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The Murray Center for Women in Technology at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will hold its fifth annual Women Designing the Future conference — “Game Changers! Technological Innovations That Will Transform Our Lives”— Friday, March 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the university’s Campus Center Ballrooms A and B.

Conference participants will have the opportunity to interact with women scientists, government leaders and entrepreneurs as they discuss technological innovations that will both disrupt and improve our lives over the next 10 years. Experts will address a wide range of topics, including new applications of artificial intelligence; robotics, e-commerce and the future of work; next-generation genomics; and breakthrough personalized medical technologies. “Game Changers!” will also feature a special Women Leaders Workshop on the power of personal branding.

“This conference will give audience members a chance to talk with women who are disrupting the status quo in the U.S. and around the world,” said Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, director of the Murray Center. “It’s especially exciting for the younger women at the conference to meet female role models who are passionately engaged in the work they do — work that often integrates art and design with science and technology to address complex social problems.”

Speaking about Robotics, E-Commerce and the Future of Work:

Aisha Glover, president and CEO, the Newark Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the ongoing economic revitalization of Newark.

Rochelle Hendricks, former New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education under Chris Christie.

Sally J. Nadler, assistant dean and director of the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in STEM. Nadler is co-author of the forthcoming report, “Women in Technology,” produced by the Center for Women and Work for the Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education.

Jane Oates, president, WorkingNation. Oates served as secretary of the Department of Labor for Employment and Training under President Barack Obama. She was executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and senior adviser to Governor Jon Corzine, and served as senior policy adviser to Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Speaking about the Future of Women in STEM:

Gilda Barabino, dean, the Grove School of Engineering, the City College of New York. A noted researcher in sickle cell disease, and cellular and tissue engineering, Barabino holds appointments in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering at the CUNY School of Medicine and is a nationally known advocate for diversity in science and engineering.

Camelia Prodan, associate professor, NJIT Department of Physics. Director of the Keck Laboratory for Topological Materials, Prodan uses novel approaches to engage young children in fundamental physics research.

Varsha Waishampayan, CEO and lead founder, WINGS for Growth. After a long career in management on Wall Street, Waishampayan now heads up a not-for-profit leadership institute for current and future female executives.

Speaking about Disruptive Innovation in Medical Terminology:

Tara Alvarez, professor, NJIT Department of Biomedical Engineering. Director and founder of the Vision and Neural Engineering Laboratory, Alvarez leads an award-winning interdisciplinary team that has developed an innovative Virtual Reality Vision Therapy (VERVE) to address vision function in brain injury patients, especially children with concussion.

Amy Liao, president, GENEWIZ. A biochemist and award-winning entrepreneur, Liao helped build GENEWIZ from a small startup into the largest U.S. provider of Sanger DNA sequencing services.

Colleen Riley, vice president, Science and Technology, Stryker, a Fortune 500 medical technologies company.

Speaking about Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence:

Chitra Dorai, CEO, Amicus Brain Innovations. An expert in artificial intelligence, Dorai is also a former IBM fellow who served for many years as chief technical officer of IBM’s Cognitive Solutions and Services division.

Amy Hoover, assistant professor, NJIT Department of Informatics. Hoover’s research on artificial intelligence-based human-computer collaboration focuses on creative computing with applications in games, artificial intelligence, and music and sound.

Speaking about the Future of the Future: Nuclear War:

Lydia Wood, campaign coordinator, NuclearBan.US, a 501c4 nonprofit organization committed to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Women Designing the Future–“Game Changers!” is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College, NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering, IEEE Women in Engineering Princeton and NJIT’s Technology and Society Forum.

The conference includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch and complimentary onsite parking in the NJIT parking deck at 154 Summit Street. To register, visit: https://wdf19.eventbrite.com

About the Murray Center

Since 1995, the Murray Center for Women in Technology at NJIT has worked to ensure the sustainable advancement of women students, faculty and staff — facilitating individual growth, community interaction and institutional transformation. The Murray Center has received two major grants from the National Science Foundation for its pioneering use of social network mapping to advance women STEM faculty, and has been honored with Women in Engineering ProActive Network’s national Change Agent Award for its efforts to connect women from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds to each other and to the resources they need to succeed. For more information on the Murray Center, visit: https://womenscenter.njit.edu/

One of only 32 polytechnic universities in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. NJIT is rated an "R1" research university by the Carnegie Classification®, which indicates the highest level of research activity. NJIT conducts approximately $162 million in research activity each year and has a $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey. NJIT is ranked #1 nationally by Forbes for the upward economic mobility of its lowest-income students and is among the top 2 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT also is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 50 public national universities.