• Five Women Trailblazers in Technology, Health Tech, and Biotech to be honored at WCA's October 20th Women in Tech Awards Luncheon


  • This year’s honorees include the principal research scientist at Profectus, lead engineer at Skanska USA, senior director of clinical systems for Montefiore Information Technology, a leading gerontechnologist at Pace University, and neuroscientist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

  • Historically, fewer women than men have chosen careers in STEM fields. The good news is that with greater public awareness of this disparity, attitudes may be changing. And with Westchester County emerging as a significant biotech and health tech hub, the Westchester County Association (WCA), Westchester’s preeminent business leadership association, is working hard to encourage women to enter STEM careers.Two years ago, the WCA inaugurated the...

    ...Women in Tech Awards Luncheon to honor pioneering women scientists who work here. Their amazing stories were an inspiration to all who heard them at the event. In many cases, the path to success was heart wrenching. Audiences were visibly moved when women related the obstacles they had to overcome to succeed in their fields.

    The Third Annual Women in Tech Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 20, will honor five more outstanding women and also recognize two outstanding Westchester students who have chosen to enter one of the STEM fields. The event, which includes a networking reception and awards luncheon, will take place at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown. This event will be held from 11 to 2 pm. As it usually sells out, please register today!

    “With Westchester now a leader in technology and the life sciences, we are honored to recognize these trailblazing women who are improving our lives daily,” says William M. Mooney, Jr., President and CEO, of the Westchester County Association. “The Women in Technology luncheon provides a forum for the women to share their stories and for us to shine a light on their success. It also calls attention to the need for us to attract and retain talent.”

    The 2016 Honorees are (in alpha order):
    Jean F. Coppola, BS, MS, MS, PhD   With more than 25 years in academic computing/information technology, Dr. Coppola is an award-winning educator, author, and professor of geron-technology at Pace University. She has been an advisor to many award-winning student academic teams participating in the Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative (BMIC) App Challenge, Pace Mobile Lab Green App Contest, Pace Pitch Contest, and the New York Campus Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur in recognition of service-learning excellence. Since 2005, Dr. Coppola has worked with a research team studying the effects of technology on older adult life quality, attitudes toward aging, cognitive functioning, and student attitude change toward elderly via a service-learning intergenerational computing program. These efforts have led to multiple national awards. Dr. Coppola holds a B.S. in computer science, M.S. in telecommunications, M.S. in computer science, and Ph.D. in computing technology in education.

    Karen D’Ambrosio is the Senior Director of Clinical Systems for Montefiore Information Technology
    , a subsidiary of Montefiore Health System. During her more than 10 years at Montefiore, she has led a team of more than 200 IT professionals to design, deploy and maintain Montefiore’s critical IT systems to advance patient care, improve outcomes and deliver the clinical data and insights that support advanced clinical decision-making. Ms. D’Ambrosio has over 30 years of information technology-related development and system architecture experience. Her career began at Unisys Corporation in 1980, where she built her technical skills as a computer programmer. Ultimately she advanced to numerous IT leadership positions in both the public and private sectors, from leading a team of programmers that built the mainframe computing infrastructure for the County of Westchester to serving as a consultant for firms such as IBM and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young where she designed and managed the deployment of multiple global information technology projects. Ms. D’Ambrosio holds a BS in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Iona College.

    Theodora Diamantis, an engineer and architect, is the Building Project Director for Skanska USA, where she has successfully delivered high-profile, multi-million dollar projects in healthcare, higher education, retail, commercial and research laboratories. Most recently, she was part of the leadership team that successfully completed the $600 million City University of New York Advanced science Research Center. Locally, she is leading teams for the construction of Orange Regional Medical Center’s Physician Office Building and Cancer Center, and the new $140 million Westchester Medical Center’s new Ambulatory Care Pavilion. Ms. Diamantis holds a BS in civil engineering and architecture and an MA in architecture from The Catholic University of America.

    Rebecca Jones is an assistant professor in the Psychiatry Department at NewYork- Presbyterian Hospital/Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. She studies the development of the social brain and how and why this differs in those with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing individuals. She uses a variety of technologies in her research including wearable devices, eye tracking and functional MRI to examine variations in social behavior in children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Jones completed her BA at Princeton University, an MPhil at the University of Cambridge in the UK, and received her PhD in Neuroscience from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

    Rong Xu, MD, PhD, is the principal research scientist at Profectus
    , a clinical-stage vaccine development company pioneering a major evolutionary step in the design and development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines for infectious diseases and oncolytic vaccines for cancer immunotherapy. She leads the immunology team in performing pre-clinical and clinical studies. Previously, she was the senior research scientist at Pfizer Vaccine Research and a research associate at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute. She is the recipient of many awards, among them: Wyeth Above and Beyond Award, Summer Research Conference Award of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry Chunhui Award for Outstanding Chinese Researcher Abroad. She earned a PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science, MS and MD degrees at Beijing Medical University.

    The Women in Tech Awards Luncheon also will honor two Westchester students for their the achievements and passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): Lucie LeBlanc, a senior at Mamaroneck High School, where she created her school’s Code Club in partnership with The Flatiron School, and Esmeralda A. Michaca, a mathematics and computer science major at Purchase College. “We are proud to play a special role in encouraging young women to develop their careers and the critical skills needed to fuel our economy,” notes Mr. Mooney.

    The event is sponsored by Citrin Cooperman & Co., Harrison Edwards PR, JP Morgan Chase, Montefiore, NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, Pace University, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Sterling Bank, Skanska USA Building Inc., Westchester County Office of Economic Development, and White Plains Hospital. The media partner is Daily Voice.

    As Women in Tech was sold-out for the past two years, those wishing to attend should register as soon as possible. The Women in Technology Awards Luncheon will take place on Thursday, October 20, at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown. Tickets are $125 per WCA member, and $150 for future members. To purchase a table of 10 or to become a sponsor, please contact Lauren Rosafort at lrosafort@westchester.org or by calling 914-948-6444. To purchase individual tickets, visit www.westchester.org.

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