Women of Innovation | Event Recap 2010

Women of Innovation 2010 Logo

Now in its sixth season, this awards program gathers the Connecticut technology community to recognize women in the workforce who are innovators, role models and leaders in the technology, science and engineering fields. Students at both the high school and college level are also honored for their studies and accomplishmentWOI 2010 Category Winner Group Photos.

“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. “As each year, this awards gala allows us to put the spotlight on these exceptional innovators and leaders, while also introducing them to a professional network of peers who are equally accomplished.”

The event,which sold out two days prior, featured an after dinner panel discussion moderated by radio and TV personality Diane Smith, the panel included Susan Froshauer, the CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Tracy Romano, a researcher at the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, and United Technologies Corporation’s corporate pilot Robin Bray.

Thanks to all who supported the 2010 program, and congratulations to the 2010 Women of Innovation.

Press Releases

2010 Women of Innovation Announcement, Finalists named
2010 Event Press Release, Category Winners named

The Jana Moak Scholarship

The Youth Innovation and Leadership Award winner is awarded a $1,500 Jana Moak Scholarship, in honor of the 2006 Women of Innovation award winner and member of the Connecticut Technology Council Board of Directors who passed away in 2007.

This year’s winner is Neeharika Krothapalli, Student, at Farmington High School. Neeharika was selected from a group of five outstanding women interviewed for this scholarship by a subcommittee of the Women of Innovation Planning Committee. Four criteria were considered by the selection panel: Academic achievement, innovation and creativity, leadership and a decision to pursue a career in a science or technology profession. Each year the interviews acquaint us with these outstanding young women who have truly notable academic credentials that are often coupled with remarkable community service efforts that each undertakes at their schools, church or in their communities.

The 2010 Women of Innovation Winners by Category

Academic Innovation and Leadership Award

Marja Hurley, Associate Dean and Director
University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington
Marja Hurley is an investigator in the field of cellular and molecular biology of bone and is recognized nationally and internationally for her seminal contributions on the role of growth factors in bone homeostasis and disorders such as osteoporosis. Marja is also nationally recognized as an educational leader in the development of innovative programs that have resulted in the matriculation of hundreds of underrepresented students to health professions schools throughout the United States.

 

Marja Hurley WOI 2010 Winner

Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award

Claire Weiss, Doctoral Student, Materials Science & Engineering
University of Connecticut School of Engineering, Storrs

Claire Weiss received her BA in physics from Lawrence University in 2007 and she is now pursuing a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. She is currently researching ferroelectric thin films for use in tunable devices and other applications. Claire spends her summers doing research at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland and will work there after graduating under the SMART (Science, Mathematics, & Research for Transformation) program.

Claire Weiss WOI 2010 Winner

Community Innovation and Leadership Award

Seema Winsor, Principal Engineer
Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford

An engineer by education, and sociologist by choice, Seema Winsor likes to connect the dots between innovative programs and students of all ages. Co-founder of Stamford Robotics, Seema brings the positive impact of FIRST LEGO League and Jr. FIRST LEGO League to the lives of more young people every year. Over 200 students, ages 6 to 18, have participated in the Stamford Robotics Jr. FLL Exposition the last two years where they were able to celebrate their passion for science and engineering.

Seema Winsor WOI 2010 Winner
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership Award
Heidi Douglas, Founder
Nuventus LLC
Technology innovator and entrepreneur Heidi Seifert Douglas is founder and managing partner of Nuventus LLC, a consulting firm serving small to mid-size high tech and life sciences companies. Prior to her affiliation with Nuventus, she was co-founder, president and CEO of MysticMD Inc., a company specializing in advanced materials. As a partner in Deloitte Consulting’s high technology practice, she managed some of firm’s largest engagements at Fortune 100 companies. Heidi is a Director at Decision Options, LLC and serves on the University of New Haven (UNH) Board of Governors and UCONN School of Engineering Advisory Board. In 2009, she received the UNH Distinguished Alumni Award.
Heidi Douglas WOI 2010 Winner
Large Business Innovation and Leadership Award
Christine Marsh, Vice President, Business Analysis
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation
Christine Marsh is the Vice President, Business Analysis for Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation and Roxane Laboratories, Inc. in Ridgefield. In this role, she is responsible for providing long term strategic direction and support to senior management in sales, managed markets and marketing related to all business analysis including data integrity, sourcing and management, commercial analytics, incentive compensation, market research and business intelligence, marketing analytics, pricing actions, reimbursement, and contracting. She is responsible for leading a 100+ member team. As a member of the senior management team, she partners with business client management to identify and define goals and objectives that support the US/Global growth and top business priorities of Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation.
Christine Marsh WOI 2010 Finalist
Research Innovation and Leadership Award
Baikun Li, Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut
Baikun Li started her academia career as Assistant Professor at Penn State Harrisburg in 2003, and joined the faculty of environmental engineering at the University of Connecticut in 2006. Baikun’s expertise is environmental biotechnology, wastewater treatment and bioenergy production. Currently, she is leading five PhD students working on hydrogen production and electricity production from microbial fuel cell treating wastewater. Baikun has collaborated with environmental companies in Connecticut and New York to commercialize the sustainable bioenergy production through wastewater treatment and convert wastewater treatment plants to power generation plants. By working with industry, Baikun has filed for three patents of microbial fuel cells. In the summer of 2009, Baikun’s group successfully conducted the first national pilot-scale microbial fuel cell systems in wastewater treatment plant, which is a significant step toward the commercialization of bioenergy production.
Baikun Li
Small Business Innovation and Leadership
Julie Pellegrini, Vice President
GraphLogic, Inc.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boston College, Julie Pellegrini accumulated biotech experience through positions at CuraGen and Invitrogen. As lead developer on several of GraphLogic’s early device integration projects, she positioned the company to take advantage of the potential of the device-generated data analysis market. Leading this segment, her role expanded across execution and sales, affording her the enterprise-wide scope of her current role.
Julie Pellegrini

Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award

Linda Stahl, Director, Strategic Products
COCC
Linda Stahl combines vision with practical experience to help community banks increase efficiency while reducing paper and power consumption. She began her banking career at age 16 as a teller, and never forgot the value of implementation and support in realizing technology vision. Her efforts to reduce resource consumption at banks have magnified her impact on pollution and waste, making Connecticut a healthier place to live and work.
Linda Stahl, WOI 2010 Award Winner

Youth Innovation and Leadership Award
Neeharika Krothapalli, Student
Farmington High School, Farmington
Neeharika Krothapalli is a senior at Farmington High School. She enjoys being editor-in-chief of her school’s yearbook, captain of the JETS team, founder and president of the Current Events Club, and secretary of the French Honor Society. Throughout the past few years of high school, she has pursued her interest in finding solutions to problems challenging our society such as the need for alternative energy by conducting biofuel research on jatropha curcas at the University of Connecticut with Richard Parnas. A lover of giving classical Indian dance performances and acting in Indian dramas in her free time, she plans to attend Dartmouth College next fall.

Neeharika Krothapalli WOI 2010 Winner

The 2010 Finalists:

We also honor the full class of 2010 finalists, each and every one is an outstanding woman working in Science and technology.

Academic Innovation and Leadership
Laurel Appel, Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology

Wesleyan University, Middletown

Laurel is Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at Wesleyan University, and Faculty Advisor to Wesleyan Women in Science. She is the Director of the Wesleyan McNair Program, which assists students from underrepresented groups in preparing for, entering, and progressing successfully through post-graduate education. Laurel is a past councilor of the Connecticut chapter of AWIS (Association for Women in Science). Laurel is also involved in many volunteer activities for the community, especially in the area of science education. She received her AB in Chemistry from Oberlin College, her MS in biophysical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, followed by a PhD in genetics also from the University of California at Berkeley.

Laurel Appel, Finalist, WOI 2010

Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Karen Alsante, Research Fellow

Pfizer, Inc., Groton

Karen Alsante is a Research Fellow in the Research Analytical department at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Groton. Karen received a BA with honors in chemistry from Holy Cross College in 1989 and her PhD in organic chemistry from Duke University in 1994. Karen began her Pfizer career in 1994 as a development scientist in Groton Quality Operations. In 1997, she developed a Degradation Group in Analytical R&D responsible for gaining a better understanding of drug substance and drug product chemical and physical stability. In January 2006, Karen began her current position as Research Fellow for Research Analytical focused on early analytical research activities starting in partnership with Discovery and progressing through development to Phase II clinical trials. In her community, Karen started a Science Day event at Old Saybrook Goodwin Elementary School in 2009.

Karen Alsante, Finalist, 2010 WOI

Research Innovation and Leadership
Kathy Ayers, Director of Research
Proton Energy Systems, Inc., Wallingford

Kathy Ayers has over 15 years of experience in characterization of electrochemically active materials. Kathy holds a BS in chemistry/chemical physics from the University of California at San Diego, and a PhD in chemistry from CalTech. She has served as a mentor for many female graduate and undergraduate students over the past several years through MentorNet. Kathy has two young daughters.

Kathy Ayers, WOI 2010 Finalist

Small Business Innovation and Leadership

Margaret Bailey, VP Applications Software Development

Sonalysts, Inc., Waterford

Margaret is an accomplished Project Manager who directs a team of innovative software engineers. Her unique projects have included sonar tactical training, data mining, cyber security, and marine mammal acoustics. She leads the Engineering Process Group at Sonalysts and is responsible for implementing the CMMI Level 3 process model for software development. Margaret enjoys hiking and lives in central Connecticut with her children.

Margaret Bailey, WOI 2010 Finalist

Research Innovation and Leadership

Jean Beebe, Executive Director
Pfizer, Inc., Groton
Jean Beebe received her undergraduate training at the University of Vermont, and her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan. She did postdoctoral training at Harvard, joining Pfizer in December 1991. Jean has led multi-disciplinary teams that are responsible for the discovery and development of new medicines for patients with cancer and inflammatory conditions.

Jean Beebe, WOI 2010 Finalist

Academic Innovation and Leadership
Sarah Berke, Director, Bioscience Explorations
Connecticut United for Research Excellence, Inc., New Haven
Sarah Berke is Director of Bioscience Explorations, a CURE statewide biotechnology education program that serves thousands of students and teachers annually. Under Sarah’s direction, Bioscience Explorations has expanded, including the addition of a hands-on elementary science program. Sarah frequently presents at national conferences, serves on the Connecticut Science Fair Executive Committee, is executive director of the Mobile Laboratory Coalition, and most recently was an invited panelist for the National Association of Educational Progress.

Sarah Berke, WOI 2010 Finalist

Research Innovation and Leadership
Tania Bhatia, Research Engineer
United Technologies Research Corporation, East Hartford
As a research engineer at the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), Tania Bhatia has worked on developing technologies that enable the use of ceramic components for the next generation gas turbine engines. Before joining UTRC in 2002, she obtained a BE degree in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, a PhD in Materials from the Indian Institute of Science and worked at the University of Connecticut as a post doctoral researcher. Tania is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs), and is active in professional societies relating to ceramics and gas turbine engines. She has been granted three patents with over ten additional patents pending.

Tania Bhatia, WOI 2010 Finalist

Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Jennifer Broom, Manager of Collaborative Research
Covidien Surgical Devices, North Haven
Jennifer Broom is the Manager of Collaborative Research for Covidien Surgical Devices in North Haven. She is responsible for managing collaborative projects with external partners including clinicians and university researchers. Prior to joining Covidien she worked for a specialty metals manufacturer as a technical specialist, helping to design products and resolve problems with customers. Jennifer holds a BA in Mathematics from Russell Sage College, a BS in Materials Engineering and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jennifer Broom, WOI 2010 Finalist
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Phoebe Browning, CTO
YourNurseIsOn.com, New Haven
Phoebe Browning is the Chief Financial Officer for YourNurseIsOn.com, a healthcare staff communications company, based in New Haven. Phoebe received a BS in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University. Phoebe built an accounting firm prior to YourNurseIsOn.com, and is a respected business consultant. As CFO, Phoebe has managed the growth of YourNurseIsOn.com from a back-of-the-napkin vision to a paradigm changing communications powerhouse.
Phoebe Browniing WOI 2010 Finalist
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Wynne Cerone, Vice President of Operations and CTO
Imaging Solutions, Wallingford
Currently the Vice President of Operations and CTO at Imaging Solutions, Wynne Cerone provides leadership and direction to a staff that is responsible for pre and post sales support in addition to the management, development, and implementation of ECM, data capture and workflow systems. She has managed enterprise-wide projects that involved the coordination, integration and implementation of products and systems from multiple vendors. Wynne began her career in the imaging industry when she joined DataImage, Inc. in 1987, later moving to the Plexus Software Division of Recognition International and then joining Imaging Solutions in 1994. Wynne is very knowledgeable in many of the imaging, workflow, OCR, ICR, full text retrieval, and document management software products in the market. She is certified in Kofax Capture and AnyDoc Software products.
Wynne Cerone WOI 2010 Awards Finalist

Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Kristin Colacchio
CSC

Kristin Colacchio, a Fordham University graduate, joined the CSC Project Management team in July 2000. Kristin is currently managing a $35 million program where she developed and implemented a desktop refresh deployment that spans the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico. She leads a team of eight Project Managers and a technical support team of over 40 members. The 18-month progam ensures that 25,000 customers, in their respective geographies, are sufficiently serviced with minimal down time. This innovative approach under Kristin’s leadership has resulted in high client satisfaction and a paradigm for future programs.

Academic Innovation and Leadership
Carmen Cid, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
Eastern Connecticut State University
Carmen Cid is Dean of Arts & Sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University and is one of the few Hispanic PhD ecologists in the country. She helped establish Connecticut’s AWIS Chapter, is on the governing board of the Ecological Society of America and is a Principal Investigator of a national NSF-ADVANCE grant. Carmen developed the multi-media bilingual WONDERWISE “Urban Ecologist” program for middle school girls. At Eastern, and nationally, she is working on interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability.
Carmen Cid

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Kelley Connors, Founder & President
KC Healthcare Communications

Kelley Connors is the President of KC Healthcare Communications, a company she founded to empower women to be their own best health and wellness advocates. Working in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry for the past 20 years, she focused on marketing and public relations for companies such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bausch & Lomb, Boehringer Ingelheim and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Kelley is an avid and ongoing student of social media and the role that it plays in improving public health and health communications. Together with her team at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, she just completed a multi-year grant to prevent young girls, ages 9-11, from smoking through a web-based educational intervention called nonsmokingroom.org.

Michelle Dischino, WOI 2010 Awards Finalist

Academic Innovation and Leadership

Michele Dischino, Assistant Professor, Technology and Engineering Education
Central Connecticut State University, New Britain

Michele Dischino joined the Technology and Engineering Education faculty at Central Connecticut State University in 2006. She received her PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Manhattan College in 1992. As a graduate student, Michele became heavily involved in educational outreach in Philadelphia, where she realized her passion for teaching and encouraging students to achieve their full potential.

Michelle Dischino, WOI 2010 Awards Finalist

Large Business Innovation and Leadership

Sue DiMascio, Program Director
ATMI, Inc.

Sue DiMaschio has spent her 17 year career at Advanced Technology Materials, Inc. (ATMI), involving herself in many aspects of the business from Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to Quality Management Systems (QMS). After a few years as a Research Scientist, Sue established and managed a centralized analytical group. She has recently switched roles to lead global R&D informatics strategy for the organization. Sue resides in New Milford with her husband and three children. She earned her degree in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.

Sue DiMaschio, WOI 2010 Finalist
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership Award
Heidi Douglas, Founder
Nuventus LLC
Technology innovator and entrepreneur Heidi Seifert Douglas is founder and managing partner of Nuventus LLC, a consulting firm serving small to mid-size high tech and life sciences companies. Prior to her affiliation with Nuventus, she was co-founder, president and CEO of MysticMD Inc., a company specializing in advanced materials. As a partner in Deloitte Consulting’s high technology practice, she managed some of firm’s largest engagements at Fortune 100 companies. Heidi is a Director at Decision Options, LLC and serves on the University of New Haven (UNH) Board of Governors and UCONN School of Engineering Advisory Board. In 2009, she received the UNH Distinguished Alumni Award.
Heidi Douglas WOI 2010 Winner

Youth Innovation and Leadership

Yi Feng, High School Student
Farmington High School, Farmington

Yi Feng is interested in pursuing studies in the field of biological and biomedical sciences. She hopes to one day have a career in biological/biomedical research or in the medical field. Her other interests include playing the piano, volunteering, and listening to music. She currently lives in Unionville with her parents and six-year-old sister and will be going to college next year.

Yi Feng, WOI 2010 Awards Finalist

Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Nupur Garg, Medical Student
YALE

Nupur Garg is a native of Pensacola, Florida, where she grew up with her parents and three siblings. After finishing high school in 2003, she went on to MIT where she double-majored and doubleminored in engineering, science, and management fields. She went on to join the MD/MBA program at Yale University in 2007. Since high school, she has been starting up programs, leading organizations, and entering and winning innovation competitions, including at the international level.

Napur Garg

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Mary Gawlicki, President
Corporate Translations Inc.

Mary Gawlicki founded Corporate Translations in 1990 with the singular goal of providing the pharmaceutical industry with the superior quality translation consulting services it requires. Prior to entering the translation industry, Mary enjoyed a successful career in manufacturing finance at Xerox, the Scott Paper Company and Digital Equipment Corporation. Mary obtained her BA in French at Manhattanville College and later earned her MBA in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Mary Gawlicki, Finalist, Women of Innovation 2010

Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Donna Grossman, Mechanical Engineering Manager
Hamilton Sundstrand

Donna Grossman has worked in Mechanical Design Engineering at Hamilton Sundstrand since 1977. Her projects have included mechanical design on the current space suit, several projects for nuclear submarine use, and various environmental control/life support systems (ECLS) for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Donna is currently working as the Design lead on the ECLS for the Shuttle replacement vehicle, Orion.

Donna Grossman,Finalist 2010 WOI

Community Innovation and Leadership
Nicole Hade, Manager, Engineering Effectiveness & Strategy
Hamilton Sundstrand

Nicole Hade is a pioneer in sustainability initiatives at Hamilton Sundstrand. In addition to her strategic engineering responsibilities, Nicole co-leads the Sustainability Initiative Team, which she founded three years ago, engaging employees in sustainable practices. She spearheads the Sustainability Fair, which is held annually at Hamilton Sundstrand. Nicole has a BS in Geoscience from William Smith College, an MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA in Managing for Sustainability from Marlboro College

Nicole Hade

Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Sheryl Hildner, IT Director
General Electric Corporation
Sheryl Hildner is an IT executive with extensive experience in developing and implementing complex IT solutions to enable growth and improve productivity. Her broad experience is in process and
technology redesign projects with a number of financial-based institutions. She has spent over ten years at General Electric delivering successful multi-year global Business Intelligence/Data Warehouse and large scale system implementations with significant business benefit.

Sheryl Hildner, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Youth Innovation and Leadership
Sydney Hofer, High School Student
Greater Hartford Academy of Arts and Sciences

Sydney Hofer, a high school student at the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts and Sciences, is conducting an independent research project on biofilms, the plaque that forms on one’s teeth. She is testing the effects of the active ingredients in traditional and natural toothpastes and their ability to eliminate bacteria that are commonly found in biofilms. In addition to this project and in the hopes of further advancing her studies and ultimate goal of becoming a dentist, Sydney is an intern at Farmington Family Dentistry.

Sydney Hofer, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Academic Innovation and Leadership Award

Marja Hurley, Associate Dean and Director
University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington
Marja Hurley is an investigator in the field of cellular and molecular biology of bone and is recognized nationally and internationally for her seminal contributions on the role of growth factors in bone homeostasis and disorders such as osteoporosis. Marja is also nationally recognized as an educational leader in the development of innovative programs that have resulted in the matriculation of hundreds of underrepresented students to health professions schools throughout the United States.

 

Marja Hurley WOI 2010 Winner

Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Susan Johnston, Director, Customer Service IT

PRICELINE.COM

Susan Johnston leads the team that is responsible for developing and updating the customer relations software used by over 1,000 of priceline.com’s customer service agents worldwide. In a typical year, Sue and her team will perform up to 150 system updates. Sue is widely respected by her priceline.com peers and by senior management. Sue is both a coach and mentor to her team, creating a culture that encourages continuous individual and group innovation as team members strive to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving travel industry and improve the ability of customer service agents to deliver valuable, timely customer service. Sue’s team has helped priceline.com meet the customer service challenges of hurricanes, 9/11, flu epidemics and the economic downturn. Sue’s retention rate is testimony to her skills and leadership ability as a manager, as 60% of her team have remained with her for nine years or longer.

Susan Johnston

Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Liddy Karter, Managing Director
Karter Capital Advisors

Liddy Karter is presently focusing on investing in clean tech companies She also works with early stage companies in developing their business and fundraising strategies and assists them in achieving their goals. Liddy has run two successful entrepreneurial companies and worked at Morgan Stanley as an investment banker.

Liddy Karter, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Academic Innovation and Leadership
Honora Kenney, President
Connecticut Invention Convention

As a former special education and gifted education teacher, curriculum specialist, and school administrator, Honora Kenney has devoted over 25 years to the CT Invention Convention. She has produced educational videos, collaborated on a comprehensive CIC curriculum packet, served on her local Board of Education, and made educational presentations in the state, country, and even the Republic of Mauritius, in order to introduce their schools to the 21st Century and productive thinking skills.

Honora Kenney, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Youth Innovation and Leadership Award
Neeharika Krothapalli, Student
Farmington High School, Farmington
Neeharika Krothapalli is a senior at Farmington High School. She enjoys being editor-in-chief of her school’s yearbook, captain of the JETS team, founder and president of the Current Events Club, and secretary of the French Honor Society. Throughout the past few years of high school, she has pursued her interest in finding solutions to problems challenging our society such as the need for alternative energy by conducting biofuel research on jatropha curcas at the University of Connecticut with Richard Parnas. A lover of giving classical Indian dance performances and acting in Indian dramas in her free time, she plans to attend Dartmouth College next fall.

Neeharika Krothapalli WOI 2010 Winner

Research Innovation and Leadership Award
Baikun Li, Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut

Baikun Li started her academia career as Assistant Professor at Penn State Harrisburg in 2003, and joined the faculty of environmental engineering at the University of Connecticut in 2006. Baikun’s expertise is environmental biotechnology, wastewater treatment and bioenergy production. Currently, she is leading five PhD students working on hydrogen production and electricity production from microbial fuel cell treating wastewater. Baikun has collaborated with environmental companies in Connecticut and New York to commercialize the sustainable bioenergy production through wastewater treatment and convert wastewater treatment plants to power generation plants. By working with industry, Baikun has filed for three patents of microbial fuel cells. In the summer of 2009, Baikun’s group successfully conducted the first national pilot-scale microbial fuel cell systems in wastewater treatment plant, which is a significant step toward the commercialization of bioenergy production.

Baikun Li

Small Business Innovation and Leadership
Lixia Li, Senior Technologist
Dark Field Technologies

Lixia Li’s work as a Senior Technologist at Dark Field Technologies has led to the development of a machine vision solution for inspecting a variety of subjects, such as glass, film, and metal strips. At a previous employer she helped develop the lens design for camera phones. Lixia holds a PhD in Optical Science and Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, an MS in Optical Engineering from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology (Harbin, China).

Lixia Li
Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Mary Lombardo, Director, Materials Engineering
Carrier Corporation
Mary Lombardo is an executive with over 23 years of UTC experience. Prior to her current appointment, Mary was Director, Supply Chain Management where she was responsible for leading the commodity management teams at Carrier and had responsibility for over $5B in spending in global product and non-product categories. Mary began her career with UTC in 1986, at Hamilton Sundstrand as a metallurgical engineer and has held progressive roles in engineering, quality and supply management. Mary holds a BSME from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Operations Management from Rensselaer at Hartford.
Mary Lombardo, Finalist, 2010 Awards

Youth Innovation and Leadership
Jenny Lu, High School Student
Pomperaug High School

Jenny Lu is a 2008 International Chemistry Olympiad Bronze medalist, a member of the 2009 U.S. Physics Olympiad Team, a USA Mathematical Olympiad Qualifier, and a USA Mathematical Talent Search Gold medalist. She is a top ten winner in the 2009 First Annual Math Prize for Girls. In addition, she was selected to attend the 2009 Research Science Institute, where she conducted cell biology research on the mechanism of Retina-cognin, a protein disulfide isomerase found in chick embryo retina cells. She is also a Siemens AP Scholar and a National AP Scholar. Jenny is captain of her school debate team and is an avid pianist. Jenny would like to pursue a career in scientific and medical research.

Jenny Lu, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Jamie Maciaszek, Doctoral Student
University of Connecticut

Jamie Maciaszek is currently a doctoral student pursuing a Biomedical engineering degree at the University of Connecticut after graduating with honors from Lehigh University in May 2009 with a BS in Bioengineering. She is currently working to develop a unified approach involving experimental techniques and biomechanical multiscale modeling to investigate the fundamental mechanisms involved in vasoocclusion in sickle cell disease. In her free time, Jamie enjoys swimming, reading, running and traveling.

Jamie Maciaszek, Finalist 2010 WOI Awards

Research Innovation and Leadership
Jeanne Magram, Vice President Immunology & Inflammation
Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation

Jeanne Magram oversees a department committed to drug discovery that addresses unmet medical needs in autoimmune disease. Jeanne started her career at Hoffmann-La Roche focused on using model
systems to understand the pathophysiology of disease and to identify new therapies. After the next four years spent in biotech, Jeanne joined BI as a group leader in cellular immunology and was later promoted to Vice President. Jeanne holds a BA in chemistry from Rutgers University, an MS/PhD in human genetics from Columbia University and completed post-doctoral training at the University of California at San Francisco.

Jeannie Magram, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Large Business Innovation and Leadership Award
Christine Marsh, Vice President, Business Analysis
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation
Christine Marsh is the Vice President, Business Analysis for Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation and Roxane Laboratories, Inc. in Ridgefield. In this role, she is responsible for providing long term strategic direction and support to senior management in sales, managed markets and marketing related to all business analysis including data integrity, sourcing and management, commercial analytics, incentive compensation, market research and business intelligence, marketing analytics, pricing actions, reimbursement, and contracting. She is responsible for leading a 100+ member team. As a member of the senior management team, she partners with business client management to identify and define goals and objectives that support the US/Global growth and top business priorities of Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation.
Christine Marsh WOI 2010 Finalist

Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Karen McNemar, Director of Project Management
Covidien Surgical Devices

Karen McNemar is responsible for Project and Resource Management and the Product Development Process in support of New Product Development at Covidien Surgical Devices in North Haven. She has seventeen years in medical device manufacturing with experience in Operations, R&D and Project Management. Karen is a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Covidien Surgical Devices. She is a certified PMP from the Project Management Institute and earned her BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts.

Karen McNemar, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Eliza McNitt, Student
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
Eliza McNitt is a 2009 recipient of the Connecticut Academy of Science Gerber Medal. Her novel use of HPLC technology to explore pesticides in honeybees won two Pfizer Trophies at the CT Science Fair as well as awards from Audubon, CURE, MIT, and the Air Force. Eliza also twice won Grand Awards at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair–including First Place and Best of Category in Environmental Management. Eliza dreams of becoming a filmmaker, directing narrative and documentary films that explore the importance of science. Currently she is working on a documentary that follows the 2009 Intel ISEF winners as they tour CERN, the world’s largest and most complex science research experiment.
Eliza McNitt, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Small Business Innovation and Leadership
Theresa McSpedon Vice President, Services
Protegrity Corporation
Theresa McSpedon is the Vice President of Services at Protegrity, a data security management solutions company based in Stamford. Theresa’s 25+ years of experience managing world-class services
organizations has proven that focusing on customer delight leads to increased profits and a loyal consumer base. She has a degree in Economics from Columbia University. Theresa sits on the boards
of directors for several local organizations and charities and is an active or past member of the ACLU, NARAL, NOW, NAACP, Urban League, Women-Leadership and the YWCA.

Theresa McSpedon
Community Innovation and Leadership
Belinda Monat, Vice President, Project Management
CSC
Belinda Monat holds the position of Vice President in CSC’s Financial Services Group which provides Software and IT services to Financial Institutions across the globe. Belinda is responsible for all operations to support the multiple services provided, including applications and infrastructure outsourcing, software solutions and transformation services for one of CSC’s core clients, a large global insurer. Belinda has worked in the Life Insurance Industry on both the technical and business side for more than 25 years. Prior to CSC/FAS, Belinda held the position of vice president with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company, responsible for all systems support for the individual line and before that she was senior manager with Price Waterhouse in their Management Consulting division.
Brenda Monat, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Darlene Nebinger, Principal Product Development Engineer
Covidien Surgical Devices
In her current role at Covidien, Darlene Nebinger supports existing and pipeline development for implantable, degradable sutures and wound closure products, coordinating internal and external in vitro and in vivo strength and mass loss studies, and serves as Lead Project Engineer for an injectable lymphatic mapping dye. With a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Certified Medical Writer, Darlene is also a recipient of the 2009 Covidien Project Team Award and a 2009 finalist for Covidien’s Emerging Markets Innovator Award.
Darlene Nebinger, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Glennis Orloff, President & CEO
Samara Innovations, LLC
Glennis Orloff identified the need to protect young athletes from lower extremity injury and developed the concept and technology for products to address that need in establishing the company she now
leads, Samara Innovations. She has over 18 years of product development experience gained at A&T, Bell Labs, Texas Instruments Inc., and Schick/Wilkinson Sword. During her 10 years at Schick, she invented and developed the Intuition Razor. Glennis has a PhD in physical chemistry from Princeton University. She is a project management professional and prolific inventor, holding 16 U.S. patents, over 21 U.S. patent applications, and a similar number of foreign patents.
Glennis Orloff, Finalist 2010 WOI Awards
Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Deborah Orosz, Manager, Engineering Effectiveness
Aerospace
Hamilton Sundstrand
Deb Orosz has a strong engineering background with more than 15 years experience in Environmental Materials. As Hamilton Sundstrand’s Green Products manager, Deb develops and leads strategies for the company’s global Green Products program, which focuses on providing products that minimize environmental impact. Previously, Deb managed programs focusing on compliance with product chemical restrictions and developing product goals, metrics and management strategies for materials of concern, energy efficiency and packaging. Today, Deb holds the position of manager, Engineering Effectiveness and Processes for Hamilton Sundstrand’s Aerospace Power Systems. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in chemical engineering and a Masters degree in management of technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Deborah Orosz, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award
Julie Pellegrini, Vice President
GraphLogic, Inc.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boston College, Julie Pellegrini accumulated biotech experience through positions at CuraGen and Invitrogen. As lead developer on several of GraphLogic’s early device integration projects, she positioned the company to take advantage of the potential of the device-generated data analysis market. Leading this segment, her role expanded across execution and sales, affording her the enterprise-wide scope of her current role.
Julie Pellegrini
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Teresa Piliouras, President
Albright Associates, Inc.
Teresa Piliouras is a child advocate, educator, and entrepreneur. She is creating innovative online safety and privacy protections especially for children, which are being used to implement social networks designed to promote the health of at-risk youth. Teresa has a wealth of IT industry experience and has pioneered artificial intelligence technologies throughout her career. She is an Adjunct Professor of Management Information Systems at Polytechnic Institute of NYU.
Theresa Piliouras, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Community Innovation and Leadership
Noreen Randazzo, Assistant Vice President
The Hartford
Noreen Randazzo is an IT leader who delivers paradigm-changing initiatives across large enterprises. She currently oversees technology for The Hartford’s award-winning Property and Casualty call centers. By marshaling a nationwide team of leaders and volunteers, Noreen twice led the United Way campaign to achieve record results during times of economic turmoil. Noreen supports numerous fund raising and non-profit efforts and she inspires employee engagement by aligning leadership mentoring with community outreach. Noreen is a founding member of a United Way Leadership Initiative and a member of the Wadsworth Athenaeum Women’s Committee. Noreen lives in Avon with her husband Michael.
Noreen Randazzo, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Donna Ray General Engineer Manager
Hamilton Sundstrand
Donna Ray started her career in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 when she joined Sikorsky Aircraft as a Helicopter Transmission Design Engineer. In 1990, Donna shifted her career from the aircraft product line to aerospace, joining Hamilton Sundstrand as a Mechanical Design Engineer. Other positions she has held at Hamilton Sundstrand include Systems Engineer and Program Engineer Manager for its space suit program. Most recently she became the lead Project Engineer on the next generation space travel vehicle. The transition has proved very rewarding, as it has given Donna the opportunity to work with aspiring young engineers who are now starting their careers.
Donna Ray, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Research Innovation and Leadership
Diana Reeves, Principal Scientist
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation
Diana Reeves received her PhD in organic chemistry from Florida University and concluded post-doctoral training at Pittsburgh University in October 2000. Currently, she is a Principal Scientist with nine years of industrial experience and a leading member in the Chemical Development department at Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation. Due to Diana’s initiatives to identify the appropriate automated parallel reactor systems and her dedicated hard work in planning and setting up the lab, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation currently has a state of the art Automation Laboratory. Currently, this lab is pioneering the application of automated parallel reactors in solving challenging tasks in process chemistry. Recently, the Automation Laboratory was nominated as the Catalysis Center of Expertise to support all Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation research and development units.
Diana Reeves, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Jean Marie Roche, Engineering Supervisor
Electric Boat Corporation
Jean Marie Roche has worked at Electric Boat Corporation since graduating in 1986 from the New York Maritime Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering. She worked in various engineering and supervisory jobs supporting turbine generator and seawater pump design, system integration, construction, installation, repair and operation. Her current supervisory role involves coordinating various groups in hardware manufacture for modernization and repair of nuclear submarines in the U.S. Navy Fleet.
Jean Marie Roche, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Youth Innovation and Leadership
Colleen Rock, High School Student
Farmington High School
Colleen Rock is an active participant and leader in Farmington High School’s FIRST Robotics Team, JETS Team, and Science Olympiad. She founded the Science Peer Tutoring Program at FHS and is part
of a select group of students studying patho-physiology in a research-based independent study. Colleen competes as a member of her school swim team and in several adaptive sports, including sled hockey, track and field, archery and table tennis.
Colleen Rock, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Vanessa A. Rubano, Graduate Student
Columbia University
Vanessa A. Rubano balances a full time career in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, R&D, at Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation with a Masters of Public Health graduate workload at Columbia University. A 2005 graduate of Quinnipiac University with dual majors of Biology and Interactive Digital Design, Vanessa has revolutionized how scientists communicate electronically, visually, and even within paper reports regarding new drug data and analyses. She has developed tools for automated production of regulatory-mandated tables and figures for reports, as well as production of an on-line training class series so that scientists can perform the tasks themselves. This innovative on-line training series permits global implementation of automated report writing. In this way, she can collaborate with interdisciplinary and international teams to ensure timely delivery of clinical trial report data from protocol design through final report for global regulatory submissions. Vanessa stays current with the latest software advances in graphical and tabular presentations so as to function as a resource for the teams.
Vanessa Rubano, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Kathryn Smith, COO
Synaptic Dynamics Inc.
Kathy Smith is an independent consultant to biotechnology andhealthcare companies and has been working on incubating Synaptic Dynamics, a start-up company that is discovering and developing new Alzheimer’s disease treatments. Kathy has 28 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, in R&D, Business Development and Strategic Planning. Kathy worked for 26 years at Pfizer and in her role as Executive Director of the Acquisition Practice, she led the acquisition strategy and integration of acquired R&D companies. Prior to that, Kathy led Strategic Alliances for Research. Other positions at Pfizer included roles in Clinical Development and Discovery Research.
Kathryn Smith, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Small Business Innovation and Leadership Award

Linda Stahl, Director, Strategic Products
COCC

Linda Stahl combines vision with practical experience to help community banks increase efficiency while reducing paper and power consumption. She began her banking career at age 16 as a teller, and never forgot the value of implementation and support in realizing technology vision. Her efforts to reduce resource consumption at banks have magnified her impact on pollution and waste, making Connecticut a healthier place to live and work.
Linda Stahl, WOI 2010 Award Winner
Academic Innovation and Leadership
Linda Strausbaugh Professor
University of Connecticut
When not engaged in public education and DNA research, Linda Strausbaugh directs UConn’s Center for Applied Genetics & Technology and Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Degree in Applied Genomics. Dedicated to workforce enhancement in partnership with Connecticut companies, she secured Sloan Foundation funding for pioneering PSMs and National Science Foundation scholarships for economicallydisadvantaged students. Linda provides national leadership for innovative graduate education, through workshops (National Governor’s Association), invited testimony (National Academy of Sciences), and chairing the National PSM Advisory Board (Council of Graduate Schools
Linda Strausbaugh, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Eleanor Tandler Independent Consultant
University of Connecticut R&D Corporation
As the former Director of Venture Development at the UConn R&D Corporation, Ellie Tandler most recently completed her role as CEO of New Ortho Polymers (NOP), an orthodontic start-up company launched by the UConn R&D Corporation and funded by Connecticut Innovations, Inc. While at NOP, Ellie identified the technology, hired an engineer, oversaw a successful clinical trial and mechanical testing of the wire and prepared the company for an exit.
Ellen Tandler, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards
Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Emily Tao, College Student
University of Connecticut
Emily Tao is a seventh semester chemical engineering student at the University of Connecticut. She has worked as a research assistant for three semesters, developing better methods of drug delivery. She has also interned at Sikorsky for three summers, and gained experience in production support and failure analysis. Since the Spring of 2008, Emily has been an active member of Omega Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Pi chemical engineering and engineering honors societies. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spin cycling.
Emily Tao, Finalist, 2010 Awards
Research Innovation and Leadership
Agnès Vignery, Associate Professor of Orthopedic and Cell Biology
Yale School of Medicine
One of the most recent research focus in Agnès Vignery’s lab has been the development of a novel approach to target the formation of new bone to specific skeletal sites. This new technology combines stem cells, nano-material and parathormone. The lab is in the process of translating the data generated in rats into larger animals, such as rabbits, and eventually in humans. Agnès is most interested in studying the molecular mechanisms that mediate the formation of the new bone, which forms in response to the mechanical ablation of marrow.
Agnes Vignery, Finalist, 2010 WOI Awards

Research Innovation and Leadership
Guiling Wang, Associate Professor,
Civil & Environmental Engineering and Director, Environmental Engineering Program
University of Connecticut

Guiling Wang received her BE and MS degrees from Tsinghua University in China, and her PhD degree from MIT. Prior to joining the University of Connecticut Engineering faculty, she was a researcher at Princeton University and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her primary research interests are precipitation forecasting over the U.S., climate prediction over the globe, and assessing and mitigating climate change impact on human health in the Northeast.

 

Guiling Wang, Finalist, 2010 Awards

Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award

Claire Weiss, Doctoral Student, Materials Science & Engineering
University of Connecticut School of Engineering, Storrs

Claire Weiss received her BA in physics from Lawrence University in 2007 and she is now pursuing a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. She is currently researching ferroelectric thin films for use in tunable devices and other applications. Claire spends her summers doing research at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland and will work there after graduating under the SMART (Science, Mathematics, & Research for Transformation) program.

Claire Weiss WOI 2010 Winner

Community Innovation and Leadership Award

Seema Winsor, Principal Engineer
Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford

An engineer by education, and sociologist by choice, Seema Winsor likes to connect the dots between innovative programs and students of all ages. Co-founder of Stamford Robotics, Seema brings the positive impact of FIRST LEGO League and Jr. FIRST LEGO League to the lives of more young people every year. Over 200 students, ages 6 to 18, have participated in the Stamford Robotics Jr. FLL Exposition the last two years where they were able to celebrate their passion for science and engineering.

Seema Winsor WOI 2010 Winner

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