Inspiring STEM Equitability Award

Equitability, diversity, and inclusivity are not just women’s issues – they are business, economic, and societal issues. Organizations need change agents who will champion equitability and diversity, and encourage others to also become ambassadors of the effort.

Each finalist works to create a climate that is not only diverse but also inclusive of all people in such ways that further the success and promotion of the STEM fields. Awarded to an individual, irrespective of gender expression, 17 years of age or older who has demonstrated a commitment to promoting equitability, diversity, and inclusivity in the STEM arena.

KAYLA CLOUTIER

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Winner (Tie)

Occupation
Principal R&D Engineer
Organization
Medtronic
Hometown
New Haven, CT
Passion
Kayla is passionate about leveraging customer data to create innovative medical solutions for improved patient outcomes.
Bio
Kayla has worked for Medtronic for almost 9 years in various product development engineering roles designing and testing instruments that are used in laparoscopic surgery. In her current role as Principal R&D Engineer, Kayla leads pre-clinical studies evaluating the efficacy of a hernia fixation implant while managing testing for an electro-mechanical delivery system. She is passionate about sharing her STEM experience to inspire future generations of engineers and scientists.
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KATHERINE COYNER

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Finalist

Occupation
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Organization
UConn Health
Hometown
Belpre, OH
Passion
As a successful female in a male-dominated profession, Katherine’s passion is to expose young women to the STEM fields and help them believe that they can succeed too.
Bio
Katherine is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UConn Health and specializes in sports medicine. She serves as a team physician for the UConn Huskies and previously served as the head team doctor for the WNBA Connecticut Sun. In the United States, fewer than 7% of orthopedic surgeons are women; because of this, Katherine is passionate about paving the way for women in the world of medicine. In Connecticut, she has educated 573 high school women through her unique educational programs.
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ELLEN LAST

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Finalist

Occupation
Experience Design Consultant
Organization
Slalom Consulting
Hometown
West Hartford, CT
Passion
Ellen’s passion is helping individuals and organizations identify and implement innovative solutions to their business challenges through the power of Human Centered Design.
Bio
Ellen is a customer experience and digital product leader with over 12 years of experience in Product Management, Design Thinking and Innovation. Ellen has extensive experience designing and delivering full user experiences and applications at small startups to global corporations. With a passion for human-centric solutions, Ellen delights in the opportunity to help teams collaborate and incorporate Design Thinking practices in order to break new ground in their respective areas.

CARLA LOPEZ

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Finalist

Occupation
Global Supply Chain COE Specialist
Organization
Pratt & Whitney
Hometown
Vernon, CT
Passion
Carla is passionate about mentoring and building future leaders while also developing her own leadership skills.
Bio
Carla is a Project Manager in the Pratt & Whitney Global Supply Chain Center of Excellence. She has been the President of the Pratt & Whitney Hispanic Leadership Forum since 2019. As President, Carla has been able to carry out her passions for diversity, education and community involvement. She holds a BA in Supply Chain Management from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from Indiana University, Kelly School of Business.
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Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

SONYA RICHMOND

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Winner (Tie)

Occupation
Board Member
Organization
Connecticut Invention Convention
Hometown
Newington, CT
Passion
Sonya envisions a world where every child in every classroom across America has the opportunity to invent their own future.
Bio
Sonya is a 26-year Connecticut Invention Convention volunteer board member. She is proud to work with dedicated colleagues and teachers who share the belief that all students are enriched through invention and deserve a forum to display their original thoughts and problem-solving skills. Sonya was a one of the founders of The STEMIE Coalition, which ran the first K-12 National Invention Convention to further share and elevate students’ inventions of promise with peers and professionals.

NIASIA WILLIAMS

Inspiring STEM Equitability Award Finalist

Occupation
Mechanical Systems Engineer
Organization
Pratt & Whitney
Hometown
New York, NY
Passion
An engineer and educator, Niasia is passionate about managing engine development programs while leading Legacy Development Services LLC.
Bio
Niasia graduated with honors from Rutgers University receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. While thriving in the aerospace industry where she validates cutting edge technologies, Williams completed a master’s in STEM Education. After 9 years of working in schools, leading international non-profits such as NSBE, and mentoring youth and young adults, Williams founded Legacy Development Services, an organization helping impoverished youth and young adults realize their potential.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.