NEW YORK – Two Indian American women, along with 11 others from Connecticut, were honored for their innovation and leadership during the fourteenth annual Connecticut Technology Council Women of Innovation® Awards presentation on Wednesday, March 28, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
Rishika Maitra, a senior at the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering was honored in the Youth Innovation & Leadership category, while Dr. Honey Reddi, the Clinical Laboratory Director at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, was honored in the Large Business Innovation & Leadership category.
Maitra lives in Middletown, Connecticut and has been a senior member of the math team and an editor of the school newspaper at the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering.
She spends her time on bioinformatics and computational biology research and enjoys playing the piano, baking and reading.
As the winner of the Youth Innovation & Leadership category, Maitra will receive the Medtronic Youth and Innovation Scholarship.
Reddi is a clinical molecular geneticist with a Ph.D. in biotechnology and more than two decades of experience in translational research with diverse organizations including the Mayo Clinic.
As the Clinical Lab Director at Jackson Labs, she is passionate about impacting patient care through her innovative work and is known for inspiring women in biomedical sciences through her leadership ethic.
Two other women, Dr. Sarah E. Kelly, Vice President of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Pfizer Inc. and Margaret Steinbugler, Manager of Materials Analysis and Mechanics at Pratt & Whitney, won in the Large Business Innovation & Leadership category with Reddi.
The Women of Innovation program recognizes 50 women innovators, role models and leaders in science and technology professions, of with 13 are recognized as winners.
“The awards dinner officially kicks off our Women of Innovation program for 2018. We have a growing network of nearly 700 women whom we’ve honored over the past fourteen years. CTC is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive tech talent pipeline in our state, and we’re encouraging these women to attend upcoming Women of Innovation networking events to provide career support and enrichment for one another,” said Bruce Carlson, the President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, in a statement.
The evening’s awards ceremony was emceed by Diane Smith, a Connecticut media veteran and Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Communication, Film and Media Studies at the University of New Haven.
The event also featured a panel discussion entitled “Women in STEM: Leading Connecticut Through Innovation.”
The other nine women won in their respective categories:
- Qin Lu, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the School of Engineering, University of Connecticut: Collegian Innovation & Leadership
- Susan Meabh Kelly, Science Teacher at Henry Abbott Technical High School, Connecticut State Department of Education: Academic Innovation & Leadership (Secondary)
- Karen Wosczyna-Birch, Executive Director at Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, College of Technology: Academic Innovation & Leadership (Post-secondary)
- Nicole Gagnon, Mechanical Design Engineer at Pratt & Whitney: Community Innovation & Leadership
- Candace Freedenberg, Founder and President of Untapped Potential Inc.: Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership
- Ashley Kalinauskas, Founder and CEO of Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership
- Christine Finck, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery & Pediatrics at UConn Health Center and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center: Research Innovation & Leadership Susan J. Baserga, M.D., PhD, Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, Genetics, and Therapeutic Radiology at Yale University: Research Innovation & Leadership Marcia LaFemina, President of The Pennsylvania Globe Gaslight Company: Small Business Innovation & Leadership