Giving Back Awardees

2019 Awardees

Denise Aronson, CEO and Founder, Safety Partners, Inc.

As a pioneer in the life science health and safety industry, Denise founded Safety Partners in 1992 after having her first child, when there were few opportunities for scientists to work part-time. Denise parlayed her lab safety experience into a small, woman-owned business, thus allowing her to balance her career with parenthood. As Safety Partners grew, she prioritized recruiting others facing similar choices in balancing career and family – building a bridge for many to continue to share their scientific expertise and raise their families. Since then, Denise and her team of 50+ employees have implemented lab safety programs for more than 500 top life science companies. She has built a corporate culture that emphasizes peer-to-peer relationships and mentoring. As a member of the “Greater Cambridge” life science community, Denise has devoted countless hours to supporting many non-profit organizations including WEST, AWIS, MassBio, the North Shore Technology Council and The Bioscience Network.

Kira Connaughton - Sr Specialist Talent Development US, Takeda

Kira plays a key role in the development of women including co-leadership , with Julia Curran, of Takeda Boston’s HBA Ambassador Group since May, 2017. Under Kira and Julia’s leadership, the HBA Ambassador group offered a panel discussion at Takeda around Fostering Women Leadership with female Takeda leaders and presented at the recent J-WIN event to provide 100 Japanese women with information about HBA and Takeda’s participation. Kira and Julia’s presentation at the 2016 HBA conference won special recognition for Takeda’s poster at the session. Kira also holds a marketing leadership position in the HBA/Fit to Lead program. Recently, Kira partnered with Talent Acquisition to coordinate and develop a women’s panel discussion for Takeda Boston’s 2018 summer interns, and she manages the selection process within Takeda for the Women Unlimited program across the US.

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, Ph.D., J.D., Executive Vice President, Global External Innovation & Partnerships, Chief Business Officer at Ipsen

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, Ph.D., J.D., has been driving business growth and advancing the life sciences industry for more than 20 years, fueled by her passion to improve patients’ lives. She is an Executive Vice President and the Chief Business Officer at Ipsen. She leads Ipsen’s Global External Innovation and Partnering group which is responsible for fueling Ipsen’s pipeline through business development and alliance management. Throughout her career, Ivana has taken the responsibility to encourage and support women to take on leadership positions in biopharma. She believes women in scientific fields should not only mentor their female colleagues during their careers but that the process of empowerment should begin long before they enter the professional world. She serves on the Board of the Boston Museum of Science and Life Science Cares Board of Advisors, and is a trustee of Suffolk University, and an overseer of the Boston Ballet and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Finola Moore, Associate Director of Immune Tolerance at SQZ Biotechnologies

Finola Moore is the Associate Director of Immune Tolerance at SQZ Biotechnologies, where she applies the SQZ technology to manipulate the immune system for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Finola empowers and supports women scientists not only at SQZ, but in the greater Boston community as a role model for confident and effective leadership, mentoring the next generation of women scientists through the AWIS mentoring program, and involvement in alumni associations to support career development of students. In addition to her successes and contribution to women in STEM, she champions a work-life balance for herself, direct reports, and those she mentors. For these reasons, she is a true embodiment of WEST’s 2018-2019 theme of “Owning It” in both one's career and life.

Rebecca Murphy, Marketing and Commercial Executive Assistant at bluebird bio

bluebird bio would like to acknowledge the incredible contributions of Rebecca Murphy, our marketing and commercial executive assistant. Rebecca is actively engaged with our bWILD employee resource group (Women Influencing Leadership Development) by being an active member of the Outreach Team and has also actively participated in our partnership with WEST. One of the many ways that Rebecca demonstrated impact this year was through the creation of a 2-part work/life balance panel. This engaging process included an initial panel to explore work/life balance, a prompt to share and practice work/life balance hacks, a tool to measure action and impact, “flamingo” lunches and a follow-up panel to share the actions and impacts. In addition, Rebecca was a force to be reckoned with when we launched bWILD in 2018 with our kick-off event led by esteemed BOD member, Wendy Dixon, including taking photos of birds dressed as Rosie the Riveter, and greatly helped with the bWILD booth at International Day, to name a few of the additional contributions. Rebecca ongoingly brings new, creative ideas to bluebird bio wherever she is involved and a deep dedication to diversity, inclusion and the development of women across our organization and beyond.

Mark Parrington, Senior Director, Head of External R&D Americas, Sanofi Pasteur

Mark Parrington is a senior leader who actively encourages the development of women. Mark is a great supporter of MA-WISE (Massachusetts chapter of Women Inspiring Sanofi Excellence), the internal Sanofi resource group for women. With his frequent attendance of MA-WISE events, Mark sends the message that these are important events that are worth attending. Yet Mark does not merely attend events, he volunteers. Mark participated in a MA-WISE speed networking event and spent 90 minutes offering guidance and insights 7 minutes at a time. When I first volunteered for MA-WISE, Mark challenged me to have a MA-WISE event at our site. Ours is a small site and previously had not held a MA-WISE event. I took up this challenge and the result was an amazing “Rapid Prototyping Workshop” at which people learned about design thinking. Without Mark, I wouldn’t have done this. His challenge enabled my growth as a leader.   

Ann-Marie Richard, PhD, Patient and External Association Engagement Lead at Pfizer

Ann-Marie Richard, PhD, is the Patient and External Association Engagement Lead in the Internal Medicine Research Unit at Pfizer. She has over 10 years of pharmaceutical drug discovery experience as a Principal Scientist in metabolic diseases. Currently as a Patient Engagement Lead, she has established herself as a bridge between researchers and the patient / patient advocacy community. She helps build understanding and trust between scientific teams and patients and/or caregivers to bring valuable perspectives into drug discovery. Ann-Marie is also the Chair of ADVANCE Greater Boston -- African Americans Dedicated to Value Added Networking for Corporate Excellence, the local African American Colleague Resource Group (CRG) at Pfizer. Through her leadership, ADVANCE had a great year in 2018, including activities around health awareness, particularly in disadvantaged communities, diversity networking (ADVANCE partnered with other diverse CRGs in local Pharma/Biotech to create a community for professionals of color within Greater Boston’s growing Biotechnology sector that fosters collaboration, networking, support and innovation), internal team building, and professional growth that helps drive Pfizer’s business forward. Ann-Marie is also the Founder and President of the Dominican Health and Education Initiative, a 501c3 non-profit aimed towards elevating the health and education standards on the island of Dominica.

Karen Single, Executive Director in the Center for Professional Career Development & Alumni Services within the Academic Affairs department at MCPHS University

Karen Single is very passionate about many things in life, and if you’ve worked with her you know that she is a champion for women in stem careers. Her zeal to see our students succeed in this field was followed by action when she started the Women in Stem Careers program with a grant from Sanofi Genzyme about two year ago outside of her regular responsibilities as the Executive Director. This initiative partners undergraduate female students needing an extra boost with mentors of their choosing that help guide them in their journey to academic, personal and career success. Throughout the year, students are engaged with a fun and impactful program that encompasses professional development workshops, one on one coaching, networking outings, and inspirational and motivational speakers. In addition to recruiting volunteer mentors, organizing and planning the program, she also serves as a mentor herself. Any student having her as a mentor will be challenged to reach their full potential with her tough love approach. She takes no nonsense when it comes to owning one's actions and consequential outcomes. She will however make sure that you know how to access all of the necessary information and resources to push forth.

Peter Stebbins, Transactions Lead, Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Based at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Boston, Peter provides deal leadership in partnering with early stage companies across the medical device sectors and has been with Johnson & Johnson since 1990. Peter is a strong champion for diversity and inclusion and connects us with opportunities to support gender equality and LGBTQ rights. Most recently he was instrumental in helping lead J&J’s local Boston participation in the WiSTEM2D program to help nurture bright undergrad students interested in science and engineering by helping them bridge their passions to careers as researchers, professors, innovators and, to become tomorrow’s STEM mentors. He is also a volunteer with The Possible Project, an after school program that teaches entrepreneurship.

Joseph Vogel, Senior Manager of Program and Alliance Management at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Joseph Vogel is a Senior Manager of Program and Alliance Management at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA where he has worked since 2015. He has 10+ years of experience in all phases of drug development, focused mainly in the rare and genetic disease space. He is passionate about diversity and inclusion and believes it is a critical aspect of getting drugs to patients successfully. In addition to his day job, Joe has made a tremendous impact by leading the development and launch of Alnylam’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Under his leadership Alnylam established two Employee Resource Networks, launched an internal Managing Unconscious Bias workshop, developed a strong internal/external D&I brand, and increased involvement with local biotech affinity groups. Joe is heavily involved with the community organization OutBIO – a networking group for LGBTQ individuals in the drug development industry and has plans to spearhead Alnylam’s involvement in the 2019 Boston Pride initiative. Joe is an extremely valuable player at Alnylam and in the Biotech industry and deserves to be recognized for his innovative and passionate approach to diversity and inclusion across the board.

Daphne Zohar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PureTech Health

Daphne Zohar is an amazing technologist, visionary, and entrepreneur.  She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PureTech Health (PRTC.L) and a member of the Board of Directors. PureTech Health is an advanced, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines targeting serious diseases that result from dysfunctions in the nervous, immune, and gastrointestinal systems (brain-immune-gut or the “BIG” axis). PureTech Health is at the forefront of understanding and addressing the biological processes and crosstalk associated with the BIG axis. By harnessing this emerging field of human biology, the Company is pioneering new categories of medicine with the potential to have great impact on people with serious diseases. PureTech Health is advancing a rich pipeline that includes multiple post human proof-of-concept studies and two product candidates that have been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review. Ms. Zohar created PureTech Health, assembling a leading team to help implement her vision for the Company. Ms. Zohar has been recognized as a top leader and innovator in biotechnology by a number of sources, including EY, BioWorld, MIT’s Technology ReviewThe Boston Globe, and Scientific American. She is an Editorial Advisor to Xconomy, and is on the Board of WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station.


Unsung Heroines Doing Extraordinary Things - For women making a difference in innovative and exciting ways

2015 Awardee: Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, NOVA and NOVA SCIENCENOW, and Director, WGBH Science Unit 

Paula S. Apsell got her start in broadcasting at WGBH Boston, where she was hired fresh out of Brandeis University to type the public broadcaster's daily television program logs-a job that Apsell notes is now, mercifully, automated. Within a year, she found her way to WGBH Radio, where she developed the award-winning children's drama series, "The Spider's Web," and later became a radio news producer. In 1975, she joined WGBH's NOVA, a science documentary series that has set the standard for science programming on television, producing documentaries on subjects as varied as artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and aviation safety. Her NOVA "Death of a Disease" was the first long-form documentary on the worldwide eradication of smallpox. 

2016 Awardee: Anne Cheung, Senior Associate Scientist, Biogen

Anne Cheung is a Senior Associate Scientist at Biogen, where she has worked for over 16 years in the Protein Biochemistry Research Department. She currently works on a project team developing a biologic to target Alzheimer’s disease. Anne received her Master of Science degree in Biochemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, while serving as a Teaching Assistant, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Recombinant Gene Technology from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Anne is Co-Founder and President of A2Empowerment, an all-volunteer, nonprofit company that works mainly with Peace Corps Volunteers in Cameroon to award high school scholarships to young women who have dropped out of school or are at high risk of dropping out of school. The charity was founded in 2008, initially funding 17 scholarship recipients with a referral bonus Anne received from Biogen, and has grown to award more than 740 scholarships. In 2015, Anne was listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s Heroes of the 500 for her efforts. She has been a mentor through the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston for more than 15 years, and her Little Sister, Lois, is a recent college graduate. Anne resides in Arlington with her husband, Man Ching, and their sons, Simon and Calvin. 

2015 Awardee: Anne Giovanoni, Senior Director, Corporate Counsel and Secretary of Alkermes, Inc.

Anne Giovanoni is a graduate of Smith College and has earned, a M.S. in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. For the past 5 years, Anne has been one of the organizers of “Alkermes in Action”, a company sponsored community service day for Alkermes employees in Waltham. Each year, Alkermes in Action provides volunteer projects for over 200 people at 5-7 locations in the greater Boston area. Anne has also established a monthly commitment for Alkermes to prepare and serve a meal at the Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen in Waltham. Anne has been a member of the Board of Directors for Casa Myrna for 4 years and is currently serving as the board president. She has run the Boston Marathon for 3 years on behalf of Casa Myrna, raising over $16,000. Casa Myrna is Boston’s leader in delivering solutions to end domestic and dating violence through intervention, awareness and prevention. Additionally, Anne is a monthly volunteer cook with Community Cooks, providing one course each month for a family style meal at a teen substance abuse/mental health service center in Arlington, MA. 

2016 Awardee: Eileen Gradwell, Senior Director in Global Clinical Operations, Biogen  

Eileen Gradwell is a Senior Director in Global Clinical Operations at Biogen since May, 2012. She started her career as a registered nurse and entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1999 in the hopes of helping to bring much needed medicines to patients. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Albright College and a Master’s in Health Service Administration from the University of St. Francis. Her service work has been a lifelong pursuit.  She has served on the board of a local food bank, mentored youth, supported microloans for women in developing countries, led service activities at Biogen, like Care Deeply Day, Thanksgiving dinner drives, and adoption of families during the holidays. Eileen has three children, Ashley, age 25, Sean, age 24, and Lauren, age 23. After they had completed college, she turned her attention back to a lifelong dream of participating in medical missions. Trips to Haiti, Honduras, and Malawi brought a greater awareness of the significant medical challenges facing these underserved populations. Since 2014, Eileen has become more deeply involved in Villages in Partnership, a non-profit that works with local development experts in Malawi to implement programs designed to address the root causes of extreme poverty: lack of access to clean water, food insecurity, poor health care, inadequate education, insufficient infrastructure, and lack of economic opportunities. She is now on the Board of Trustees and a co-lead for the medical team, and has plans to return to Malawi on a regular basis.

2016 Awardee: Enith Morillo, QA Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific

From co-founding a domestic violence awareness organization that in less than 3 years was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Justice to serving on the board of a non-profit that facilitates service learning for U.S. medical students in rural Morocco, Enith is driven by this principle: “giving is better than receiving.” She is a long-time supporter of women and minorities in STEM, a prolific writer, and a mentoring enthusiast of young professionals. A native of Venezuela, Enith came to the US at the age of 15 on a full scholarship to pursue engineering studies. Without quite knowing English or having family around, she relied on the support of many in the following two decades to overcome significant personal challenges. Turning to volunteerism for growth, Enith emerged a strong individual who is able to energize and lead others in support of worthy causes. Enith’s career trajectory was recently featured on iRelaunch. She is a versatile and multilingual Quality Assurance professional with 9+ years of experience in the FDA and DEA regulated pharmaceutical space. Her specialty revolves around cGMPs and supplier quality, with proven competency in hosting and performing quality audits, supporting drug product filings and commercialization, and building quality relations across any organization. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical & Biomedical Engineering from WPI, and currently works as a QA Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific and as a QA Consultant with Complya Consulting Group.  

2017 Awardee: Heather Multaupt, Senior Engineering Director at Brooks Automation

Heather Multhaupt is a Senior Director at Brooks Automation where she has worked for 21 years in the engineering organization. She currently is responsible for Engineering Operations at Brooks ensuring the product development processes and systems are effective and efficient. Heather received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s of Science in Engineering Management from Tufts and an M.BA. from Boston University. Several years ago, Heather began volunteering with the Gift of Life organization to register possible bone marrow donors. That work evolved into partnering with a community-based 5K charity event, The Resolution Run to Kick Cancer and signing up over 300 possible donors (with one match) in the last 5 years. In 2014, Heather’s husband lost his battle with cancer. When friends wanted to raise college funds for their children, Heather turned that energy into the Kent J Riley Charitable Fund to distribute college scholarships to young people who participated in youth athletics and are pursuing a career in STEM or health science. Through grass roots fundraising efforts and a team of talented and dedicated friends, the fund has distributed 15 scholarships in the last two years and is on a path to sustain support for many years. Heather lives in Lexington with her children Galen and Erica. 

2016 Awardee: Sherri Schwaninger, Head of Operations, NIBR Biologics Center

Sherri Schwaninger is Head of Operations, Biologics, at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where she has worked for over 13 years. She is currently on a one-year sabbatical, serving as Program Manager in Lusaka, Zambia supporting a Novartis sponsored global health program aimed at controlling and eventually eliminating rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in that country. Working with local partners from the university, Sherri managed a clinical epidemiology study, screening 3,200 children for heart defects in 50 Lusaka schools. Sherri and the team also engaged in public awareness-raising efforts and training of healthcare workers. Throughout her career, Sherri has been committed to supporting women in their pursuit of independence and success. In 2009, she launched a gender-based employee resource group for women at Novartis. Under her leadership, this group has touched the lives of hundreds of women through mentoring and other efforts. Outside Novartis, she serves as Clerk on the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Stone House, a domestic violence shelter and transitional housing facility in Roxbury and hikes with Wilderness Heals to raise funds for the shelter. Sherri has a B.A. in English from UMASS Boston and an MBA from Simmons College.

2017 Awardee: Elaine Webb, Senior Materials Manager, Engineering Change at Applied Materials

Elaine Webb re-launched her engineering career in 2010 leveraging a previous 13-year career in telecommunications manufacturing at AT&T and Lucent. In six short years at Applied Material–Varian Semiconductor in Gloucester she moved from quality engineer to Senior Manager and along the way created a spirit for outreach. She credits the 12 years focused on her sons, her marriage, and her community with shaping and catalyzing the breadth, tenacity, and perspective of her public service. Her commitment to education and STEM outreach are threaded though all phases and aspects of her work and life. At Applied Materials, Elaine established outreach programs with the Gloucester Schools and Gloucester Education Foundation (GEF) to inspire and prepare students toward STEM careers. On the Board of LEAP for Education, a non-profit providing career, college readiness, and advising for low-income first-generation students, she helped to establish and support the Gloucester programs. In Reading, she has served on the School Committee for 9 years and is a founding member and current Vice President of the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA). Elaine has been married for 30 years to her high school sweetheart and has 4 sons in college who are studying engineering. She holds a B.S in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern, an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems from Clarkson University, and an MBA from Boston University.

2015 Awardee: Lyndsy Stopa, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft

Lyndsy is a developer for Office at Microsoft, and is actively involved in the Women’s community at Microsoft. She is a board member of Women @ NERD (New England Research and Development) and helps to organize activities to further women’s careers at Microsoft as well as network with local organizations. In addition to the work that Lyndsy does at Microsoft, she is actively involved in her community helping both the homeless and youth. Lyndsy helped to start a non-profit, Family Promise North Shore Boston, which provides temporary shelter, meals, hospitality, and case management for families experiencing homelessness, while bringing together local resources and volunteers to support their neighbors. Lyndsy is also actively involved in MA HOBY (Massachusetts Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership) as the Director of Recruitment. MA HOBY is an organization that works to help lead youth into a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. HOBY's core values are volunteerism, integrity, excellence, diversity, and community partnership and helps to instill these values in today’s youth. Lyndsy received her Masters of Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Bioinformatics from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.


Honorable Mentions:

2016 Awardee: Christine Bellon, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary, Blueprint Medicines 

Chris is currently the Chair, Board of Overseers at the Museum of Science where her community involvement is far beyond her Trustee role. She participated in the Boston Marathon Museum of Science Team raising money in support of the Traveling Programs and the ninth annual Washburn Challenge in support of the Annual Fund at the Museum of Science. This fall she was also excited to assist the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in their efforts to support the research of blood cancer treatments by supporting the Blueprint Medicines team in the Light The Night Walk event. Chris is also a speaker at conferences where discussions revolved around breaking through the glass ceiling. 

2015 Awardee: Julia Curran, Research Associate at Takeda Oncology

As a STEM mentor in our DIGITS group, Julia is often engaged as much by her young students as they are from her. Her warm charismatic attitude and shared curiosity makes the learning positive and a place where mistakes are not errors but hypotheses for further “testing.” As Julia will tell you, it is the students’ ever-present enthusiasm and inquisitive attitudes which keep her volunteering year after year. Beyond her work with DIGITS, Julia also volunteers for the Healthcare Women’s Association as both a member of the ambassador committee and membership committee. From helping to organize events on culture to career advancement, Julia is an advocate for women in STEM at any point in their career and is constantly looking for new opportunities to bring women together to build bridges and further their careers. Professional talents and aspirations aside, Julia also gives back in many other ways. She participates in many local philanthropic opportunities including the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s Light the Night and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s Race for Research. 

2016 Awardee: Dawn George, Project Director, AbbVie Bioresearch Center

Dawn received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from MIT in 1999 and is now a Project Director at AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester, MA. Dawn volunteers with Girls Inc, where she has served as a “coach” at the Leadership Academy, helping disadvantaged high school girls prepare for success in life by improving presentation skills, decision making, leadership capabilities, and learning how to interview effectively. Dawn has represented chemistry at a Girls Inc career fair, and advocates for Girls Inc as a worthy cause for the annual AbbVie Giving Campaign. Dawn is also a founding member of the Pasture Prime Players, a non-profit performing arts group, where she serves on the Board, assists with productions, and directs the Pasture Prime Chorale.  

2016 Awardee: Jeri’Ann Hiller, Senior Manager, Global Toxicology/Biocompatibility, Boston Scientific 

Jeri’Ann Hiller, a leader in science who is passionate about innovation and mentoring. At Boston Scientific, she has created a legacy of innovation to help people get well.  She was recently recognized for outstanding STEM achievements with a Women of Color Magazine Rising Star award. She led the launch of a multi-model mentoring program that includes both in-person mentoring and e-mentoring with MassBay Community College. She recently spoke at the MA Conference for Women sharing insight on developing a leadership brand. Hiller earned her B.S. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering. 

2017 Awardee: Lauren Laidlaw, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications at Safety Partners

Lauren Laidlaw is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Safety Partners. She leads the organization’s strategic marketing efforts as they continues to grow. Previously, Lauren was Director of Innovation Services at MassBio, the nation’s oldest biotechnology trade association. She most recently served as Director of Membership and Institutional Support at T1D Exchange, a non-profit organization focused on type 1 diabetes research. Lauren remains dedicated to the City of Revere, MA, where she grew up, and volunteers with several organizations. She is the current president of the board of directors of the Revere Beach Partnership, which is dedicated to continuing the heritage of Revere Beach as a nearby retreat for New England families. She also serves on the board of directors for the Revere Chamber of Commerce, and is also a volunteer instructor for St. Mary’s of the Assumption Parish.

2016 Awardee: Diana Martin, Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Communications, PAREXEL

Diana Martin is Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Communications at PAREXEL where she is responsible for internal and external communications. She is a founding member and ongoing contributor to the first-ever Brown University Latino Endowed Scholarship, one of six endowed scholarships at Brown University - her alma-mater - designed to help maximize the Brown experience for Diversity students. She is also a member of Brown’s Women’s Launch Pad, a formal mentoring program focused on female students in their senior year. Through this program, she has mentored Latinas who are the first in their family to attend college and has helped them prepare for life after they earn their degree.  Diana also serves on PAREXEL’s first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Gender Partnership Committee (GPSC). 

2017 Awardee: Jessica Pearlman, Project Manager, Engineering R&D at Teradyne

Jessica Pearlman knew she was going to be an engineer since elementary school. While her friends’ “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up” collages read “Cosmetologist”, “Veterinarian”, and “Ballerina”, hers read “Engineer”. She accomplished that goal earning her BS in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University. She then began her career as an applications engineer at Teradyne where she concentrated in mixed signal testing for the Semi Conductor Test Division. After a four year hiatus as an innovations engineer in the hospitality industry, she returned to Teradyne as a project manager in engineering R&D. Outside the office Jessica is mother to a nine-year-old third-grade girl. Jessica believes in instilling a love of math and science in her daughter as well as a desire to make the world a better place. Together they can often be found organizing toy drives, delivering food distributions, or volunteering with school supply and clothing collections. In the past, Jessica has fostered rabbits and dogs as they awaited their forever homes. Most recently she decided to act on her passion for children as she and her daughter opened their home as an unrestricted foster home supporting reunification. Over the last year they have shared their lives with five children ranging in age from five days to three years old. Children come into care for a variety of reasons, but they all need a safe place to stay with a warm bed, good food, and love. Jessica and her daughter are grateful for what they have and are happy to share. 

2016 Awardee: Krista Stanley, Associate Director QA Compliance, AbbVie Bioresearch Center 

For 20 years, Krista has coordinated and managed a site wide program to give back to the Worcester Community. Krista has worked diligently year after year to help provide basic items most of us take for granted to those less fortunate. Krista has focused on three non-profit organizations within the Worcester community, the Homeless Veteran Shelter, Friendly House, and monthly dinners at the Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen. In the earlier years, she has also organized AbbVie staff for yearly events at the Lincoln Street School, the Salvation Army and Sherry’s House in Worcester.


Making a Difference in Meaningful Ways - For women giving back in smaller meaningful ways

2016 Awardee: Meghan Keaney Anderson, Vice President of Marketing, HubSpot 

Meghan serves as a member of United Way's Community Impact Committee, a collection of business and nonprofit leaders that advise the organization on its community investments. She is also involved with HubSpot's BUILD community initiative, and advised City Awake, Boston's Social Impact Festival. In her spare time Meghan is an Adjust Professor at Boston University, and an advisor to tech startups EverTrue and HelpScout.

2016 Awardee: Cherié Butts, Associate Director of Program Leadership, Biogen

Dr. Butts is Associate Director of Program Leadership at Biogen, working with multi-disciplinary teams to make critical decisions and mitigate risk. She is very passionate about ensuring the scientific community appreciates contributions of individuals from all backgrounds. She does so by working with organizations to foster development of under-represented scientists, including serving as: career coach with Posse Foundation; mentor with Biomedical Science Careers Program; member of Keystone Symposia Diversity Advisory Council; member of Society of Leukocyte Biology Women & Diversity Committee; The Endocrine Society workshop faculty; American Association of Immunologists Minority Affairs Committee chair; and speaker at different organizations (e.g., Cornell, Dana-Farber, HMS).

2016 Awardee: Caren Deardorf, Senior Director of Global Brand Lead - SMA, Biogen

Caren has been involved in the Pan Mass Challenge for over 24 years as a volunteer, rider, fundraiser, and for the past 5 years as a member of the Board of Directors. The PMC is a Massachusetts-based bike-a-thon that has raised over $500 Million dollars over 30 years to fund research and development at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2015, she led a team of volunteers to organize a PMC Kids’ Ride, which introduces philanthropy to children so that they can learn the importance of helping others and giving back while having fun.

2015 Awardee: Lisa Freed, STEM Program Manager at iRobot

Lisa manages iRobot’s STEM initiative, focused on engaging students in STEM education across grade levels and demographics. By visiting classrooms, bringing students to iRobot and providing job shadow experiences, the program hopes to increase student enrollment in robotics and STEM fields. In 2013, 50% of iRobot’s employees participated in the STEM program, reaching over 50,000 students. iRobot is also the founder and lead organizer for National Robotics Week, which in 2014 had over 250 events in all 50 states. Lisa has been working in STEM outreach for over 20 years including 10 years as the New England Regional Coordinator for the National Engineers Week Future City Competition. She is a registered Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional.

2016 Awardee: Eva Jack, Chief Business Officer, Mersana Therapeutics

Ms. Jack is the Chief Business Officer of Mersana Therapeutics where she has responsibility for the business operations of the company. She is a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence®, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs. In addition, she is a member of the Life Sciences Council for Springboard Enterprises which is an expert network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth life science and technology-oriented companies led by women. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a master’s in health sciences from The Johns Hopkins University.

2017 Awardee: Connie Jeffery, Associate Professor at University of Illinois

Constance (Connie) Jeffery, Ph.D. is Associate Professor, Dept. Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago. Connie studied at MIT (B.S.), the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D.), and Brandeis University (postdoc). Her lab’s research on protein structure and function combines methods from X-ray crystallography, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. She is best known for coining the term "moonlighting proteins". Current research topics include moonlighting proteins, the design of novel biosensors, genetic mutations that cause disease, and proteins involved in cancer and tuberculosis. Her contributions outside the lab include serving as a co-founder and co-organizer of the first ten Midwest Conferences on Protein Folding, Assembly and Molecular Motions (MWFold) and as a Member of the Biophysical Society CPOW national committee. She is an active member of organizations supporting women in STEM careers. She served as a mentor for the AWIS mentoring circle program and was one of the inaugural 24 mentors for the NeXXt Scholars Program, a national program of the New York Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of State, and participating women’s colleges to mentor undergraduate women in STEM disciplines from countries with Muslim-majority populations. She is continuing her volunteer efforts with the NYAS as a Master Mentor for the 1000 Girls/1000 Futures Initiative for high school girls from around the world who are interested in STEM.  

2015 Awardee: Karen McGovern, Senior Director, Cancer Biology at Infinity Pharmaceuticals

Karen joined Infinity in 2002 and has been a key leader in the cancer biology group during this time. She mentors others throughout the organization and selflessly encourages them to reach their full potential. Beyond her scientific leadership, Karen displays Infinity’s core values and is a role model for others in the organization. As one of the early hires at Infinity, Karen was instrumental in establishing Infinity’s Community Action Team (CAT), a group of employees from across the organization who volunteer their time to help those in the community. She led the team in the early days, and since that time, continues to play an active role in many of Infinity’s philanthropic events.

Karen has worked on many Infinity efforts through the years, ranging from fundraising for the Home for Little Wanderers, organizing charity drives, company participation in walk-a-thons, volunteering as part of the Charles River Conservatory, and, importantly, helping others identify how to take action for causes they believe in. In addition to her work as a scientific leader and her many contributions to Infinity’s service programs, Karen continues to remain committed to the volunteering on her own time, with the goal of and making a meaningful difference. Karen holds a BS in Biology from Boston College and a PhD in Microbiology and Genetics from Harvard University.

2016 Awardee: Terry Melim, Senior Scientist II, AbbVie Bioresearch Center

Terry has been working in the pharma/biotech industry for 24 years primarily in immunology and pharmacology. She is an active member in the New Hampshire Army National Guard where she is serving as a trumpet player. "Army Bands provide music throughout the spectrum of military operations to instill in our soldiers the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad." She loves performing, seeing the happy faces in the audiences, and working closely with her fellow soldiers to educate and entertain in the public and military settings. 

2017 Awardee: Camara Samuel, Senior Engineer at Procter and Gamble 

Since Fall 2015, Camara has been a volunteer Mentor Scientist for Science Club for Girls (SCFG). SCFG is a non-profit organization that focuses on increasing literacy and confidence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for girls from underrepresented communities by providing free, experiential programs and maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in STEM. Camara is a volunteer Mentor Scientist for the 4th and 5th grade science club at the Mother Caroline Academy in the Dorchester area of Boston. This science club consists of twelve 4th and 5th graders and two junior mentors. Junior mentors are upper-middle and high school girls that serve as co-teachers and ‘near-peer’ mentors in the K-8th grade science clubs. Her main responsibility as a Mentor Scientist is to make science fun through leading hands-on science activities. Although one of Camara’s most noteworthy skills is to simplify scientific concepts for our young participants, her enthusiasm for science and her ability to connect with our participants makes her a particularly effective and dedicated Mentor Scientist. Camara is a senior engineer at Procter and Gamble.  Being a woman in a science field makes her a role model for our participants. She is approachable and engaging and breaks down the stereotype of how a scientist should look and act. In the two years that Camara has volunteered at the Mother Caroline site, she has fostered and developed relationships with the participants in her science club.  

2015 Awardee: Rebecca Sendak, Vice President of Analytical and Formulations Development at Sanofi

Rebecca is Vice President of Analytical and Formulations Development at Sanofi in Framingham, MA. Her group works in the area of biologics drug development and is responsible for developing formulations for drug candidates in Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies, and for the development of the analytical methods used to support release and stability testing of these therapeutic candidates. During her time at Sanofi in Framingham, formerly Genzyme, she has held multiple roles within product development teams, including Science Project Leader and Global Project Leader. Prior to joining Genzyme, Rebecca worked at Creative Biomolecules in Hopkinton, MA, in the area of drug discovery. She received a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University, and Bachelors of Arts in both Biology and Chemistry from University of Vermont. Presently, Rebecca is working with MassBay Community College on a mentor program which is connecting Sanofi/Genzyme employees with students at the college. In their pilot year, they recruited 35 employees to mentor 40 students in the STEM area, with the goal of providing support for individuals that want to enter into careers in math and the sciences.    

2015 Awardee: Jo Viney, Vice President, Discovery Sciences at Biogen Idec

In addition to her daily responsibilities at Biogen Idec, Jo is an active figure in a variety of community causes as well as initiatives dedicated to encouraging young people and women to pursue STEM careers. She co-chairs Biogen Idec’s Woman Innovation Network, to ensure women are fully engaged and valued at all levels and in all areas of the global business as drivers of success. She was a recent keynote speaker for the Girls STEM Summit East, which brought together female students in grades 8 -12 who have an expressed interest in pursuing STEM careers, with female STEM career professionals and educators for a full-day conference. She sits on the Advisory Committee of Biogen’s Community Lab which has provided more than 24,000 MS and HS students in Greater Boston an opportunity to encounter real lab science through fun and interactive hands-on experience. She is also an avid contributor to the Boston office of Social Venture Partners (SVP) which seeks to cultivate effective philanthropists and strengthen organizations that are driving community change. Jo received her doctorate degree from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital at the University of London, and then completed two postdoctoral fellowships. Today she conducts research to better understand the mechanistic basis of immune homeostasis in organs susceptible to inflammatory disease. 


Guys Who Get It - For men who are champions for women

2017 Awardee: Terry McGuire, Founding Partner at Polaris Partners

Terry McGuire brings 30 years of successful early stage investing experience to the healthcare industry.  He has invested in more than 50 companies, co-founding MicroCHIPS, Inspire Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Inhalation Research.  Mr. McGuire serves on the boards of  480 Biomedical, Adimab, Alector, Iora Health, MicroCHIPS, Arivale, Pulmatrix (PULM); Acceleron (XLRN); and Ironwood (IRWD). Mr. McGuire chairs the Board of Overseers of the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College; and serves on the boards of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School; and the Scientific Advisory Board at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He is Chairman of the Global Venture Capital Congress and Chairman Emeritus of the National Venture Capital Association.  He has been named to Forbes Midas list multiple times, and was listed as one of Scientific American’s Worldview 100. He was awarded honorary Doctorate degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University and Canisius College for his work in translational science. Mr. McGuire holds a MBA from Harvard Business School, a MS in engineering from The Thayer School, Dartmouth College, and a BS in physics and economics from Hobart.

2017 Awardee: Richard Murray, CEO at Jounce Therapeutics

Richard Murray brings to Jounce more than two decades of experience building biologics R&D capabilities and moving exciting science through development for both startup biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Murray joined Jounce from Merck, where he most recently served as senior vice president, biologics & vaccines research, and was a member of the Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) leadership team. There, he was responsible for the advancement of protein therapeutics and vaccines across a breadth of therapeutic areas, from discovery through development and manufacturing, including Merck’s immunotherapy programs. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Murray provided strategic and operational guidance to protein therapeutic biotech companies and served as an advisor to venture capital and life science investors. He was the executive vice president and chief scientific officer at PDL BioPharma, and previously, he was co-founder and vice president of research at EOS Biotechnology, which was acquired in 2003 by Protein Design Labs. Prior to these executive level roles, he spent more than 10 years on the staff at DNAX Research Institute, which later became Schering Plough Biopharma, and now represents the main site for Merck’s Biologics discovery efforts. Dr. Murray holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 


Making a Difference in the Community - For women who are early in their careers (within 5 years)   

2017 Awardee: Lindsay Kuhn, PhD Candidate at Brown University

Lindsay Kuhn has a passion for learning and helping others, and it shows in her latest project, Inventing Heron, an online community of people sharing stories about what they call work. She created Inventing Heron as a PhD student in materials science at Brown University, so young people could learn about different careers firsthand and be inspired. So far, over 500 people in careers ranging from mushroom farmers to astrophysicists have shared their stories on the site, in written narratives and videos. She’s also developed outreach programs in local schools, including an Inventing Heron inspired career fair in North Smithfield High School in Rhode Island. One of Inventing Heron’s main objectives is to encourage young people, especially women, to go into STEM, and to celebrate the everyday, hardworking person. Lindsay is the ideal STEM advocate. Before returning to graduate school she worked as an engineer at Boeing, first on the C-17 Globemaster III and then in the Thermophysics group at the Satellite Development Center. She’s grateful for the recognition from WEST and hopes you sign up as a mentor and become part of the Inventing Heron community!

2017 Awardee: Zoe Sobin, Senior Software Engineer at HubSpot

Zoe Sobin is a Senior Software engineer at HubSpot, where she works on the Reporting and Analytics Team. She currently works on developing reporting tools and dashboards for businesses running on HubSpot's Sales and Marketing platforms. Though only 2 years out of college, Zoe is incredibly passionate about helping women early in their software engineering careers. This passion is what inspired her to design and run technical workshops that teach women studying computer science how to build their first web application -- a skill that often isn't taught in college studies, but is crucial when applying to software engineering jobs. So far Zoe has held these workshops in Boston and in Dublin and has taught over 150 women not only how to build their first web application, but also the importance of work outside of the classroom as they're applying for their first job or internship. Before working at HubSpot, Zoe graduated from Tufts University with a B.S in Computer Science and Entrepreneurial Leadership.