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WISE Forum Features Distinguished Women in STEM Leadership

The Da Vinci Science Center will host a free panel discussion on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University as part of the 2018 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Forum presented by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.  Distinguished female leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will discuss different perspectives women bring to these industries and challenges they face when pursuing a career in male-dominated fields.  

The public is invited to attend the free panel discussion scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in Baker Hall at Zoellner Arts Center.  After opening remarks, panelists will each offer comments before inviting the audience members to ask questions.  Doors to the venue will open at 7 p.m.; parking is available in the garage adjacent to the Zoellner Arts Center. 

For more information, contact Sharon Alexander, CFRE, Philanthropy Program Manager, 484-664-1002, Ext. 125.

Susan Yee, founder and CEO of Active Data, Inc. in Bethlehem, Pa., will moderate the panel. Distinguished professionals scheduled to participate include: 

  • Wendy Body, Senior Project Manager, Alvin H. Butz, Inc., Allentown, Pa.
  • Marielle Cohard-Radice, MD, Global Head of Development, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Basking Ridge, N.J.
  • Terri Kelly, President and CEO, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Newark, Del.
  • Nancy McLane, Senior Vice President of Operations, Orasure Technologies, Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Lisa Strohm, Founder and CEO, The Athena Network, Center Valley, Pa.

Wendy Body

Wendy Body is a senior project manager for Alvin H. Butz, Inc. which has been consistently ranked among the nation’s Top 100 Construction Management firms since 1981. She started as an intern between her junior and senior year at Lehigh University where she studied mechanical engineering. After studying for a Master’s in Finance at Penn State University, she returned to Alvin H. Butz, Inc. where she has worked in project management since 1986.

She has been the project manager for many well-known buildings and structures in the Lehigh Valley including the Zoellner Arts Center, the Jaindl Pavilion at Lehigh Valley Hospital, the Moravian College Track and Field, and the New Moravian Dorms.

Marielle Cohard-Radice

Marielle Cohard-Radice is Executive Vice President and Global Head of Development at Daiichi Sankyo. In her role, Marielle has responsibility for the development strategy and portfolio planning for Specialty Medicine. Her team also supports Oncology Clinical Development.

Marielle has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining Daiichi Sankyo, Marielle held positions at Aptalis Pharma, Axcan Pharma, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Schering Plough Research Institute. During her tenure at these organizations she built in-depth expertise in global leadership, strategic decision-making for clinical development and operations, medical affairs and drug safety in multiple therapeutic areas.

Terri Kelly

Terri Kelly is president and CEO of W. L. Gore & Associates, a global materials science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives. Gore is known for products that solve tough technical challenges in demanding environments, including GORE-TEX® fabric, minimally-invasive medical devices and cables used in space exploration, among other advanced technologies. The company employs approximately 9,500 Associates in more than 20 countries and is globally recognized as a Great Place to Work®.

Terri joined Gore as an engineer in 1983 after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Nancy McLane

Nancy McLane has more than 25 years of experience in medical device operations. During her career, she has been responsible for the production of Cardiology, Access, Endovascular, Neurovascular, Cardiac Monitoring and Point of Care Diagnostic and Collection products.

Nancy is currently the Senior Vice President, Operations at OraSure Technologies Inc. OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of point of care diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions.

Lisa Strohm

Lisa Strohm, CFP® is founder and CEO of The Athena Network, an independent, fee-based wealth management firm with a mission to “Empower Women with Financial Confidence.”

After earning a Bachelor of Science in biology from Bucknell University, Lisa worked for several years as a research and quality control chemist. In her spare time, in an effort to manage her burdensome student loans, she undertook the study of personal finance and investments. What started out as a hobby became a passion, and inspired Lisa to pursue an MBA in finance from Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Susan Yee

Susan Yee is the Chief Executive Officer of Active Data, a tech firm with its flagship product, WhenNow.com, an online ticketing and registration service. She recently sold enterprise software assets to a firm in North Carolina that served clients like the New England Patriots, Mayo Clinic, the State of Indiana and the NY City School District.

Susan has previously served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of C-SPAN, Lehigh University, Lafayette Ambassador Bank and currently serves on the Lehigh Valley Health Network Board of Trustees, Lehigh University College of Education Board of Advisors, PBS Channel 39 Board, the Union League’s Broad Street Angels, an angel investment group in Philadelphia, and supports many other community organizations.

Now in its fourth year, the WISE Forum exposes female high school and college students to strong role models who have pursued STEM leadership opportunities in different industries and inspires students to expand their career aspirations.  This event offers female students the unique opportunity to network with leading female STEM professionals before and during a mentoring dinner event and to take part in the public panel with accomplished guests.  

“Through the Da Vinci Science Center’s WISE Initiative, we support female STEM professionals while also working with them to mentor young women to fill the STEM gap in the future,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of the Da Vinci Science Center.  “Unfortunately, many young women do not always have the opportunity to meet female STEM role models.  The WISE Forum provides them with the unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with successful female STEM professionals, inspiring their own path to future success in STEM.”  

The Title Sponsors of the 2017-18 WISE Initiative are The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Additional sponsors of the full year of activities are B. Braun Medical, Inc.; ATAS International, Inc.; Lutron Electronics; ADVANCE Center for Women STEM Faculty at Lehigh University; and Lafayette College.  Sponsors of the 2018 WISE Forum include Alloy5; Bosch Rexroth; Carpenter Technology; Cedar Crest College; Computer Aid, Inc.; D’Huy Engineering; Intertek Chemicals & Materials, Allentown; Just Born Quality Confections; Langan Engineering; Lehigh Valley Health Network; Mack Trucks; PPL; QuVa Pharma; Sanofi Pasteur; Spillman Farmer Architects; St. Luke’s University Health Network; Sustainable Energy Fund; UGI; Victaulic; and Wood Heat, Inc.   

Efforts led by the Da Vinci Science Center produced a Women in Science Week of visitor activities in 2011 and the Lehigh Valley area’s first formal Women in Science event in Sept. 2014.  The center established its WISE initiative in 2015 to organize its efforts and to engage female STEM professionals on a regular basis.  In addition to the WISE Forum, the Da Vinci Science Center hosts a variety of programs and events throughout the year for students and the WISE Network of STEM professionals.   

This past year, the WISE initiative garnered national attention and federal funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  With the support of a two-year grant from IMLS, the Da Vinci Science Center is partnering with area colleges and universities and community organizations, like the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pa., to identify how to best serve aspiring and practicing female STEM professionals and develop programs that address the needs of area women and girls.  The goal is to enhance the STEM learning and support ecosystem for women and girls in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities in eastern Pennsylvania. 


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