You are here

Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy

Our new feature, Women @ Energy, showcases a few of our talented and dedicated employees here who are helping change the world, ensuring America’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. View profiles of women across the country, sharing what inspired them to work in STEM, what excites them about their work at the Energy Department, sharing ideas for getting more underrepresented groups engaged in STEM, offering tips, and more. 

We hope that the stories of these, and many more, women in STEM can inspire others as they think about the future. Only 24% of the STEM workforce is female, an alarming gap as over 51% of the workforce overall is female. We can and should share our own STEM stories to help engage others and offer our voices on how our STEM careers have impacted us. Questions? Comments? Want to request a speaker? Get in touch by emailing annemarie.horowitz@hq.doe.gov

Sarah C. Chinn is a Deputy Group Leader for the Forensic Science & Assessment Support group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Sarah Chinn

"One of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of STEM work is the ability to clearly communicate your results. One of the best pieces of advice my undergraduate research advisor gave me was to take a writing class. Scientists are constantly writing papers, proposals, and presentations. When you can become captivated by an eloquently written research proposal or journal article, that is a beautiful thing!"

Kristine Montheith is a computer scientist at Laurence Livermore National Laboratory. Photo from BYU News.
Women @ Energy: Kristine Monteith

"I get to research some really interesting and academically challenging problems. I enjoy being able to contribute to national security and feel like the work I do makes a difference. Also, I have the most amazing supervisors and co-workers. Every day, I get to associate with brilliant and fascinating people. It's a privilege to work with them."

Lori Diachin is the Director for the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) in the Computation Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) .
Women @ Energy: Lori Diachin

"If you love solving problems and being challenged, then explore STEM topics as the basis for your career. For me it was important to develop a good network of supportive colleagues and mentors to give advice and help me navigate difficult situations. Try not to second-guess yourself too much – you’re very likely much better than you give yourself credit for!"

Dr. Carol Woodward is a computational scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where she has also served as a Group Leader and Postdoctoral Program Manager.
Women @ Energy: Carol Woodward

"When a child believes they are good at something they don’t hold back on it. We need to further sustain the interest into upper grades and college through extra-curricular projects and events and through courses accessible to more than just the “top” students."

Kim Budil is the Nuclear Counterterrorism Program Manager in the Global Security Principal Directorate at LLNL.
Women @ Energy: Kim Budil

"Be open to opportunities; most of life is more luck than design. Build a network of people to support you through good times and bad. Take time to celebrate your successes and others."

As Associate Director for Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dona L. Crawford leads the Laboratory's high performance computing efforts.
Women @ Energy: Dona Crawford

"Starting in elementary school, we need to communicate the exciting parts of what we’re doing in a way that connects with aspiring young scientists. Then we need programs to sustain their interest."

Jessie Gaylord is a lead software engineer for the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Jessie Gaylord

"Be curious and try new things, and when you find something you are good at go for it. Make sure to lay a solid foundation for what you want to do in school. Find people in the field to help you get started, to get support from when you need it, and to make friends with so you have fun while you work."

Dr. Rose McCallen is  the Project Lead for the ALE3D Research and Development Team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Rose McCallen

"I believe the biggest influence for me pursuing and sticking with my dreams in STEM was my family. My parents believed in my potential to pursue my dreams and they told me that determination and hard work is all it would take."

Renée Breyer is the Deputy Associate Director for the Strategic Human Resources Management Directorate and the Benefits Plan Administrator for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Renée Breyer

"For female students to consider a STEM career, they need personal encouragement from instructors or counselors at an early age. In addition to hearing encouraging words from instructors and counselors, women need to see—in posters, videos and career events with women actually working in STEM disciplines—what a typical day looks like for women employed as technicians in STEM workplaces."

Kris Kulp is the Group Leader for the Pharmacology and Toxicology Group and the Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Institutional Postdoc Program.
Women @ Energy: Kris Kulp

"My high school guidance counselor once told me “girls from our high school don’t get to be doctors”. Fortunately, I was too stubborn to believe him, but we need to make sure that this type of ignorance is gone from our thinking."

Women @ Energy: Theresa Lahey

"Take math, science, and computer classes throughout your schooling. Most important, participate in internships. The internships allow you to understand what excites you, and to get to know prospective employers. Also check coursework in the engineering schools. Try to work with your professors on their research projects."

Marisol Gamboa is a Computer Scientist working for the Global Security Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Marisol Gamboa

"Create more opportunities for everyone to experience the possibilities STEM offers. Demonstrate by example how it impacts the world we live in and how it opens up new possibilities. The experience of personally solving a problem with software I created had a profound impact on me, much more so than simply hearing or reading about computer scientists."

Francesca DeMello is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in the Computation Directorate’s Applications, Simulations and Quality Division.
Women @ Energy: Francesca DeMello

"The key to STEM engagement is exposure. It’s all about the spark that happens when you learn something new that you can’t stop thinking about; it all seems possible when the face you see doing it, looks like yours."

Robyne Teslich is the Information Technology (IT) Services Program Leader for the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
Women @ Energy: Robyne Teshlich

"I work in a place that has the fastest supercomputers, one of the most powerful lasers, and contributes to the safety and security of our nation. I work in information technology, which is a fundamental part of everyone’s job and is changing constantly. I love the challenge, the technology, and the people."

Deanna Willis is a communications specialist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Deanna Willis

"Children are inherently inquisitive. Read to them. Explore with them. Make science relatable and exciting with hands-on projects and outings. I don’t know the answers to half the things my kids ask me, so we research and learn together."

Dr. Chandrika Kamath is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Chandrika Kamath

"My mother shared with me her love of mathematics and inspired me to see the beauty in numbers and patterns. I found the logic of science appealing and my father, though not in STEM, encouraged me to follow my older siblings into engineering, even though this was a rare choice for girls in India at that time."

Kimberly Cupps is the Livermore Computing Division Leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
Women @ Energy: Kimberly Cupps

"I have always had an innate interest in solving problems and that was cultivated from a young age with chemistry sets, puzzles and interesting dinner table conversations. Math and Computer Science, the two fields I pursued, present challenging problems to be understood and solved."

Elizabeth R. Cantwell (Betsy) is Director for Economic Development (Acting) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Cantwell spearheads the Laboratory’s progressive strategy to accelerate innovation and enhance national economic competitiveness.
Women @ Energy: Elizabeth Cantwell

"Engineering is always looking for interested girls! I recommend that you find a way to stay engaged and good at math. Math is key to every field of engineering. This might mean going beyond merely attending your classes and doing your homework to finding on-line resources, getting tutoring or building a support group of people at school that all help each other with math."

Jeene Villanueva is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She has over 15 years of experience as a developer and recently became the group leader of the Computational Engineering Group.
Women @ Energy: Jeene Villanueva

"It is exciting to be able to help decision makers gain insight into challenging problems by developing and providing tools they need."

Kathryn Mohror is a computer scientist on the Scalability Team at the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Kathryn Mohror

"Creating positive role models goes a long way. Movies and TV shows that portray women as strong and technically gifted help girls realize they have choices in their career paths."

Rebecca Springmeyer serves as Deputy Division Leader for Livermore Computing and Principal Investigator for the Advanced Simulation and Computing Computational Systems and Software Environment.
Women @ Energy: Rebecca Springmeyer

"I think a good way to encourage greater diversity in STEM is to invite a more diverse set of students at all ages to visit labs and technical companies and then hire them into intern positions when they are still in high school. This can provide a pipeline of more diverse students and it can give young women and other underrepresented groups experience in STEM and motivation to continue with their science education and pursue careers in STEM."

Lila Chase is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Lila Chase

"Parents have a primary role in opening up possibilities for their children and in equally encouraging them. I am grateful that my mom did not discriminate which of her children could pursue a higher education. We also need stronger role models in education. Laboratory scientists have long participated in educational efforts to re-energize high school teachers in the sciences."

Dr. Alston is the Director of the Environment, Safety, and Health Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Frances Alston

"It is important to expose young girls to role models that can serve, inspire, and encourage them to cultivate their interest in science and engineering. In addition, formal mentoring programs could be established to provide that one-on-one counseling and feedback relationship that is critical to understanding key concepts."

Peg Folta is responsible for a 100-person workforce with an expertise in applying the latest computing technologies to plan, configure, control and analyze a broad variety of experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the largest and most energetic laser in the world.
Women @ Energy: Peg Folta

"The combination of spending a lifetime doing what I excelled at in a variety of domains with a potential of having an impact on a grand scale was thrilling. It is what kept me in STEM and brought me to the national lab."

Marissa Newhall joined the Department of Energy’s Office of Public Affairs in August 2013, taking the editorial helm at Energy.gov and supporting digital strategy efforts at the Energy Department.
Women @ Energy: Marissa Newhall

"It’s ok if you get a B in geometry or physics; it doesn’t mean you’re bad at math or bad at science. We need to develop individual interests, and to make them gender blind. STEM needs to be equal opportunity for anyone that is interested."