Research Innovation & Leadership Finalists

Awarded to a woman who has developed new knowledge or products, or improvements to products in a corporate or academic setting. Each finalist has exhibited an original approach to her research as well as achieved peer recognition in the technology, science or engineering disciplines. She has exhibited leadership ability by leading research teams, motivating staff and securing funding or resources to enable her research program.

ELIZABETH CONTINI

Research Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Principal Biomedical Engineer
Organization
Medtronic
Hometown
Trumbull, CT
Passion
As a biomedical engineer, Elizabeth endeavors to optimize medical device and tissue interaction.
Bio
Beth studied biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester and joined Medtronic in 2007. As a principal engineer, she leads a team that improves surgical stapling devices and her innovation has resulted in several patents. She has helped shape local culture to be more inclusive and challenged conventional approaches by co-founding a novel development program and by holding a leadership position in Medtronic Women’s Network for over a decade.
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DARCY RONAN

Research Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Assistant Professor
Organization
Sacred Heart University
Hometown
Manchester, CT
Passion
Darcy is passionate about building capacity and commitment for STEM excellence K-to-career, one inspired teacher at a time.
Bio
Darcy is a STEM educator and researcher in Sacred Heart University’s College of Education. A science teacher by background, Darcy’s courses, programs and partnerships build capacity and passion for excellence in science, technology and engineering education. She leads a $5.1 million US DOE grant to integrate computer science into elementary curricula. Her research explores how experiences and contexts impact STEM identity and beliefs in career aspirants and educators.
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BEIYAN ZHOU

Research Innovation & Leadership Winner

Occupation
Associate Professor of Immunology
Organization
UConn Health Center
Hometown
Changsha, China
Passion
Beiyan is passionate about leading an innovative biological research program and solving challenging problems in medicine.
Bio
Beiyan leads a research group of young scientists dedicated to biomedical research. Her research group has discovered regulators of immune cell function and fine-maps of complex immune cell actions in humans that could be essential for cancer immunotherapy and treatment of cardiovascular and diabetic diseases. She has won the Junior Faculty Award from the American Diabetes Association, published many highly cited papers and has been awarded half a dozen inventions.
Read Beiyan’s feature on the Connecticut Technology Council blog
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.