Nine women from across Connecticut were honored for their innovation and leadership during the ninth annual Women of Innovation awards dinner this month at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
The Connecticut Technology Council held the awards program to recognize women in the workforce who are innovators, role models, and leaders in the fields of technology, science, and engineering. Outstanding young women in high school and college were also recognized. More than 500 guests attended this year’s event, which was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation, medical device manufacturer Covidien, the law firm of Day Pitney LLP, and United Technologies Corporation.
“Many of Connecticut’s most extraordinary and talented women working in technology attend this event each year,” said Matthew Nemerson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council. “They come to celebrate their peers and some of Connecticut’s exceptional women innovators and leaders in technology.”
The keynote speaker for the 2013 event was Dr. Pamela Reid, President of the University of St. Joseph. She is the eighth president of the university (formerly Saint Joseph College) and took the post in January 2008. Reid has worked to build upon the University’s reputation for academic excellence and ensure its commitment to integrity, women’s leadership, and service. She initiated and successfully launched the university’s first professional doctoral program by creating a School of Pharmacy in downtown Hartford. Under her leadership, the size of the graduate program in education has tripled with the introduction of off-site classes throughout Connecticut, and the St. Joseph’s undergraduate women’s programs have gained increased recognition for excellence and student success.
The 2013 Women of Innovation winners are, by category…
Academic Innovation and Leadership
Lili Aramli, Biology Teacher, Academy of Aerospace & Engineering/Greater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science
Ms. Aramli seeks to inspire a love of science with high school students. She has developed an extensive research program at her high school that allows students to design and conduct research projects.
Carolyn Slayman, Deputy Dean, Academic and Scientific Affairs, Yale School of Medicine
Ms. Slayman is the Sterling Professor of genetics and of cellular and molecular physiology while also serving as deputy dean for academic & scientific affairs. In that role, she has been a dynamic leader who has encouraged the development of outstanding technology cores and research resources in areas such as genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics.
Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Zhaohui Wang, Graduate Student, University of Connecticut, School of Engineering
Ms. Wang is currently a Ph.D candidate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Connecticut whose research interests lie in the areas of underwater acoustic communications and networking.
Community Innovation and Leadership
Dr. Cynthia Barnett, Program Founder, Saturday Academy
Dr. Barnett is the founder of Saturday Academy, a scientific and educational enrichment program designed to create an interest in science and technology. Her mission is to spark an interest among girls for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Meghan Brunaugh, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder, Combat2Career LLC
Ms. Brunaugh leads a technology start-up that assists veterans in pursuing higher education by providing them with an online workflow solution to facilitate the college search and application process. The system maintains services to veterans throughout their academic career and through the transition from student life to the civilian workforce.
Small Business Innovation and Leadership
Kate Donahue, President, Hampford Research, Inc.
Ms. Donahue heads a specialty chemical manufacturer serving Fortune 500 companies in the electronics, dental, personal care, and industrial adhesives markets. She has turned the company around by focusing on constant improvement, collaboration, teamwork, and employee development.
Large Business Innovation and Leadership
Maria Keilich, Manager, Systems Engineer, United Technologies Aerospace Systems
Ms Keilich leads a team of engineers developing software specifications and systems analyses for complex, space-qualified environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS).
Research Innovation and Leadership
Yvonne Will, Associate Research Fellow, Pfizer Inc.
Ms. Will joined Pfizer in 2003. She has pioneered many of mitochondrial toxicity assays and other new technologies while also engaging in colleague career development.
Youth Innovation and Leadership
Shiyu Zhuang, High School Student, Amity Regional High School.
Ms. Zhuang is an avid enthusiast of the sciences and has pursued multiple research projects, winning second place at the Connectoicut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. She currently interns at the Malone Engineering Center at Yale and plans to continue studying biomedical engineering in college.