ECE @ HSI Workshop Series: Session 6

Women in ECE


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Workshop Session 6

Nationwide, enrollment of women in ECE averages only 20% of the student population. This undoubtedly points to the need of cultural changes in ECE Departments to better attract, retain and support the success of female students across our programs. In this ECE@HSI workshop, we have invited an outstanding group of speakers and panelists from academia, industry and NASA to talk about research, models and initiatives aimed at providing their insights as to how can we change the ECE departments’ cultures to address this and how a coalition like ECE@HSI can promote and enable change. Special attention will be paid to the challenges and needs of Latina students.
This workshop is the 6th event as part of our planning process to guide the development of a concept paper to establish the Coalition for Inspiration, Education and Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Hispanic Serving Institutions (ECE@HSI) with the overarching goal of increasing recruitment, participation, retention and graduation of Hispanic students in electrical and computer engineering.
This planning grant is funded by NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) under award 80NSSC20K1769


Pre-Recorded Video Presentations

Ivonne Santiago, University of Texas, El Paso
A Latina in Engineering: Lessons Learned (a few)

Gaining knowledge and wisdom from her own personal and professional experiences, Dr. Santiago will share a snapshot of her career and personal journey as an Engineer and how her experiences have contributed to her success, and to not just survive, but thrive.


Ayesha Mayhugh, Texas Instruments

ECE@HSI: Women in ECE


Pamela Leigh-Mack, Virginia State University

Women in ECE


Maria Montagu, Advanced Sterilization Products

Women in ECE
Susan Lord, University of San Diego
Latinas and Latinos in ECE: Data, Strategies for Faculty, and Ideas for Change



Nayda G. Santiago, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Recruiting, Retaining, and Advancing Women in ECE at UPRM: Lessons Learned



Stacy Johnson, Keysight Technologies



Session Panelists

Stacy Johnson
Program Manager
Keysight Global Services Business
Keysight Technologies
Stacy Kalisz Johnson joined Keysight by way of a start-up-acquisition and works out of her home office in Phoenix, AZ. She has worked in applications engineering, technical marketing, product management, product marketing, field marketing as a market development manager, email marketing and as a program manager in global marketing. Most recently, Stacy was the University Program Manager for Keysight’s PathWave Design Software. She is currently working through a transition into the Keysight Global Services business as a program manager. Stacy holds a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. Stacy has been recognized by the Society of Women Engineers with the SPARK Award for her mentoring work and has delivered many talks on resume writing, using informational interviews for networking and on self-advocacy.

Pamela Leigh-Mack
Professor and Chair
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia State University
Dr. Pamela Leigh-Mack is Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering at Virginia State University (VSU). Before becoming Chair, her role was solely as faculty in the computer engineering program. Prior to joining VSU in 2007 as Dean of the School of Engineering, Science, and Technology, Dr. Leigh-Mack spent nearly twenty years at Morgan State University (MSU), of which sixteen years were served as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She received the B.S. degree in Mathematics from Virginia Union University, B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering (EE) from Howard University, and the Ph.D. degree in EE from the University of Delaware. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Leigh-Mack was employed as a communications engineer at the General Electric Space Systems Division in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Among her professional affiliations are the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Society of Women Engineers. She has been very active in her professional organizations, holding various offices and serving on numerous committees. She continues her many years of service as a national and international program evaluator for the accrediting body ABET, representing IEEE. Dr. Leigh-Mack has served on the Science Museum of Virginia (SMV) Foundation Board and the SMV Education Committee. She is on the Virginia STEM Education Commission, appointed by Governor Northam. Dr. Leigh-Mack currently serves as a Board member of the Inclusive Engineering Consortium (IEC). Among Dr. Leigh-Mack’s honors and awards are the ASEE Electrical and Computer Engineering Division Distinguished Educator Award; National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Alumni Award; U.S. Black Engineer Women of Color in Technology Education Award; International Women's Forum Leadership Foundation Fellow Selection; Clark Atlanta ADVANCE Leadership Excellence in Service Award; and the Morgan State University Dr. Iva G. Jones Medallion Mantle, for exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship, and leadership. Dr. Leigh-Mack has a strong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education including retention; accreditation issues and assessment; pedagogical innovations; and diversity in the STEM fields, particularly women. She has acquired numerous grants from various agencies in excess of several million dollars to support her interests.

Susan Lord
Chair and Professor
Integrated Engineering
University of San Diego
Susan M. Lord is a Fellow of the IEEE and the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Lord’s teaching interests include electronics, optoelectronic materials and devices, service-learning, feminist pedagogy, and lifelong learning. From 1993-1997, Dr. Lord taught at Bucknell University. Her industrial experience includes AT&T Bell Laboratories, General Motors Laboratories, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and SPAWAR Systems Center. In 2012, she taught at Southeast University in Nanjing, China. From 2006-2016, she was Chair of Electrical Engineering at USD. Dr. Lord’s research has been supported by several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants from programs including CAREER, gender in science and engineering (GSE), and research in engineering education (REE). Her research focuses on the study and promotion of diversity in engineering including student pathways, diverse populations including Latinos and military veterans, and cross-cultural studies with non U.S. students. She is part of the USD team working on “Developing Changemaking Engineers”, funded by the NSF Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) program. Since entering college, Dr. Lord has been committed to increasing diversity in engineering particularly supporting women and underrepresented minorities. She co-authored The Borderlands of Education: Latinas in Engineering with Dr. Michelle Madsen Camacho of the USD Sociology Department. She and her research team have received best paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education and the IEEE Transactions on Education and the 2013 WEPAN Betty Vetter Award for Research. Dr. Lord is active in the international engineering education community. She served as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference and as the Vice President (2007-2008) and President (2009-2010) of the IEEE Education Society. Dr. Lord is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education and the Journal of Engineering Education. She joined the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI) facilitation team in 2015 conducting annual workshops for engineering educators

Claudia Massey
Vice President, Business Operations
Cloud & Service Provider Segment
IT Division
Schneider Electric
Claudia Massey is Global Vice President of Business Operations for the Cloud & Service Provider Segment for Schneider Electric. She has over 20 years of experience working for Fortune 500 Companies. Experienced in building operational excellence, customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and quality teams within the IT industry. She has an exceptional track record of balancing Operational Results, Customer Satisfaction, Change Management, Winning Culture while driving Cost Optimal Solutions. She is a cross-cultural leader with experience managing teams globally. In her current role, she leads a team that drives has executed digital transformation while driving operational excellence and a consistent full life cycle experience to cloud and colocation clients globally. Claudia has been involved in the Data Center business for the past 10 years in the capacity of Global Customer Satisfaction and Quality, Strategy and Operations. Prior to Schneider Electric Claudia worked for 15 years in IT companies managing logistics and operations. Claudia was highlighted and recognized as a member of CRN’s Women of the Channel list for 2017, which identifies female executives in the IT channel who exhibit outstanding expertise and vision in their roles. She was also recognized in 2020 by Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) as top 100 influential Hispanic leaders in the industry. In December 2020 she was awarded by Infrastructure Masons the IM100 award, recognizing her for her contribution to the Digital Infrastructure Industry. She serves as a commissioner in the Mexican American Culture Center Advisory Board in Austin, Texas. She is the co-chair of Infrastructure Masons Hispanic/LatinX Group. Claudia holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio Texas and a Masters of Manufacturing Management from The Pennsylvania State University.


Ayesha Mayhugh
WW University Product Manager
Texas Instruments
Ayesha is currently supporting Product Strategy for TI University program. She is responsible for development of content and curriculum incorporating TI technology in engineering education. She was instrumental in launching the TI Power Management Lab kit (2016), first series of power management courseware for education. This was recognized by EDN as one of top power products’ of the year 2016. She has also partnered on the TI Power electronics board with NI, responsible for product definition. Recently she developed in collaboration with Dr Valvano of UT Austin the TI Robotic Systems Learning Kit series– online curriculum and robotic kit on “Systems Thinking”. Prior to this role she led the Industrial Interface business unit within TI’s analog businesses. She was the product line manager and responsible for profit and loss for that organization. She has held several roles within TI, including technical product manager responsible for product execution. During her first eight years at TI, Ayesha was a design engineer / lead engineer in the power management team, which included overseeing several successful projects designing DC- DC converters. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical engineering from the University of Bombay and has a Master’s degree in Electrical engineering from Texas A&M. She currently holds two US patents. She also serves on the board for non-profit organizations to promote STEM and women and actively volunteers in the community.

Agnieszka Miguel
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Seattle University
Agnieszka Miguel received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2001 from the University of Washington, and MSEE and BSEE from Florida Atlantic University in 1996 and 1994. Dr. Miguel's professional interests involve image processing, machine learning, and engineering education especially active learning, diversity, retention, and recruitment. Her teaching interests include MATLAB, circuits, linear systems, and digital image processing. She is a member of the IEEE, ASEE, SWE, and Tau Beta Pi. Currently, Dr. Miguel is the Chair of the ASEE Professional Interest Council I, a position that gives her a seat on the ASEE Board of Directors. She is also the ASEE Pacific Northwest (PNW) Section Chair (2015 - 2017). Dr. Miguel has held several other officer positions across the ASEE including: Division Chair and Program Chair of the ECE and New Engineering Educators Divisions, and ASEE Campus Representative. Dr. Miguel is also a member-at-large of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) Board of Directors. She has been a member of the ECEDHA Annual Conference Program Committee since 2013 and is serving on the Editorial Board for the ECEDHA Source monthly newsletter.

Maria Montagu
Sr. Software V&V Engineer Lead
Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP)
Maria Montagu was born and raised in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and graduated with her BS in Software Engineering from UNAB. Her work in Software Engineering has spanned multiple industries, from financial, to molecular diagnostics to aerospace and defense. Maria brings a truly global perspective to work and life, informed in part by a three-year work opportunity in Japan during which she adapted to – and fell in love with. Maria is currently a Senior Validation Engineer at Advanced Sterilization Products (a Fortive company), where she is responsible for compliance-related Software development and verification activities. She is a proud Latina mom and wife who enjoys hiking, traveling, studying languages, and traveling back to Colombia regularly to visit her family. 

Patricia Nava
Dean, College of Engineering
University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Patricia Nava is the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, and is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to her work at UTEP, Dr. Nava held faculty positions at Northern Arizona University and California State University, Los Angeles, and worked as an Electronics Engineer at White Sands Missile Range and as a Computer Engineer at IBM. Dr. Nava holds Ph.D., MSEE, and BSEE degrees in Electrical Engineering, and has been active in the discipline in different positions and projects. Her research interests involve the theoretical and applied aspects of Digital Design, Computer Architecture, and Artificial Intelligence: specifically, Deep Learning Networks, their analogies to biological systems, and their design and implementation via digital devices, such as programmable hardware. While at UTEP, she has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on successful grants totaling over $16.9M from a variety of agencies, including the NSF, NASA, DoD, NIH, DoEd, Educate Texas, and others. Research endeavors have supported the generation of 59 technical publications, in addition to theses and dissertations related to the work. Dr. Nava’s research has also allowed her to mentor more than 40 graduate students in research and guide them in successful completion of their Masters and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Nava is a dedicated teacher and a member of the UTEP Academy of Distinguished Teachers, as well as the recipient of multiple awards for teaching: UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Lockheed Martin Award for Teaching Excellence. Most recently, Dr. Nava led a team that secured external funding to support engineering students enrolling in Fast-Track Master’s degree programs. This work leverages and enhances UTEP’s efforts to prepare a dynamic and diverse workforce in STEM fields.

Shannon Rodríguez
Branch Head for the Microwave and
Telecommunications Systems Branch
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Shannon Rodríguez is the Branch Head for the Microwave and Telecommunications Systems Branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), where she has managerial, supervisory, leadership and technical authority duties. Prior to this, she was the Associate Branch Head for this same group from 2010 to 2014. She leads a team of about 25 to 30 people to design components and systems to meet the mission communications requirements. While in this group, she has been the RF Communications Lead for proposal efforts and new concept missions, and has collaborated at different organizational levels to help generate new work for the Center. In addition, she actively promotes infusion of the branch’s technology to potential customers. Both the Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST) and Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) missions carry in-house technology developments. Ms. Rodríguez is part of the Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST) Radio Frequency (RF) Communications Systems team, and also serves as technical authority for the discipline, and as independent reviewer for space flight missions, such as currently the Landsat-9 Goddard Standing Review Team (GSRT). Ms. Rodriguez actively works with the Branch on ideas for Internal Research and Development (IRAD), and is a reviewer and subtopic manager for SBIR.
Ms. Rodriguez obtained her Master’ Degree in Electrical Engineering from John’s Hopkins University in 2009. Prior to joining GSFC, she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus (UPRM), where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004. In 2003, she interned at GSFC through the Summer Institute in Engineering and Computer Applications (SIECA) summer internship program.

Ivonne Santiago
Clinical Professor, Civil Engineering
Director, Laboratory
University of Texas at El Paso
Dr. Ivonne Santiago is a Clinical Professor of the Civil Engineering (CE) Department at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Dr. Santiago has a combined experience of over 25 years in the areas of water quality, water treatment and wastewater treatment in Puerto Rico (PR), New Mexico and Texas. Dr. Santiago is passionate about providing experiential learning opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students locally, regionally and internationally with a focus on Hispanic and female students. She is currently Co-PI of UTEP’s NSF H-AGEP program focusing on fostering Hispanic doctoral students for academic careers; the Department of Education’s (DoE) STEMGROW Program that encourages and supports Hispanic students and students with disabilities to pursue STEM careers; and DoE’s Program YES SHE CAN that encourages and supports female students to pursue STEM careers . She is a member of two advisory committees to UTEP’s President: The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and serves as Chair of the Women’s Advisory Council. She is a member at large of the UTEP Council of Academy of Distinguished Teachers. She is Vice-Chair of the Public Service Board, which manages El Paso Water. She was a member of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Committee (NAC), that advises the Administrator of the EPA on environmental policy issues related to the implementation of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. Also, she was a member of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board (GNEB) that advises the President and Congress of the United States on good neighbor practices along the U.S./Mexico border. She is co-PI and Co-Director of the Diversity and Culture of Inclusion, and member of the Engineering Workforce Development and Adoption Research Thrust of the NSF Engineering Research Center ASPIRE (Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification).She has received local and state teaching awards including: the 2014 UTEP’s CETaL Giraffe Award (for sticking her neck out); the 2014 College of Engineering Instruction Award; the 2014 The University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award; and the 2012 NCEES Award for students’ design of a Fire Station. She also received the 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers’ Texas Section “Service to the People” award, and the 2019 El Paso Engineer of the Year award by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. This is the first time in more than 30 years that a UTEP faculty receives this prestigious award and the first time in history that a UTEP female faculty has received it.

Nayda Santiago
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department 
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Nayda G. Santiago is professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM) where she teaches problem solving, undergraduate research and the Capstone Course in Computer Engineering. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus in 1989, a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Computer Engineering from Michigan State University in 2003. She currently leads the Southeast Region of the Computing Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI). She has directed the Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing conferences and in 2019 the first Explore CRC Puerto Rico conference to increase the participation of women in Computing. Dr. Santiago is academic alliance member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), lifetime member of SACNAS, senior member of the IEEE, a member of the ACM, and senior member of the Latinas in Computing (LiC) organization. Dr. Santiago has been awarded 2017 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award, 2008 Henaac Educator Award, 2008 Distinguished Computer Engineer of the CIAPR, and the UPRM Distinguished Alumni award.

Ivonne Valdes
VP Global Sales, Cloud and
Service Provider Segment
Schneider Electric
Ivonne Valdes is a proven global executive building and implementing transformation teams. As an experienced leader she has driven positive change and managed consolidations, sales transformations, new product development announcements and acquisition integrations for several Fortune 500 companies. In her current role, she has global sales responsibility to deliver a holistic customer-centric experience, scalable business model and alignment across multiple business units. Under her leadership, Ivonne has delivered double digit growth year on year and taken the Cloud & Service Provider (C&SP) segment from number 5 to 1 at Schneider Electric. As the leader in charge of the company’s top segment – with customers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple she focuses on the entire customer experience. Her experience includes talent management, account selection/deselection guidelines, compensation, account strategy, GTM, route to market segmentation, complex deal governance, revenue risk and compliance. Ivonne has served on the HITEC Foundation board for the last 3 years. She also serves as the Chair of the Hispanic/LatinX members group for Infrastructure Masons. Infrastructure Masons (IM) was established to provide infrastructure executives and technical professionals an independent forum to connect, grow and give back. IM has set up a scholarship foundation and in 2019 the goal is to award $1M in scholarships with 50% going to women. Ivonne is the recipient of the 2016 CRN power 100 the most powerful women of the channel, nine time recipient of the HITEC 100, 2015 Top 10 Latina Executives of the Year, 2015/2014 CRN Women of the Channel, 2014 HPE customer satisfaction award and the 2019 Infrastructure Mason Inclusion and Diversity Champion award, 2020 Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence and the HITEC 2020 Hall of Fame Award. Prior to Schneider Electric, Ivonne held senior sales leadership positions with some of Silicon Valley’s most respected companies, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems.

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