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Women @ Energy

Women @ Energy

Our new feature, Women @ Energy, showcases a few of our talented and dedicated employees here who are helping change the world, ensuring America’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. View profiles of employees across the country, sharing what inspired them to work in STEM, what excites them about their work at the Energy Department, sharing ideas for getting more underrepresented groups engaged in STEM, offering tips, and more. 

We hope that these stories can inspire others as they think about the future. Only 24% of the STEM workforce is female, an alarming gap as over 51% of the workforce overall is female. We can and should share our own STEM stories to help engage others and offer our voices on how our STEM careers have impacted us. Questions? Comments? Want to request a speaker? Get in touch by emailing annemarie.horowitz@hq.doe.gov

Joyce Yang is a Technology Manager at DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office.
Women @ Energy: Joyce Yang

"Working at the Department is a dream come true – it is a genuine privilege to serve the nation in this way and use my training and experience to work on critical national issues. Being a public servant is a great joy for me, and I wake up every day and know that my work has an impact for the tax payers." Read more from Joyce on her profile here.

Triveni Rao is the Associate Division Head of the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and also holds the position of Senior Physicist.
Women @ Energy: Triveni Rao

"I was a picture perfect geek, but luckily for me, I did not know that I was one. In Indian society at that time, it was not only accepted, but was expected that you focus on studies and excel in them. When I was growing up, no one told me that women were not wired to be scientists or mathematicians or that I was doomed at birth to nonscientific endeavors. In my blissful ignorance, I proceeded to become Physicist." Read more from Triveni on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Joy Andrews

"Don’t be intimidated by things that are difficult. For me science and math didn't always come easily, but when I kept trying and practicing I eventually got it in a way that was satisfying. I still need this type of determination because for the research we do, knowledge and techniques are changing rapidly, and I am always learning new things." Read more from Joy on her profile here.

Joanna Fowler works in the Biosciences Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a Senior Chemist. She also holds the positions of Director of Brookhaven’s PET Program, Adjunct Professor of the Chemistry Department at SUNY at Stony Brook, Adjunct Professor of the Biomedical Engineering Department, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Adjunct Professor of the Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Women @ Energy: Joanna Fowler

"We should never underestimate the impression that a happy, successful woman or minority scientist working in a respectful and supportive institution makes on a young person who is trying to decide on whether to go into science."

Dr. Jasmine Hasi is an expert in designing and fabricating silicon radiation sensors for high energy physics and macromolecular crystallography applications.
Women @ Energy: Jasmine Hasi

"Alas, the world of technology and science is still a man’s world, but over the last decade or so, I have seen an increase of women who are making a difference and a name for themselves. However, I do believe that these remarkable women are not being noticed in society or media, and believe that these successful women should be more vocal and possibly need more media coverage so that young girls (target audience) can acknowledge these powerful icons and feel inspired to follow in the same footsteps." Read more from Jasmine on her profile here.

Dr. Hye-Sook Park has developed experimental techniques in plasma physics, materials science, nuclear physics, and astrophysics that have significantly enriched fundamental science, applied science, and national security science.
Women @ Energy: Hye-Sook Park

"I wanted to demonstrate that I could be as smart as the boys in science. Physics was the male-dominated field when I was young in Korea. I wanted to see whether I could be in this ‘forbidden’ group. I now know that the science community is not forbidden to the girls – it is just so amazingly unexplored field for both boys and girls." Read more from Hye-Sook on her profile here.

Gabriella Carini is a Staff Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Research and Engineering Division.
Women @ Energy: Gabriella Carini

"I’m excited about my work at the Energy Department because it allows me to continuously take on new challenges and work with people of any age that keep the same interest and excitement about what they do as when they were students." Read more from Gabriella on her profile here.

Gabriel Orebi Gann is an Assistant Professor at U.C. Berkeley and works in LBNL's Nuclear Science Division. Photo by Ben Ailes.
Women @ Energy: Gabriel Orebi Gann

"The best part about my job, and the thing that keeps me going when it gets tough, is the people I get to work with. I have certainly learned that there is no such thing as a stereotypical physicist: there is room for everyone here, from competitive gymnasts, marathon runners and rowers, to opera singers and rap artists, to gourmet chefs and published authors." Read more from Gabriel on her profile here.

Farah Fahim has been working as an ASIC development engineer at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since 2009.
Women @ Energy: Farah Fahim

"I feel networking is very important in the field of research, getting to know the right people, reading latest technical publications and being perceptive makes a lot of difference. Serendipity plays a huge role too. I also think getting a mentor is very important, it definitely helped me a lot." Read more from Farah on her profile here.

Emanuela Barzi has tirelessly devoted herself to applied superconductivity and its technological applications for the next generation of particle accelerators.
Women @ Energy: Emanuela Barzi

"For some reason that still eludes me, but that I think has much more to do with perception and some kind of atavistic bias than we may be ready to admit, women are not treated equally yet, and those who assess the opposite are presumably talking politics. We have to change the culture by opening our minds. Our STEM community would be ideal to start changing things, thanks to scientists’ and engineers’ strive for truth and objectivity." Read more from Emanuela on her profile here.

Eileen Vergino, standing, at a water quality workshop she helped lead in Jordan with her colleagues from Iraq.
Women @ Energy: Eileen Vergino

"I truly care about the work I do. Having a chance to participate in science that really makes a positive contribution to US national security is what gets me out of bed everyday. I came to the Lab because I have always believed that the work matters." Read more from Eileen on her profile here.

Persis Drell, SLAC. Photo Credit: Linda A. Cicero Stanford News Service
Women @ Energy: Persis Drell

"Follow your passion. Do what you are excited by and interested in. That is when you will do the very best work and be the happiest." Read more from Persis on her profile here.

Dr. Robyn Madrak Plant is an Associate Scientist at Fermilab, working at the Accelerator Physics Center on the accelerator RF upgrades for the NOVA experiment.
Women @ Energy: Robyn Madrak Plant

"I think the main source of encouragement would be in seeing role models: more women in STEM at all stages and branches - in positions from high to low level, from the teaching oriented to management oriented to technically oriented. Also, I think the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate is key. Finally, more funding for STEM in general and thus a larger total number of positions working in those fields would be hugely beneficial." Read more from Robyn on her profile here.

Yan Li is a Computational Physicist at the Computational Science Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Yan Li

"What we can learn from books, science magazines, and conversations with scientists can not replace how we would actually experience as a researcher in that particular field. Try to find an opportunity to spend several hours, days or weeks working in a lab or a group in that particular field and get the first-hand experience." Read more from Yan on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Deborah Keszenman Pereyra

"My work in STEM was as the result of a dream come true of a girl. As a little kid, I used to play the role of the doctor all the time trying to relieve the pain and cure the wounds and scratches of every day’s life of everybody that was close to me, from my teddy bear to my friends and family. I was the girl that was always carrying her First Aid Kit ready to be used if necessary." Read more from Deborah on her profile here.

Deborah Joanne Bard is a post-doc at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where she works on science preparation for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).
Women @ Energy: Deborah Joanne Bard

"Most of all, it's important to be enthusiastic about the science. Research can be hard work, but if you're fascinated by the subject then it's very rewarding. And don't underestimate the importance of computing! Most of my work involves writing code, so getting familiar with common coding languages will really help you hit the ground running."

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Deborah Harris

"I was inspired by the idea that I could build something with my own two hands that would detect particles that were invisible to the human eye. I also appreciated the attitude of the physicists I worked for who were doing the research. These people really loved their jobs and were not just doing this to get paid so that they could then go do something fun on the weekend." Read more from Deborah on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Debra Callahan

"I think my best advice would be to find mentors — both male and female. I have had several very good mentors in my career who gave me opportunities to succeed and pushed me to do things that I didn't know that I could do." Read more from Debbie on her profile here.

Dawn Munson is a Mechanical Engineer for the Engineering Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt.
Women @ Energy: Dawn Munson

"I spent all of my youth asking, "Why?" And, "How did they do that?" I have been endlessly fascinated with bridges, machines, packaging, and the process of how things go together. I chose a career in engineering at the age of 15 when, after two years of mechanical drafting, I decided that machines and their parts really interested me." Read more from Dawn on her profile here.

Women @ Energy
Women @ Energy: Christina Swinson

"I chose to work at Brookhaven Lab because of my previous experience of Department of Energy affiliated labs as centers of scientific excellence. When I arrived, I found that Brookhaven National Lab fits perfectly into this category. Here, I am excited to participate in cutting edge accelerator research at the Accelerator Test Facility, a facility with unique capabilities and the home to many firsts in accelerator physics." Read more from Christina on her profile here.

Cherrill Spencer is a Magnet Engineer at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Cherrill Spencer

"I choose physics because it deals with the basic questions about the universe and appealed to my curiosity about what we are ultimately made from. I went into elementary particle physics at the PhD stage of my career so I could design and carry out experiments to discover if there was anything inside a proton or what the proprieties of a muon are, for example." Read more from Cherrill on her profile here.

Ms. Kessler is the Chair of Nonproliferation & National Security Department at Brookhaven National Lab.
Women @ Energy: Carol Kessler

"In 1972, a friend in college surprised me by saying I was wasting my talents being an art history major. She told me I should take advantage of the women’s lib movement and go into science. Now was the time for women in science. I was a bit hesitant to make such a large change and wrote my parents about the idea. I still have the letter my father wrote supporting me." Read more from Carol on her profile here.

Astrid Tomada, Staff Engineer at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Women @ Energy: Astrid Tomada

"I think it is still quite challenging for women to get involved in STEM work. I believe society on the whole has to evolve further in this area, although some progress has been made in recent years. I would like to see more opportunities for flexible work-hours; this would allow more women (and men!) to thrive in their careers and also have a family, rather than (almost) having to choose between the two." Read more from Astrid on her profile here.

Aria Soha is an Engineering Physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Women @ Energy: Aria Soha

"High Energy Physicists invented the world wide web. The Tevatron lead to the NMR. I'm proud to be a part of that history. In particular, since I work in Detector R&D, I'm sure that one day I'll be able to look back and say I helped the guy who ended up inventing...." Read more from Aria on her profile here.

Amber Boehnlein is a physicist and heads scientific-computing applications in SLAC's Particle Physics and Astrophysics directorate.
Women @ Energy: Amber Boehnlein

"Seeds planted early and cultivated well tend to bear fruit. My grandparents lived next to Roger Bacon High School in St. Bernard, Ohio which led to an amusing case of hero worship. As a very young girl, I wanted to be a Franciscan friar and study nature using the scientific method, just like Roger Bacon!" Read more from Amber on her profile here.