HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The Founding Story
Throughout her undergraduate career, Holly had always felt isolated and underrepresented as a woman in the sciences. Starting the Women in Science Society at her school was her attempt to not only create an environment of motivation and mutual support for herself- but an attempt to create a sense of community among women in science. When over 150 women joined, Holly realized that it wasn't just a small subset of women who felt the same way she did, it was the majority of women in science at her school. This realization lead to an increased sense of purpose. Holly decided to use the Women in Science Society as a platform to initiate change. With the help of her chapter's Leadership Team, Holly began planning events and implementing programs that not only promoted an atmosphere of inclusion and support for these women, but also provided them with opportunities that contributed to their academic and professional success. Seeing the impact that her chapter had on its members, Holly decided to convert the organization into a 501(c)(3), allowing her to establish chapters at universities across the country and therefore expand the scope of this organization's impact.
MEET THE TEAM
Board of Directors
President and CEO
Julia DePillo is a 4th year biochemistry major with minors in microbiology and philosophy at San Diego State University. Julia is a researcher in Dr. John Love’s biochemistry lab studying proteins. She has been working with the Women in Science Society for almost 3 years at both Chapter and National levels. Julia is honored to be able to continue to promote, educate and motivate women through her work with the Women in Science Society.
Veronica Casas, PhD
Veronica Casas received her B.S. (1996, UCSD) and M.S. (2003, SDSU) degrees in Microbiology. Veronica received her Ph.D. in Biology (with an emphasis in microbial molecular biology) from the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in 2011. Veronica has more than 20 years of experience as a scientist in the biotechnology industry and academia, with extensive expertise in teaching, mentoring, and training undergraduate students. Veronica’s major contributions to the SDSU STEM community have been in mentoring students and developing programs to increase retention, graduation rates, and support for students in STEM majors. Veronica continues to exercise her passion for mentoring underrepresented students by serving as the faculty sponsor for WSS.
Lindsey Allen will finish her B.S. in Biology at San Diego State University in 2019 and aspires to further her education by obtaining a Doctor of Optometry degree post graduation. During her undergraduate career she has involved herself with several organizations focused on women’s empowerment as well as creating academic success for STEM majors. By obtaining leadership roles in Delta Gamma fraternity and Delight Ministries, she has been able to promote strong female leadership by acting as a mentor to her peers. She also works for the College of Sciences Student Success Center to advise science majors on managing their rigorous coursework and extracurricular involvement. Her most valuable undergraduate experience however has been combining both of her passions by working with the Women in Science Society which not only empowers women but also enables success for hardworking young scientists. She was a founding executive member of the Women in Science Society’s original chapter as the secretary and will continue with this same role on the Board of Directors.
Maria Sturchler, MD
Maria de Lourdes Sturchler is a first-generation college graduate who received her M.D. (2017, VUSoM) after a circuitous path to her dream of becoming an ER physician. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education (2005, FAU) after changing majors in college, and began working in her former high school as a permanent substitute for the mathematics department. In early 2006, she earned her math teaching certification and continued teaching at the middle- and high-school level for several years while earning her M.S. in Mathematics Education and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership (2008, 2011 NSU) as part of her plan to keep opportunity’s door open in case she ever wanted to pursue a school district administration career. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the gender gap in STEM fields, and re-ignited her desire to pursue a medical career.
In 2010, Maria restarted her medical school prerequisite coursework and simultaneously completed her doctorate with the unflagging encouragement of her mentors and family. In 2013, she gained acceptance to Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and she is currently completing her Emergency Medicine residency here in San Diego at Kaiser Permanente. Maria also rotates through Scripps Mercy, Rady’s Children’s, Palomar, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County medical centers. She is more passionate than ever to support women in STEM, and has enthusiastically joined WSS in hopes of paying forward what her mentors have done for her.
Stacey Sinclair, PhD
Stacey Sinclair received her B.S. (1995, Virginia Tech) and M.A. (1997, James Madison University) degrees in Psychology. In 2001, Stacey received her Ph.D. in Counseling (with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy) from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has been the Director of the Weber Honors College at San Diego State University (SDSU) since 2005 and in this role, she recruits and mentors students, develops the Honors curriculum, and helps organize the growth and development of Honors as an integral part of SDSU. Stacey’s research, publication, and teaching focus on interdisciplinary approaches to the social and behavioral sciences, including a focus on postmodern analyses of culture, identity, and conflict resolution. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on these topics and presents her work at the national and international level. Stacey is co-author of the book New Horizons in Multicultural Counseling published by Sage in 2008, and is currently co-authoring the book Cultural Counseling: Bridging the Us vs.Them Divide to be published by Cognella in 2019. Stacey also has a strong background in developing a range of interdisciplinary international education programs for honors students from diverse academic backgrounds, including leading programs in Costa Rica, China, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, and New Zealand.
Craig Norman is currently Senior Vice President of Pharmacy at H-E-B. Craig joined H-E-B in January of 2007 and has been a licensed pharmacist for 35 years. Prior to joining H-E-B Craig was with Costco Wholesale for 17 years; his most recent position being Vice President U.S. Pharmacy Operations. Craig began his pharmacy career as a staff pharmacist in Kansas City, MO and has also held the positions of Pharmacy Manager, Regional Pharmacy Supervisor and Assistant Vice President Pharmacy Operations. Craig’s contributions to the community include positions on the following boards and committees: The University of Missouri-Kansas City Dean’s Advisory Council, University of Texas College of Pharmacy Advisory Council and the Texas Medical Association Foundation Board of Trustees. Craig is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association, the Texas Pharmacy Association and the American Cancer Society. Craig received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1983 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has attended many executive development programs over the years including the seven-month Executive Leadership Program at Seattle University Albers Graduate School of Business in 2005. Craig and his wife Dana of 33 years reside in San Antonio and have two children, Zack and Holly, both of whom are in college.
Rebecca Lewison, PhD
Rebecca Lewison, a Professor in Biology, completed her B.A. at Vassar College (1993, Biopsychology) and her Ph.D. at UC, Davis (2002, Ecology). She joined the SDSU Biology Department in 2006 and also serves as Director for the Institute for Ecological Management and Monitoring, a multi-disciplinary research institute at SDSU. Using innovative field, quantitative and lab-based approaches, Dr. Lewison studies vulnerable wildlife populations that live in both terrestrial and marine environments. Her research explores pressing conservation and sustainability issues, e.g. habitat fragmentation, connectivity, sustainable resource use, ecotoxicology, and coupled human-natural systems. Over the past decade, Dr. Lewison has been spearheading integrative research in conservation ecology, policy and resource use, with expertise and experience across a wide taxonomic range of organisms and ecosystems, and is a recognized leader in applied conservation science. Dr. Lewison has also been instrumental in developing initiatives and activities in support of diversity and inclusion in STEM, serving as chair of the Diversity and Inclusion in STEM Advisory Committee, and as a PI on NSF ADVANCE projects at SDSU.
Sue Behrens, PhD
Dr. Behrens is George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor in Bioprocessing and Director of the Amgen Bioprocessing
Center at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in Claremont, CA. She is also Program Director for the Masters of
Engineering in Biopharmaceutical Processing, which focuses on training the next generation of leaders. As
President, SB Executive Consulting, LLC, she provides support for development and manufacturing of biologic and
vaccine products. She has expertise in CMC process development, development of regulatory file documentation
and technology transfer to full-scale operation. Dr. Behrens is particularly interested in projects with clients
working to ensure global access to advanced healthcare. She also serves as a member of the Governing Committee for NIIMBL and on the Technical Advisory Board for National Resilience, Inc.
Prior to KGI, Dr. Behrens was Senior Director for Process Engineering at Integrated Project Solutions (IPS), providing
support for process and critical utility equipment design and specification. At Merck for over 20 years, she was
responsible for global technical support and clinical product manufacture for sterile product, biologic, vaccine and
chemical API production. Dr. Behrens received a BS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of
Michigan and UC-Berkeley.
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