Women in Engineering: Make It Happen
As a woman in engineering, challenges lie ahead. But UIC knows that you have what it takes to make it happen! We’ve created a special event for female-identified students that is designed to help you target and work through any obstacles you might encounter in your future classes and career.
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Celebrate International Women’s Day with us by participating in Make It Happen 2022! This virtual event will be on March 8th, and in five short hours, you will make connections with engineers and executives from Knowles Corporation and other firms, learn new strategies for success, and develop a clear vision of where your UIC degree can take you.
We are grateful for the support of Knowles, which also sponsors scholarships for female UIC Engineering students and the Women in Engineering Summer Program. The company is a longstanding advocate of women in engineering.
All STEM students are encouraged to attend! We have mapped out an agenda that will give you the outlook and skills you need to make it happen in your classwork, your future job, and life in general.
Graduate students are also welcome to attend!
Join us for a 2-session (morning and afternoon) interactive virtual workshop dedicated to helping engineering students navigate obstacles in academia, personal and professional life. Hear insight from a panel of women trailblazers who will share a view into the skills, mentorships and mindsets needed to overcome self-doubt and succeed as an engineer!
Below is our agenda:
Make It Happen 2022 Schedule Heading link
|Opening Remarks||Ray Cabrera, SVP, HR, Chief Administrative Officer at Knowles||10:30am|
|Keynote Speaker : "My Journey as a Woman Engineer"||Jane Li, Director, Knowles Board||10:35am-11:00am|
|Keynote Speaker||J’Tia Hart, Chief Science Officer for National and Homeland Security at Idaho National Laboratory||11:00am-11:30am|
|Keynote: "Silencing Self-doubt: How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome"||Amy Armstrong, VP at Discover Financial Services||11:30am-12:00pm|
|Keynote: "Becoming an Active Bystander"||Erika Marin-Spiotta, Professor of Geography at University of Wisconsin Madison||12:45pm-1:30pm|
|Keynote: "The Big Quit: Navigating Opportunity in a Post-Covid World"||Cheryl Shavers, Director, Knowles Board||1:30pm-2:00pm|
|Women In Industry at Knowles||Knowles Panel of Women Engineers- Cristina Downey, Application Engineer Ivy Del Valle Figueroa, Technical Program Manager Dorsa Fahimi, Sr. MEMS Process Engineer Shruthi Narayanreddy, Technical Program Manager||2:00pm-2:30pm|
|Q&A with Knowles||2:30pm-2:45pm|
Meet our Presenters! Heading link
Ray Cabrera, Sr. VP, HR and Chief Administrative Officer at Knowles
Ray Cabrera manages the company’s human capital strategy including talent acquisition, organizational development, talent management and total rewards for Knowles, and oversees human resources for a global employee base of more than 13,000 employees. Through Ray’s focus on attracting talent with a passion for innovation and a drive for success, Knowles repeatedly has received recognition as a top workplace.
Ray joined Knowles in 1997 and has played a key role in acquiring the competencies to position Knowles as the technology leader –recruiting and developing the senior leadership team and helping the company expand its operational footprint in Asia. He is also responsible for overseeing the information technology function including global infrastructure, ERP and business applications, as well as the communications function including corporate communications, branding and marketing communications.
Cheryl Shavers, Chairman and CEO - Global Smarts, Inc.
Dr. Shavers has served on the Knowles Board of Directors since 2017.
Dr. Shavers has been the Chairman and CEO (since February 2001) of Global Smarts, Inc., a business advisory services company. She served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology (from 1999 to 2001) for the United States Department of Commerce after having served as its Under Secretary Designate in 1999. She has served on the Advisory Boards for E.W. Scripps Company and the Anita Borg Institute for Technology. She also has served in several engineering and managerial roles for Intel Corporation as well as Portfolio Manager of Microprocessor Products Group in Intel Capital prior to 1999.
Dr. Shavers is a director (since 2018) of ITT Inc. In January 2021 she joined the Board of Voyager Space Holdings. She was previously the Non-Executive Chairman (from 2001 to 2003) of BitArts Ltd., as well as a director of ATMI, Inc. (from 2006 to 2014), Rockwell Collins, Inc. (from 2014 to 2018) and Mentor Graphics Corporation (from 2016 to 2017).
She brings extensive leadership and operations experience along with particular knowledge with developing technology plans and the transition of advanced technology into business opportunities.
Jane Li, Director, Knowles Board
Ms. Li has served on the Knowles Board of Directors since 2016.
Ms. Li is a Strategic Advisor (since 2013) at Diversis Capital, LLC, a private equity firm that invests in middle-market companies. She was the Chief Operating Officer (from 2012 to 2015) at Huawei Enterprise USA, Inc., a company that markets IT products and solutions to datacenters and enterprises. Previously, Ms. Li served as the General Manager (from 2010 to 2012) at Huawei Symantec USA, Inc., a consultant (2009) to The Gores Group, a private equity firm focusing on the technology sector, and the Executive Vice President and General Manager (from 2004 to 2009) at Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor Inc. and its joint venture with Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., Eudyna Devices Inc. Prior to 2004, Ms. Li held executive and management positions with NeoPhotonics Corporation, Novalux Inc. and Corning Incorporated.
Ms. Li is a director of Semtech Corporation (since 2016), ServicePower (since 2017), CTS Corporation (since 2020) and PDF Solutions, Inc. (since 2021). She was previously a director (from 1998 to 2001) of Women in Cable TV and Telecommunications, a non-profit organization promoting women’s leadership in Cable TV and Telecommunications industries.
She has experience in a wide range of technology companies, from telecommunication components and systems, to semiconductor to IT and datacenters. Her background also provide invaluable insights into Asian markets, which are important to strategic markets.
J’Tia Hart, Chief Science Officer for National and Homeland Security at Idaho National Laboratory
Dr. J’Tia Hart is currently the Chief Science Officer for National and Homeland Security at Idaho National Laboratory, a Department of Energy research and development center. J’Tia has spent her career working within the Department of Energy complex. Her research area spans energy economics, systems analysis, nonproliferation, and modeling of nuclear systems. She holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, as well as an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering.
Dr. Hart’s passion is encouraging and facilitating the participation of underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields . She nurtures young adults through mentorship, speaking, and outreach activities. Her past collaborators include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Girl Scouts of America, the American Nuclear Society, and the Society of Women Engineers.
Amy Armstrong, Vice President – Compliance Advisory at Discover
Amy is a Vice President in Corporate Risk Management (CRM) at Discover. She is responsible for Compliance Advisory for the following business lines: Deposits, E-Business, Home Loans, and Personal Loans.
Since joining Discover in 2019 Amy and her teams have provided Discover Bank businesses with regulatory examination advise, over 1,000 compliance requirements through Operational Excellence, and 100s of policy and procedure reviews among a host of other value-added activities. Amy has a team of 15 Compliance professionals who make the business better every day by providing timely advice and thoughtful recommendations. Amy earned her Undergraduate with high honors from the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Erika Marín-Spiotta, Professor of Geography at University of Wisconsin Madison
Dr. Erika Marín-Spiotta is Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she leads the Biogeochemistry and Biogeography Lab, which studies how changes in climate and land use alter terrestrial ecosystem processes, with a focus on carbon and nutrient cycling. Marín-Spiotta is a highly recognized and awarded faculty member. She serves on the Leadership Council of the Earth Science Women’s Network, a peer-mentoring community of women in the earth and environmental sciences. In addition, she leads ADVANCEGeo, a national program funded by the National Science Foundation, which aims to transform workplace climate in the geosciences through the development of bystander intervention and research ethics training in partnership with professional societies.
Cristina Downey, Application Engineer, Hearing Health at Knowles
Cristina Downey supports the development of MEMS microphone and Balanced Armature Receiver technologies at Knowles. She leads receiver prototype builds, develops test methodology for receiver characterization, and is currently working on a project alongside Dr. Sean Olive of Harman International to extend the Harman curve for preferred earphone frequency response.
She holds an MFA in Recording Arts & Technologies from Middle Tennessee State University, where she taught in the Department of Recording Industry for 2 years and completed a thesis on the use of piezoelectric microphones in studio recordings. She also holds a MSc in Acoustics from the Pennsylvania State University, where she completed her thesis on the application of three-channel correlation analysis in MEMS microphones to extract self-noise curves while in noisy environments. Cristina is a strong advocate for the STEM to STEAM initiative.
Dorsa Fahimi, Sr. MEMS Process Engineer at Knowles
Dorsa is a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) process engineer in the R&D department at Knowles, where she works on defining new or improving current microfabrication process of MEMS transducers of microphones to meet specific design, electro-acoustic, and robustness requirements for each product. Dorsa currently leads a cross functional team of engineers working on transition of a new technology for free-plate MEMS microphone (NTI) to mass production readiness (NPI).
Dorsa has a passion for research and innovation and is an advocate for women engineers representation in the industry and STEM generally. She has over 7 years of experience in the MEMS field, holds two patents, and is graduate of UIC with a MSc and PhD in Electrical Engineering.
Ivelisse Del Valle Figueroa, Technical Program Manager at Knowles
Corporation leading and executing new product development programs for the Hearing Health Technology business. Ivelisse has fifteen years of engineering experience which includes diverse roles in the aerospace, defense, and microelectronics industries. Ivelisse has 2 patents, and holds a Master of Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and a Certificate in Applied Project Management from the University of California Irvine. Ivelisse is a Life Member of the Society of Women Engineers and the 2020 recipient of its Emerging Leader Award.
Shruthi Narayanreddy, Technical Program Manager at Knowles
Shruthi leads the NPI programs for our key customers, executing new product development projects and supporting the development of our NPI process. She worked previously at Kasai North America Inc. where she was the Program manger supporting the Honda and Subaru projects for over 2 years. Her prior experiences include design engineering and Supply Chain planner. Shruthi holds a M.S. in Project Management from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology India.