2014 Women in STEM – E. Graslie, C. Thomas, A. Schlenker, O. Alabi, S. Hallen, and C. Phillips

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ballroom

The event features a panel of women from various fields, at different points on their career arc, discussing what it means to be a woman in STEM.

Emily Graslie, host of the Brain Scoop and the Field Museum’s Chief Curiosity Correspondent. Ms. Graslie’s You Tube channel, the Brain Scoop, has been live since January 2013, and has over a quarter of a million subscribers. One of her most popular posts, on issues she–and many other women in STEM have faced–had close to one million hits. Graslie reaches a diverse demographic, and has a devout following of girls and women under 30.Graslie will lead the panel discussion.

Cristal Thomas, Deputy Governor of Illinois. Thomas is the point person on health care, human services, biotechnology and life sciences, food policy, performance management, social innovation and women’s issues for Gov. Quinn. Currently she is leading development of the state’s Medicaid 1115 waiver, and Illinois’ implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Budgeting for Results and Pay for Performance initiatives, and anti-hunger partnerships. Immediately preceding her appointment as Deputy Governor, Thomas was Region V Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ann Schlenker, Director of the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne National Laboratory. Schlenker leads a team of scientists and engineers conducting research and developing technologies with the goal of reducing the transportation sector’s reliance on petroleum and imported oil. She also oversees the Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions for education of the next generation of automotive engineers. Schlenker spent over 30 years at Chrysler Engineering before joining Argonne in 2008, working her way up to Director of Advanced Vehicle Engineering and Alliances at the automotive giant.

Onome Alabi, Program Director for Girls 4 Science. Girls 4 Science is an award-winning not-for-profit dedicated to exposing girls in Chicago ages 10- to18- years- old to science, technology, engineering and math. The group is focused on developing skills, self-esteem, awareness and relationships to help girls overcome barriers that may prevent them from achieving greater success in these fields. Alabi has 16 years of teaching experience in public schools, and currently teaches high school forensic science.

Susan Hallen, IP Management Solutions Manager and Business Development Executive, IBM. Hallen is part of IBM’s Intellectual Property and Licensing practice. She leads teams of consultants in IP transformation and business transformation, both domestic and internationally. Ms. Hallen has a broad 35-plus year background in the engineering and business transformation across industries. She specializes in Intellectual Property Management and Product Lifecycle Management/Innovation. She is also a mentor for the Sarah A Goode STEM Academy in Chicago.

Carolyn Phillips, an Aneesur Rahman Fellow in the Mathematics and Computer Sciences division at Argonne National Lab, Carolyn is a Navy veteran and a mathematician who has done some fascinating work with space-filling models for materials that have implications in protein biochemistry, nanomedicine and electronics. Phillips has already been active in her outreach efforts, speaking to elementary-school girls about her work.

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