Women 4 Women Spotlight
Throughout Women's History Month in March (and beyond!), MIT Sloan Women 4 Women will feature some of the incredible women at MIT Sloan who are making an impact in our community.
Jennifer Graham (she/her) is the Associate Director, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of student engagement, from managing the Sustainability Certificate, to organizing co-curricular programs, to offering career advising including two subsidized sustainability internship programs. Jen collaborates with sustainability-related student clubs and regularly organize topical, educational, and networking events. She also engages both prospective students and alumni, working closely with colleagues across MIT and other sustainability centers to foster collaboration and drive progress towards our shared sustainability goals.
Two colleagues nominated Jen for a SW4W Spotlight Award, noting: “Jen's kindness is always palpable in her unrelenting support of our Sustainability Certificate students and all people she interacts with as she often goes above and beyond to help others without wavering and follows everything through to the end to ensure impeccable completeness,” and “An expert community-builder, Jen Graham connects students to internships, relevant courses, and MIT alumni – all while motivating her team around her with relentless positivity, encouragement, and kindness.”
One nominator also shared: “I am a new employee and Jen has warmly welcomed me to our team with open arms, from helping me learn the MIT culture, to showing me around campus, to even going out of her way to introduce me to other new employees to build my network at MIT as our department is often separated from other departments. She took the time to organize a group of newer employees in my age range from varied departments so we could all have connections to people our age and talk about navigating our new jobs/MIT…This is so inspiring to me to meet someone who does their job so well, that everyone has nothing but good things to say about her… She puts on huge events, manages class logistics, and so much behind the scenes work that no one besides our team sees and is truly a leader in her space. I want her to get the recognition she deserves for all her hard work.”
Thank you, Jen, for all that you do to connect and empower your colleagues and students in your program. We appreciate you!
Nia DeYounge (she/her) is the Director for the MIT Sloan Student Life Office. In her role, Nia has oversight for student leadership, community engagement, and community programming for Sloan students. She supervises a team of seven staff and facilitates community growth as a dynamic and collaborative leader, who is deeply committed to student life, community engagement, and inclusive excellence. She has built relationships across Sloan and MIT, and serves as a strategic thought partner within the school administration to support the student experience across Sloan.
Two colleagues nominated Nia for an SW4W Spotlight Award, one noting: “Nia has been an amazing contributor to our MIT Sloan community, serving as the Director of the Student Life Organization. She's been amazing to work with, support, and ideate with. Nia has come in forging new relationships and bonds. I find her to be extremely supporting of her team! Nia shows up in support of students in many ways and has the willingness to try new things, learn, and measure for future success… She brings a supporting attitude and a great disposition to work with. She's been an amazing addition to our community!”
Another nominator explains: “Nia has made a measurable impact over the past year as a passionate advocate for enhancing student experiences at MIT Sloan. She has truly inspired me to become more involved in the Sloan community. For example, her lunch chats with current students have encouraged me to reach out to those who are not as privileged in the admissions process, and receive feedback in order to make a positive change in our admissions process and increase the pipeline of individuals from underrepresented communities. Additionally, Nia has helped me navigate my transition to Sloan by providing emotional and psychological support. I am grateful to have a colleague that is accessible and always willing to help.”
Thank you, Nia, for being a leader who builds strong relationships and networks of support for our students and staff. We are grateful to have you here!
Kristina Masson, an EMBA 23´ candidate at MIT Sloan, is a scientist and entrepreneur with a Masters in Biomedicine, a PhD in Molecular Signaling and postdoc training from the Broad Institute. In 2016, she started her own company back in Sweden, and is now the co-founder and EVP, Business Operations at Acrivon Therapeutics Inc., a publicly traded Boston-based biotech company. Kristina is also the Founder and CEO of the subsidiary Acrivon AB located in Sweden, which serves as the drug discovery hub of Acrivon Therapeutics. The company mission is to use cutting edge phosphoproteomics and a proprietary method for patient selection to improve precision oncology drug development and alter the treatment landscape for patients suffering from cancer. As Kristina’s nominator notes: “Kristina is an inspiration to all of us - having started her company to help cure cancer and bringing it public with an IPO while facing numerous challenges, many based on the fact that she is a woman.”
Kristina is dedicated to empowering women and promoting inclusion and has led many grassroots efforts aiming to increase gender bias awareness, enhance the potential of future female leadership and inspire change. During her time as a scientist in Boston, she volunteered as a mentor for women in STEM subjects at Harvard University, and in Sweden she regularly gives talks to students and organizations about the importance of diverse leadership models and networks. She is also committed to supporting other founders, and aims to further develop that during her time at Sloan. As her nominator concludes: “Kristina is passionate, caring, intelligent, and driven. She is a role model for all of us, and especially for women who aspire to greatness.”
Thank you, Kristina, for your dedication to improving patients’ lives and uplifting women in STEM. You are an important member of our MIT Sloan community!
Cessy Cook is the Assistant Director, Development Operations, Office of External Relations. She manages and encourages three admins to support the OER Development team to reach departmental goals by delivering high-quality products and services. Through training, utilizing processes, and time management, Cessy’s goal is to advance performance in fundraising support and customer service.
She continues to learn something new daily and impart her knowledge to anyone who will listen. Cessy notes: “I am blessed to work where I have seen three presidents, of which two have been women. At MIT Sloan, I have made lifelong friends; my colleagues are driven, collaborative, flexible, and highly empathetic. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and neighborhood, enjoying good food, and honing my creative skills by making diaper cakes.”
Describing her impact on the community, Cessy’s nominator explains: “As a team leader in OER, Cessy has elevated her partnership within and outside OER while she faces unique challenges of her own outside the workplace. She persists while demonstrating trademark care, support, and advocacy for colleagues. She is an exceptional leader and teammate. Cessy has shown personal perseverance while also advocating for her team, acknowledging challenges and helping to solve them, and inspiring care for self and others. These are not new traits for Cessy, but ones that she embodies ever more in this new stage of her life - one that would challenge any of us, and in her individual way, she inspirationally overcomes.”
Thank you, Cessy, for being both a reliable leader and valuable team player. We celebrate you this Women’s History Month!
Hasmik Kouchakdjian (she/her) is the Senior Associate Director, Project Portfolio Strategy at Sloan Technology Services. Hasmik oversees the STS Portfolio and Project Management Office, which is responsible for the effective, efficient delivery of IT projects, products, and processes within Sloan. As a member of the CIO’s senior leadership group, she plays a key role in developing STS and Sloan’s IT strategy, aligning technology initiatives with the goals and objectives as a whole. Hasmik also looks to connect with people across the school, to listen and understand the needs of each, find opportunities of delivering value to the school through technology. Her team is guided by the Administrative Services brand goal “Making and Enabling Enduring Impact” when looking for platforms and tools, identifying business capabilities and processes, or developing vision for IT governance and project management across the school.
Hasmik’s nominator emphasizes: “As the sole woman on the STS IT core leadership team, Hasmik is the driving force in directing the strategic planning for Technology Services as she works closely with the CIO leading the department towards a successful future. Hasmik collaborates across all departments of Sloan to ensure that voices are heard, issues are raised and information is shared throughout the school. Hasmik has been my mentor for the 12 years she has been at Sloan. Without doubt she has guided me and members of our team to the the absolute best we possibly can be.”
Thank you, Hasmik, for your visionary and intentional leadership, and for your dedication to meeting the needs of all members of our community. We appreciate you!
Kayla Burt (KB) is the Data Research Analyst for the MIT Sloan Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Kayla is a storyteller, but she prefers to use numbers, charts, and graphs to tell stories. She gathers information via quantitative and qualitative methods to share the authentic experiences of members in the Sloan community. Her favorite part is getting to meet great people, learning more about them, what brings them joy, and coming up with creative solutions to tough problems.
Kayla’s nominator writes: “Kayla makes excellence look easy, though it's the reps, the work she always puts in, that makes her effort look like casual greatness. Kayla's a quant in a world where Black and brown women are neither consistently welcomed nor widely represented. Her work in MIT Sloan's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is helping make data the coin of the realm when it comes to MIT Sloan's DEI efforts. Her singular and consistent focus on the ‘why,’ her commitment to a replicable process for getting to and implementing the ‘how,’ and her understanding of the power of focused action when considering the "what" are what make her a woman worthy of recognition.”
Thank you, Kayla, for your leadership and commitment to creating an environment where we can make well-informed decisions about our culture and climate; and thank you for helping our community tell the many stories it holds!
Alexis Ertzner (she/her) is a Project Manager/Business Analyst in MIT Sloan Technology Services. Alexis works with people across MIT Sloan to solve problems and work smarter by identifying and implementing a combination of technology and business processes.
Alexis’ nominator shared that: “Some people contribute to a community with their skills while others contribute with personality/joy. Alexis does both, and we are lucky to have her at Sloan. We are working on a project together that has been very challenging. She has been incredibly patient, and when she does not know an answer, she does everything possible to get an answer for us and respond back. She is responsive to inquiries, hard-working, and a kind presence. It has been great getting to know her and getting to work with her. Alexis is a gift!”
Thank you, Alexis, for being a skillful, open, and thoughtful collaborator, and for your work as a problem solver who improves outcomes for our whole community!
Kibret Ramsey (she/her) is a Sr. HR Representative for MIT Sloan Human Resources.
Kibret’s nominator writes: “Sloan needs Kibret! There's still this idea that you can't fully contribute to a community while being a fully remote employee, and Kibret proves that that is not the case. While we might not see her in person often, she certainly makes her presence felt. She is quick to respond and handles the many challenges thrown at her with grace. She works so hard on the staff appreciation event, but she truly does not get the recognition that she deserves. Thank you, Kibret! Sloan is a better place with you in it.”
Thank you, Kibret, for being a strong role model for remote employees and for building and empowering our community through your day-to-day interactions and longer-term program efforts. We appreciate and admire your skill and perspective.
Kay Merisier (she/her) is the Sr. Admin Assistant Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in the MIT Sloan Office of DEI. In her role, Kay does a little bit of everything in the office, but mostly she works hard to make sure her team and community are happy while here at Sloan.
Kay’s nominator agrees, noting: “Kay brings joy to the team and I want to make sure that she is recognized for the work that often is unseen but is critical to our and my success. The team wouldn't be successful or have as much fun without her.” Another nominator writes: “Kay’s expertise and thoughtfulness are integral to our work. We rely on her extensive organizational knowledge and her skillful relationship building across teams as supports for designing, publicizing, and executing meaningful community events and initiatives. Kay’s presence in our office is deeply felt and deeply important.”
Thank you, Kay, for your community-oriented leadership and for sharing your vast knowledge and skill with us!
Suzanne Styffe (she/her) is the Assistant Director, Student Experience & Advising for MIT Sloan Exec Degree Programs. Suzanne develops and manages new and ongoing co-curricular activities that enrich students’ experiences outside of the classroom, including student committees, guest speakers, special sessions, and social and networking events, with a focus on building community and belonging.
Her nominator shares: “Suzanne is a quiet leader whose presence is felt on many levels. While some people work primarily with students or staff or faculty, how many people can truly say that they positively and deeply impact the lives of students AND staff (and faculty too). She works to ensure that Executive Degree students feel cared for and supported. She knows them by name, and she can tell you their story. For staff, she is a quiet leader working to make Sloan a better and more inclusive place through her work in Women4Women and just in the positive interactions that she has with folks daily. She rarely gets a break, so we are fortunate to have someone at Sloan who continues to show up even when the work gets exhausting.”
Thank you, Suzanne, for all the time and care you put in and the far-reaching impact that your work has across our community. We appreciate you!
Jo Hising DiFabio (she/her) is the Assistant Dean, Sloan Fellows & EMBA Programs for MIT Sloan Executive Degree Programs. She oversees the two mid-career MBA programs at MIT Sloan School of Management, the MIT Executive MBA Program and the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program. Jo feels fortunate to have an amazing Executive Degree Team that ensures the delivery of world-class programs; creating an opportunity for students to gain the knowledge, skills, and network to make significant improvements to a world that so desperately needs these MIT educated, global leaders.
Jo’s nominator writes: “Jo leads with honesty and empathy, and we are fortunate to have such a fantastic ally in such an important leadership position. There's no such thing as a perfect leader, but in my mind, a good leader is self-aware, listens to understand, speaks to lift others up, and exhibits a vulnerability that allows others to truly, truly be themselves. It is rare to find a leader in any space who has all of these qualities, but in all of my interactions with Jo, she does it all. She is a genuine ally and a sincere mentor, and even after working at Sloan for over a decade, she has a passion for her work, her team, the students she interacts with, and Sloan overall. Jo is worthy of recognition, and I am thrilled to submit this nomination.”
Thank you, Jo, for your outstanding and people-oriented leadership and for the passion and care that you bring to your work. We are glad you are here!
Fiona Murray (she/her) is the Associate Dean of Innovation + Inclusion and William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship. She is also the Director of MIT’s Office of Innovation and Faculty Director of the MIT Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development. Fiona is an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She received her BA ’89 and MA ‘90 from the University of Oxford in chemistry. She subsequently moved to the United States and earned an AM ’92 and PhD ’96 from Harvard University in applied sciences. At MIT, she teaches the unique IDEA Week (Innovation-driven Entrepreneurial Advantage) to the MIT Executive MBAs, a series of Exec Ed programs in corporate innovation, and has taught private and public sector executives (especially those in frontline settings such as security, defense, infrastructure and health) to effectively lead innovation (from digital- to deep-tech) in their organizations. Her most recent courses focus on building and supporting ‘deeptech’ ventures particularly in today’s more complex geopolitical context.
Fiona serves on the British Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology and was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to innovation and entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG) in the 2023 New Year Honours List by His Majesty King Charles III for services to science, technology, and diversity. She is also a member of the Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel and the European Innovation Council Joint Expert Group. In March she was appointed as a Foundational Director of the NATO Innovation Fund – the first multi-sovereign venture fund to support deeptech ventures with a dual-use focus across Allied nations. In the United States, Fiona also sits on a number of Boards including Prime Coalition (a not-for-profit creating new venture fund with catalytic capital to support start-ups focused on climate security).
Through her leadership role in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, Murray has engaged across many global regions in designing and evaluating the policies and programs that shape vibrant innovation ecosystems across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. In her recent sabbatical she was a Fellow-in-Residence at The Engine – a unique venture fund created by MIT to support the growth of deeptech ventures – exploring the ecosystem support required to enable successful impact from investments in science and technology.
Fiona’s nominator sums up her immense contributions, stating: “Dame Murray has served as a global leader for MIT and I'm thankful to have her as a colleague and friend. She’s an inspiration to many.”
Thank you, Fiona, for enriching MIT Sloan with your immense expertise and for the global impact you deliver through your research and practice of innovation and entrepreneurship!
Kristin Gillis (she/her) is Sr. Admin, Operations & Initiatives Associate for the MIT Sloan Office of Executive Education. She has transitioned from a support-focused role with administrative tasks only, to a role that now handles hiring and onboarding tasks, supporting professional development opportunities, expanding on the office’s DEI-related activity and education, planning social and volunteer events, and collaborating on All-Staff Meeting content and agendas.
Kristin’s nominator recognizes her immense value as a connector, writing: “Kristin is a wonderful colleague who is always thinking of creative and thoughtful ways the Office of Executive Education can connect, learn and grow from one another. Kristin is leading our department’s efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion including organizing opportunities for staff to learn and creating visibility and awareness to the wonderful activities and events at Sloan and the Institute. She cares about our colleagues and values our mission and is thoughtful about aligning with the School and the Institute by partnering and collaborating with others across the school. She is a key member of the Office of Executive Education’s Finance and Administration Support team- we could not do all the great things we do without her hard work, dedication and positive attitude cheering everyone on!”
Thank you, Kristin, for your valuable work as a key organizer, planner, and leader of a wide range of activities and initiatives that help drive your team’s work forward.
(Pictured above, Top to Bottom: Nikki, Ashley, and Jessina)
Ashley Ayler (she/her), Jessina Dudley (she/her), Nikki Williams (she/her), and Cheryl Zoompanti (she/her) are members of the MIT Sloan Restaurant Associates team. Ashley, Jessina, and Cheryl work as Cashiers and are responsible for providing excellent customer service to the students, staff, and faculty of MIT Sloan. Nikki is responsible for servicing catering events with Executive Education, EMBA and throughout MIT Sloan.
Through their outstanding work, these nominees have a big impact on our experience here, as their nominator describes: “Technically, I don't think the Fantastic 4 (these 4 ladies) get a paycheck from MIT Sloan, BUT they care for the Sloan community in a unique way. When the coffee machines break down, they are the first to take care of it, often dodging angry people on the way upstairs who did not yet have their coffee. They deal with long lines in the cafeteria and sometimes, they don't even get a thank you. They worked for a while even without chairs to sit on, BUT still, they show(ed) up each day with smiles on their faces. No matter how busy they are, they always stop to say hello. They are some of the kindest and most genuine people at Sloan, and we are so lucky to have them. They mean so much to this community and often do not get the recognition from the MIT Sloan staff that they deserve.”
Thank you, Ashley, Jessina, Nikki, and Cheryl for taking care of all of us in the most important way and for being such an important presence in our community, each through your own efforts and your efforts as a team. We appreciate you!!
Duygu Oktem Clark (she/her) is a member of the Executive MBA Class of 2023. She is the founder and Managing Partner of DO Venture Partners, a San Francisco based VC fund that invests in early-stage tech startups. She is also the founder of Turkish Collective, a non-profit that aims to help startups in Turkey to scale globally. She also serves as a Startup Judge for the European Commission’s $9B fund for startups. Prior to that, Duygu worked for the European Investment Fund’s specific fund for Turkish startups and before that, she launched and run Turkey’s first startup accelerator (Turk Telekom Pilot) as an intrapreneur while she was working as the Head of Collaborative R&D Projects and New Product Development units at Turkish Telecom. Duygu also previously worked for the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) as a Technology Diplomat where she represented Turkey at the European Commission and facilitated R&D projects between Turkish and European organizations. She is a Computer Engineer with a Master’s in Information Systems. Currently, she is leading and hosting the MIT Sloan Executive MBA Game Changers Speaker Series, where global leaders such as Tony Fadell (inventor of iPod and co-inventor of iPhone) and Joe Gebbia (co-founder of Airbnb and Chairman of Airbnb.org) share their insights on authentic leadership with the MIT Sloan community.
Duygu’s nominators agree that the Game Changers series has had an impact, noting: “Duygu’s outstanding efforts in securing top-notch speakers, such as Keith Grossman, Eric Schmidt, Joe Gebbia, Dharmesh Shah, and Tony Fadell, for our Executive MBA Speaker Series have been nothing short of impressive,” and “Her exceptional work in bringing together a diverse group of global leaders to speak at our Executive MBA Speaker Series... has had a profound impact on our learning and personal growth.” Additional nominators write: “The way that [Duygu] has been running the whole process is inspiring as she is making sure that the sessions are informative and fun not just for the students but also for the guests,” “Duygu’s remarkable efforts... have been invaluable in fostering a dynamic learning environment that encourages us to think critically and creatively, and I strongly recommend her for the MIT Spotlight Award,” and “I believe that this award will inspire the future leaders of the Speakers Committee to follow Duygu's footsteps to contribute immensely to Sloanies' learning and personal growth.”
Thank you, Duygu, for bringing your community together in such an intentional and meaningful way, and for helping to create a learning experience that they will cherish.
Ann Marie Maxwell (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director, Executive Education on MIT Sloan’s Executive Education team. She is responsible for program experience and effectiveness for a portfolio of executive education programs. In addition to managing her portfolio, she collaborates with colleagues to design signature transformational learning experiences for custom clients.
The research and design phase of custom executive education programs provides a unique opportunity to explore and understand the development needs and aspirations of global executives and organizations. With this knowledge, Ann Marie works with the program team to architect potential learning journeys for clients to react to. This phase of the learning design process is a wonderful way to discover and draw connections between the incredible work of faculty and researchers across the Institute and that of executives and organizations across the globe. The collaborative and iterative approach allows her team to design and deliver unique learning journeys which are catalysts for change and impact at the individual, team, and organizational level.
Ann Marie is an inspiration for her tireless devotion to creating innovative learning experiences for our participants, putting her head, heart, and soul into every program she delivers. Ann Marie's drive for learning and continuous improvement positively impacts everyone around her. She thinks about team dynamics and encourages and challenges others to step out of their comfort zone and grow. She is passionate about the customer's learning journey and steadfast in upholding MIT's values. On rare occasions when participant behavior has fallen short of expectations, she is able to address the issue in an open, direct, and respectful way--with positive outcomes. As one faculty member put it, "She has the 'it factor' with participants. Ann Marie listens intently, her warmth is sincere, and trust is established quickly. Her ability to get the best out of everyone involved is a significant asset to MIT and the community."
Thank you, Ann Marie, for using your immense expertise to enrich our Executive Education program, and for creating a learning environment full of meaningful experiences for team members and clients alike!
Gilly Parker (she/her/hers) is the Senior Administrative Assistant to Deputy Dean Michael Cusumano, offers calendaring support for Ezra Zuckerman Sivan while on he is on sabbatical, calendaring support for Rodrigo Verdi in his role as Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, and calendaring support for John Runyon. In her role as a member of the Deans’ Office and Faculty Affairs team, Gilly also assists with promotion and reappointment cases for faculty and updates data in the Sloan People Database (SPD).
Gilly’s nominator shares: “Every interaction with Gilly inspires me to bring kindness with me to all situations inside and outside of work. Gilly is an unsung hero in my opinion. By providing the foundation for many processes she allows others to achieve their goals. Gilly approaches each task positively, gets things done with a smile and her gentle nature can brighten anyone's day. In her role in the Deans’ Office she adapts to change, and from the outside looking in, has done so seamlessly time and time again. Gilly is genuine, intelligent, and has deep interests outside of work as well. She stands up for and is an advocate for herself and for things she is passionate about. She takes the time to get to know people, find common ground and makes others feel supported. MIT Sloan is a better place because of Gilly!”
Thank you, Gilly, for your tremendous partnership and for modeling a compassionate and authentic approach to work across teams.
Harsha Vardhini is a Legatum fellow and a Sloan Fellow MBA 2022 Candidate at MIT. She cofounded Vizzhy, the world’s first full stack diabetes reversal company. As she shared with SW4W: One person dies every 5 seconds due to diabetes and its complications. There were 6.7M deaths due to Diabetes complications last year alone (2021). There are half a billion people affected with Diabetes and another half a billion with prediabetes. Harsha’s aim is to make this world free from diabetes and prevent deaths due to its complications.
Harsha defied traditions and became the first female in her community in a southern remote part of India to go to college, become a working professional, move to the US, become an entrepreneur and join MIT. She has inspired many girls and their parents in her community to aim for equal access to education and financial freedom for girls. Her dream is to see every girl in her country obtain equal rights to education and financial freedom.
As Harsha’s nominator confirms: “Harsha is an inspiration to ambitious young women everywhere. Harsha is a founder, techie, a Legatum Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, an amazing mother of two and a kind friend to the Sloan Fellows cohort. The way she handles all the roles despite the various obstacles she faces is admirable. Her grit, focus and attention to detail are an inspiration for women everywhere.”
Thank you, Harsha, for your powerful advocacy for women and girls, and your immense dedication to improving educational, financial, and health care access for people around the world.
Wanda Orlikowski is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management and a Professor of Information Technologies and Organization Studies at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Her research examines the role and influence of digital technologies in the workplace, with a particular focus on how they generate significant shifts in organizing, coordination, and accountability. Her teaching focuses on helping students develop their leadership skills and practices through courses based on the MIT Leadership Capabilities Model, which she co-developed. She co-chairs the Sloan Faculty Gender Equity Committee and is currently serving as Head of the Management Science Area. Wanda is an inspiring instructor and community member who motivates and uplifts women with her teaching, her ideas, and her values. Thank you, Wanda, for your leadership and the growth you inspire in others!
Rose Carpenter works in the MIT Sloan Academic Areas as the Senior Associate Director of the Behavioral Policy Sciences (BPS) Group. In partnership with her incredible colleagues, she develops, implements, and manages the administrative infrastructure of the Academic Areas. Rose is a great role model who leads by example with her positive attitude and great work ethic. She is an empathetic, compassionate leader. Her collaborative approach often leads to great solutions to complex issues. Thank you, Rose, for your dedication to your team and for strengthening our community’s foundations to allow us to build better solutions and practices as we grow.
Haley Lamson (she/her/hers) is the Director of Development Events in the MIT Sloan Office of External Relations. In her role, she is responsible for strategic oversight and execution of all development events that engage, cultivate, and steward MIT Sloan alumni and friends. Haley and her team create unique experiences to inspire philanthropy to the school by bringing donors into the “inner circle” and demonstrating impact at Sloan and around the world.
Haley is a true servant leader. She has selflessly served MIT Sloan for nearly a decade, and she has made hundreds of wonderful experiences for donors, alumni, and staff. She always thinks about others first. During Covid, she spent over one year creating and administering the tour experience for the whole school on top of her day-to-day responsibilities.
Thank you, Haley, for your commitment to our community members both near and far. We admire you for imagining and creating meaningful connections across Sloan, MIT, and the world.
Meredith Somers (she/her/hers) is a News Writer in the MIT Sloan Office of Communications. Her writing focuses on management issues affecting global business leaders, with an emphasis on behavioral science and organizational culture. Meredith created and developed The Bias Cut, a monthly interview series with MIT Sloan alumnae about navigating, succeeding, and supporting others in a professional world rife with gender bias. In developing The Bias Cut, Meredith sought to create a forum where women can learn from the experience of others, and where MIT Sloan alumnae can share their experiences with allyship, mentorship, and gender bias. Currently at 24 installments, this series is a regular platform for a diverse group of women, and has garnered great appreciation from outside and inside both MIT Sloan and MIT generally. Thank you, Meredith, for your creativity and dedication to celebrating and supporting women as leaders.
Urmi Samadar (she/her/hers) is the Assistant Dean of the MIT Sloan Master of Finance program. In her role, she is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership including overseeing an exceptional student experience, empowering a professional team, collaborating with faculty and staff colleagues, engaging alumni, deepening connections with the industry and ensuring the external visibility of the program. Urmi is the epitome of what women's leadership should look like. Through her experience and roles at MIT, she has provided guidance, support, friendship and everyday learning experiences to everyone with whom she connects. Her spirit and confidence can brighten any room and even when her plate is overflowing, she will always make time for those that need her. Thank you, Urmi, for your vision, guidance, and true caring for all members of our MIT Sloan community.
Shallon Silvestrone (she/her/hers) is the Manager of Instructional Technology & Design within Sloan Technology Services, where she leads a passionate and talented team of instructional technologists and designers. Their team connects Sloan to research-driven best practices, resources, and trainings in instructional technology and design— helping and supporting the community to make an impact in the classroom and beyond. Outside of work, she’s a Big Sister with the Big Sister Association of Boston. She is also a Korean language learner at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
Shallon was nominated for an MIT Sloan Women 4 Women Spotlight Award for her vast wealth of professional knowledge and expertise, her strategic thinking, communication, and dedication to teaching and learning. Her positive attitude and humor, enthusiasm for teaching and learning, as well as her openness to new approaches, tools, and ideas all foster a work culture that is positive, transparent, and flexible. Shallon is more than a manager. She is a mentor, teacher, and inspiration. Thank you, Shallon, for your compassionate and innovative leadership in the MIT Sloan community!
Dr. Renée Richardson Gosline is Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist at MIT Sloan. As a research head at MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, she examines the intersection of behavioral science and artificial intelligence, running experiments on human-AI interactions and how they can affect choice. As a member of the faculty, she teaches MBAs and Executives about cutting-edge Brand strategy and ways they can develop breakthrough customer experiences. Renée is a true pioneer, paving the way for the BIPOC community as one of the very few black female faculty members at MIT Sloan. Renée's passion for her work extends towards her students. Thank you, Renée, for breaking barriers and fighting bias at all levels!
Lauren is the Director of Alumni Experience for the Office of External Relations where she leads the Alumni Experience team in support of the full lifecycle of the alumni experience, from their time as students to their 50th reunion and beyond. The team works with campus partners, the Sloan Alumni Board, and alumni volunteers all over the world to support the global Sloan alumni community. Lauren is a true advocate and voice for the BIPOC community. Lauren understands the importance of getting active within the DEI space and educating her community on white privilege. Thank you, Lauren, for using your platform to help the BIPOC community and to be a voice for the voiceless!
Sanjana is an undergraduate student at both MIT Sloan and the MIT School of Engineering and has served as co-founder and Co-President of the MIT Finance Club, co-founder of the Discover Finance Program for incoming freshmen, and a mentor in the Sloan Undergraduate Department. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers, an undergraduate researcher at the Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS) Group, and a Big Sister in the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Upon graduation, Sanjana will be working as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. Thank you, Sanjana, for being a powerful influence and dynamic student who is not afraid of leadership at any level!
Lisa is a Coordinator for the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT Sloan and the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER). She was nominated for all her hard work behind the scenes to help make the Good Companies Good Jobs Initiative a success, all while having a good laugh along the way. Thanks, Lisa, for your continued effort and being an integral part of the MIT Sloan community!
Vanessa is a PhD student in the Organization Studies group. One line of her research focuses on the gendered challenges women face in the workplace, and describes how organizations can better enable women’s career advancement and overall wellbeing. Outside of her research, she also mentors MIT women through a mentorship group she established. Thank you, Vanessa, for all you do!
Cyndi is the Director of Finance, Administration & Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Executive Education and is responsible for financial planning, forecasting and financial management, and overseeing and creating effective systems, policies and processes for Executive Education. “Cyndi is an amazing role model with an incredible work ethic, an ever-calm and positive attitude, and smart solutions to tough problems.” Thank you, Cyndi!
Attia Qureshi is a Lecturer of Power and Negotiation at MIT Sloan, focusing on both the theory and practical application of negotiation to help students actively improve through cases, discussion and behavioral homework. Outside of teaching, she engages in pro bono work as a coach to help women receive higher compensation and promotions through job negotiations, and has helped dozens of women land high-paying leadership positions. Thank you, Attia, for your commitment to women’s advancement!
Helen is the Behavioral Research Lab Manager in the MIT Behavioral Research Lab (BRL) and focuses on recruiting individuals for both in-person lab experiments and online studies. She was nominated for her strong work ethic and commitment to ensuring the BRL runs smoothly for all that are involved – staff, faculty, students, and volunteers. Thank you, Helen, for all that you do for MIT Sloan and the BRL!
Katie Albanos (SF ’20) served on the Fellows Women's Committee and is passionate about organizing activities that bring women Fellows together to build connections and community. "The Sloan Fellows MBA program and MIT Sloan’s mission resonated with me, combining my passions for global business, principled leadership, and my desire to create diverse professional communities that support women and LGBTQ in the workplace."
Natalie has worked at MIT Sloan for over five years, most recently as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Education, and it was Natalie who spearheaded the MIT Sloan Women 4 Women initiative among staff. Natalie was recently awarded an MLK Leadership Award during MIT’s 47th Annual Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. "I love gathering people together for a greater good and making them feel more empowered and confident in their everyday livelihood. ...There is no need to wait when it comes to creating inclusive workplace, because we as a community should feel and see it at all levels (student, staff, administration, and faculty)."