Spring 2009

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Spring 2009
2009 Women of Innovation Awards
Include Rensselaer Alumnae
our Rensselaer alumnae of the Hartford
campus were named finalists, including
one winner, in the 2009 Women of
Innovation Awards: A Celebration of
Connecticut’s Outstanding Women in
Science and Technology, sponsored by the
Connecticut Technology Council (CTC). In
addition, Dr. Gina Colarelli O’Connor,
Associate Professor, Lally School of
Management and Technology, and Academic
Director, Radical Innovation Research
Program, served as the keynote speaker at the
awards gala held January 29 in Southington.
The program celebrated and honored the
energy, creativity and remarkable capabilities
of 52 women working in Connecticut’s science, engineering, and technology communities. The event provided the opportunity
to salute all the nominees and finalists –
women who are innovators, role models, and
leaders. This year’s list of 52 finalists included researchers, educators, managers, business owners and service providers who work
in biotech, pharmaceuticals, telecom, software, computer hardware, electronics, alternative energy, nanotech, medical devices,
and IT.
Diane Drew (’84 M.S. Mechanical
Engineering, ’96 M.B.A.), Thermodynamic
Analysis Engineering Manager, Hamilton
Corporation (UTC) was honored as the winner in the “Large Business Innovation and
Leadership” category. The nomination criteria for this award was defined as: A woman
with at least three years of managerial or
technical experience in technology, science
or engineering who has managed a program,
project, or business unit in an exemplary way
in a large corporation or professional services
Rensselaer Alumnus Wins
Prestigious National Service Award
obert J. Friedland (’94
M.B.A.), President and
CEO, Proton Energy Systems,
more worthy recipient for this
Friedland received the
was one of three recipients of
award April 2 at an awards
the distinguished National
ceremony during the indusHydrogen
try’s largest hydrogen confer(NHA) 2009 Award for
ence in Columbia, South
Meritorious Service. The
Carolina. “I am honored to
award is presented annually
by the NHA to individuals for
Hydrogen Association award
exceptional leadership and
on behalf of Proton Energy
personal contribution to the
Systems,” said Friedland.
advancement of hydrogen
“Proton’s mission has always
been to develop hydrogen
Robert J. Friedland
“Mr. Friedland’s leadership
technology in creative and
at Proton Energy Systems and his contin- practical ways that can benefit our cusued dedication to the development and tomers and advance green energy possibilipromotion of hydrogen technology is exem- ties and potential throughout the globe.”
plary,” said NHA President Jeffrey A.
Friedland, who co-founded Proton
Serfass. “Mr. Friedland’s remarkable record Energy in 1996, has decades of experience
of achievement over the years cannot come with hydrogen technology and has
at a more critical moment, as energy secu- authored and presented major papers in the
rity and green energy are major issues con- field. He is co-inventor of three patents in
fronting our nation. I cannot think of a the area of water electrolysis. ■
Diane Drew
firm. Nominees were judged on managerial
skills, leadership, and innovation.
Drew has over 31 years of technical and
thermo/aerodynamics design at Hamilton
Sundstrand, and has contributed greatly to
the Air Management Systems organization.
She holds a number of patents in aircraft system technology including an Independent
Temperature Control System, an Integrated
Environmental Control System, and an
Aircraft Galley Chiller System. Drew is currently responsible for the design of complex
aircraft thermal management systems and
has direct reports ranging from entry level
engineering associates to middle managers
all the way up to Fellows, who are considered
to be the elite among technical experts within UTC.
The very essence of her work is to invent
systems that perform tasks according to each
new airframe’s unique constraints. Drew’s
staff is directly responsible for developing
computer simulations, predicting system performance, providing turbomachinery aerodynamic design, performing acoustics analysis,
and performing computational fluid dynamics and thermal analysis. Recently her team
provided the Boeing Company with the
designs and hardware needed to make the
world’s premier more-electric airplane, the
Boeing 787, a reality. Drew’s leadership has
been critical to accomplishing the many
technical achievements necessary to make
Boeing’s vision a reality.
Nancy E. Beckwith (’86 M.B.A.) was also
a finalist in the “Large Business Innovation
Continued on page 4
Alumni News
Peter N. Lopusznick (’66 M.S. Math) was
among eight honorees at the 2008 Norwalk
Old Timers Awards Dinner for his baseball
athletic prowess. He had a long career with
the AT&T Company, working at several
branches along the East Coast. Lopusznick
held various technical positions including
computer programmer, systems analyst, and
senior systems analyst.
Patricia “Paddi” R. LeShane (HGC ’83
M.S. Health Care Management), CEO,
Sullivan & LeShane Inc., served as a judge
for the “8 Remarkable Women in Business”
awards by the Hartford Business Journal in
March. LeShane is regarded as one of
Connecticut’s top lobbyists.
Mary M. Fay (’88 M.B.A.) was named
Executive Vice President at Actuarial
Strategies Inc., Bloomfield. She will lead the
marketing and strategy development and
operations, as well as contribute to product
and business development efforts. Most
recently, Fay served as senior vice president
and general manager of the annuities business with Sun Life Financial.
Karen J. Goyette (’96 M.B.A.) has been
Administration and Business Development
for MidState Medical Center in Meriden.
She has been with MidState for nine years.
Chandler J. Howard (’97 M.S.
Management), President and CEO of
Liberty Bank, was one of five prominent
black leaders featured in the February issue
of Hartford Magazine, discussing race relations, middle class emergence, and what it
means to have a black president. He has had
a career in the banking industry for over thirty years.
Linda C. Chamberlain (’99 M.S.
Management) of Avon, has been named
head of Prudential Connecticut Realty’s
Wethersfield office. She was a top producing
agent in Prudential Connecticut Realty’s
Simsbury office for the past eight years.
Previously, Chamberlain worked as both a
registered nurse and an educator. ■
[email protected] is published by
the Office of Communications at
Rensselaer’s Hartford Campus.
Send comments to: [email protected],
275 Windsor Street, Hartford, CT 06120,
or e-mail: [email protected]
Rensselaer Faculty
Media Appearances
S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, Ph.D., Clinical
Professor, Department of Engineering and
Science, had his opinion piece entitled,
“Tamil People Crushed Between Rebels,
Military” published in the Hartford Courant
on February 6. Dr. Hoole was previously Vice
Commission member in Sri Lanka. He fled Sri
Lanka after receiving death threats from the
Tamil Tigers for his stand on human rights.
Louis W. Gingerella, Jr., Clinical
Associate Professor, Lally School of
Management and Technology, had his opinion piece entitled, “Danger of Making
Stimulus Debt Permanent” published in the
Hartford Courant on February 3 and in The
Cole Library
Introduces Two
New Programs:
A Book Drive
and a Book Swap
he Cole Library is conducting an openT
ended book drive. All types of books will
be accepted for donation.
• Business and technical books will be evaluated for the collection.
• Leisure books will be evaluated for the
Book Swap section.
• Books that are not kept will be passed on
to a reseller and the library will get a
small percentage of any sales.
Please bring books at your earliest conve-
In Memoriam
William Andrew Blecher (’60 M.S.
Mechanical Engineering) of East Hartford,
died on March 24. He was employed for
over 30 years as a mechanical engineer at
Hamilton Standard, retiring in 1988. While
at Hamilton Standard, Blecher worked on
the Apollo 11 project and received the
Apollo Achievement Award and the Apollo
11 Medallion Award from NASA for his
work on the project.
Providence Journal on February 12, titled,
“Louis Gingerella: A stimulus must: Repay
debt.” To read his commentary, please see:
Lastly, James P. Stodder, Ph.D., Clinical
Associate Professor, Lally School of
Management and Technology, was a guest on
“The Corner Show” with Phil Mikan on
WDRC-AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut
on February 24. Dr. Stodder discussed recent
events in the economy during the nearly 45
minute program. To hear the audio segments,
please visit: www.talkofconnecticut.com/
audio/phil_mikan.shtml. ■
nience. The new Book Swap program offers
an interesting selection of fiction, non-fiction, mystery, and more. The process is simple: take a book; bring in a book. When you
are finished, please bring the book back so
that someone else can enjoy it. There is no
specific due date. While you are browsing,
remember that all of the shelves pull up, and
there are other books under the shelves for
your perusal. The Rensselaer Hartford Book
Club will be donating copies of their monthly selections to the swap. Other donations
are always welcome. For more information
about these programs, please contact Carol
Flynn, Acquisitions Librarian, The Cole
Library, at (860) 548-7874 or e-mail: [email protected] ■
Michael L. Mazurick (’80 M.S. CSCI) of
Avon, died on January 15. He worked at
Cigna for nearly 30 years as a telecommunications manager, and prior to that was
employed at the Hartford Insurance Co.
Stephen R. Sasala II (’85 M.S.
Management) of Woodbury, died on
February 27. He was President and CEO of
the Waterbury Regional Chamber of
Commerce since 2003. Previously, he was
President and CEO of Prosperity New Jersey
Inc., an economic development entity. ■
Alumni Career Networking Evening
he Rensselaer Alumni Association
(RAA) Hartford Chapter will host the
8 Annual Alumni Career Networking
Evening in Seminar Hall at the Hartford
campus on May 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The
event features an outstanding lineup of guest
speakers and is extremely timely given the
Representatives from career management
firms, government agencies, and technical
organizations will be present to provide
information and answer questions related to
the job market. A discussion on how to identify and approach opportunities, and the
tools necessary for career advancement in
today’s job market will be held.
The evening will begin with a light dinner
and a brief welcome and introduction by
Tom Tarantelli, Director of the Career
Development Center, and Jeff Schanz,
Assistant Vice President for Alumni
Relations, both from Rensselaer’s Troy campus; along with David Turner (’05 B.S.
Management), President of the RAA
Hartford Chapter. A networking session will
follow and the event will end with Q&A. In
addition, there will be a business card drop
for a chance to win fun Rensselaer-imprinted
items. Admission is $10 for dues-paying
Chapter members and $20 for guests and
Rensselaer at
Recognized for
with CCL
ensselaer at Hartford, the only certified
network associate of the internationally
renowned Center for Creative Leadership
(CCL)® in the northeastern United States,
was presented with an award “Recognizing
20 Years of Excellence as a Partner in
Leadership Development” by CCL. Carole
D. Charles (’08 M.S. Management), Program
Administrator, accepted the award on
Rensselaer’s behalf at the Annual Network
Associates Conference held in Colorado
Springs, Colorado.
Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, CCL helps
clients around the world to cultivate creative
leadership—the capacity to achieve more
than imagined by thinking and acting beyond
non dues-paying members.
Guest panelists include:
• Jack Antonich, Connecticut Career
Choices Program Manager, and Mike
Scricca, Membership Director,
Connecticut Technology Council (CTC)
• Jean Blake-Jackson, Director, The
Entrepreneurial Center, University of
• Brianna Blaser, Project Director of the
Outreach Program, Science Careers and
the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS)
• Ron Clinton, Career Counselor,
University of Hartford
• David Hobbs (’67 M.S. Mechanical
Engineering, ’83 Ph.D. Mechanical
Engineering), Chairman, Connecticut
Section, American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
• Deborah Krawiec, Vice President/Lead
Consultant, Lee Hecht Harrison
• Anthony DiMarco (’80 B.S. Electrical
Engineering), President and Founder,
NavAgility, Inc.
• David Palmer (’78 M.S. Engineering),
Director, Hartford Sector, American
Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
• Maytelin Herrera-Batista (’06 M.S.
Management), President, and Shakira
Ramos, past president, Society of
Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
Connecticut Chapter
• Mark Stankiewicz, Office of Research,
Connecticut Department of Labor (CT
• Joel Wolff, Branch Manager, Manchester
and Chapter Chair, SCORE – Counselors
to America’s Small Business
For more information and to register, please
visit: https://arpinet.rpi.edu/default.aspx?Page=
Career management in today’s environment is complex. This is not a market where
you can only count on your experience or
your education to attract attention. Job
seekers need to be prepared and proactive to
promote themselves. Whether you seek to
improve your current position, are looking
for career opportunities, or are actively
seeking a job, the Hartford Alumni Chapter
can help! ■
designed to assist the
emerging leaders and
managers by increasing their personal
awareness, interpersonal effectiveness,
and managerial abilities. LDP is an
intense, five-day program designed to
improve the effectiveness of upper-middle
to senior-level managers by helping them
to recognize their
strengths and weaknesses as leaders.
Carole Charles (center) receives Rensselaer’s 1998-2008 partner
Public offerings of
award from CCL President John Ryan (right) along with Don Prince,
both the FOL and
Group Director, Networks and Affiliates, CCL.
LDP are scheduled
boundaries. Rensselaer offers two CCL pro- three times per calendar year through
grams: Foundations of Leadership (FOL) and Rensselaer Executive and Professional
Leadership Development Program (LDP)®. Development. The next LDP will run May
These programs teach developing managers 11-15, while the FOL will be offered June
as well as seasoned executives how to 16-18, both at the Hartford campus. For
improve their leadership styles and to be bet- more information and to register, please visit:
ter leaders and team builders.
FOL is a three-day leadership develop- ■
Survey Winner
by the State of Connecticut Exam Administrator. The schedule for Rensselaer’s licensing
exam review programs will be announced and refreshments will be served. Rensselaer has
prepared thousands of engineers to pass the standardized examinations offered by the
National Council of Engineers for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Courses are
offered to prepare for the Fundamentals in Engineering, Civil, Mechanical, as well as the
Land Surveyor Exam. To learn more about the October 2009 exam and Rensselaer course
descriptions and registration information, please visit: www.ewp.rpi.edu/pe. To reserve your
seat at the open house, please contact Sue Kramer at (860) 548-2472 or e-mail:
[email protected] ■
rian E. Barde (’03 B.S. Information
Technology) of Pittsfield, Massachusetts,
who is working toward a Master of Science in
IT, won the $100 Amazon.com gift certificate
for participating in the online 2009 Student
Satisfaction Survey sponsored by the Office
of Student Services. Barde is a Principal
Systems Engineer at General Dynamics in
Pittsfield. He is currently leading a team to
transition the Pittsfield engineering department to a new Change Management and
Configuration Management tool in coordination with their customer site. Speaking about
his Education for Working Professionals
(EWP) experience, Barde said, “The EWP
program allows me to expand my knowledge,
professional and academic career while working full-time and raising a family. The EWP is
a great program. Thank you for giving me the
opportunity.” He is considering using the gift
certificate to purchase textbooks for next
term. Now that’s a true example of lifelong
learning. Congratulations, Brian! ■
Upcoming Program Start Dates
Jackson Honored
as One of “25
Great Public
Servants of the
Past 25 Years”
2009 Women of
Innovation Awards
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has
been recognized as one of the “25 Great
Public Servants of the Past 25 Years” by the
Council for Excellence in Government. She
was cited for her “remarkable service to the
nation as Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission and a leader in the advancement of science.” The 25 Great Public
Servants were selected by a committee of
Council Trustees, for their “outstanding
leadership in government at all levels and
the example they set for up-and-coming
public servants across the country.” ■
PE/LS Licensing Exam
Review Programs Open House
free open house will be held at the Hartford campus on May 6, from 6 to 8 p.m., for
Rensselaer’s licensing exam review programs for Professional Engineers (PE) and
Land Surveyors (LS). The open house will include a review of the application process led
Classes begin soon for several cohorts, and there is still time to apply. Spaces are filling up
fast, so contact a Program Manager today!
May 11: Leadership Development Program (LDP)®, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)®
May 11: M.S. Management with a concentration in Innovation and Technology (INTE)
May 12: M.S. Engineering Science with Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification –
Industrial Process Management (IPM) program
May 31: International Scholars Program (ISP)
June 1: Southeastern Connecticut M.B.A.
(SEMBA – meets at Rensselaer’s Southeastern Connecticut Site)
June 16: Foundations of Leadership (FOL), Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)®
July 13: Licensing Exam Review Programs for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
September 11: Executive Master’s Program (EMP) Class XXX ■
Continued from page 1
and Leadership” category. She is the
Manager of Supplier Quality at General
Dynamics Electric Boat. Beckwith presently
directs the efforts of two engineering supervisors and thirty-five team members who are
responsible for the quality and certification
of approximately $750 million dollars (per
annum) of vendor procured components and
raw material.
Finalists in the “Small Business Innovation
“Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership”
category were Heidi S. Douglas (’87 M.B.A.)
and Li Zhao (’02 M.B.A.), respectively. As
President and CEO of MysticMD Inc.,
Douglas has been critical in building the
company’s business model. She developed
the relationship with its first licensee,
Nanomix, and negotiated that license.
Previously a principal with Deloitte, Douglas
managed some of the firm’s largest technology projects. Zhao, President and CEO, Fabric
Trends International, LLC, has taken the
Connecticut textile manufacturing company
in a new direction operating two facilities on
two continents to broaden its markets. Prior
to her acquisition of the company, she was a
consultant advising on Lean manufacturing.
Zhao spent most of her career developing
electric power and distribution in the United
States and Asia.
Rensselaer’s own Dr. O’Connor spoke to
the nearly 500 attendees during her keynote
address, highlighting her research of the
innovation process at large companies
including IBM, Intel, and DuPont. She celebrated the accomplishments of current
women innovators and urged the women
attendees to continue developing the leadership, technology, and business management
skills needed to build the innovation function. To learn more about the awards program, please visit the CTC Web site at:
www.ct.org. ■
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