Meet the board

Kara Rodby
Co-Founder and President
Brushett Group

Kara co-founded of the GWiChE group with Lisa Volpatti in 2018. Kara had a difficult transition into the program during her first year, in part due to the very drastic change in representation of womxn as compared to her undergraduate program in Environmental Engineering. In response to this experience, she sought to create a group where womxn could be connected and support each other. Kara works on system-level analysis of redox flow batteries in the Brushett lab. She is also on the Graduate Student Advisory Board and MIT’s Committee on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response.

Junli Hao
Vice President
Rutledge Group

Junli joined GWiChE in 2019 as the VP. She is responsible for running board meetings and assisting in event organization. She had also previously served on the planning committee of the GWAMIT Leadership Conference. Junli’s research focuses on the applications of polymeric fibers in air filtration and body armor.

Jennifer Kaczmarek
Secretary
Prather Group

Jennifer joined the board in 2019 as the secretary. She also serves as a department representative for the Graduate Student Council (GSC). In the Prather lab, her research focuses on the development of biosensors and enzyme evolution for increased glucaric acid production in E. coli.

Kelsey Reed
Co-Treasurer
Swan Group

Kelsey joined the GWiChE board in 2019 as the treasurer for the group. She enjoys helping with event planning and meeting other womxn in engineering at MIT. In addition to GWiChE, she also serves as a department representative for Chemical Engineering within GW@MIT. Kelsey is in the Swan group where she uses theory and simulations to study nanoemulsions in applied magnetic fields.

Narumi Wong
Co-Treasurer
Tisdale-Baldo Group

Narumi joined the GWiChE board in 2020 as a co-treasurer for the group. She is passionate about womxn in STEM and enjoys getting to meet and talk to people who share the same interests. Narumi is a member of both the Tisdale and Baldo Labs where she works on studying interfaces in solar cells.

Maddie Dery
Networking Chair
Lauffenburger Group

Maddie joined the GWIChE board in 2019 as one of the Networking Chairs. This role includes planning events to connect with other womxn’s groups, both internal and external to MIT. Maddie’s research in the Lauffenburger Lab focuses on translating the results from vaccination trials in non-human primate models to humans through the analysis of Fc-mediated antibody effector functions. She is also on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Graduate Student Council and founder of the Chemical Engineering Application Mentorship Program.

Katharine Greco
Networking chair
Brushett Group

Katharine joined the GWIChE Board in 2019 as a networking chair. She also serves as a department representative for Chemical Engineering within GWAMIT. Katharine leverages these roles to organize inter-departmental events with other womxn groups across campus. Please reach out to her if you are interested in collaborating! In the Brushett group, Katharine works on studying and developing porous electrodes for redox flow batteries.

Yining (Lynn) Hao
Education chair
Sikes Group

Lynn joined GWiChE as Education co-chair in 2019. She helps in organizing GWiChE events with an educational focus. She is passionate about creating a comfortable environment for womxn in the department and help them feel supported. In the Sikes Lab, she studies the cells’ response to redox perturbation.

Tam Nguyen
Education chair
Braatz Group

Tam joined the GWiChE board in 2019 as co-educational chair. She helps with organizing educational workshops tailored to support female graduate students. She is passionate about mental and physical well-being of womxn specifically. Tam is a member of the Braatz group with her research on process development and optimization for gene therapy manufacturing.

Stephanie Kong
Networking chair
Hammond Group

Stephanie joined the GWIChE board in 2019 as a Networking Chair. She is currently Co-chair for the institute-wide Graduate Womxn at MIT (GWAMIT) and is in charge of facilitating inter-departmental events within GWIChE. Stephanie’s research in the Hammond lab focuses on developing biomaterials for drug delivery applications in cancer nanomedicine. She is also the Womxn-at-Large rep for the Graduate Student Council and serves on the Womxn’s Advisory Group

Katherine Steinberg
Networking chair
Manthiram Group

Katie joined the board in 2020 as a networking chair. She is looking forward to helping to organize events that bring womxn in STEM together from both in and outside of the department. She is a member of the Manthiram lab, where she studies electrochemical nitrogen fixation for more sustainable ammonia production.

Sarah Cowles
Webmaster
Wittrup Group

Sarah joined the GWIChE Board in 2020 as a co-webmaster. She helped develop the first GWiChE website and currently helps run and maintain it. Sarah is also involved with Graduate Students for a Healthy MIT, a campaign advocating for improved access to mental health resources and broader administrative change to address systemic causes. In the Wittrup lab, Sarah’s research utilizes antibody engineering to understand the mechanisms of cancer immune checkpoint blockade therapy.

MayLin Howard
Webmaster
Hammond Group

MayLin joined the GWiChE board in 2020 as co-webmaster. She helped develop the first GWiChE website and currently helps run and maintain it. She is also the secretary for Graduate Womxn at MIT (GW@MIT – see Stephanie Kong’s bio for a description). Her research in the Hammond Lab focuses on developing drug-eluting coatings for bone implants to improve patient outcomes.

Kaylee McCormack Support Chair
Roman Group

Kaylee joined the board in 2020 as a support chair. She looks forward to developing worthwhile programming and events that facilitate interaction and cooperation between womxn in ChemE. Currently, she is also a member of GSC-X. In the Roman Lab, she works on the development of novel core-shell electrocatalysts toward fuel cell applications.

Haley Beech
Support Chair
Olsen Group

Haley joined the board in 2020 as support chair.  She is excited to help plan events to facilitate more frequent interactions and support between womxn across the department.  Currently, she is also a member of GSC-X and the organizer for the NetPals outreach program. In the Olsen group, she studies the relationship between topology and properties in polymer networks to better inform new material design.

Past Officers:

2018-19 Co-Founder & President | Lisa Volpatti – Post Doc at U. Chicago

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