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A central Indiana nonprofit that aims to attract, develop and support women in technology fields has announced nominees for its annual honors. Winners of Women and Hi Tech's Leading Light Awards will be announced Wednesday at a ceremony in Indianapolis. The organization says it has received a record number of nominees.

They categories and nominees are:

Outstanding Achievement in Science Technology or Engineering

The nominee must have positively promoted or provided significant value or innovation in the field of science, technology or engineering. The winner will have made noteworthy contributions in areas that may include but are not limited to research & development, design, operations management, logistics, legal, human resource management, marketing, information technology, or supply chain management.

Nominee Title Company

Anastasia Morrone Associate Vice President Learning Technologies, Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO, Indiana University

Andrea Borucki General Patent Counsel Dow AgroSciences, LLC

Carla Yerkes Senior Research Scientist Dow AgroSciences

Denise Dilworth Senior Content Strategist, Digital Strategy Discipline Fusion Alliance

Lisa Teague Head, Research & Technology Rolls-Royce Corporation

Lori Boyer Software Application Developer Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Sharon Dean Vice President of Quality and Reliability Allison Transmission

You Inspire Us!

The nominee will have demonstrated success in inspiring women and others in science, technology, and/or engineering to look beyond their own horizons and set professional and personal goals that exceed those originally conceived. The nominee need have no connection to those she inspires. Rather, based on her advocacy, leadership, presence, and/or visibility in the community for having advanced the areas of science, technology, or engineering in Indiana, she inspires us all to push the limits.

Nominee Title Company

Anushree Bag Managing Director NextGn

Carol Curran President/CEO Phoenix Data Corporation

Dr. Cheryl Beal Anderson – Senior Director, Regulatory Development Strategy & Registration – Lundbeck

Kathy Koehler President Koehler Partners, Inc.

Sachiko Koyama Associate Research Scientist Indiana University, Bloomington

Tracy Kemp Vice President & CIO Allegion, PLC


This award will recognize an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership in her field and/or in community contributions, thereby increasing the impact of Indiana’s Women, their representation, and/or their effectiveness in the technology community.

Nominee Title Company

Angie Lewis Chief of Staff NSWC Crane

Bev Bitzegaio Director of Outreach and Student Career Support Indiana State University

Cynthia Pizarro President CSpring

Beth Howen Chief Information Officer (CIO) Information Services Agency, City of Indianapolis/Marion County

Erika Redmond IT Regional Services Director, North and South America Rolls-Royce North America

Karen Mangia Sr. Director, Listening Services Center of Excellence & Global Supplier Diversity Business Development Cisco Systems

Laurie Burns McRobbie IU First Lady, IU Foundation Senior Advisor, IU Adjunct Faculty, IU CEWiT Advisory Council Chair Indiana University

Liz Greenamoyer Vice President, Customer Service & Policy Administration UnitedHealthOne

Nitocris Perez Emerging Technology Specialist Indiana University Information Technology Services (UITS)

Shankali Pradhan Graduate Student Purdue University

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth Professor and Director, Military Family Research Institute Purdue University

Stacy Mill Director of Information Risk KAR Auction Services

Mentor Me!

The individual or organization must be employed by or have an Indiana-based headquarters, subsidiary, or division, and have concentrated their mentoring efforts in Indiana.

The winner will have committed to the encouragement and advancement of women in the science or technology fields and will have demonstrated success in career, leadership, and education opportunities for women. This commitment might be demonstrated in the field of education, or with a non-profit or for-profit corporation.

Nominee Title Company

Abigail Engelberth Assistant Professor Purdue University

Deb Parson Fellowship Coordinator for the Neonatal/Perinatal Program Neonatal/Perinatal Med

Emily Blue Postdoctoral Fellow Riley / Indiana Univeristy School of Medicine

Ayanna Jackson Associate Scientist Dow AgroSciences

Karen Plaut Senior Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs Purdue University College of Agriculture

Linda Hicks Vice President, Global Technology Vertellus Specialties, Inc.

Outstanding Educator in Science, Technology or Engineering

The nominee must be a current educator at a K-12 school or an institution of higher learning in the State of Indiana and must have a primary academic focus in science, technology, or engineering. Public, private, and parochial school nominees will be considered.

The winner will have demonstrated excellence in teaching innovative programs that promote student interest, success, and leadership in science, technology, or engineering. Special consideration will be given to those who have implemented programs to teach these disciplines in a hands-on environment and to those who have demonstrated a commitment to young women in these areas.

Nominee Title Company

Brenda Capobianco Associate Professor, Science Education Purdue University, College of Education

Connie Justice Clinical Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Technology Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Diane Evans Full Professor of Mathematics Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Emily Sprowls Science Teacher Harmony School

Gloria Townsend Professor of Computer Science DePauw University

Haley Oliver Assistant Professor Purdue University

Kara Heichelbech Digital Communications Teacher / Related Arts Departmetn Chair / Yearbook Advisor Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation

Marcy Towns Professor of Chemistry Purdue University

Nicole Otte Director of Curriculum Central Nine Career Center

Risk Taker

The nominee must have demonstrated courage in promoting purposeful change for which success was not guaranteed. The winner will have successfully pursued innovation, whether in pursuit of programs, projects, initiatives, technology adoption/innovation in the public, private, or non-profit sectors.

Nominee Title Company

Alyssa Panitch Leslie A. Geddes Professor of Biomedical Engineering Purdue University

Chrysa Ake Senior Manager, Global Support Operations, CaaS Interactive Intelligence

Denver Hutt Executive Director of The Speak Easy The Speak Easy

Dr. Catalina Lopez Correa VP/CSO Scientifc Affairs Genome Quebec, Canada

Jenny Vance President LeadJen

Mary J. Wirth W. Brooks Fortune Professor of Analytical Chemistry Purdue University

Sue Workman Associate Vice President, Client Services and Support Indiana University Office of Vice President for IT

Rising Star

The nominee will have demonstrated exceptional and substantive achievements early in their technology, science or engineering related career.

Nominee Title Company

Amanda Haapala Ph. D. Candidate Purdue University

Claire Couch Event

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