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Press Room


Incoming Class Includes Women Leaders from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

PHILADELPHIA (June, 2020) – Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES at Drexel®) program, a one of a kind professional development program for women in academic STEM fields, is pleased to announce the selection of its 2020-21 class of Fellows.

The incoming class for ELATES at Drexel® includes 30 women faculty from 22 different institutions across the US and Canada. They are leaders in biology, biochemistry; computer and information sciences; food sciences; geoscience; and diverse engineering disciplines. Each was nominated by her dean or provost and will contribute to institutional change initiatives as she expands her leadership skills.

ELATES at Drexel® is a one year, part time program that focuses on increasing personal and professional leadership effectiveness, leading and managing change initiatives within institutions, using strategic finance and resource management to enhance organizational missions, and creating a network of exceptional women who bring organizational perspectives and deep personal capacity to the institutions and society they serve. Facilitated by leaders in the fields of STEM research and leadership development, the curriculum includes classroom lessons and activities, online instruction and discussion, and on-the-job application at each Fellow’s home institution.

Erin McNamara Horvat, Ph.D., Senior Vice Provost Faculty Advancement and Undergraduate Affairs and Executive Director of ELATES at Drexel® is looking forward to the eighth cohort of ELATES Fellows. “I am thrilled to welcome another group of exceptional women to ELATES. Each new class brings unique experiences and perspectives that add value to the program and expands the national network of leaders and supporters of women in academic STEM leadership. The whole ELATES team looks forward to welcoming you and walking with you on your leadership journey.”

The work for the 2020-2021 cohort begins in June with online assignments and community building activities. The program will conclude in March 2021 with a symposium organized around institutional change projects that Fellows will develop in collaboration with the leadership of their organizations, and a graduation ceremony attended by their deans, provosts, and other university leaders. Fellows begin the first of three week-long, in-residence sessions when they meet for the first time at the Chubb Hotel and Conference Center in Lafayette Hill, PA., on August 7, 2020.

About ELATES at Drexel®: For more information on the ELATES curriculum, faculty and participants, visit

2020-2021 ELATES at Drexel® Fellows

Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb, PhD
Georgia Institute of Technology

Burçin Becerik-Gerber, PhD
University of Southern California

Sanjukta Bhanja, PhD
University of South Florida

Cheryl Bodnar, PhD
Rowan University

Rachel Brennan, PhD
Pennsylvania State University

Jennifer Collins, PhD
University of South Florida

Shelly Gulati, PhD
University of the Pacific

Smiti Gupta, PhD
Wayne State University

Wendy Hanna-Rose, PhD
Pennsylvania State University

Simi Hoque, PhD
Drexel University

Vandana Janeja, PhD
University of Maryland Baltimore County

Hai Li, PhD
Duke University

Jingjing Li, PhD
Pennsylvania State University

Kathy Lu, PhD
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Allison MacKay, PhD
The Ohio State University

Christine Masters, PhD
Pennsylvania State University 

Kathleen Melde, PhD
The University of Arizona

Junko Munakata Marr, PhD
Colorado School of Mines

Zoubeida Ounaies, PhD
Pennsylvania State University

Lisa Parrillo-Chapman, PhD
North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Kathrin Plath, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles

Yue Qi, PhD
Brown University

Afsaneh Rabiei, PhD
North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Reeta P. Rao, PhD
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Iris Rivero, PhD
Rochester Institute of Technology

Kelly Ann Salyards, PhD
Bucknell University

Preeti Sivasankar, PhD
Purdue University at West Lafayette

Gymama Slaughter, PhD
Old Dominion University

Lisa Kay Spainhour, PhD
Florida State University

Qiao Sun, PhD
University of Calgary