AWIS-NCC Winter Workshop: Leadership by Design

Thanks to all of you who attended our winter workshop! We can’t wait until next year. Thanks to our amazing presenters, Christopher Ireland, Katy Mogal, and Barb Stuckey. The details from the 2017 workshop are below…

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Saturday, April 1st 2017
Genentech, Inc
Room B31-1A, 310 DNA Way
South San Francisco, CA 94080

A lunchtime activity got folks to mingle about the room with the 60 attendees.

Attendees got several chances to chat with the folks at their round table.

Leadership by Design: Using Design Thinking to transform your Career
Being a woman in science in today’s workforce means you possess characteristics, behaviors, and the mindset that will allow you to become a leader in unpredictable, fast-moving, and value-charged conditions.

We call these leaders “DEOs” — design executive officers — because they are a hybrid of strategic business executive and creative problem-solver. These leaders are not necessarily trained designers or in design positions. They are catalysts for transformation and agents of change. In this workshop, learn not only why this form of leadership is essential to the success of modern organizations, but also what characteristics are common to creative business leaders. Identify these skills in yourself and how to use them to propel your career.

The afternoon panel was awesome!


8:30-9:00 Check in and Breakfast
9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15-9:45 Intro & Overview of Leadership by Design
9:45-11:00 Positive Passion/GSD, breakout session
11:00-12:00 Social Intelligence/Network Building
12:00-12:45 Networking Lunch
12:45-1:45 Leadership Panel: “Learning from Female Leaders”
1:45-2:00 Closing Remarks

Workshop Leader:
Christopher Ireland

Christopher Ireland worked for 20 years growing and developing Cheskin, a consultancy focused on product and market design innovation. Under her leadership as CEO, the company expanded into global markets, opened four offices, completed two successful mergers and gained a reputation for top quality performance serving a range of high growth clients including Microsoft, Intel, HP, Motorola, Pepsi and more. Christopher and her partners successfully sold Cheskin late in 2007.

Ms. Ireland has an M.B.A. from the Andersen School of Management (UCLA). She currently teaches graduate design students at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Continuing Studies students at Stanford University. In 2013, she co-authored Rise of the DEO, (New Riders Press) a book examining contemporary leadership traits. She has lectured extensively on the topics of design, human behavior and corporate leadership.

Leadership Panel

The afternoon panel will be “Learning from Female Leaders” — the panel will be led by Christopher Ireland and feature Barb Stuckey and Katy Mogal.

Leadership Panelist:
Katy Mogal

Katy Mogal is a UX and Design Research leader with 15+ years experience driving innovation, product and brand strategy through a deep understanding human needs and culture.  She is currently Director of UX Research at Fitbit, where she leads a team of strategists, anthropologists and human factors specialists conducting research to inform the design of new products.  Previously she held positions at Jawbone, Logitech and Cheskin.  She received an MBA from the Wharton School, and studied in the DMBA program at California College of the Arts, and currently co-teaches design courses with Christopher at Stanford Continuing Studies.

Leadership Panelist:
Barb Stuckey
Barb Stuckey is President & Chief Innovation Officer of Mattson, the countrys most successful food design and development firm. Barb leads the 60 employee-owned company in helping clients identify new business opportunities, formulate the foods and beverages, develop the branding and package design, validate the concepts and products with consumers, and scale them up for commercialization.

Barb is also author of “TASTE: Surprising Stories & Science About Why Food Tastes Good”. She teaches the fundamentals of taste to each incoming class at the San Francisco Cooking School. She sits on the board of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine & Food Science at UC Davis, and she is a regular contributor to, where she writes about the food industry.


March for Science

AWIS National is very supportive of AWIS Chapters and Affiliates participating in their local communities to support the March for Science, taking place on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The nonpartisan March for Science is an opportunity for members to speak up on behalf of scientific research and evidence-based policies.

NCC (Association for Women in Science Northern California Chapters: East Bay, Palo Alto, Sacramento Valley, San Francisco) are all on board for this exciting event. Let us know if you plan to go!

Facebook pages for marches near you:
San Francisco
San Jose

Science Fair Fun!

Join the fun at the winningest regional science fairs in the country. About 1000 students submit projects and we are looking for judges — especially bioscience, environmental and earth sciences.

Register as a judge now:
2017 Synopsys Science and Technology Championship:
Thursday, March 23rd
San Jose McEnery Convention Center, South Hall
11AM or 12PM – 4 or 5 PM
Lunch provided.

Both returning and new judges must register online. Don’t forget to click the “Register as a Judge” button after completing your registration form.

Your participation as a judge encourages talented students to pursue careers in science and technology. We hope that you’ll be able to judge to inspire the STEM talent of the future!

Special Awards
Special awards are provided by groups to the best projects with a special focus at the Synopsys Championship. If you have breadth in the sciences, we can use your help in selecting special awards.

AWIS Palo Alto Chapter — Best high school female scientist.
Teach Biotech — Best high school biotech project.
n+1 — Best innovative middle school and high school science project with potential global and societal impact.

If interested in special awards, please contact Katy Korsmeyer instead of signing up on the science fair page.

Be a Strong Mentor

Mentor a summer intern through BioTech Partners…
Mentors are connected in February/March of each year.

Interested mentors should contact Carissa Poehnert at, 510.705.7795 and check out their website.

Biotech Partners are looking to connect high school and community college students with scientists in the SF Bay Area. BP’s mission is to educate underserved youth with personal, academic and professional development experiences that increase participation in higher education and access to fulfilling science careers. In this incredible program, students receive two years of technical training before ever being placed in a lab.


What’s so great about these students? They receive two years of training prior to working in a mentor’s lab! Students will already be familiar with:

  • Cell culture: calculating molar solutions, serial dilution/percent yield, aseptic technique, cell counting and culture maintenance, cell staining, media preparation, aseptic technique
  • Molecular Biology: ELISA, bacterial transformation, restriction enzyme digests, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), DNA Electrophoresis, bioinformatics
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry: protein assays, chromatography, DNA/RNA extraction, buffer preparation, filtration, distillation, SDS-PAGE protein electrophoresis
  • Tools & Equipment: balances, pipettes and micropipettes, hemacytometer, spectrophotometer, pH meter, incubators, electrophoresis equipment, PCR thermocycler, light microscope, micro-centrifuge, water baths
  • Additional training provided by BP: GLP, computer skills, career skills (professional comportment, team work, communicating effectively), presentation skills

Plus, the students continue in the BP program while working in your lab, so you have the full support of the Biotech Partners team.

If you are interested in learning more, please direct inquiries to Carissa Poehnert, Interim Director of Programs,, 510.705.7795 and check out their website.

Message from AWIS National

Photo credit: Theophilos Papadopoulos

At AWIS, this is what we resolve to do, together:

In 2017, with our allies, we will amplify one another’s voices, collaborate locally and nationally to acheive ambitious outcomes, and speak knowledgably using proven methods to influence systemic change.

Some of us are articulate advocates and influencers already; others are discovering where we want to make an impact. All of us will grow in the new year. Every small step pushes us closer to success. Start here:

  1. Challenge the recognition gap for women in science by recognizing a colleague for their accomplishments in STEM research and leadership.
  2. Be an active member of a grassroots AWIS chapters or affiliate group. Mentor, learn from a mentor, share new opportunities, and positively reinforce your colleagues and peers.
  3. Participate in the Women’s March in Washington or a satellite event in your area. It is a visible chance to demonstrate that we support women in STEM.
  4. Cultivate your allyship skills for other women and under-represented professionals in STEM. Join our upcoming webinar, review past events, think about how positive change can start with you.

Let’s make 2017 a strong, bold, assertive year for women in STEM!

Sheri Potter,
Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement
Association for Women in Science