EYH 2021 Organizing Committee

DirectorsWorkshops|Parent Program|Recruitment and Registration|Programming|Volunteers|Fundraising|Marketing


Kathleen Proudfoot | Co-Director
kathleen_proudfoot (9 of 9) - Kathleen Proudfoot

Kate Proudfoot is a public relations Account Executive at the science communications and marketing firm, CG Life. She spends a lot of her day coordinating with biotech companies and journalists, and ghostwriting articles for scientific magazines. Kate came to CG Life after completing her PhD and postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago in 2018. Her studies focused on how cells ensure that chromosomes are separated equally between dividing cells to avoid genetic diseases and cancer. When she’s not helping to coordinate the EYH Chicago Spring conference, Kate enjoys drawing and gardening.

Lucas Beaufore | Co-Director

Lucas is a PhD student in Physics at the University of Chicago with his B.S. in engineering from Ohio State. He studies cosmic rays and has previously worked in searches for the nature of dark energy. He was a longtime participant in the FRC high school robotics organization, including multiple years mentoring an amazing women and gender minority team during his undergrad. He is looking forward to continuing to work towards greater diversity in STEM with EYH.


Tiffany Ge | Workshop Co-Chair

Tiffany Ge is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Genetics at Northwestern University. She is investigating the molecular basis of DNA folding and chromosome organization and is excited to share her passion for science with the young women of Chicago. In her free time, Tiffany enjoys playing cello and volleyball.

Heather Macomber | Workshop Co-Chair

Heather is a Neurobiology PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago, where she studies learning and memory by shining lasers into mouse brains while they navigate through virtual reality. She is a huge science-fiction fan, board game aficionado, and loving dog owner to an adorable rescue mutt named Emmy.

Celeste Rosencrance | Workshop Committee

Celeste Rosencrance is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University. Her research currently focuses on nuclear architecture and higher-order genome organization in the context of functional significance and human disease. She is a WVU alumni and former 4H leader who is passionate about helping young women discover science. Outside of the lab, Celeste enjoys playing videogames, wandering in nature, traveling, and exploring new cuisines and restaurants. 

Parent Program

Megan Nelson | Parent Program Co-Chair

Megan Nelson is a Senior Associate in Consultative Analytics at Gallagher Bassett, a company that specializes in claims and risk management. She performs quantitative analyses to optimize the performance of the operations and to identify opportunities to get injured workers back to health and work faster. Megan has been with Gallagher Bassett since graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Financial Services. Megan is passionate about supporting girls who want to pursue STEM careers and education. She also loves traveling, singing, and golfing.

Melissa Lopez | Parent Program Co-Chair

Melissa Lopez is an undergraduate senior studying bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a first generation, daughter of immigrants she understands the struggles that immigrant parents face whilst trying to provide all the necessities and tools needed for their child’s academic success. She hopes to bring more awareness of STEM careers within the Hispanic community. Melissa enjoys working on her vegetable garden and reading comic books in her free time.

Amy Zasadzinski | Parent Program Co-Chair

Amy is a first year Design graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, and got her bachelor’s degree in Biology from IIT as well.  Her professional experience was at a start up company called TinkRworks, where she developed curriculum and oversaw the execution of STEAM programs for grade-school students.  She is very passionate about increasing the accessibility of STEAM programs to under-served communities, and in her free time, she loves to play Quidditch and swing dance!

Teacher Program

Nadia Firozabadi | Teacher Program Chair

Nadia Firozabadi is an undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago studying Neuroscience and Spanish. She is currently performing research on aortic intimal macrophages at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. In her free time, Nadia likes to run, online shop, and bake cookies!

Recruitment and Registration

Alexis Goggin | Recruitment Co-Chair

Lexi recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She works as pharmacy technician for CVS pharmacy and recently worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the UIC College of Medicine. Her career focus is aimed toward becoming a pharmacist where she could excel in her field and continue to help the patients at her pharmacy. In her free time, she embraces her nerdiness by reading novels and watching documentaries about the latest topics in science.

Meredith M. Farrar | Recruitment Committee

Meredith is an Elementary Education and Education Policy major at Loyola University Chicago. She enjoys watching children learn about topics they are passionate about and seeing the empowering effects of students gain confidence from doing extracurriculars like playing sports. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, going to museums, and petting every dog in the city.

Christina Paskon | Recruitment Committee

Christina is a Chicago native and an undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago studying Public Health with minors in Political Science and Bioethics. Her interest lies at the intersection of Public Health initiatives and Social Justice in an effort to create happy and healthier futures for all. Outside of the classroom, she loves to attend as many local concerts as possible, spend time with her cat, Atticus, and cook way too much food.

Alexandra Nisenoff | Recruitment Committee

Alexandra is an undergrad at the University of Chicago double majoring in Computer Science and Astrophysics. She is currently doing research related to computer security, privacy, and human-computer interaction with the SUPERgroup and on supernovae in Professor Dwarkadas’s group. In her free time Alexandra enjoys knitting, embroidery, crocheting, and digital/film photography.

Madeline Field | Registration Co-Chair

Maddie works at Stripe, a technology company that builds financial tools and economic infrastructure for the internet. After graduating from Loyola University Chicago she served with City Year in a CPS 6th grade classroom and joined EYH for the opportunity to continue working with Chicago students. In her spare time Maddie likes picking up new hobbies, biking, and exploring new corners of Chicago.

Matt Caraher | Registration Co-Chair

Matt is a Chicago native and an Associate Consultant at iOLAP , a Data and Analytics consulting firm out of Texas. In his off time from school he enjoys taking in movies, listening to podcasts, and attending random events in city. Also, he finds talking in the third person to always be a weird experience.


Cristina Vaca | Keynote Speaker & Lunch Activities Chair

Cristina is a PhD student in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University. In undergrad she studied Biochemistry and Architecture, and in her free time she likes to cook and go to the beach! 

Daniel O’Brien | Food/Care Packages Chair

Dan is a professional musician, private instructor, and independent contractor. In his free time, he enjoys nature, reading science fiction/fantasy, learning new instruments, and writing. He also has an interest in improving the community around him through volunteer action. 

Ann Houlihan-Doyle | Food/Care Packages Committee

Ann is a Certified Public Accountant professional who believes in the power of promotion of STEM activities to young women. She attended UIC and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and her CPA thereafter.  She worked in public accounting as an auditor for 7 years, before crossing over to the private sector and becoming the Accounting Manager for a publicly traded company. Being involved in a STEM profession has brought many rewards and valuable life skills and she looks forward to teaching some of these skills to young women.

Noemi Rojas | Food/Care Packages Committee

Noemi Rojas is from Chicago with a B.A. in Kinesiology and Chinese Studies from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. A former service coordinator and co-lead in the Live Local. Think Global Series, Noemi has focused on helping the community through different programs and projects. Working on her career as a future Occupational Therapist, she continues to work with different communities and will reintegrate within the Chicago Community. She is excited to become part of the EYH community!

Neha Sharma | Facilities Chair

Neha just started pursuing her Masters in Computer Science from Northwestern University this past Fall. Before that, she was working full-time as a Software Engineer at a Chicago based startup after graduating with a Bachelors in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. Her interest in teaching kids STEAM started when she was working at the CUC Fab Lab. Neha is passionate about STEM outreach to young girls and she is excited to be part of the EYH committee this year! Outside of her assignments, Neha enjoys walking her adorable dog, dancing to Bollywood songs and hiking nearby trails.

Megan Dorn | Facilities Committee

Megan is a Research Project Coordinator in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. Her research looks at the relationship between brain networks and behavior using neuroimaging.  Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking and collecting avant-garde musical instrument.

Mi Nguyen | Facilities Committee

Mi Nguyen is a PhD student in the Chemistry Department at the UIC. Her current work focuses on using mass spectrometry to study neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of the lab, Mi enjoys creating art, exploring nature and new food. Growing up, she has had many amazing strong female roles to look up to and encourage her to use her full potential in STEM fields. Being a part of EYH this year, Mi hopes to inspire the next generation of female scientists from more diverse backgrounds and to learn from many new perspectives.

Sidney Lampert | Facilities Committee

Sidney is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago studying Neuroscience. She decided to enter the STEM world because both of her parents and older brother are Engineers, but she decided to go on a different route by aiming to become the first medical doctor in her family. Sidney is on the Varsity Track and Field team, where she reaches incredible heights in her pole vaulting career. She also works alongside the University of Chicago’s athletic trainers as a Student First Responder, where she oversees the safety of her fellow athletes.


Christa Martens | Volunteer Co-Chair

Christa is a Project Manager in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University. She’s worked in clinical research and public health for her career. She loves working with EYH and helping to the open doors of STEM to smart young women!

Selene Clay | Volunteer Co-Chair

Selene is a PhD student in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. She studies the role that regulatory and protein coding variation in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes play in asthma risk. In her free time she enjoys hiking with her dog, creating art, and playing the piano.


Ambika Salwan | Individual & Corporate Donations Co-Chair

Ambika Salwan is a third year student studying Human Biology and Spanish at Michigan State  University. She is also a member of the Osteopathic Scholars Program at MSU, which gives  preferential admission to MSUCOM. She is a native of the Chicago-land area and is extremely  excited to help out with EYH! In her free time she enjoys kickboxing and spending time with  friends and family.

Debora Sobreira | Individual & Corporate Donations Co-Chair

Debora Sobreira is geneticist from Brazil and a postdoc at Uchicago. She is interested in human genetics, gene regulation, and metabolism. Promoting equality in academia. She enjoys cooking, travelling, going to museums and concerts.

Leslie Proudfoot | Grants Coordinator

Leslie is the Philanthropy Operations Coordinator for GRID Alternatives, a national non-profit solar installer. She also loves hiking, camping, and playing piano.


Holly Seiler | Secretary, Annual Report

Holly Seiler is an Electrical Design Engineer at Epstein Global in Chicago. She brings her passion for art and engineering on projects around the world, designing the electrical, lighting, and fire alarm systems. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology where she discovered her passion for seeing women in STEAM and women in power. Her wanderlust takes her to new cafes to write exotic places in fiction, and on as many planes as her PTO (and global pandemics) allows.

Bethanie-Michelle Statler | Social Media Coordinator, Graphics

Bethanie is a faculty fellow at Harper College in the department of biology. In her graduate studies, she studied the molecular mechanism that allows eukaryotic cells to sense direction and polarize their growth in response to external chemical stimuli. Aside from teaching biology, Beth also loves to travel, thrift shop, play volleyball, and learn new languages. She is especially passionate about inspiring young people to pursue STEM.

Ana Beiriger | Graphics

Ana is a developmental biologist and aspiring medical illustrator currently based in Chicago. She belives in the potential of art to advance STEM education and increase health literacy. In her free time, she likes going to concerts, hiking, and spending time with her adorable cats.

Tamanna Gulati | Website Chair, Graphics

Tamanna Gulati works in internal Product Support and Analysis at a Chicago tech company. She regrets that she grew up believing she had no aptitude for STEM and hopes EYH will help the next generation of young women understand their true potential.

Rebecca Rasmussen | Newsletter

Rebecca Rasmussen is a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences Program at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the biochemistry of bacteria adapting to different zinc concentrations. Outside of science, she enjoys playing the flute and inline speed skating.

Grace Choi | Marketing

Grace Y. Choi (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department, teaching social media at Columbia College Chicago. Her work is primarily focused on digital literacy education that closely examines how the creative use of social media can have substantial educational effects in terms of increasing technical skills, efficacy, and diverse representation. Grace’s research and other work can be found on her website:  https://www.gracefulchoices.com/. She is excited to join EYH to help empower young girls to engage in STEM and meet new people.

Mohammed Saleem | Marketing

Mohammed is currently studying biomedical engineering at Illinois Tech. Aside from academia, he enjoys speaking about issues and ways to combat them. He would like to help EYH as he believes in STEM and wants to provide inspiration for young individuals to pursue the field. As someone that did not grow up with much, he knows how impactful help can be. EYH does a great job of selflessly assisting the younger  generation to become leaders and positively uplift the culture. He looks forward to seeing what they can do this upcoming year.

See past organizing committees here: 2015 Organizing Committee2016 Organizing Committee, 2017 Organizing Committee, 2018 Organizing Committee, 2019 Organizing Committee, 2020 Organizing Committee

Board Members

Caitlyn Mulherin – Chair

Caitlyn believes in the power of STEM accessibility to benefit girls in Chicago communities. Caitlyn has years of synthetic chemistry research experience and a Masters degree from UIC. Caitlyn is now pursuing a career in financial derivatives and works as Manager in the Finance Division at CME Group.

Karina Szymulanska-Ramamurthy, PharmD/ PhD

Karina is a Global Regulatory Lead at Baxter Healthcare Corporation and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago with PharmD from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and professional interests in science and education.

Karina is a Global Regulatory Lead at Baxter Healthcare Corporation and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago with PharmD from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and professional interests in science and education.

Prior to Baxter, Karina led a consulting team focused on partnering with a variety of healthcare companies across the Midwest. Prior to embarking on her professional career, Karina was as a Graduate Research Assistant at UIC where she discovered novel chemical scaffolds with therapeutic potential as drug leads for the treatment of neurodegeneration.

Karina is also an avid health and fitness enthusiast, with a passion for traveling and exploring foreign cultures.

Meenakshi Lakshmanan

Meenakshi is a Computer Engineering professional who believes that STEM education can empower women to actively participate in solving problems they care about. She is the Co-founder and CTO of a FinTech startup called Manifest, focused on making 401k transfers seamless. Before that, she built technology solutions at Goldman Sachs for over 12 years. She received her Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science from India and Masters in Computer Science from Norfolk State university, Virginia. She is currently pursuing her MBA at University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Chicago. Meenakshi loves active nature focused travel (basically visiting places in the middle of nowhere) and is an avid motorcyclist.

Jessica L. Williams

Jessica L. Williams is currently a Solutions Consultant at SDI Presence and a Customer Research Strategist at &yet. She is also the founder of Tech Biz Gurl — a side-hustle that empowers women to believe that they can start and run a #sidehustle, rock it at their day job and still have a life. Jessica co-facilitated 1871’s WiSTEM program for women entrepreneurs. She’s also led infrastructure services at McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America and worked as a Career Coach at General Assembly Chicago.

Board Advisor

Rabiah Mayas

Rabiah Mayas is the Associate Director of Science in Society at Northwestern University, supporting STEM education programs and partnerships in Chicago and Evanston. Rabiah completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago, then spent nine years exploring her passion for science education and public engagement at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Rabiah is a certified Emergency Medical Technician and loves hopping on a plane to almost anywhere, running (albeit slowly) and visiting family on the East and West coasts.