Leading voices in STEM advocacy
Kim Cassidy, Keynote Speaker
Bryn Mawr College’s ninth President, is committed to expanding and diversifying the STEM pipeline, building on Bryn Mawr’s decades-long success in graduating large numbers of women majors in these fields (28% of graduates from 2013-2015 vs. 10% of all female students nationally) who in turn earn advanced degrees at higher rates than women STEM graduates of nearly all institutions nationwide. More recently this success has extended to students who are members of underrepresented racial/ ethnic groups (26% of Latina and 17% of African American graduates vs., respectively, 9% and 8% nationally). The College received a 2014 FIPSE “First in the World” Grant as lead institution among a dozen colleges working to create just-in-time blended coursework in mathematics to improve successful completion of gateway STEM courses. Bryn Mawr has also hosted a STEM Posse since 2013. Cassidy earned a BA in psychology from Swarthmore College and both her MA and PhD in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kendrick Davis, Flash Talk Presenter
Kendrick serves as the Director Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiatives for the City of Philadelphia in the Mayor's Office of Education. In this role he serves as the project director for a national STEM mentoring project called US2020, supports STEM related efforts citywide, and serves as an advisor to the Chief Education Officer on matters related to STEM and Career & Technical Education (CTE). Before joining the Mayor's Office he worked at the School District of Philadelphia in a number of capacities related to STEM programs and college readiness. Kendrick also served as the Research Director for the Public Policy Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) from 2015-2016. Kendrick received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Temple University, and his Master's in robotics engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a dual degree student pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education and a Master's in Legal Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also works as a research associate at the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education.
Dr. Melinda Einsla, Keynote Speaker
Melinda Einsla is primarily responsible for the development of novel polymer compositions and architectures by emulsion and solution polymerization. She also has worked in the areas of ionomers for proton exchange membranes, paper coatings, adhesives and photovoltaics. Prior to her career at Dow, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she worked on proton-conducting materials for both polymer and inorganic fuel cells. Einsla holds a BS in Chemistry from Bloomsburg University and a Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She currently resides in Collegeville, PA, with her husband and two children. (Note: she has also been a speaker at PAGES conference, has done career talks at Girl Powered STEM events, and leads volunteers in many classroom STEM activity presentations at local schools)
Olivia Haas, Flash Talk Presenter
Olivia, who joined the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) in March 2013, brought 20 years of non-profit communications experience to her role as the Director of Strategic Communications & Research. She directs the Coalition’s internal and external communications and research programs. In addition to managing the website, social media, and bi-monthly Coalition Connection newsletter, Olivia created the NCGS Raising Girls’ Voices blog and develops print and electronic publications for members such as The Girls’ School Advantage: By The Numbers brochure, video, and infographics. Olivia also creates, implements, and manages the Coalition’s research agenda. Olivia earned her B.A. in Graphic Design and English from the University of Iowa and completed the coursework for American University’s Arts Management master’s program.
Joanne Hardy, Flash Talk Speaker
Joanne Hardy is the Global Director of Research and Development for Axalta Coating Systems which develops, manufactures, and sells a wide selection of performance and transportation coatings around the world. As the Global R&D Director, Joanne is responsible for the innovation of new technologies and product development for all the businesses within Axalta. Joanne and her team actively participate in various STEM-related activities in the community focusing on helping to advance a passion for the sciences. Previously, Joanne was the North America Technology Director for Axalta located in Wilmington, Delaware where she led technology and product development for the Automotive Refinish and Industrial Coatings businesses. From 2009 to 2012, Joanne was the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Technical Manager for DuPont Performance Coatings located in Changchun, China with a focus of transferring technology and developing an expanded product portfolio for the OEM business in Asia Pacific. Prior to 2009, Joanne held various Technical and Research roles in Michigan for the DuPont Performance Coatings OEM business. Joanne holds a BS in Chemistry from D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, and is a certified black belt.
Maya Heiland, Flash Talk Presenter
Maya Heiland brings science out of the textbook and into everyday experiences as Program Coordinator for FirstHand. Before starting at the Science Center in 2014, Maya worked with a public transportation agency in Washington, developing after-school programs, STEM classes and a community-run bike shop. She has led students through caves and aquifer systems, up rock walls and onto river islands. She has taught programs for the Austin Nature and Science Center, The Outdoor School, The Schuylkill Center and Talking Stick Learning Center. Maya’s current obsession is the science magazine Nautilus. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Drexel University.
Judith Henzel, Flash Talk Presenter
Henzel is the fourth TE Connectivity resident engineer to work alongside the Andretti Formula E Team inside the Andretti Autosport shop in Indianapolis, Indiana. Judith is responsible for advanced engineering expertise - finding new ways to improve the Andretti Team’s performance and co-creating and testing new products in the harsh environment of race cars. Prior to assuming the role, Judith was a Project Manager for TE’s automotive business where she oversaw global technical infotainment projects for original equipment manufactures (OEM), working primarily with cable assemblies and connectors. Judith graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden, Germany after an internship with Lufthansa Technique piqued her interest in airport operations and automotive engineering. She attributes her interest in motor sports to time spent watching Formula 1 racing with her father. As for being a female in traditionally male dominated fields, Judith states “I have the passion and drive and I work hard. It’s all about attitude regardless if you’re male or female.”
Phil Holcombe, Design Facilitator
Phil Holcombe is the founder of PlusUs, a consultancy deeply curious about the intersection of design and learning. PlusUs partners with learning institutions across the country to solve challenges pertaining to instruction, learning environments, strategy, and storytelling. In addition to leading the consultancy's interdisciplinary team, Phil is a lecturer in the University of the Arts’ Professional Institute of Educators program and Industrial Design program.
Ian Rowe, Flash Talk Presenter
A proud product of the NYC public school system, Ian is a social entrepreneur and leader who has worked for more than 20 years in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, to effect positive change in the lives of young people worldwide. As CEO of Public Prep, he provides the strategic direction for the network of single-sex elementary and middle public schools that are determined to put their students on a predictive path to earn a degree from a four-year university. Prior to Public Prep, Ian was the Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he worked to increase college completion rates among low income young adults. Prior to working at Gates, Ian worked for MTV as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Public Affairs. There he helped develop global and domestic campaigns, such as “Get Schooled," which used the power of media and popular culture to motivate young people to graduate from high school and go to and succeed in college. Ian graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. He received his BS in Computer Science Engineering from Cornell University and MBA from Harvard Business School.
Charles Shryock, Design Facilitator
Charles Shryock directs professional development at Bishop McNamara High School, where he has taught for 15 years. As a Google for Education Certified Innovator and formerly a coach for IDEO’s Teachers Guild, he has offered workshops on design thinking for Learning & the Brain, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher and Better Make Room initiatives. He has an MA in Education Organization and Leadership from the Klingenstein Center of Teachers College, Columbia University.
Gayle Ulrich, Design Facilitator
Gayle Ulrich is a designer at PlusUs, an educational design consultancy in Philadelphia. She uses her industrial design background and interest in education to design engaging learning experiences. Gayle has worked alongside educators, strategists, and architects to create instruction, communications, workshops, and learning environments.
Sarah Weisberg, Flash Talk Presenter
Sarah Weisberg, MSci, Chief Scientist, climbed on board the BioBus in 2010 after completing a Master’s of Science degree in Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. There, she was trained as an independent research scientist; her work has been presented at a number of scientific conferences and published in several journals. Prior to moving to Israel, Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with a degree in Biology and Linguistics. Sarah has been a teacher and social justice advocate since her youth, working at food pantries and tutoring programs from elementary school and running an in-prison education program in college. Sarah believes wholly in the BioBus mission and works on all aspects of the program — from teaching and writing curricula to strategic planning and fundraising to learning how to drive and maintain a 1974 diesel bus (with no power steering).
Erin Mindell Cannon, Flash Talk Presenter
Erin Mindell Cannon is a Program Manager on Google’s Education team where she works on external education outreach. She has worked on projects such as Computer Science for High School--a grant-giving program to “train the trainer” in CS education, CS First--which brings Computer Science education to middle school children of all backgrounds, and the open-sourced platform Course Builder--a product that allows anyone to create an online course from a template. She is currently leading programs in the CS retention space, which includes the CS near-peer mentorship program igniteCS. Prior to her nine years at Google, Erin worked at the non-profit Jewish National Fund on their education team.