In the past...‎ > ‎2010 Workshop‎ > ‎

Opening and Closing Speakers (2010)

Opening Speakers
Stephani Stachniak (
: Higher Education: Admission Counselor 
Work: Illinois Institute of Technology 
Education: BSBA Marketing, Valparaiso University, Master of Public Administration, IIT 

Stephani is beginning her third year as an Admission Counselor at Illinois Institute of Technology. In her role she assists students in the admission and enrollment process; helping students find their “best fit” school. She enjoys supporting students as they complete the application, write their college essays and determine the appropriate teacher or counselor to write their letter of recommendation. Stephani works with first-year students in Chicago and the Midwest as well as transfer students who complete two years at community college and then transfer to a university. Stephani also manages and reviews applications for IIT’s Dual Admission programs including medical, law, pharmacy, and business programs.

Jane Andrew (
: Science Writer and Editor 
Work: Argonne National Laboratory
Education: BA Physics, Cornell University

Jane Andrew is a science writer and editor who has worked in several large research organizations. Trained in physics, she has written or edited material on subjects ranging from thermodynamic modelling of chemical reactions to traumatic brain injury to the solar wind. Some of the projects she works on are journal articles, grant proposals, reports, brochures, posters, web sites, and training workshop. She enjoys translating complex ideas into clear explanations that help people understand the why, how, and what of a research project.

Khenya Still (
: Instrument Engineer 
Work: Chicago Bridge & Iron, Plainfield, IL
Education: Mechanical Engineering w/ Civil (Transportation) minor, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; Spanish Study Abroad Program, Costa Rica; Computer Repair and Networking, Burlington County Institute of Technology, Westampton, NJ

Ms. Still, originally from the mid-Atlantic region, has spent the past three years traveling the country with Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I) through their rotational program. During her time as an engineering trainee, Khenya has worked in multiple job positions ranging from a field engineer, supervising crews at a refinery, to her current title as an instrument engineer in the office. She holds high value in occupational diversity and believes in life outside of work. She is also active in many CB&I programs, such as mentoring, annual United Way campaign and sports.

Closing Speakers
Ruth Sweetser (
Profession: Corporate relations, past president of American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Work:Director of Corporate Relations at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
Education: BA Hope College, Holland Michigan, MA University of Chicago (Ford Foundation Fellow)

Ruth Sweetser is the Director of Corporate Relations at IIT, responsible for business engagement and development, and managing corporate relationships. She served two terms as national president of the AAUW (2005 – 2009). Prior to that she served as chair of AAUW's College/University Relations Committee. As president of AAUW-Illinois, Inc., she established its Gender Equity Fund (GEF) in 1996 and founded its IT Empowerment for Women and Girls Initiative. She is currently on the Board of Champions for the National Girls Collaborative Project, a 5-year initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. For her professional and community work Ms. Sweetser has received [delete: several] recognition including Joint Honors Award of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, YWCA Women of Achievement and Business Ledger/ NAWBO Influential Woman in Business Award, and IITJulia Beveridge Award. She has studied and traveled extensively in Europe and the United States. She enjoys biking and hiking most recently in New Zealand--and is a professional piano accompanist. Ruth lives in Lombard, IL with her husband Steve and chocolate labrador, Sequoia.

Pushpalatha Bhat (
: High Energy Physicist 
Work: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL, currently working at CERN, Geneva Switzerland 
Education: Ph,D. Bangalore University, Bangalore, India 

Dr. Bhat is a scientist at Fermilab, where she has made significant contributions to the discovery of the top quark (1995), from the measurement of its mass to new particle searches at Fermilab. She was one of the leaders of the Fermilab Accelerator upgrades project (2003-2006), which was a spectacular success resulting in many new discoveries and tantalizing pursuits of the Higgs Boson. Dr. Bhat is also an adjunct professor and a member of the graduate faculty at the Northern Illinois University. She has mentored dozens of students at all academic levels from institutions across the US. In 2008, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was recently elected to the Chair-line of the American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics & Society for which she currently serves as the Vice-Chair. At present, Dr. Bhat is based at CERN (the European Center for Nuclear/Particle Physics Research), located on the border of Switzerland and France, working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron collider.