CID highlights trailblazers for Women’s History Month

Rebecca Revalee is program manager and co-founder of the Learning Lab, a think tank for the art and science of learning within the 1819 Innovation Hub, the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District. Photo by Gregory Glevicky.

In celebration of Women’s History Month this March, the CID highlighted UC-affiliated trailblazers on social media. Here are the 31 women we featured:

Nicole Chance, graduate of the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), created EVOLVE, an app focused on getting children to complete at-home physical therapy exercises. Nicole’s startup went through UC’s Venture Lab pre accelerator program. 

Emma Lucy Braun, A&S 1910, ’12, ’14, HON ’64, was one of the leaders for ecology in the 20th century. Her expertise and research focused mostly on the forests of the eastern United States. She was the first woman elected as president of the Ecological Society of America. 

Kristina Shin, assistant professor in the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and a 2023 UC Venture Lab graduate, has created an adaptive hydrotherapy wetsuit for people with limited mobility who are undergoing water therapy. 

Marianne Lewis, dean of the UC Lindner College of Business, has co-written a book titled “Both/And Thinking’: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems.” She and her co-author, Wendy K. Smith at the University of Delaware, call on 20-plus years of research to reveal that embracing competing demands simultaneously enables more creative and lasting solutions. 

Rose Marie Ward is vice provost and dean of UC’s Graduate College, a post she began last summer. Throughout her career, Rose Marie has championed and established many graduate student and diversity support programs and services. She also has served as the principal investigator and co-PI for three National Science Foundation diversity and inclusion grants. 

Whitney Gaskins, assistant dean of inclusive excellence and community engagement, runs the Gaskins Foundation, which introduces STEM concepts and careers to K-12 students. 

Holly McGee, assistant professor of Africana studies in the UC College of Arts & Sciences, is a published author with publications ranging from social perceptions and interpretations of race and gender in America and South Africa to local Arkansas history, the state where she grew up. #UCWomenInnovators

Abby McInturf, a 2018 graduate of the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), created Band Connect, a technology that allows an in-clinic experience for physical therapy patients at home while providing clinicians insight into their patients’ form and progress. She is also a graduate of the UC Venture Lab’s pre-accelerator program.

Professor Emerita Awatef Hamed came of age at a time when few women were studying engineering. She went on to get her master’s and doctoral degrees from the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science and then was hired as a faculty member, where she was the only female faculty member for two decades. In 2001, she became the first woman to head a college aerospace engineering department.

Rebecca Revalee is program manager and co-founder of the Learning Lab, a think tank for the art and science of learning within the 1819 Innovation Hub, the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District. Inside the lab, Rebecca leads Midday Mindfulness to help participants “press the reset button,” as she says. #UCWomenInnovators

Kate Harmon, assistant vice president in the 1819 Innovation Hub and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the UC Lindner College of Business, is a seasoned professional with more than 10 years of experience in higher ed entrepreneurship. Among her accomplishments since coming to UC, Harmon has hired the center’s first entrepreneur in residence to lead inclusive entrepreneurship efforts and created two new student organizations to support student-led efforts around venture investing/capital and sustainability.

Brande Victorian, 2007 graduate of the UC College of Arts & Sciences, has carved a career in the competitive field of writing that has taken her from medical publishing to an editor’s role at a leading magazine for Black women.

Kaethe Beck is associate vice president for operations in the 1819 Innovation Hub. In that role, she also oversees corporate partnerships and commercialization activity. Kaethe has been part of the founding teams for several startups, designed and managed large-scale industry partnerships, and created process improvements in research operations.

Elizabeth Wetzel is program manager for the UC Venture Lab, where she supports the regional startup community by giving inventors the tools they need to commercialize their scalable business concepts. An award-winning project manager with deep experience in city government, Elizabeth seeks to drive creative solutions to organizations’ biggest challenges by building community and promoting impactful innovation.

Kristen Tolman, a 2011 graduate of the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), is the founder of DŌ Cookie Dough Confections. DŌ is the world’s first edible cookie dough confectionary. Kristen has also published several cookbooks, gained press attention by the likes of The New York Times, and made countless appearances on national television.

Clarice Reid, 1959 graduate of the UC College of Medicine, led the National Sickle Cell Disease Program at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. She was also Cincinnati’s only African American pediatrician during the mid-1960s.

Candace Wade is program coordinator for the UC Center for Entrepreneurship, where she helps students make their ideas a reality by organizing events and programs around starting businesses, as well as working one-on-one with students. She founded and leads two student groups: the center’s Student Marketing Team and Engineering Entrepreneurs. She also creates digital content and promo materials to get more exposure to center activities.

Ashley Keating is a partner at CincyTech, a corporate partner in the Cincinnati Innovation District. She joined the organization after a decade of experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers and has been instrumental in building CincyTech’s seed fun investment platform.

Camryn Ellis, international business major in the Lindner College of Business, is the founder of the Style app, a virtual closet that helps people manage their outfit collection through AI. A winner of Launch It: Cincy Year 2 by Main Street Ventures, she will be staying in Cincinnati over the summer to build relationships within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Cynthia Johnson is a graduate of the Cosmetic Science program at the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and the founder and CEO of Cindy J Cosmetic Labs. Johnson said Black women are often forgotten or overlooked by society’s beauty standards, and she sees her work as a cosmetic chemist to effect change.

Bi Awosika is the new assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion in the UC College of Medicine with a focus on medical education. Since joining the college in 2016, she has engaged students, residents and faculty on DEI issues, striving to eliminate implicit bias, promote inclusivity and create more diverse and equitable learning environments.

UC aerospace engineering doctoral student Lynn Pickering is using fuzzy logic to create an artificial intelligence structure that is fair, usable and understandable for humans. The concept is called explainable artificial intelligence. Pickering is a recipient of the Fulbright Ghent University Award and was named Graduate Student Engineer of the Month by the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Eva Maddox, a 1966 graduate of the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), is an internationally recognized interior designer. Eva co-founded Archeworks, a leading design laboratory and multidisciplinary school. She is also known as the pioneer of “Branded Environments,” the idea of incorporating brand DNA into the physical environment.

Director of life sciences at CincyTech, Christin Godale earned her PhD from the neuroscience graduate program from the UC College of Medicine. In her role at CincyTech, she finds and invests in high-potential life science innovations.

Charmi A. Vijapura, assistant professor of clinical radiology in the College of Medicine, led a team in creating a curriculum that outlines best practices for transgender patients. In an evaluation of the curriculum, participating residents showed increased awareness and knowledge of transgender patient care.

Amanda Jackson, UC Cancer Center physician-researcher and associate professor, division chief and vice chair in the College of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, is the site principal investigator at UC for the UP-NEXT trial that is testing a new treatment for ovarian cancer patients. The trial is testing the effectiveness of a drug that works as a kind of Trojan horse, binding to a specific antigen often found on the surface of ovarian cancer cells.

For four years, doctoral student Brooke Campbell has been a graduate assistant in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. She returned to school after working in the tech industry to pursue a graduate degree. Her research work focuses on using a process called electrospinning to create nanofibers loaded with medicine for targeted drug delivery.

Elisabeth Kooi, alumna of the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), says that cooperative education provided her with a jump start for her career as a senior industrial designer at Herbst Produkt, where she manages the company’s internship program. She joined the agency after completing a co-op experience there while majoring in industrial design.

College of Arts and Sciences alumna Ashley Nkadi is leveraging her background in neuroscience, digital strategy, organizing and DEI to create strategic communications and digital content for organizations, businesses, campaigns and universities.

Marian Spencer earned a degree in English literature in 1942 from the University of Cincinnati. She began her public fight for civil rights in 1952 when she led the desegregation effort at Cincinnati’s Coney Island Amusement Park. Marian Spencer Hall, named in her honor, is home to the Marian Spencer Scholars Living-Learning Communities as well as an Honors themed floor.  

Fiona Harrell-Duchaine, a fourth-year digital media collaborative major with a minor in IT, is a student worker in the Esports Innovation Lab. Fiona, who aspires to a career in the video game industry, is gaining experience in broadcast streaming and planning of esports invitationals.

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