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2014 Women & Technology Conference Breakout Session: Scaling the Wall: Case Studies in Overcoming Obstacles to Success


Is the grass always greener on the other side of the employment fence? The 2014 Women & Technology Conference will feature a panel of outstanding women leaders who will examine and discuss what it takes to learn from failure, overcome obstacles, and achieve success. Learn about best practices and how to avoid costly, and often time-consuming, mistakes.

TechConnect is proud to welcome to this panel the following experts:

Dr. Cerasela Zoica Dinu, Assistant Professor, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University

Prof. Dinu joined West Virginia University (WVU) as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in November 2009 after a postdoctoral tenure at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. She graduated in Physics and received a Master in Biophysics both from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She received her PhD in Biology from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and Technical University in Dresden, Germany. Prof. Dinu was hired as a result of the new program in nanoscale science, engineering and education, with an emphasis in molecular recognition applications: NanoSAFE. As a junior faculty member, Prof. Dinu has already a consistent record of excellence that includes winning the “New Researcher of the Year Award” in April 2011 and “Outstanding Researcher” in April 2014, both from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU, the “Outstanding Research Conference Award” for team effort from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in November 2009, just to name a few. Prof. Dinu’s research spans over a wide range of disciplines, from molecular biology to materials science and from engineering to fundamental science.

Dr. Kerri Phillips, Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Kerri Phillips, a native of Weirton, WV, graduated from West Virginia University in May 2011 with her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering after working with the Flight Controls Research Lab. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees from WVU in mechanical and aerospace engineering. While at WVU she held internships with NASA and Boeing, served as the instructor for a sophomore level engineering course, co-founded the Student Partnership for the Advancement of Cosmic Exploration (SPACE), and was active in the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. During this time she was also named a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, a member of the USA Today All-College Academic Third Team, and a Zonta International Amelia Earhart Doctoral Fellow. Dr. Phillips is currently a member of the Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, serving in the Guidance, Navigation and Control Group within the Air and Missile Defense Sector. She was recently named the supervisor of the Integrated Systems Section within her group and is a visiting professor teaching Mechanics of Flight to undergraduate students at the Whiting School of Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. She is currently the co-Principal Investigator on two internal research projects focused on supporting the United States Navy.

Dr. Phillips also serves on two councils to support diversity and inclusion at APL: the Air and Missile Defense Sector Diversity Resource Group and the APL Women and Minority Advisory Council. Dr. Phillips is continuing her education and completing a master’s degree in Systems Engineering with a focus in Project Management through The Johns Hopkins University.

Susie Mullens, Program Director, Technology Assisted Care, First Choice Services/ATARI

Susie is a licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor, certified advanced alcohol & drug counselor & supervisor and certified distance counselor. She is the Technology Assisted Care Program Director at First Choice Services Inc. in Charleston, WV and leads the SAMHSA funded ATARI project.   She is the immediate past president of WVAADC and serves on the NAADAC Veterans Subcommittee. Prior to ATARI she was the Director of Counseling & Wellness at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV.  She has been working in the mental health & substance abuse field for over 23 years. In addition to telehealth she has expertise in animal assisted therapy, trauma treatment, collegiate recovery/counseling and working with service members, veterans & families. She is a graduate of the ATTC/PFR WV Leadership Institute & Advanced Leadership Institute.

Join us for the 2014 Women & Technology Conference at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, WV, October 16-17. You can register and visit the conference website here. Sign up today and share this with colleagues who share your interest in encouraging and supporting women and technology! We look forward to seeing you in Wheeling Oct. 16-17!

This conference is sponsored by Techconnect WV and made possible by these sponsors: