Chattanooga Engineers Club

MWM-International Women's Day

  • 9 Mar 2023
  • 2:30 PM - 6:00 PM
  • 2215 Parker Street NE Cleveland TN 37311

Million Women Mentors Tennessee in collaboration with Learning Blade, United Way, WiM Tennessee, TN China Network, and McKee Foods, will host International Women's Day, a 1/2-day event at the Smart Factory Institute @ the PIE Center in Cleveland, TN.  This event is designed to showcase Engineers Week 2023, World Engineering Day, and International Women's Day, by sharing stories from national and international leaders who are advancing and embracing equity for girls and women in STEM fields. Through this event, we hope to inspire students and others just starting their career journey to explore STEM and international career opportunities. 

Speakers will offer insights into what makes their efforts impactful, and attendees will come away from this event not only inspired but also prepared to take action in their own organizations and put more girls and women on pathways to pursue, persist and succeed in STEM.

For International Women's Day and beyond, let's all fully #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. During our panel discussions, through our conversations with women professionals with international perspectives, through their stories, sharing of their education and career journeys, we want to lean in, build connections, provide support and advance equity.


2:30pm - 3:00pm | Check-In

3:00pm - 3:05pm | Welcome

Denise Rice, President & CEO, Peak Performance Inc., Operators of the Smart Factory Institute

3:05pm - 4:15pm - Panel Discussion: Million Women Mentors TN + International

Moderated by: Lulu Copeland, Executive Director, TN China Network | MWM State Lead

Dr. Neslihan AlpVice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Dr. Alp is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of Pennsylvania College of Technology. She has previously served as the Dean of College of Technology at Indiana State University. Prior to that she has served as Associate Dean and Interim Dean in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Alp has a bachelor’s degree in engineering management and master’s degree in industrial engineering from Istanbul Technical University, and Ph.D. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla. She has also received a Management Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Some of her recent community affiliations include the Lycoming Economic Development Foundation Executive Board and Williamsport Rotary Club membership in Pennsylvania.

Umran BebaPartner, August Leadership; Independent Non-Director Board Member, Bakkavor; Co-Founder, Beba Innovation & Entrepreneurship Foundation, Inc.

An experienced executive with general management, talent and diversity background, Umran has 35 years of experience in consumer industry where 25 years was with PepsiCo. She has been in Chief HR Officer and Chief Diversity Officer roles in her career and has managed several transformation projects as well as executive recruitment, talent pipeline building, culture shaping, diversity and inclusion agenda setting and execution. She was part of the Million Women Mentors program in New York area with PepsiCo and worked with Yonkers school district. Since June 2020, she has been a partner at August Leadership and is also an independent non-executive board director for Bakkavor Group plc since September 2020. She is the co-founder of Beba Foundation which is one of the founding partners of the Million Women Mentors program in Türkiye. Umran is an industrial engineer with MBA and honorary doctorate degree in Commercial Science.

Masami Tyson, Partner, Womble Bond Dickson LLC

Masami Tyson is a partner in the firm’s Corporate and Securities group. She is the former Global Director of Foreign Direct Investment and Trade for the State of Tennessee. There, she liaised with international, diplomatic, and economic offices, maintained strategic oversight for all overseas teams facilitating economic development in Tennessee, provided support to companies located in Tennessee, and advised state leadership on matters relating to foreign affairs. She is a council leader for the U.S.-Japan Council and a board member for the Japan-America Society of Tennessee. She also serves as a board member for Hands On Nashville and the Tennessee District Export Council. She received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she was a member of the Honor Council, Legal Clinic, and Legal Aid Society. She received her M.A. and B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts.

Dr. Raga Ahmed, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee Chattanooga College of Engineering; Faulty Lead, NSBE; National Society of Black Engineers Student Chapter

Dr. Raga Ahmed, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga College of Engineering, Faulty Lead at NSBE, and a member of the National Society of Black Engineers Student Chapter. Additionally, she is the Graduate Coordinator, and Faculty Advisor of the UTC Drones Club. She is also the principal investigator in a program titled “Engineering and Data Analytics in Smart Cities”. As a PhD student at Georgia Institute of Technology, she was awarded an Equity and Diversity Fellowship to teach in 2009. Before embarking on a teaching career, her undergrad in electrical engineering prepared her for work as a research engineer, she was part of a multidisciplinary team responsible for optimizing electric motor design via geometry and material. Dr. Ahmed teaches engineering in English, speaks Arabic, and elementary French.

Dr. Veronica Herrera, Language Teacher, McCallie School; Owner Operator,  EducQ Marketing, LLC; Executive Director, Cultural Value Leadership Institute

Dr. Veronica Herrera is an American Latina that holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, with concentration in Online Teaching. Throughout her career, Dr. Herrera has worked in education, human resources, industrial safety, and Latino marketing. In 2015, she was selected La Paz of Chattanooga Leader of the Year. In 2016, she won the Hispanicize Positive Impact Award and was proclaimed by the city of Chattanooga as a valuable immigrant to American society. In 2018, her story "Las voces de las caracolas" was selected among the winners in the La Nota Latina story contest and published by Snow Fountain Press. In 2019, her work team at International Paint Pals was nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Herrera is the Executive Director at the Cultural Value Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Dr. Herrera's research in intercultural ethics and her proposed theory of cultural value leadership.

4:15pm - 4:30pm | Closing Remarks - Happenings at the Smart Factory Institute

Denise Rice, President & CEO, Peak Performance Inc., Operators of the Smart Factory Institute

4:30pm - 6:00pm | Networking Social

Join us after the event for light hors d'oeuvres and beverages during this networking social.

Register today -

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