Silvia Centeno

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), 

“Conserving, Preserving, and Understanding the Materials and Techniques of Works of Art”

Silvia Centeno will discuss the importance of interdisciplinary teams of scientists, conservators, and art historians in understanding complex processes involved in the deterioration of art work and their role in the determination of correct procedures for the conservation and preservation of these works. She will talk about her personal experience as a woman in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields. She received a PhD in Chemistry from Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, and started at The Met as an L. Frohlich Fellow to study unusual gilding techniques in Pre-Columbian metalwork. Since 2012, she has been a principal investigator in a team of scientists that employs solid-state NMR and other methods to understand aging and degradation processes in oil paintings, funded by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation. 


Maria Hernandez

Elliot Management Corporation

“STEM women in finances”

Maria Hernandez graduated from Long Island University in Science, Math and Physics, she continued her education pursuing graduate School obtaining a degree in Computer Science. She will discuss her experience as a business and High Tech communications applications analyst in the health and business industry, and now as finance manager.


Karen Chen-Wiegart

Stony Brook University, Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering

“Let there be light – a career journey of materials science research with synchrotron light”

When Karen first came to the U.S. as a Ph.D. student, she could hardly imagine that one day she will be leading her own research group at Stony Brook University. She also could have not predicted it, when she was learning how to conduct synchrotron X-ray analysis as part of her thesis work in materials science and engineering, one day she will be working side-by-side with her students to study a much broader range of topics with synchrotron light. Ever since, Karen has been enjoying the research, education and outreach aspects of scientific career, where she found joy in sharing the ‘light’ with many more people, from research laboratories, school’s career days, church summer camp, to the public open-house event at Brookhaven Lab. The talk intended to share the career journey of Prof. Karen Chen-Wiegart, to shed a light on both the professional and personal aspects of being an early-career scientist and an educator.

Karen Chen-Wiegart received her B.S. from National Taiwan University and Ph.D from Northwestern University, both in Materials Science and Engineering. Her group emphasizes on applying state-of-the-art x-ray imaging and spectroscopic techniques to study novel functional materials.  She is a recipient of National Science Foundation CAREER award and currently participates in two Energy Frontier Research Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Lily Cushenbery

Lily Cushenbery (moderator)

Stony Brook University

Lily Cushenbery is an Associate Professor of Management at Stony Brook University and the director of the Leadership & Creativity Research Lab. Her work in leadership, innovation, and conflict applies science-based approaches to practical organizational problems. Her research focuses on 1) the process by which leaders overcome failures and 2) the dynamics of innovative teams. Her primary research examines the consequences of leader mistakes and mistake recovery on leader-follower relationships. Her innovation research includes constructs such as team member influence and team climate. Her work has been published in a variety of outlets, including the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Leadership Quarterly, and Human Resource Management Review. Dr. Cushenbery’s consulting clients include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Del Monte Foods, Big Heart Pet Brands, PNC Bank, and The Long Island Library Resource Council, and Gold Coast Bank. Her research has been featured in a number of press outlets, including CNN, Fortune Magazine, Inc.com, Fastcompany, Yahoo, and MSN.

She received a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Penn State University and Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism, where she studied the process of terrorist deradicalization for a grant from the Office of Naval Research. For more information, please visit http://www.theLCLab.com.

Kayla Hernandez

Kayla Hernandez

Brookhaven National Laboratory

As the only female RF tech in the Collider Accelerator Department at BNL,  Kayla is passionate about her small part in smashing atoms and gender stereotypes. When she is not troubleshooting hardware, she is building an inclusive community through her role as co-chair of  the Early Career Resource Group and FY20 president-elect of Brookhaven Women and Science.

190919_Malone Patricia_018

Pat Malone

Stony Brook University

Pat Malone was named the Associate Vice President for Professional Education and Assistant Vice President for Engaged Learning in the School of Professional Development in 2019.  In addition, Pat is the Executive Director of the Center for Corporate Education, serving over 1000 professionals annually. Presenting nationally and internationally on the universities role in workforce, economic development and clean energy jobs, Pat has facilitated numerous forums with labor, education and industry including three Federal Department of Labor National Transformational Forums for the WIRED Grants and NYSERDA focus groups.

In 2008 Pat created the global award winning “Wall Street and Beyond” certificate program in collaboration with the project Management Institute and the USGBC-LI to assist over 2000 dislocated professionals. She has conducted clean energy, manufacturing and aerospace labor market intelligence and development projects for the New York State Department of Labor, NYSERDA and the Governors’ Regional Economic Development Councils Opportunity Agenda.  Pat is the Long Island director for workforce for the new Manufacturing Extension Partnership. She is a member of the Suffolk County Workforce Development Board, the REDC Workforce and Education Committee, founding chair of the Outreach, Engagement and Economic Development Network for the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and served on the inaugural editorial board for their digital publication, UNBOUND.

She holds a BA from the University of Dayton, a Master’s Degree from Stony Brook University and co-edited the Jossey Bass publication “Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education” and is the recipient of City and State’s “Corporate Social Responsibility Award”.


Anna Mercaldi

Pratt & Whitney

Anna Mercaldi is a Quality Associate Engineer at Pratt & Whitney. She graduated in May of 2019 from the University of New Haven with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. While in school, her research work focused on nitric oxide multi-functional materials such as biomaterial NO delivery and multi-modal surface focused anti-coagulation. As a professional, her passions evolved and include: continuous improvement, strategic future planning, and diversifying the workforce. Anna will be starting her Master’s in June 2020.


Vanessa Sanders

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Dr. Vanessa A. Sanders is an Assistant Scientist in the Medical Isotope Research and Production (MIRP) group at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). She received her Ph.D. in Radiochemistry  from the University of Nevada Las Vegas under the direction of Dr. Ken Czerwinski and Dr. Lynn Francesconi. Upon completing her dissertation she became the first African American Woman to receive a Ph. D. in Radiochemistry. Her graduate work focused on the synthesis, characterization, and biological evaluation of Technetium-99m and Rhenium-188 peptides for theragnostic applications. She completed her post-doctoral training in the MIRP program under the direction of Dr. Cathy S. Cutler, where she primarily focused on developing novel methods for Arsenic-72 labeling to monoclonal antibodies. Her current research interests include the production, and separation of relevant and potentially novel radioisotopes. She is also interested in the synthesis and characterization of radiometal complexes for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. When she is not in the laboratory Sanders spends her time mentoring the next generation of scientists.