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Career Communications Group has announced that Maryland Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, Maryland’s newly confirmed 31st adjutant general, will keynote the Women to Watch Summit, sponsored by the 28th Women of Color STEM Conference on May 5 at 10:00 am. Click here to view.

The Women to Watch Summit is a premier event for women in STEM, and Brig. Gen. Birckhead’s keynote address will be a highlight of the conference. Her leadership experience and extensive Maryland Army National Guard knowledge will bring invaluable expertise to this important event. Click here to register.

“I am honored Brig. Gen Birckhead will keynote the Women to Watch Summit and have the opportunity to speak to many talented women in STEM,” said Nikkie Stevens, Women to Watch event planner. “She is passionate about the importance of the National Guard’s mission and the selfless service of our Soldiers, Airmen, federal and state civilian employees, and volunteers, who represent the best of our great state.”

Brig. Gen. Birckhead’s impressive career includes serving as the commander of the Maryland Army National Guard, leading 14,000 National Guard troops from across the nation, providing security for the Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol after the attacks of Jan. 6, 2021, and being appointed as the governor’s lead for Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force.

The Women to Watch Summit will take place on May 5, and registration is open to all interested participants. The conference is an opportunity for women in STEM to connect, share experiences, and learn from each other’s successes. Click here to register.

“We are thrilled to have Brig. Gen. Birckhead keynote our Women to Watch Summit,” said the 28th Women of Color STEM Conference organizers. “Her leadership and dedication to service inspire us all, and we are excited to hear her insights on leadership and overcoming challenges in STEM.” Registration is free at www.metawomenofcolor.com

The annual Women of Color STEM Conference—A Multicultural Event is produced by Career Communications Group Inc. (CCG), the leader in workforce diversity. For 27 years, the Women of Color STEM Conference has been a leading professional development and networking event. The Women of Color STEM Awards recognize women’s significant contributions and outstanding achievements in STEM disciplines. Women of Color magazine’s Women of the Year list showcases recent promotions, significant achievements, and appointments to board directors.

2021 Technologist of the Year (Photo credit, Jenny Risher Photography © )
As director of Battery Cell Systems Research at General Motors (GM) Global Research and Development Center, Mei Cai, Ph.D., is responsible for innovations in advanced battery technologies for future electric vehicles. In 2022, she was recognized by Business Insider as one of the Electric-Vehicle Industry’s Power Players. She has over 27 years of industrial research and development (R&D) experience, including extensive experience in novel materials processing for automotive applications. Cai is the author or co-author of 25 scientific publications and holds more than 130 U.S. patents. In addition, some of her patents have been licensed and commercialized by the industry. Her role gives her the potential to impact the future of electric vehicles, and she feels fortunate to be part of GM’s all-electric journey, from idea generation to technology development to product implementation.

2020 Technologist of the Year
Last fall, the University of North Texas System Board of Regents announced its selection of Sylvia Trent-Adams as the sole finalist for president of The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She became the seventh president in the university’s history on Jan. 1. Prior, Trent-Adams served as the executive vice president and chief strategy officer at HSC. A lifetime public servant, Trent-Adams began her public health career in 1992 by joining the Commissioned Corps before ultimately retiring in 2020 from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with the rank of rear admiral upper half. Before joining HSC, Trent-Adams served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for health from January 2019 through August 2020.

2019 Technologist of the Year
Dr. Pamela McCauley is a 2022 inductee to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. She is an accomplished engineer, educator, and world-renowned advocate for science, technology, engineering, and math. She authored more than 100 technical publications. She is an associate dean at the Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. Previous positions include Jefferson science fellow at the U.S. State Department and Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. From 2018 to 2020, she was the program director for the National Science Foundation I-Corps program. She is a fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

2018 Technologist of the Year
Lordstown Motor Corporation (LMC) announced Donna L. Bell, Ph.D., as the executive vice president of product creation, engineering, and supply chain in the summer of 2022. She is responsible for developing vehicles, subsystems, hardware and software, and supply chain partnerships from concept to launch. Bell has over 30 years of experience in engineering, product development, autonomous vehicle strategy, and research. Her work in electronic modules and infotainment systems earned her multiple patents. She provided critical leadership in building Ford’s Greenfield Labs facility in Palo Alto, CA. In addition, she was responsible for acquiring talent, managing a multimillion-dollar budget, fostering an innovation culture, and inspiring next-generation leaders.

2017 Technologist of the Year
LG Energy celebrated Denise Gray’s 2022 election as a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member. According to the NAE, Gray was inducted for leadership in developing and producing electronic controls and battery systems for electrified passenger car propulsion system applications. Individuals in the newly elected class were inducted on Oct. 2, 2022. NAE membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

2017 Women of Color Professional Achievement in Industry Award
Continental announced in November 2022 that Aruna Anand had been named the new president and CEO of Continental’s Automotive group sector in North America. A 25-year veteran of the automotive industry, Anand also retains her role as head of the architecture and networking business area for the North American region of Continental Automotive. Since joining the company in 1997, Anand has held numerous leadership positions across the different business areas of the Continental Automotive group sector. In 2020, Automotive News recognized her as one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Automotive industry. In addition, in 2018, Anand was honored with the prestigious Automotive News Rising Star award.

2016 Technologist of the Year
The Optica Board of Directors appointed Aleksandra Boskovic, Ph.D., as director-at-large from 2023–2025. Boskovic is the vice president for optical communications technology development at Corning. In her role, she ensures an integrated technology strategy and innovation delivery across fiber, cable, and connectivity for the telecom sector at Corning. This includes delivering the most valuable components and solutions to Corning’s customers while capitalizing on competitive advantages in fiber, cable, connectivity, actives, and software. Boskovic joined Corning in 1997 as a scientist at Corning’s main R&D center in New York. Boskovic is an Optica fellow and member of the IEEE Photonics Society.

2015 Technologist of the Year
When Portland Business Journal partnered with Built Oregon to celebrate Black leaders in 2022, Delia Grenville, Ph.D., was one of Rose City’s Finest. A research scientist and tech strategist at Intel Corporation, Grenville’s inventions allow consumers to filter content streaming to their televisions via the Internet and provide the ecosystem to advertise and enhance the content viewing experience. As lead human factors engineer in Intel’s Digital Home User Experience Group, she was responsible for usage and experience definition for consumer
electronics products. She also pioneered several programs for consumer electronic projects and is a member of several innovation teams for consumer experience.

2014 Technologist of the Year
Alicia Boler Davis was appointed CEO of Alto Pharmacy in 2022. She leads a tech startup working to improve health care and pharmacy services. Before this role, she was a senior vice president at Amazon, responsible for fulfillment centers across 22 countries, Amazon Fulfillment Technology and Robotics, and sustainability. Before Amazon, Boler Davis had a trailblazing career at General Motors, where she progressed from intern to executive vice president. In 2018, Boler Davis was named one of The Most Powerful Female Engineers by Business Insider. In 2020 and 2021, she was one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women. In addition, she is a member of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees.

2012 Technologist of the Year
Sonya Sepahban was recently named one of the most influential Corporate Directors by WomenInc magazine. She started as a NASA engineer and “astronaut wannabe” and is currently the CEO of OurOffice Inc, a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). OurOffice is trusted by iconic brands, public companies, government and nonprofit entities, and tech startups, and has been recognized by industry leaders like Mercer and Deloitte and honored on the Top 10 in DEI. Before OurOffice, Sepahban was a senior executive at Fortune 500 companies with significant responsibilities, which included leading global DEI efforts. She is a thought leader on workplace culture and DEI, often writing and speaking on the latest trends and solutions. Sepahban has also held numerous board seats and advisory roles at tech startups, investment funds, and nonprofits. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cooper Standard, a publicly traded automotive company.

2012 Women of Color Award for Career Achievement in Industry
Project Lead the Way elected Stephanie C. Hill to its Board of Directors in February 2022. PLTW is a provider of transformative

learning experiences for PreK-12 students across the United States. Hill is currently executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS), a $16 billion enterprise employing nearly 35,000 people across the globe. The RMS portfolio includes more than 1,000 programs, including helicopters, integrated air and missile defense, littoral warfare, undersea warfare, radar, electronic warfare, cyber solutions, C4ISR, and training and logistics systems. RMS supports the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and Missile Defense Agency and intelligence, civil, commercial, and international military customers.

2012 Women of Color Award for Managerial Leadership
Olabisi Boyle is the vice president of product planning and mobility strategy for Hyundai Motor North America. Boyle is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of Hyundai’s U.S. vehicle lineup, leading long-range planning, and overseeing market research, business analytics, and advanced pricing. She also leads Hyundai’s U.S. mobility strategy, connected car technology, and future innovations. In 2021, Boyle was named an Automotive News All-Star for Product Development. In 2020, she was named to Automotive News’ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry. Boyle has 20 years of automotive industry experience, including various engineering, product strategy, and manufacturing leadership roles at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Company. Boyle has been recognized for her career accomplishments.

2011 Technologist of the Year
Last spring, Sarita Rao, senior vice president of AT&T integrated and partner solutions, celebrated the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community at AT&T. Rao has worked for the telecom company for over 30 years. Currently, she is responsible for leading AT&T’s business development and specialized sales efforts for next-generation technologies to help business customers across industry verticals achieve their desired outcomes through innovation. Being AAPI is meaningful in different ways for more than 22 million Asian Americans, Rao wrote in her AT&T blog post. But at AT&T, where Asian American and Pacific Islanders made up 7.4 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce and over 11 percent of management, Asian employees are making an impact. AT&T has five AAPI-focused employee groups that create meaningful space and impact local communities.

2009 Technologist of the Year
Norma B. Clayton was recently appointed as a board member of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, a multinational tire manufacturing company. The first woman to hold a senior manufacturing position at Boeing, Clayton was also elected a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member in 2022. She was recognized for leadership in transforming manufacturing and supply chain management and for innovative training programs for commercial aerospace industries. Clayton has served as a Tuskegee University Board of Trustees member since 2009 and as chair since 2019. Before joining Boeing, she held General Electric and Lockheed Martin management roles.

2002 Technologist of the Year
BrainChip Holdings, a worldwide leader in edge artificial intelligence on-chip processing and learning, has appointed Texas Instruments (TI) retiree Duy-Loan Le as a non-executive director. She also serves on the boards of Wolfspeed, National Instruments, Ballard Power Systems, and Atomera. Le has a remarkable professional history in both technological and executive management. She retired from TI as a senior fellow after 35 years. While at TI, she led the multibillion-dollar memory and DSP product lines with joint venture partners in five countries and three continents. She received Congressional Special Recognition in 2001 and a Texas State Recognition for Leadership.

2001 Technologist of the Year
Sherita Ceasar, senior vice president of technology environments and strategy for Comcast Cable, was a keynote speaker at a meetup held during a learning and networking event. Highlights of the day featured insights from Ceasar, followed by a panel of technologists sharing career advice. More than 50 students attended the event at Comcast’s Technology Center. Ceasar began her career at Northrop Grumman. She then moved to Motorola, working in component design and building pagers. As director of manufacturing, she was the highest-ranking Black female engineer at Motorola’s Paging Products Group. In 1996 she started at Scientific- Atlanta as vice president of quality.

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