldFounder & CEO, Little Scientists, Milford
Emma GoodmanStudent, Greenwich High School, Greenwich
Sapna GuptaPh. D. Student, UCONN, Storrs
Megan HislopStudent, Central Connecticut State University, Torrington
Jeannette IckovicsProfessor, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven
Odia KaneStudent, Engineering & Science University Magnet School, New Haven
Janine KerrStudent, Danbury High School, Danbury
Leslie KrumholzCEO, Goodstreets, Guilford
Christina Lampe-OnnerudFounder & CEO, CLOTEAM LLC, Wilton
Lindsey LandrySenior Engineer, Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford
Victoria LiuStudent, Amity Regional High School, Bethany
Amy LydonIntellectual Property Counsel, Covidien, New Haven
Allison MacKayAssociate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, UCONN, Storrs
Radenka MaricConnecticut Clean Energy Professor in Sustainable Energy, UCONN, Storrs
Vicky MargiottLead EMU Systems Engineers, UTC Aerospace Systems, South Windsor
Anubhuti MathurStudent, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury
Susan McNulty-LoPiccoloSenior Manager Portfolio Management, Pfizer, Inc., Groton
Sarah MehnerManager of Director, Connecticut Information Security, Wilton
Sarah MogielnickiStudent, Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science, Berlin
Rebecca NapolitanoStudent, Connecticut College, New London
Lizette NigroVice President, Product Operations Fiserv, Glastonbury
Cindy OksanenSenior Director, Pfizer, Inc., Groton
Julie OlsonBusiness Mentor/Growth Advisor, SECT Tech/CTNext, Pawcatuck
Anna PatrizziProcurement Director, International Parts Center, Global Supply Chain, Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford
Shelley PhelanProfessor of Biology, Fairfield University, Fairfield
Diane PintavalleInstructor of Advanced Research Mentorship & AP Biology, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury
Maryne RobinFounder & President, NANTES Solutions, LLC, Stamford
Yu-Hui RogersSite Director, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington
Nicole RussoPresident, Microboard Processing, Inc., Seymour
Kimberly SendleinElectrical Design Manager of Advanced Programs, UTC Aerospace Systems, Marlborough
Jade SmartStudent, Hamden High School, Hamden
Ellen SuFounder, Wellinks, New Haven
Karen TepperVice President of Mobile, Priceline.com, Norwalk
Allison Thomas ORION Air Revitalization System Lead-UTAS ISR & Space Systems, UTC Aerospace Systems, Hampden MA
Lynn TinkerCH-53K Chief System Engineer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Stratford
Kyle VanderlickDean, Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, New Haven
Monika WeberPh. D. Student, Yale University, New Haven
Phyllis WintersPresident & Founder, Information Technology Group, North Haven
Martha YaneyOwner, Vista Group International, Inc., Norwalk
Quing ZhuProfessor of Electrical Engineering, UCONN, Storrs


About The Connecticut Technology Council

The Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building and assistance for growing companies. Speaking for over 2,000 companies that employ some 2,000 residents, the Connecticut Technology Council seeks to provide a strong and urgent voice in support of the creation of a culture of innovation. This includes working to position Connecticut as a leader in idea creation, workforce preparation, entrepreneurial aptitude, early stage risk capital availability and providing on-going support and mentoring to high potential firms. For more information, visit www.ct.org.

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WOI 2015



CONTACT: Kaitlyn Mode, Connecticut Technology Council

(860) 289-0878 x338, kmode@ct.org


Connecticut Technology Council Announces Top Category Winners of the
11th Annual Women of Innovation Awards Gala

HARTFORD, Conn., April 2, 2015. Fifty-six women, from across Connecticut, were honored for their innovation and leadership during the eleventh annual Women of Innovation awards gala, held April 1 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. This awards program recognized women innovators, role models and leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math as well as outstanding women at the high school and collegiate level. Of these 56 women, 10 were recognized as category winners.

Presenting sponsors of this year’s event were Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation, Covidien, Day Pitney LLP, and United Technologies Corporation.

“The Council is honored to recognize Connecticut’s most extraordinary and talented women representing a cross section of the state’s most important technology companies and educational institutions.” said Bruce Carlson, President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council.

Cecilia K. McKenney, Executive Vice President of Frontier Secure and Administration, at Frontier Communications, was this year’s keynote speaker. McKenney is a member of The Leadership Council of Franklin & Marshall College and a member of the Board of Directors of The Child Care Council of Westchester County, Inc. On May 15, 2014, she was honored with the HR Leader Award in the Large Company category at the 2014 Fairfield County HR People of the Year Awards.

The following are the 10 women chosen as category winners; there are two winners in both the Research and Collegian categories:

Academic Innovation and Leadership:
Medria Blue-Ellis, 
Principal, Engineering & Science University Magnet School

Medria Blue-Ellis is the principal of ESUMS, a Magnet School of Excellence and CT School of Distinction. Her Curriculum expertise, creative thinking, and persistence are shared with the female STEM teachers she mentors. Her encouragement of female students to excel in STEM manifests in accomplishments such as the 2014 Verizon App Challenge State Finalist. Medria was one of 100 school leaders, educational advocates, and researches convened at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation “Closing the Excellence Gap” conference.

Collegian Innovation and Leadership (two winners):

Sapna Gupta, Ph.D. Student, University of Connecticut

Sapna Gupta is a graduate research assistant at the Center for Clean Energy Engineering and a Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering at UCONN. Sapna’s academic achievements, innovative research and creativity are evident in the many fellowships, distinctions, and awards she has received, including her honorable mention for the 2014 Baker Student Researcher award. She is founder and president of UCONN Keramos, and delegate of the ACerS PCSA

Monika WeberPh.D. Student, Yale University

Monika Weber is a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Yale University and the co-inventor of Fluid-Screen, a small device that detects bacteria in 30 minutes. She has won the Grand Prize in the NASA “Create the Future” Design Contest 2011” and the Gold Prize in MassChallenge and received over $200,000 in technology and entrepreneurial awards. Monika combines leadership skills with strong technical expertise, creativity and business acumen.

Community Innovation and Leadership:

Keshia Ashe, Co-Founder & CEO, ManyMentors

Keshia Ashe is a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering at UCONN and co-founder and CEO of ManyMentors. ManyMentors is a STEM online and in-person mentoring nonprofit organization that connects university mentors with middle and high school students interested in STEM degrees and careers. She is a mentor, role model, TEDx speaker, and an unwavering advocate for STEM education in Connecticut.

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership:

Christina Lampe-Onnerud, Founder & CEO, CLOTEAM LLC

Christina Lampe-Onnerud is known for her innovative work developing high-performance, low-cost, safe, environmentally-friendly batteries for portable electronics, electric vehicles and energy storage. She is founder of Boston-Power (IPO in 2016) and CLOTEAM, as well as holder of 80+ patents and author of numerous scientific articles. She was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum where she serves as an advisor on global innovation and renewable transport.

Large Business Innovation & Leadership:

Yu-Hui Rogers, Site Director, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine

Yu-Hui Rogers is leading the JAX-GM Administration and Operation Team in establishing its new research institute in Connecticut. She was the vice president of Core Technology Development at the J. Craig Venter Institute where she was responsible for technology development and a large-scale genomic operation. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of a high-throughput sequencing pipeline that enabled the completion of the first human genome sequence at Celera Genomics.

Research Innovation and Leadership (2 winners):

Serap Aksoy, Professor, Yale School of Public Health

Serap Aksoy is a professor at the Yale School of Public Health where she works on insects that transmit disease-causing microbes to animals and plants. She lectures internationally, maintains ongoing collaborative research programs, and has made landmark contributions to the functional and evolutionary aspects of insect-microbe interactions. Through her discoveries, she developed innovative methods that use beneficial bacteria to render insects inhospitable for disease-causing pathogens, thereby reducing their disease transmission potential.

Radenka MaricConnecticut Clean Energy Professor in Sustainable Energy, University of Connecticut
Radenka Maric joined UCONN in 2010, where she focuses on developing new materials and novel structures for energy storage and conversion, structural ceramics and hydrogen production and separation. Previously, she was group leader and program manager at the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, program manager at nGimat and senior scientist/team ILeader at the Japan Fine Ceramics Center in Japan. Radenka has published over 150 scientific papers.

Small Business Innovation and Leadership:
Lisa Braden-Harder, 
CEO, Appen

Lisa Braden-Harder started her career in IBM’s research division, moving on to found the Butler Hill Group in 1993. There, she leveraged her background in linguistic products ranging from grammar checkers to search engines. In 2011, the company merged with Appen, an Australian company also engaged in taking devices to global markets. In 2013, she became CEO of the combined entity and in January 2015, led the company through an IPO on the Australian stock exchange.

Youth Innovation and Leadership:

Anubhuti Mathur, High School Student, Glastonbury High School

Anabhuti Mathur conducts research at the UCONN Health Center and was a 2014 summer student fellow at The Jackson Laboratory. She was an Intel ISEF finalist, American Chemical Society award winner, National JSHS State Representative, Chemistry Olympiad Semifinalist, and the Anna Harrison award winner for top female scorer. Anubhuti captains Glastonbury’s Debate and Science Bowl teams, is president of the Medical Leaders Club, and runs a charitable multicultural dance organization.

About the Connecticut Technology Council

The Connecticut Technology Council (www.ct.org) 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.



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