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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 employees 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 these stories 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

Dr. Rosio Alvarez is the CIO at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she serves the computational needs of scientists that carry out $.8B of sponsored research in photon, computing, environmental, energy and bio sciences.
Women @ Energy: Rosio Alvarez

"Working for a place that is solving the biggest challenges that the world is facing is probably the most exciting and inspiring work you can do. Here at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, we are looking at how to solve some of the biggest health, energy, and environmental challenges. They will have a huge impact on the country and world for many, many generations to come and that makes you smile when you come to work each day." Read more from Rosio on her profile here.

Wende Wiles, PMP, RMP, is the IT Project Management Director for Information Management in the Office of the Chief Human Information Officer, helping to implement project portfolio management for the new DAYS ServiceNow ITSM project (delivering IT project, change, incident, and service management).
Women @ Energy: Wende Wiles

"What’s really exciting and has inspired me is the value I think being in a STEM role can add for translating technical information to the business and IT requirements from the business to define new opportunities. Technology advances may go unused if the business side does not see the potential in a way that speaks to them in their language. This has kept me challenged over the years working both as a provider and a consumer of IT services." Read more from Wende on her profile here.

Cereda Amos joined the Department of Energy, Office of the Chief Information Officer in October of 2011 as the Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (JC3) Program Manager and was brought on board to work on the development phase of JC3.
Women @ Energy: Cereda Amos

"We can engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM professions by educating middle school and high school Science, Technology, and Mathematics teachers on opportunities in both the private and public sector. Many schools have clubs that invite speakers to talk about their profession and encourage the students to look early at what their future choices in college studies. Plugging in early is important as it opens up the possibilities, many of which they may not even know about." Read more from Cereda on her profile here.

Patricia Hoffman is the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Women @ Energy: Patricia Hoffman

"Stay with it and be persistent! Network and ask questions with the people who are knowledgeable about the STEM field which interests you. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks. Often times, where you start your career may not be in the same area where you end. The good thing about having a STEM background is that it is a solid foundation for you to build your experience upon." Read more from Pat on her profile here.

Trish Damkroger is responsible for ensuring the day-to-day messaging, administration, and management of a 900-employee workforce in LLNL’s Computation Directorate.
Women @ Energy: Trish Damkroger

"My main inspiration was my father. He was the first person in his family to go to college. He became an electrical engineer and travelled around the world in technical marketing for HP. He would bring me back dolls from around the world. I thought engineering was a way to travel the world while doing something useful." Read more from Trish on her profile here.

Mrs. Linda Valerio is a Mechanical Engineer here at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.  She specializes in planning, design, and installation of particle accelerator beam line and vacuum systems.
Women @ Energy: Linda Valerio

"Fermilab is a unique and exciting workplace. Some of the world's greatest scientific ideas are being explored, and it is extremely satisfying to know that my work contributes to new discoveries and technologies." Read more from Linda on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Rea Simpson

"Work hard in school and take classes that prepare you for college. Focus on learning even if the class doesn't seem like something you will ever use in your work life. All knowledge has value. Also find a mentor. Read a lot and make sure you read some non-fiction books. Read biographies of people you look up to or aspire to be like." Read more from Rea on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Rachel Segalman

"Scientific research is really about solving a problem or discovering something new. I find this process really exciting, particularly because it means we're always exploring something new. I also very much enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for this process with others and therefore working with students is a great joy." Read more from Rachel on her profile here.

Dr. Natalie Roe is an experimental particle physicist and observational cosmologist.
Women @ Energy: Natalie Roe

"In my fields of particle physics and cosmology we are trying to answer age-old questions: what are the basic constituents of the Universe; how did the Universe begin; what is its ultimate fate? As experimentalists we get our roll up our sleeves to build cutting edge detectors, electronics, accelerators and telescopes. I find this to be a compelling combination: lofty questions and nitty-gritty technical challenges." Read more from Natalie on her profile here.

Marge Bardeen is the Manager of the Fermilab Education Office, home to the Lab’s K-12 programs.
Women @ Energy: Marge Bardeen

"I have the perfect job, managing the Fermilab Education Office. Of course, it is the people with whom I work, my colleagues, the Lab staff and educators, who make my job so enjoyable. The world of discovery science requires hard work and dedication but thrives on innovation and creativity. We have support from the director on down to introduce youth to the world of science and the freedom to design activities that advance K-12 STEM education and inspire the next generation of scientists." Read more about Marge's work here.

Dr. Carol Hawk is the Manager of the Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Program for the office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in the Department of Energy (DOE)
Women @ Energy: Carol Hawk

"Physics is physics. There is not girl-physics or boy-physics, there is just physics – and physics is beautiful. We can help children see the beauty of an elegant mathematical equation and wonder at the physics of the natural world that it reveals. We can show them this at a very young age, before they start “self-selecting” out of the science and technology fields." Read more from Carol on her profile here.

Dr. Mina Bissell has been recognized for her lifetime contributions to the fields of breast cancer research, the enhanced role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and the nucleus environment to gene expression in normal and malignant tissues.
Women @ Energy: Mina Bissell

"I have always been passionate and curious 'to know' why we are who we are. In high school and then college, I enjoyed the STEM courses and then realized how much of what we do that is important for people's lives and well beings comes from the work and labor of those who work in STEM fields. Thus I decided to be a chemist in college, a bacterial geneticist in graduate school, and once I began to work with cancer viruses during my postdoctoral work, I became interested in cancer research." Read more from Mina on her profile here.

Mayling Wong-Squires is a Mechanical Engineer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Mayling Wong-Squires

"It is a privilege to work in a place where no day is alike and everyone is working towards a common cause: understanding the basic structure of matter...As interesting as the work is, the people make the Fermilab a special place to work. I am lucky to work with scientists, engineers, technicians, designers, and support staff from all walks of life, from all over the country and all over the world." Read more from Mayling on her profile here.

Anne Marie March, Assistant Physicist, Argonne National Laboratory
Women @ Energy: Anne Marie March

"I recall my excitement in my high school physics class when I realized that mathematics could quantitatively predict the outcome of physical phenomenon (and that calculus was actually good for something!) and my amazement in college when I came to understand how experiments could be designed to explore the workings of the universe on scales far beyond where our five senses can take us. I am very grateful to all those who introduced me to this intriguing way of understanding the world and feel very lucky that I can work in science." Read more from Anne Marie on her profile here.

Melissa R. Ujczo-Kovachich is currently an IT Project Manager for the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Women @ Energy: Melissa Ujczo-Kovachich

"What excites me is taking the potential in new technology and delivering capabilities to the customer which makes the mission easier to accomplish. There are a million details required to deliver a capability to the end user in a manner that makes it immediately usable. It is watching those details that brings joy to my day." Read more from Melissa on her profile here.

Sunita Satyapal is the Director of the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Women @ Energy: Sunita Satyapal

"My main advice is to take as much math (first) and science (second) as you can at an early age (and at any age!)- and get 'hands on' experience through science projects and hobbies. Get as much summer work experience as possible. Do as many different things as you can. Keep asking questions and don't worry about whether they are good questions. If you're hesitant then use this rule: If you cannot think of the answer yourself in less than a minute, then go ahead and ask the question. You learn so much more by asking questions." Read more from Sunita here.

Maya Gokhale has been a Computer Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) since 2007. Her career spans research conducted in academia, industry, and National Labs, most recently Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Maya Gokhale

"I would first encourage people to study as much math as possible. I'd also encourage students to seek internships and get as wide experience as possible in fields that interest you. What drew and kept me in this field was the opportunity to do real, concrete projects and see the tangible results of my work."

Becky Verastegui is Directorate Operations Manager for the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Becky Verastegui

"Making math, technology and science appealing to everyone needs to start very early - kindergarten is not too early! Elementary school teachers need to be comfortable with these areas and build them into the curriculum for everyone. This science, technology, engineering, and math emphasis inspiration for all needs to continue throughout all the school years." Read more from Becky on her profile here.

Dr. Jill Fuss is a Research Scientist in biophysics and biochemistry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, working on understanding the molecular basis for cancer and aging.
Women @ Energy: Jill Fuss

"Science has an image problem. I think it is important to redefine the image of a scientist as a man working alone in the laboratory to that of a diverse team of researchers working toward a common goal that has huge societal impact. Scientific research is actually very social—the best labs are supportive, vibrant, and creative environments that interact with researchers from around the world. When women, girls, and underrepresented groups have a chance to see research in action, they want to be a part of it." Read more from Jill on her profile.

Dr. Jana Thayer works on the Fermi gamma-ray space telescope.
Women @ Energy: Jana Thayer

"I love the enthusiasm and dedication that everyone brings to each new experiment, especially in light of the fact that almost everything that LCLS does is new and exciting and has never been done before (or couldn't be done before). There are essentially two new experiments every week in LCLS, and you can really feel everyone pulling together to make them work and to get the best data possible out of each one." Read more from Jana on her profile here.

Dr. Ingrid Repins is a senior scientist and principal investigator for kesterite photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Ingrid Repins

"I feel so lucky that every day I get to work on a problem that is socially important and uses my training and skills in science. I love to be working with other people who are excited about science – and on top of all of that, I get paid for it. Twenty years ago I never would have thought that I could have a career in photovoltaics, but it has grown by factors of ten in my lifetime." Read more from Ingrid on her profile here.

Kawtar Hafidi is an experimental physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, studying how fundamental particles, namely quarks and gluons, form nucleons and nuclei.Photo from Crain's Chicago Business.
Women @ Energy: Kawtar Hafidi

"Follow your passion. It is hard work but you can do it. Learning is a journey and a constant process. Once you find your niche, you’ll know it – you’ll feel that what you are doing is not just work, because it doesn't stop. I go home, but I don't stop thinking about science." Read more from Kawtar on her profile here.

Kavita Ravi is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow at the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PI).
Women @ Energy: Kavita Ravi

"It is important to start really young with kids to get them interested, playing and working in STEM. We should not let prejudices like "math is hard" sneak in and squash those at an early age. We can think consciously about this in the education system, and focus on making it interesting and fun in preschool and elementary school with experiments. What happens in science clubs should be mainstream curriculum."

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Kathy Yelick

"I think a real issue is lack of understanding about what scientists in disciplines like physics, chemistry or computing actually do; there are few examples in the popular media and the fields may seem too abstract to young students... I think programs that help explain what we do, and how it is used to solve important societal problems are at least a piece of the solution." Read more from Kathy on her profile here.

Dr. Julie Segal began work at SLAC in 2011 to research and develop radiation detectors for the LCLS and other science research applications.
Women @ Energy: Julie Segal

"It is really fun to work in an environment where people are excited about what they are doing. Having worked in industry for many years where my job tended to be very focused on a specific technology and/or task, I like being in a research environment where your job is more varied. And you get exposed to all sorts of scientific topics; researchers from all over give talks at SLAC." Read more from Julie on her profile here.