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WISE 2020 Conference

A Letter from the Dean of Engineering

Nancy Allbritton
Nancy Allbritton, Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of Engineering
Meet Dean Allbritton

Greetings! On behalf of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington, I am very happy to welcome you to the 2020 Women in Science & Engineering Conference. Although I have only been at UW for a few months, I have been greatly impressed by the excellence of the College of Engineering faculty, staff and students. I am excited to be part of this vibrant community.

Diversity is a core value of the UW College of Engineering. We understand that the field of engineering benefits from diverse experiences and perspectives. We must cultivate engineers from different backgrounds who bring different approaches to identifying and solving society’s most pressing challenges. I’m very impressed and proud that the UW College of Engineering continues to lead the nation in our percentage of female faculty in the College.

The annual WiSE conference is an opportunity for women students, faculty, alumni, and industry leaders to come together as a community. It’s a great way to learn more about the many career options in engineering and to connect with students and mentors throughout the region. I encourage you to remain involved with WiSE and to continue your excellent work in promoting the success of women in engineering.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference!


Keynote Speaker

Leslie Robertson
Leslie Robertson, Vice President, Software Development, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
LinkedIn | Video: Why Tech Needs Humanities Majors

Leslie Robertson (Vice President, User and Developer Experience) leads the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) engineering organization. As an early member of the OCI team — which has scaled from tens to thousands of people in the past four years — Leslie drove multiple initiatives to create a cohesive engineering culture within the OCI organization. Her contributions include wordsmithing our OCI core values, spinning up weekly onboarding and engineering bootcamps for new hires, and founding the Women of OCI organization. Prior to joining Oracle, Leslie did the startup-through-acquisition drill three times, and she also spent a decade freelancing for a variety of Silicon Valley companies while simultaneously raising children.

A proud humanities major, Leslie graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with University Honors, and holds a double BA in Professional Writing and Creative Writing.


Schedule at a Glance

8:15am to 1:00pm | Check-in & Registration

First Floor - The Main Street

8:30am to 9:30am | Networking with WiSE & Continental Breakfast

HUB Lyceum - First Floor

9:30am to 9:45am | Welcome and Conference Opening

HUB Lyceum - First Floor

10:00am to 11:00am | Workshop Session 1

HUB Meeting Rooms - See Workshop Sessions for more information

11:15am to 12:15pm | Workshop Session 2

HUB Meeting Rooms - See Workshop Sessions for more information

12:30pm - 2:00pm | Lunch

North Ballroom 211A

12:30pm - 2:00pm | Career Resource Fair

North Ballroom 211A and North Prefunction Room

2:15pm - 3:30pm | Closing Program & Keynote Speaker Presentation

North Ballroom 211A


Workshop Sessions

Session 1

  1. Sheila Oh (Seattle University)

    Are you consistently exhausted at the end of the week? Never have enough time to run errands or meet with friends? If so, you may be to busy. Or it's possible that you just haven't found the right balance. Join this workshop and learn how to reach your goals, prioritize your well-being, find balance both at home and work, and discover strategies to be your happiest and most productive self.

  2. Speakers


    Come talk about engineering careers! A panel of women who work in local engineering firms or at UW share their backgrounds and how they are using their engineering degrees in different careers.

  3. Speakers


    This interactive panel discussion with female engineers working in all aspects of the cloud business -- from hardware to networking to user experience design – will broaden your understanding of cloud technology, of the businesses and customers that depend on the cloud, and of the ways the cloud touches your own life that you might not realize. What does the cloud mean for you and your career? Where do your skills and interests fit into the cloud landscape? This is the place to find out.

  4. Veronica Smith (data2insight LLC)

    Interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and convergence research bring people from different disciplines and industries to solve real problems in new ways. This team science approach is becoming the predominant mode for scientific discovery and innovation. Knowing how to work in teams is essential for scientists and engineers. If we are going to solve the most complex problems society faces, then team members need to be able to engage effectively in difficult conversations. The norms for courageous conversations that we will review are a tool that can be used by any team lead to prepare the soil for your team to grow trust and effective communication. Effective use of these guidelines for interaction with each other will increase the likelihood that the team will meet shared goals in a way that is inclusive of and equitable for all members.

  5. Jessica Tran (Microsoft)

    Do all roads lead to academia? Learn how to identify your academic strengths and how to apply them in your next career move whether in academia or industry. Come away from this workshop with tips to identify your strengths and steps you can take today to influence your next career move. Hear a testimonial on making the transition from academia into industry and what it’s like to work at Microsoft as a user researcher.

  6. Marilyn Watkins (Economic Opportunity Institute)

    We are a long ways from gender and racial equity in pay and access to career tracks in engineering and sciences. Cultural attitudes, systemic discrimination, sexual harassment, educational and employer policies, and public policies all play roles in both the problems and the solutions. Learn about recent progress and how you can make a difference.

  7. Lindi Rubadiri- Mujugira, Ph.D. (Bellevue College)

    Engaging in projects is hugely advantageous for students. Hands-on projects enable students to develop skills they need in the real world. These include project management skills, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. This workshop will demonstrate the cycle of project selection and execution. Students will practice by creating their own project management plan during the workshop.

Session 2

  1. Speakers


    Building a career in the technology industry can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. Learn common pitfalls and how to navigate a successful career in tech starting from your first job. Understand the myths, typical decision points and learn from industry experts about how they navigated their careers.

  2. Speakers


    Engineers and scientists are critical to improving health. Panelists from industry will share their education paths and career experiences in drug development and manufacturing. You will leave with practical advice and renewed motivation to apply your engineering or science degree to a health-related field.

  3. Speakers


    • Ahmed Alattas (UW)
    • Jillian Brandli (UW)
    • Lu Song (Stereotype, Identity and Belongings Lab)
    • Sapna Cheryan (Stereotypes, Identity and Belonging Lab)
    • Tim Chen (UW)


    This workshop will address the gender disparities and stereotypes that exist in STEM fields, specifically computer science and engineering. In general, we will examine how people choose careers, and how stereotypes can influence those choices. The audience will learn about stereotypes of computer science, the reality of computer science, and why these current stereotypes are barriers to inclusion in the field. We will also present on why some STEM fields such as biology and chemistry are more gender balanced than others such as computer science and engineering. We will conclude by talking about research in psychology and its relevance to understanding and solving pressing social issues.

  4. Speakers

    Are you curious about the impact your degree will have on your career path? Come and join engineers from Facebook's Cybersecurity team to learn about the different paths to their ultimate destination of IT, Cybersecurity and Computer Sciences. Hear about lessons learned in the decisions they made and what impacted their careers.

  5. Speakers


    Andrew Carnegie observed that, “Dealing with people is like digging for gold: When you go digging for gold you have to move tons of dirt to get an ounce of gold. But when you go digging, you don’t go looking for the dirt. You go looking for the gold.” This interactive panel discussion will explore the power of feedback – both getting it and giving it  – to accelerate your personal and career growth by finding the gold quickly.

  6. Speakers


    Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome in Engineering. The goal of this session is to share insights and experiences about the imposer syndrome with the goal of developing strategies to overcome it. The session will involve short reflection activities followed by a panel discussion. This will give attendees a chance to reflect on their personal experiences and more effectively apply what they hear from the panelists.

  7. Lightning Talks:
    1. Lia Boyd (Seattle Children's Research Institute)

      Lia grew up in a cult disconnected from most common social resources, including education. Yet, she found her way to thrive throughout transitions in college, into her career as a cell-manufacturing biologist and beyond. After some background, Lia will facilitate group discussion on college-career transitions and the many related opportunities for growth. You should be left feeling inspired and with some practical advice regarding resilience, grit and community support.

    2. Heather Eggleston (UW Department of Laboratory Medicine)

      Interested in a career in medicine? Enjoy laboratory work? Want to secure a well-paying job after graduation? The Medical Laboratory Science Program is the UW School of Medicine’s only undergraduate major and is where basic laboratory science meets the practice of medicine. MLS is a critical part of health care, as these laboratory tests are vital tools for physicians in their diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases. Students will learn about this academic program, application process and profession.


2020 WiSE Sponsors

Thank you to the following 2020 WiSE sponsors, along with UW Engineering Student Academic Services and Diversity & Access.

Platinum Sponsorship - $8,000+

oracle logo

Gold Sponsorship - $5,000 to $7,999

blue origin logo

Silver Sponsorship - $2,500 to $4,999

blue origin logo blue origin logo  Coughlin Porter Lundeen logofacebook logo

Bronze Sponsorship - $1,000 to $2,499

Accenture logo   Adaptive biotechnologies logo Avista logo  Boeing logo  United States Navy logo  University of Washington Tacoma logo  University of Washington Tacoma logo

Friends of WiSE

ACT Theatre | Beecher’s Handmade Cheese | Highland Ice Arena | Ladywell’s Spa | Lil Woody’s | MathWorks | Puzzle Break | Seattle Symphony | Starbucks | Taproot Theatre | The Beauty Bar | University Book Store | Washington State Opportunity Scholarship