Frazier_2013_cbc_stbt (1)Njema Frazier

“It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist: Succeeding in Non-Traditional Careers”  (View Abstract)
Njema is a Visiting Professor in the College of International and Security Affairs at the National Defense University. She has held several positions within the Department of Energy and has worked within the U.S. House of Representatives where she advised Members of Congress on policy, budget and technical matters. She earned a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Michigan State University, a M.S. in Physics from Michigan State University, and B.S. in Physics from and Carnegie Mellon University. Njema is very involved in promoting diversity in STEM fields through her involvement in NSBE and SWE.

Kaczmarczy_MelissaMelissa Kaczmarczyk

“The Importance of Being Connected”  (View Abstract)

Melissa is a nutrition scientist working at PepsiCo where she works with global innovation for the snacking and grains platform. After graduating with a B.S. in Cell Molecular Biology from Winona State University, Melissa worked as a research assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago until she decided to get a Masters of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from Emory University. Melissa earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition Science while holding a co-op position with Abbott Nutrition. She worked in nutrition support for the juice businesses (Tropicana, Dole, Naked and Izze) before taking her current position at PepsiCo. Melissa is a member of the steering committee of the Chicago chapter of the Network of Executive Women, which is a national organization that promotes leadership in the consumer packaged goods industry. In her free time she enjoys running—she has completed 5 half marathons and is hoping to tackle her first marathon and sprint triathlon this year.


jored2Joanne Manaster

Following Your Path”  (View Abstract)

Joanne is a faculty lecturer in the school of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for the Online Masters of Science Teaching Program. Prior to this position, she taught cell biology and histology as well as a cell culture lab in the Department of Bioengineering at UIUC. She participates in numerous outreach projects for young people including the initiation of a Bioengineering camp for middle and high school girls with the WIE GAMES program. Joanne is very active in communicating science online; she blogs for Scientific American and has been named as having one of “25 Twitter Accounts That Will Make you Smarter” by Mashable. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her four children, reading science books, or sewing.




Alexis Thompson

The Other Side of Academia (View Abstract)

Alexis is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development and Postdoctoral Affairs in the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. Alexis completed B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Physics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She previously was the Assistant Director of Career Services and the Director of the Postdoctoral Affairs Office. Her professional interests include mentoring for graduate students and postdocs and raising awareness of the range of career options for advanced degree candidates.



Eileen_VelezEileen Velez-Vega

Learn How to Talk Their Talk”  (View Abstract)

Eileen is the Assistant Vice President of Kimley-Horn Puerto Rico LLC and contributed to the effort to establish this subsidiary. In Spring 2014, she will be living and working in Puerto Rico as the Kimley-Horn Puerto Rico Office Leader. Eileen received her M.S. in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University, and the University of Florida, and she received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Universidad de Puerto Rico. As an engineer at Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., Eileen gained experience as a civil-aviation engineer designing and consulting for international and general aviation airports. Eileen has been involved in the Society of Women engineers since college and served as the Region D Governor from 2008-2009. In her free time, Eileen enjoys keeping active with yoga, pilates, and beach sports.

rkramer_poorqualityRebecca Krone Kramer

“Getting the Most Out of Your Advanced Degree”  (View Abstract)
Rebecca is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Purdue University. Professor Kramer earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (B.S.) and University of California, Berkeley (M.S.) and a degree in Engineering Sciences at Harvard University (Ph.D.). She is the founder of The Faboratory, a digital fabrication lab that pursues innovation at the intersection of manufacturing, materials, and robotics. She is developing new techniques to utilize the properties of soft materials for wearable robotics and stretchable electronics. In her free time Rebecca enjoys cycling, jogging, traveling and trying new desserts.