H/WISE Initiative/WISE Forum

WISE Forum

The annual Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Forum brings together young women in high school and college who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with accomplished female professionals in STEM fields ranging from academia and healthcare to design engineering and space exploration.

The first half of the evening consists of a Mentoring Dinner where attendees are invited to network and connect. This is an opportunity for students with an interest in STEM to talk one-on-one with, and receive advice from, female professionals and college students.  

Following the dinner is a Public Panel Discussion featuring distinguished female STEM leaders from across the country. 

Mentoring Dinner

Past panelists: executives from DuPont Company; IBM; Mack Trucks; Mars Inc.; Merck; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Sanofi, and W.L. 

2021 Women in Science & Engineering Forum
Tuesday, October 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Legacy Sponsor

Presenting Sponsors

The WISE Forum is back with a special virtual Mentoring Session and Panel Discussion featuring distinguished female leaders in STEM.

Public Panel Discussion

The Panel Discussion and Q&A took place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Below is the recording of the discussion in case you missed it!

2021 WISE Forum Distinguished Panelists

Kelly Beaver, B.S., MBA, Vice President, Energy Marketing and Supply, UGI Energy Services, LLC

Kelly Beaver is UGIES’ Vice President of Energy Marketing & Supply and has 19 years of regulated and unregulated experience in the natural gas and electric utility industry.  Ms. Beaver is currently leading the sales, marketing, procurement, and logistics of all gas and electric supply for the retail and wholesale operations at UGIES.  She is also responsible for the management and optimization of natural gas storage and associated pipeline transportation, sale of peaking and related services, and purchase and delivery of liquid fuels (oil and propane).

Victoria Brifo, B.S., Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Air Products

Victoria Brifo is senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Air Products. She is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s Human Resources organization, including HR Operations, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Management, and Compensation and Benefits, as well as Global Health and Wellness, and Corporate Aviation and Corporate Transportation.

Jaye Gardiner, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and IF/THEN® Ambassador

Dr. Jaye Gardiner received her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology in 2017 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she studied how HIV effectively spreads between cells and how that infection changed the cells behaviors. Now, she researches pancreatic cancer’s tumor microenvironment, specifically focusing on how the non-tumor cells communicate to support the tumor at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. As a first generation American and graduate, Jaye is passionate about and involved in a variety of science communication (scicomm) efforts to increase access, exposure, and IDEA (inclusivity, diversity equity, and accessibility) in STEM.

Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health, Merck & Co., Inc. (former director, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

Dr. Julie Gerberding is Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer at Merck & Co., Inc., where she is responsible for global public policy, patient engagement and advocacy, strategic communications, population health, and corporate responsibility. She joined Merck in 2010 as president of Merck vaccines.  

Lisa Nibauer, B.S., MBA, Executive Vice President, Business Unit Leader, Diagnostics, OraSure Technologies, Inc.

Lisa Nibauer joined OraSure Technologies (NASDAQ: OSUR) as Executive Vice President Business Unit Leader, Diagnostics in May 2020. OraSure develops and delivers game-changing, innovative sampling tools, services and diagnostics designed to help its customers and partners get the best answers to their most critical questions, more easily and with more illuminating insights. OraSure is leveraging its global leadership in infectious disease diagnostics to develop tests for COVID-19. 

Elsa Reichmanis, Ph.D., Professor and Carl Robert Anderson Chair in Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Lehigh University

Elsa Reichmanis is Professor and Carl Robert Anderson Chair in Chemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lehigh University. Prior to joining Lehigh, she was Professor and Pete Silas Chair in Chemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She started her independent career at Bell Labs where she was Bell Labs Fellow and Director of the Materials Research Department. She received her Ph. D. and BS degrees in chemistry from Syracuse University. Her research interests include the chemistry, properties and application of materials technologies for photonic and electronic applications.

Annette M. Van Dien, PE., Senior Structural Engineer, D’Huy Engineering, Inc.

Annette Van Dien is a Senior Engineer at D’Huy Engineering, Inc. (DEI), located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Annette began her journey in engineering as an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  She was awarded a prestigious research fellowship by the National Science Foundation to continue her studies at Lehigh Universitywhere she earned a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering. 

Schedule of Events:

6:30-6:45 p.m. Log-on and Get Acquainted with Remo (virtual platform). Find your Networking Field of Interest!

6:45-7:20 p.m.  Networking and Mentoring Discussion

7:20-7:30 p.m.  Break

7:30-8:30 p.m. Distinguished Leader Panel Discussion with questions and answers; Closing Remarks

High school students interested in STEM must apply to attend the free Mentoring Session.

2021 WISE Student Application

High school students who have an interest in STEM fields can apply now to attend the free virtual WISE Forum Mentoring Dinner (thanks to our sponsor-supported scholarships!).

The application window is closed.

Contact: Patricia J. Pietrobon, Ph.D., Museum Educator and WISE Forum Liaison

Additional Support for the 2021 WISE Forum provided by

The Da Vinci Science Center’s WISE Initiative is presented with the support of a two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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