Eleven exceptional Connecticut women were recognized for their achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the 17th annual Women of Innovation® awards, presented in a virtual ceremony by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) on October 14, 2021.
The prestigious awards were earned by women innovators, role models and leaders in the STEM disciplines. They were selected from a field of 36 finalists—the scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who are catalysts for scientific advancement throughout Connecticut.
The 2021 Women of Innovation award winners are:
- Youth Innovation and Leadership
Sivani Arvapalli, South Windsor High School
- Collegian Innovation and Leadership
Alexis Ernst, Ph.D. Candidate, Materials Science & Engineering | University of Connecticut
- Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership
Amy Cornell, Science Teacher, Robotics Coach, Health & Wellness Curriculum Coordinator | The Country School, Madison
- Postsecondary Academic Innovation and Leadership
Andrea Kwaczala, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering | Western New England University
- Research Innovation and Leadership
Martha Gilmore, George I. Seney Professor of Geology | Wesleyan University
- Community Innovation and Leadership
Adrienna Yan, Design Engineer l Pratt & Whitney
- Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership
Carol Yvette Thorney, Founder, President and CEO | Thorney Advisors
- Small/Medium Business Innovation and Leadership
Marie Zuckerman, Patent Agent l Precision Combustion, Inc.
- Large Business Innovation and Leadership [TIE]
Laurie Chipperfield, Senior Director, Chemical Research & Development | Pfizer
Megan Rosengarten, President, Surgical Robotics | Medtronic
- STEM Equitability
Anna Marie LaChance, Ph.D. Candidate l UConn School of Engineering
Women of Innovation finalists are nominated by their peers, coworkers, and mentors and are selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems and demonstration of leadership. Young women pursuing STEM studies at the high school, undergraduate and graduate level are also among the finalists and were selected based on inventiveness and accomplishments in science and technology, independent research, as well as academic achievement and community service.
“We are incredibly fortunate in Connecticut to have extraordinarily talented women throughout the STEM disciplines. These brilliant women are an indispensable catalyst in Connecticut’s economic comeback,” says Giovanni Tomasi, President/Chief Technology Officer of RSL Fiber Systems and Board Chair of CTC.
“As these finalists demonstrate, women in STEM in Connecticut are leading innovation, achieving breakthroughs, and encouraging girls to do that and more,” Tomasi added. “Connecticut’s economy is expanding and becoming more robust in great part by achieving and sustaining leadership in STEM. These are the people whose contributions are critical in our state’s renaissance.”