FY24 (July 2023 – June 2024) Section Officers
President: JoAnn Rolick DiGiacomio
JoAnn served as the Mid-Hudson SWE section president for the 2 past years (FY22 and FY23). Her focus is to continue to create opportunities to connect professionally for the purpose of learning and growing and developing the next generation of engineers through STEM events. JoAnn is an engineering manager at onsemi, a semiconductor company, and when not at work spends time with her husband and 2 school age kids being outdoors hiking and volunteering at an aviation museum.
Vice-President: Sneha M Varghese
Sneha served as Vice President in the Mid-Hudson SWE Board last year (FY23) and has been leading efforts to encourage STEM related activities among girls and women. She co-led the Dutchess County Science Fair judging promoting girls to pursue STEM related courses. She also presented at SWE22 to enable more women to pursue their ideas and turn them into patents. She has 20 years of experience working at IBM across different geographies and in various technical and leadership roles. She is passionate to see more women pursue their dreams and progress in their career and believes that Mid-Hudson SWE can be an enabler to do so.
Secretary: Carolyn Kaiser
Carolyn is an advanced research engineer working (remotely from Poughkeepsie) on electronics & software projects for 3M’s Corporate Research Systems Laboratory. While attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), she was a mentor for the Women in Engineering and treasurer & secretary for the Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering. At 3M, she is involved with SWE and the New Employee Opportunity Network (NEON). These experiences give her great insights on building community with members, clearly communicating information, and analyzing member engagement. She enjoys listening and distilling information into key takeaways/action items. She has helped create posts and plan events through college, athletics, and work. Events and marketing can bring together people and she hopes to help foster community with Mid-Hudson SWE members. She and her husband have fallen in love with the Hudson Valley and all it has to offer from scenic vistas, culture/art, and world class restaurants. Every weekend, they enjoy hiking the local mountains or biking the Empire State trail. You can also find her trying new cookie recipes and developing her cooking skills.
Treasurer: Monimala Mukherjee
Monimala served as Treasurer in the Mid-Hudson SWE section last year (FY23). She has been in IBM for the past 14 years and currently she is in the role of zOS Development Manager. She has been a member of SWE for a number of years. She is passionate about the development of women and encouraging women in the fields of Science and Technology. She is a regular volunteer in Engineering week events, Judging Science Fairs and SWE scholarship Judging. Outside of work Monimala recharges with yoga, reading, cooking, meeting friends and participating in the many activities in her community. She loves to connect with Mid-Hudson SWE members, be part of this community and would like to help it grow.
FY24 (July 2023 – June 2024) Committee Members
STEM Outreach Chair: Chandni Shah
Chandni Shah has been living in the Hudson Valley for close to 10 years. She recently finished an associate degree in computer science from Dutchess Community College and is pursuing a BS Information Technology from SUNY Empire State University (part time) after 15 years of a study break. With a constant desire to get into the STEM and earn academic credentials, she is an individual who has proved with dedication and commitment anything is possible. She has professional experience in the Banking Industry for over 10 years working in NY City. She recently became a SWE member with the intent of connecting with strong women leaders, especially in the STEM area, launch good initiatives, and contribute to the community bringing diverse experiences to encourage more women in STEM. Outside of part time work, she enjoys cooking, meeting new friends, spending quality time with family, volunteering in temple events and is active in local kids/mom groups. She looks forward to connecting with Mid-Hudson SWE members, expanding the network.
Member Chair: Cynthia Manya
Cynthia Manya is a Senior Engineer who joined IBM in East Fishkill in 2001 and during her career has held various characterization roles. In her current role, she guides the internal inline and functional characterization team’s analysis and is the Product Technology yield focal point for Samsung to prioritize key signals. She has volunteered in several STEM-related activities such as eWeek for middle school students as well as PTECH in Norwalk and is eager to continue working with students to help grow interest in technical fields.
Events Chair: Preetha Natesan
Preetha Natesan has 20+ years of experience in the IT and Supply Chain industry. She has been in both technical and management roles at IBM, with a unique blend of hardware and software knowledge, and has handled numerous complex projects across multiple platforms and products. She currently manages the IBM Z Software Performance team. She is the Chair for IBM MHV Technical Vitality Affiliate – a technical interest group focused on enhancing technical vitality in the IBM Mid-Hudson Valley. She is also a member of the IBM OIC (Open Innovation Community), an action-oriented community of IBM’s leading thinkers and problem solvers that provide cross industry technical leadership linking IBM technical communities worldwide. In addition to her day job, she mentors P-Tech Students – a global education model that offers students all over the world the opportunity to develop skills and competencies that will translate directly to competitive careers. Preetha has a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Physics, and an Executive Management from Cornell University. Preetha is a passionate inventor with several inventions to her credit.
Social Media Chair: Chelsea Savoy
Chelsea Savoy is the 2024 Social Media Chair for the Mid-Hudson SWE Chapter. She works as a Supply Chain Engineer at IBM where she has worked for over two years. She is originally from Texas and was heavily involved with SWE in college at her alma mater Lamar University. She graduated in 2021 with a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering. She is passionate about empowering young girls and women to pursue studies and careers in STEM. She loves outreach events in the communities she lives in and hopes to get more involved and help spread the word about the Mid-Hudson SWE chapter!
Mentor and SWE Fellow: Marie Cole
Marie Cole, a distinguished engineer in supply chain engineering, retired from IBM in 2021 after 37 years with IBM Systems and IBM Microelectronics. She joined IBM after earning a B.S. in chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and later earned an M.S. in materials engineering at Columbia University.
Cole led the introduction of many technical innovations in collaboration with IBM suppliers and clients, including electronics assembly techniques and microelectronic packaging technologies. Her expertise in developing environmentally friendly materials and improving hardware quality and reliability has continuously shown benefits throughout the supply chain.
As a recognized technical expert in the electronics industry, Cole holds several U.S. patents and has published more than 100 technical papers. Her contributions earned IBM Systems one of the company’s most prestigious honors: the 2020 IBM Chairman’s Environmental Award. Throughout her career, IBM has recognized Cole with technical awards, as have others within the industry; notably, Cole received ASM International’s Engineering Materials Achievement Award in 2014.
Serving on the boards of several industry organizations, Cole is a longtime volunteer for the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA). She was pivotal in launching the SMTA women’s leadership program and continues to serve on several of its committees, including the Charles Hutchins Educational Grant committee for graduate students. She also established a teaching fellowship for mechanical engineering students at the University of Maryland in memory of her father, a former professor.
Cole was a champion for women throughout her career, especially to those in technical career paths. Her dedicated mentorship and coaching have led to many mentees reaching senior and executive positions. Her personal sponsorship of special project initiatives to provide broadening experiences for technical women at all levels has had a lasting impact on IBM’s technical community. Cole provided significant leadership to several IBM women’s employee resource groups and has been active in STEM outreach for students from elementary school through college.
A Society of Women Engineers life member for more than two decades, she received SWE’s Spark Award for mentoring in 2017. She has been active with the Mid Hudson Section in New York, especially as a Dutchess County science fair judge. At the Society level, she has served as an awards judge and conference presenter.
A breast cancer survivor, Cole is involved with community organizations supporting those undergoing cancer treatment. She assists one such group — Sparrow’s Nest — by organizing, volunteering, and participating in events, and she was recognized as a Sparrow’s Nest Volunteer of the Year in 2020. An avid volunteer for the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, she joined its board of directors in 2021.
Cole and her husband, Dave, perform with several Hudson Valley music organizations for community and school musical theater productions. The couple can often be found on the ice in the local adult ice hockey league. Cole also enjoys swimming in pools and lakes throughout Dutchess County, New York.
Congratulate Marie on her SWE Fellow Grade award here!
Leadership Coach: Leslie Griffiths