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Office of Science Outreach

ENVISION: STEM Career Day Supporting Young Women

ENVISION participants visiting a laboratory.

 Thank you to everyone who participated in Envision 2021!




The primary goal of ENVISION: STEM Career Day Supporting Young Women is to help young women see themselves in the STEM fields. ENVISION is open to all students who are currently in 6th—12th grades.

Throughout this half-day online experience, ENVISION attendees will hear inspiring speakers, learn from Penn State scientists, mathematicians, and technology experts, and participate in informal conversations with students and professional scientists. If you want to learn what women in STEM do, what they can accomplish, and how STEM is relevant to your own journey, this is the event for you!

Due to the current public health emergency, ENVISION will be held virtually via Zoom. Based on responses to a survey to past participants, we have made the following changes for this year:

  • ENVISION will be a half-day event, finishing up before lunch.
  • Sessions will be focused on the college experience as a STEM major, STEM careers, and networking with near-peers and professionals. 

If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to the Penn State Science Outreach team at


Program Details

When: Saturday, March 20, 2021, 9 AM - Noon

How to Register: The event is concluded for this year. 

Registration Cost: Free!


9:00-9:10 -  Welcome to ENVISION 2021

9:10-9:30 -  Keynote talks with Q&A

9:30-10:30 - Learn about various STEM careers 

10:30-10:45 - Break time

10:45-11:00 - Fun peer discussions   

11:00-11:15 - What's it like at Penn State's Eberly College of Science?

11:15-11:45 - Meet with STEM college students   

11:45-12:00 - Closing  

Career Sessions & Panelists


Earth and Space Science (red group)

  • Kaosisochi Uwazuruonye: Hey, my name is Kaosi! I am currently in my last semester of graduate school, studying Aerospace Engineering with a minor in computational science. Prior to this, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  I had always leaned towards the sciences but it wasn’t until I was 9, that I knew I wanted to study Engineering. During this time, I had just lost my friend in a plane crash and this played a significant part in my decision. My ultimate goal is to utilize AI and ML algorithms to implement better computer programs and infrastructure that will help with the advancement of the aerospace defense industry. I am very much into fitness, and I like working out. I enjoy journaling (I have been trying to journal every day since the start of 2020.) Sometimes you can find me painting or creating drawings, and when I am not doing that, I am catching up on my favorite TVshows.

  • Phoebe McClincy: Hello! My name is Phoebe, and I am a senior at Penn State majoring in astronomy and astrophysics, with minors in physics and mathematics. I study a concept called gravitational waves, which are ripples in the fabric of spacetime caused by black holes! A childhood (and adulthood) love of airplanes, an obsession with both Star Wars and Star Trek, and the NASA Wallops Flight Facility museum in Virginia are just some of the things that contributed to my love of physics and astronomy. Outside of class and research, I love reading, plane-spotting, photography, and spending time with my friends and family. 

  • Kim Faulds: More Info soon!

Biology, Statistics, and Genetics (orange group)

  • Natalia T Grube: I study infectious parasitic organism Taenia,  more commonly known as tapeworms, especially their pathogenesis and evolution. I'm particularly interested in the evolution of tapeworms that inhabit the human host environment. Science provides an avenue for me to continuously learn and understand the nature of our world and of life. I'm a plant enthusiast and love reading and traveling.

  • Elle Butler Basner: Hello! I'm Elle, and I am a graduate student studying statistics at Penn State University. I graduated with a double-major in Biochemistry and Applied Math & Statistics in 2019. Now, as a statistics Ph.D. student, I am interested in bioinformatics, which is a mix of biology, statistics, and computer science. For research, I am developing new statistical methods to analyze genomics data. This data comes from genes, which tells us about organism traits. Growing up, I always liked math and science. I had great teachers who made it fun for me! I also liked the different questions that science could answer, which is also true of my interest in statistics. When I'm not doing research or studying, some of my hobbies include baking, reading, and doing puzzles.

  • Dynisty Wright: My name is Dynisty Wright. When I was an undergraduate student, I knew I loved biology and teaching so I decided to major in Science Education so that I could teach the subject I loved. However, while I was in my Junior year, I discovered cancer biology through research and fell in love with the aspect of genetics. So, when I started my Ph.D., I decided I wanted to do something with genetics and landed in a lab that does genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. Although I miss the cancer portion, I love what I am doing in genetics and plan to use these skills to incorporate them into cancer research in the future. Outside of my lab, some of my hobbies include reading, writing short stories, playing tennis, and scrolling through social media.

  • Sophia Dewing: My names is Sophia and I'm in the Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Ph.D program at Penn State. I'm interested in discovering how proteins called transcription factors lock and unlock sections of the genome because I want to know how we grow and develop, express our individual characteristics, and can be changed at the genetic level by our environment. I became interested in science after taking an environmental science class in high school, and though my interests have changed, I chose to stick with it ever since! When I'm not in the lab, I like to read fantasy fiction, play board/card/video games, get outside, and try out new baking ventures. 

Mechanical, Industrial, and Software Engineering (yellow group)

  • Mike Manahan: Dr. Manahan is an Assistant Research Professor at the Applied Research Laboratory. He holds his BS, MS, and PhD in mechanical engineering and conducts research in energy and power systems. Dr. Manahan has been interested in STEM-related fields since high school when he saw the connection between math and physics. He then became interested in energy and power systems, seeing the broad application and worldwide need for energy and power sources. In his free time, Dr. Manahan enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing soccer, and working on various projects. 

  • Haroula Tzamaras: My name is Haroula Tzamaras. I got my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in mechanical engineering in 2018 and worked as a design engineer in industry before coming back to school. Now I am a first-year Ph.D. student in Industrial Engineering studying human factors and human-centered design and their applications in the training of medical doctors. I got interested in science and engineering when I was in high school and had the opportunity to take an introductory engineering course. In the course we had an assignment to build an automated marble sorter using motors and other simple materials; I was fascinated both by how the machinery worked and how we as designers interacted with it. This led me to what I am studying now. Outside of school, I am usually running, biking, hiking, or reading a good book (preferably outside in my hammock!)

  • Sarah Roberts: More Info Soon!

Materials Engineering, Bioplastics, and Chemical Engineering (green group)

  • Christine Cummings: My name is Christine and I'm a first-year mechanical engineering Ph.D. student at Penn State. My research is in nature-inspired materials and engineering solutions to big problems. I'm currently working with bioplastics. I've always been interested in knowing how things work and that's what initially got me into science and engineering. In my free time, I like hiking and yoga.

  • Megan Vareha: My name is Megan Vareha and I am a senior at Penn State studying Chemical Engineering and minoring in Engineering Leadership Development (ELD).  In my field, I use my engineering knowledge to optimize and design chemical processes for all different kinds of industries.  Those in my field work to produce medicines and vaccines, oil and gas for fuel and energy, toilet paper, makeup, food, and many other products.  I am most interested in the pharmaceutical industry, which makes vaccines and medicines of all kinds!  I first became interested in science in seventh grade when I learned about the different kinds of cells in our bodies.  Outside of school, I enjoy going to the gym, traveling, playing piano, singing, and meeting my friends for coffee.  I love what I do and am excited to share more!

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Cognitive Psychology (blue group)

  • Nathaniel Mack: Nate is a data scientist, specializing in machine learning and AI, who works at a Penn State research lab. Nate graduated from Virginia Tech as a computer scientist and is currently studying mathematics at George Mason University. He's worked in computer software at a variety of environments, including Amazon and the U.S government. Nate has always enjoyed the satisfaction of watching a mathematical theory turn into tangible result that computer science provides. In his free time, he enjoys playing violin and fetch with his Australian Shepard.   Ask him questions about computer science or working in the software field!

  • Tricia Flynn: I earned my BS Electrical Engineering from Penn State and my MS Computer Science with specialty in Computational Perception and Robotics from Georgia Tech. I worked in the aerospace industry for several years after I graduated from Penn State, and later, I changed careers to work as a high school Computer Science and Math teacher while my two children were younger. After completing my master's degree, I changed careers again to return to an engineering career. I currently work in Geospatial Intelligence, and I have interests in image science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. My interest in STEM was first sparked through my fascination with science fiction films because I was curious how much of science fiction could become science reality. It is amazing that I have watched many seemingly impossible Hollywood-created gadgets come to life over the years! In my spare time while I worked as a teacher, I coached a competitive robotics team. I also like to stay fit and spend time with my family. 

  • Amy Lebkuecher: My name is Amy Lebkuecher and I am a graduate student in Cognitive Psychology. I work with human participants and computational models to study how humans learn and use language. I'm also interested in the similarities between language and other types of cognition like the ability to perform a series of actions (such as reaching for a cup and bringing it to your mouth to take a drink). I became interested in cognition and the brain when my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor in my sophomore year of high school and I saw how the changes in his brain led to changes in his memory and behavior. When I'm not sciencing, I enjoy reading books, going for walks, video games and puzzles.

Pre-med, Biomedical Engineering, and Computer Science (purple group)

  • Sharon Xiaolei Huang: Sharon Xiaolei Huang is currently an associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.  She is also an affiliated faculty member of Penn State’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Her research interests lie at the intersection of biomedical image analysis, machine learning, and computer vision.  She has over 140 publications and holds 7 patents. She is an associate editor for the Computer Vision and Image Understanding journal. She received her Bachelor’s degree in computer science from Tsinghua University, and her Master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from Rutgers University. Her research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Pennsylvania State University.

  • Julia Thompson: Julia Thompson is a sophomore undergraduate student studying Biomedical Engineering, Premedical Sciences. She is interested in engineering tissues as well as learning more about how bacteria and viruses interact with the body. Her family really influenced her decision to go into the STEM field. They always pushed her to achieve her full potential while also helping her realize her passion for improving other's lives. She really enjoys volunteering at Centre LifeLink as an EMT as well as the Mount Nittany Medical Center. Julia is also involved in coaching figure skating at the Pegula Ice Arena as well as being an active member of the Penn State Figure Skating Team.

  • Shengxi Huang: My name is Shengxi Huang. I am an assistant professor in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering. I am interested in nanomaterials and using them to detect biomolecules, which has potential applications in better disease diagnosis. I have always been curious about how a common object or phenomenon in our daily life works, and this got me interested in science and technology. In my spare time, I enjoy binge-watching TV, listening to classical music, and playing the piano.

For more information, please see Information for Parents from the Penn State Office of Ethics and Compliance. 



Learn More about the Office of Science Outreach Here

Contact us via email at or give us a call at (814) 865-6236

 Office of Science Outreach, 201 Ritenour Building, University Park, PA 16802

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