Get to Know these Women in STEM

On October 20th, hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students and female change-makers will unite at Texas Instruments for our second annual Girl Powered Flagship Event in Dallas, TX.

This is just one of many of Girl Powered events taking place around the world during the month of October, in an effort to help spark young girls’ interest in STEM and robotics.

Throughout the day, attendees will have the chance to speak with some impressive female role models through our Keynote, Dr. Knatokie Ford, and our Ask an Engineer Speakers. The keynote portion of the event will be viewable via at 12:00 PM CST on October 20th.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Knatokie Ford, Founder and CEO of Fly Sci™ Enterprise

Dr. Knatokie Ford is Founder and CEO of Fly Sci™ Enterprise, an education and media consulting organization focused on leveraging the power of storytelling to promote social change, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A dynamic and inspiring speaker, Dr. Ford is an international advocate for STEM and media inclusion. As a biomedical scientist and social entrepreneur, she works with a number of leading organizations, including YouTube and the Association of National Advertisers where she serves as the STEM & Entertainment Engagement Advisor for the #SeeHer initiative.

Dr. Ford previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where she designed and led the “Image of STEM” project, which is listed in the top 100 S&T accomplishments of the Obama Administration. Prior to coming to the White House, Dr. Ford was a postdoctoral fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She is a former middle school teacher in Los Angeles, CA where she also worked in the entertainment industry.

Dr. Ford currently serves on the Barbie Global Advisory Council as well as the Toy Association’s STEM/STEAM Strategic Leadership Committee. She was a nominee in the “Shero” category of the inaugural Women’s Choice Awards in 2017 and is featured in the “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!” book by Beverly Bond. Dr. Ford received her PhD in Experimental Pathology from Harvard University and her BS/MS in Chemistry/Biological Chemistry from Clark Atlanta University. Regis College awarded Dr. Ford an honorary doctorate of science in 2017.

During the Girl Powered Flagship Event, the young women and mentors will have a chance to connect in person and share experiences. Building community is what our workshops are all about, so take part and ask questions to learn how other women followed their passion into rewarding STEM careers. Be sure to check out our Ask An Engineer Conversation Kickstarter for some sample questions that you can ask them. We also encourage you to think of your own questions ahead of time and come prepared!

Ask an Engineer Speakers

Vivian Chu

Vivian received her M.S.E. degree in Robotics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, where she worked in Dr. Katherine J. Kuchenbecker’s Haptics Research Group in the GRASP Lab. Between 2009-2011, she worked on natural language processing (NLP) and intelligent information integration at IBM Research, Almaden. She graduated with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2009. She’s also enjoyed stints at Google[X], a lab that aims for technological moonshots, and Honda Research Institute.

Michelle Johnson, Ph.D.

Michelle is currently Assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a secondary appointment as an Assistant professor in Bioengineering and is a member of the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics graduate group. She has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, with an emphasis in mechatronics, robotics, and design, from Stanford University. She completed a NSF-NATO post-doctoral fellowship at the Advanced Robotics Technology and Systems Laboratory at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy. Before moving to Philadelphia, she spent 10 years as faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University where she directed a rehabilitation robotics lab.

At UPENN, she now directs the Rehabilitation Robotic Research and Design Laboratory located at the Pennsylvania Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (PIRM) at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. The lab is affiliated with the GRASP Lab. Her lab specializes in the design, development, and therapeutic use of novel, affordable, intelligent robotic assistants for rehabilitation. Dr. Johnson’s research currently focuses on using robotics to understand arm dysfunction and recovery after brain injury. She currently serves as an associate director for the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER) and is a co-chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Technical Committee on Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics.

Amanda Leslie

Amanda Leslie is a Product Marketing Engineer for Texas Instruments (TI). Following two internships at TI, Amanda joined the company full-time five years ago. Amanda graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in biomedical engineering. In her work at TI, Amanda collaborates with companies around the world to engineer better products across a variety of industries. For fun, Amanda loves to cook, go to symphonies and musicals and spend time traveling and going to the beach with her husband.

Hope Shimabuku

Hope brings to the USPTO nearly two decades of experience as an engineer and intellectual property attorney. Most recently, Hope was part of the Office of General Counsel at Xerox Corporation serving as VP and Corporate Counsel responsible for all intellectual property matters for Xerox Business Services, LLC. She also worked for BlackBerry Corporation advising on the U.S. and Chinese standards setting, cybersecurity, technology transfer, and intellectual property laws. As an engineer, she worked for Procter & Gamble and Dell Computer Corporation.

We are thrilled to be hosting the second annual Girl Powered Flagship Event at Texas Instruments, and cannot wait to meet everyone who attends. If you are attending other Girl Powered Events or Workshops during the month of October and beyond, please share your photos using the hashtags: #IDG2018 and #GirlPowered!

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