Panel 1: Press For Progress

A discussion with audience  participation about the measures that can be adopted to achieve gender parity and be more inclusive.


  • Crysten Blabym Principal Investigator, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez, Senior Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Stony Brook University
  • Lea Kenigsberg, Math Graduate Student at Columbia University.
  • Aleida Perez, Science educator, BNL
  • Troy Rasbury, Associate Professor of Geosciences, Stony Brook University

Bios of the panelists

Dr. Blaby-Haas received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Microbiology and Cell Science under the mentorship of Prof. Valérie de Crécy-Lagard. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Sabeeha Merchant at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Blaby-Haas received the prestigious NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship and the 2015 Boyer-Peter Award for her research on the diverse and fascinatingly complex world of metal usage by plants and algae. In 2015, Dr. Blaby-Haas moved to BNL to co-found the Quantitative Plant Science Initiative (QPSI), a team-oriented, multi-disciplinary consortium of researchers focused on using high-performance computing, HTP structural and genetic tools, and functional genomics to resolve the knowledge gap that exists in plant protein function.

Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez was appointed to serve as Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Stony Brook University and the SBU Medical Enterprise. In this capacity, Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez works closely with the academic leadership and advancement to prioritize and execute fundraising programs and initiatives that will attract significant corporate and foundation philanthropic support. Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez couples her professional career with a vibrant academic life. She is completing her doctoral studies in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Technology, Policy and Innovation area at Stony Brook University. Her academic work focuses on the intersection of science, technology innovation and engineering education with corporate, foundation, workforce development and demonstrates how these areas work together to maximize human capacity and fiscal and societal economies. She is currently exploring the theoretical frameworks of job security and risk aversion in vulnerable populations who desire to enter the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. She has recently presented her work at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference in New York City, Women in STEM: Past, Present and Future at Stony Brook University, the Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities Summer Institute at Roosevelt University in Chicago and the Science and Engineering for Social Good Conference at Georgia Institute of Technology . Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez strong belief in the power of private public partnerships fuels her academic and professional work to shed light on how the increase of technological innovations and scientific discovery in basic and translational sciences can service our global society and provide an active learning framework for higher education offerings. Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez previously served as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and adjunct faculty member at St. John's University for 12 years. She was promoted to work in the St. John’s University President’s Office where her Corporate and Foundation Relations portfolio expanded to include government, community and media relations collaborations. Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez graduated from Cornell University College of Human Ecology with a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management concentrating in Social Policy and Community Development. She received her Masters in Arts in Social Organizational Psychology from Columbia University Teachers College and her Advanced Certificate in Instructional Leadership at St. John’s University. Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez began her career in the private sector where she was recruited to work with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies as a Property and Casualty Underwriter where she managed a multi-million dollar book of business underwriting for many Fortune 500 Companies. Her role included several high profile clients and her duties included physical risk analysis of properties, factories, manufacturing plants and office buildings. Her attention to detail in her engineering reports led to special commendation by the Chubb leaders. Mrs. Bradshaw de Hernandez is an active member of her alma mater in the Cornell University community and is a strong advocate for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Lea Kenigsberg is a math PhD student at Columbia University. She is interested in Symplectic Topology and Mathematical Physics.

Aleida Perez is a member of the Office of Educational Programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory. She oversees the High School Research Program and STEM Prep Summer Institute in addition to teaching secondary lessons at BNL. Together with scientists at National Synchrotron Light Source II, Dr. Perez mentors students and teachers how to conduct research. She earned a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining BNL, she worked as virologist in industry and taught college-level microbiology and anatomy.

Troy Rasbury received a BS from Midwestern State University in Texas in 1983, a MS from Tulane University in 1990, and a PhD in Geology from Stony Brook University in 1998. She did a short post doc at Stony Brook before taking a faculty position at Queens College from 1998-1999. She was hired as an assistant professor at Stony Brook in 1999, and shortly afterwards became a member of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences. She was promoted to tenure in 2008. In addition to running the Facility for Isotope Research and Student Training (FIRST) at Stony Brook, she is part of the Partner User Group at the Tender Energy Beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLSII). Her research focuses on using the geochemical record from carbonate rocks to learn about Earth’s past

Panel 2: Careers in STEM are also for women

Why women step away from STEM careers? How important are family support? How important is the role of a STEM teacher? The role of roles models.



  • Fernando Camino, Brookhaven National Laboratory, CFN
  • Candice Foley, WISE-NSF Program, Suffolk County Comunity College
  • Marie Smulczeski, Lecturer, Suffolk County Comunity College
  • Bingxin Shen, Assistant Professor of Instruction in Computer and Information Sciences, Temple University.
  • Ariana Varuolo-Clarke, Graduate student in Eviromental Science at Stony Brook University.

Bios of the panelists

Fernando Camino received his B.S (1995) and Licentiate (1996) degrees in physics from the National Engineering University in Lima, Peru, and his M.S. (1998) and Ph.D. (2003) degrees in physics from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. He worked in Prof. Vladimir Goldman’s Quantum Transport Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Research Associate (2003-2005) and Research Scientist (2005-2007). Since 2007, he is part of the scientific staff of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. His main research interest is the study of quantum effects in the electronic transport of low-dimensional electron systems and nanostructures, which may give opportunities for novel technological applications, and for which unconventional device nanofabrication techniques are usually required.

With over 30 years of experience in both the research and teaching communities on Long Island, Dr. Candice J. Foley endeavors to bring her perspectives of each of these realms to her STEM students at Suffolk County Community College. As the Principal Investigator for Suffolk County Community College’s three consecutive National Science Foundation S STEM scholarship grants, as well as the National Institute of Health IRACDA grant (Institutional Research and Career Development Award), the Leona and Harry Helmsley Foundation NSF Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibility  (SENCER) New York Project, and community college coordinator for the NSF LSAMP grant alliance, Dr. Foley serves as the STEM Coordinator for all SCCC NSF STEM Scholars on three campuses on initiatives that provide community college STEM scholars opportunities to expand their STEM educational goals through scholarships and research internships towards transfer and career.  Dr. Foley has served on national grant projects involving curricular reform for STEM education. Her experience has enabled her to focus upon the adaptation and implementation of these innovations in classroom learning through curricular innovation and technology based software for the community college application and she has delivered workshops at national meetings on curricular innovation and reform.  Dr. Foley served as a delegate to the SUNY Research Foundation Undergraduate Research Steering Committee investigating the persistence of undergraduate students in STEM at the State University of New York (SUNY). She is a charter member of the Empire State STEM Learning Network and the Long Island STEM Hub.

Bingxin Shen received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stony Brook University in 2011. Dr. Shen was an Associate Scientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia University Medical Center before joining the CIS Department at Temple University. Dr. Shen had worked with 2017 Nobel Laureate Dr. Joachim Frank from 2011 to 2017 on the determination of the structure of the Ribosome by electron microscopy. She has been a mentor, advisor and lecturer for Columbia/Barnard Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program, and Stony Brook University’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

Ariana Varuolo-Clarke is a second year Master's Student in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on improving our understanding of the dynamics of the North American monsoon using observations and climate model simulations. Arianna received her Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science from Lyndon State College, a small liberal arts college in northeastern Vermont. She seeks to build a career for herself at the intersection of science, policy, and communication with an emphasis on climate science, impacts, and solutions. Her hobbies include hiking, yoga, going to concerts and talking about climate change with anyone who will listen.

Panel 3: Leading by example

The workplace environment: the influence of ground bearing ideals; the influence management styles; the influence of the work environment, diverse and inclusive.


  • Julia Bear, Assistant Professor of Management at Stony Brook University
  • Marjaneh Issapour, Professor of Electrical & Computer Technology, Farmingdale.
  • Tatiana Pyatina, Materials scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, former senior development engineer at Schlumberger.
  • Nissim Ranade, Visiting Math Professor at Lafayette College.
  • David Westerfeld, Assistant Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stony Brook University.

Bios of the panelists

Julia B. Bear is an Assistant Professor in the College of Business at Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on the influence of gender on negotiation and conflict management, as well as on investigating the underlying causes of gender gaps in organizations. Dr. Bear’s research has been published in many leading management and psychology journals and books. Dr. Bear is also the recipient of multiple best paper awards from the Academy of Management and the International Association of Conflict Management, as well as a Fulbright fellowship. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Marjaneh Issapour has been a Professor since Sept. of 1990,  at Farmingdale State College, where she teaches courses in the Department of Electrical Engineering Technology and designed the networking laboratory, as well as developed the Computer Applications course. She received the "Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching Service" in 2007.Prior to teaching, Professor Issapour was an independent contractor for NEC America Inc. where she designed and implemented new technologies in networking operating systems. She is a licensed Certified Cisco Network Associate (CCNA Certified Cisco Academy Instructor (CCAI), and Certified NetWare Administrator (CNA). Her research focuses on integration of hands on and applied learning elements to enhance teaching and learning in STEM. She has experience with embedded system design, data communication and networking , as well as renewable energy generation systems. In 2012 and 2013, Professor Issapour co-chaired the International Energy and Sustainability Conference. She has also written many publications on the topic of renewable energy sources and energy conservation for these conferences and journals, including the American Institute of Physics. Her honors include the R.W Chasman award for Women in Science from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the New Faculty Development Award from Farmingdale State, and Outstanding Achievement and Dedication Award from Stony Brook University. She has completed 50 credits towards her doctoral degree at Stony Brook University. She is currently a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) with the New York State Education Department.In addition to teaching, she is currently the Director of the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center at Farmingdale State College, which offers courses for professionals in the local industry. Professor Issapour is also a member of the Manufacturing and Technology Resource Consortium (MTRC) Advisory Board, Farmingdale State College's representative at Engineering Joint Commission of Long Island (EJCLI), was the Chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Long Island Section (2017), She was recognized by the New York State Society Of Professional Engineers Suffolk County Chapter for excellence in leadership and performance as a professional engineer in education(2015), is the recipient of IEEE-LI’s Athanasios Papoulis Outstanding Educator Award (2017),is the IEEE’s Region 1 Educational Activities chair (2018) and is Farmingdale State College's representative for Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE).

Nissim Ranade finished my Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Indian Statistical Institute in India in the year 2010. After that she joined the PhD program in the Mathematics department at Stony Brook. She completed her PhD in 2017. She is currently working as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Tatiana Pyatina got her bachelor and master degrees in Environmental Engineering from Moscow Chemical Technological University.  After the graduation she worked for several years as a researcher on developing technologies for solid and gas wastes elimination in Russia and Ukraine.  In 2001 she got her Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology. After the graduation she moved to France where she worked as a senior development engineer with Schlumberger Service Company on research, product design, development and product commercialization for applications in subterranean wells. At 2011 she started her work as a materials scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory where she designs materials for applications in geothermal wells.Tatiana is married and has two kids, two dogs and a cat