WCA to recognize five Women in Tech award winners

By Ryan Deffenbaugh

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Five accomplished women from STEM fields will be recognized by the Westchester County Association on Oct. 20 as part of its third annual “Women in Tech” awards.

The WCA launched the awards in 2014 to recognize women for accomplishments while working in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

This year’s winners will be recognized at an 11 a.m. reception at the Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown.

The 2016 honorees are:

• Jean F. Coppola: Award-winning educator, author and professor of gerontechnology at Pace University. Coppola has won multiple national awards for her work researching the effects of technology on older adult life quality, attitudes toward aging and cognitive functioning.

Karen D’Ambrosio: Senior director of clinical systems for Montefiore Information Technology, a subsidiary of Montefiore Health System. During a 10-year career with Montefiore, D’Ambrosio has led a team of more than 200 information technology professionals to design and maintain the health system’s IT systems. She has worked in the information technology field for more than 30 years.

Theodora Diamantis: Building project director for Skanska USA. An engineer and architect, Diamantis has led multiple high-profile, multimillion-dollar projects in health care, higher education, retail, commercial and research laboratories. Most recently, she was part of the leadership team that completed the $600 million City University of New York Advanced Science Research Center.

Rebecca Jones: Assistant professor in the psychiatry department at NewYork- Presbyterian Hospital Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. Jones studies the development of the social brain and how and why it differs with autism spectrum disorders. She uses a variety of technologies in her research, including wearable devices, eye tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine variations in social behavior in children, adolescents and adults.

Rong Xu: Principal research scientist at Profectus BioScience Inc., a clinical-stage vaccine development company in Tarrytown. Xu leads the immunology team in performing preclinical and clinical studies. She previously worked as the senior research scientist at Pfizer Vaccine Research and as a research associate at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

The luncheon will also recognize two students for achievements and passion in STEM fields: Lucie LeBlanc, a senior at Mamaroneck High School, where she created her school’s Code Club in partnership with The Flatiron School, and Esmeralda A. Michaca, a mathematics and computer science major at Purchase College.

Tickets are $125 for WCA members and $150 for non-members. To purchase tickets, visit www.westchester.org.

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About the author

Ryan Deffenbaugh covers energy, education, food and beverage and the Sound Shore for the Westchester County Business Journal. He previously worked for Westchester Magazine and The Citizen daily newspaper (Auburn, N.Y.). He started with the Westchester County Business Journal in March 2016.

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