2017 Session: “Women in Engineering and Computer Science”

Posted in: Kickoff Conference

Track: Computer Science and Engineering 

This session is for women, by women, and about women.  Join CSO Chloe as she moderates a high energy panel discussion highlighting the experiences of women professionals working in computer science and engineering. This discussion centers around the societal barriers faced by girls and women in the tech industry and how our panelists are overcoming those barriers.  How might we inspire the next generation of girls to persevere in computer science and engineering?



  • Moderator: Chloe Buchanan, Chief Science Officer, and high school sophomore, Chloe of Casa Grande Union High School District 

Chloe Buchanan is an Honors student with a focus in Engineering at Casa Grande Union High School.  She is an Arizona Chief Science Officer and president of the school’s robotics team.  Chloe enjoys singing, writing poetry, and is active in her church.



  • Cynthia Pickering, SFAz Fellow and Process Architect, Community College STEM Pathways, State Chair for AZ Million Women Mentors, cpickering@sfaz.org 

Thirty-five years industry expertise: Software engineering, artificial intelligence, collaboration systems and process architecture, research and innovation, user centered design, advanced analytics. US Patent 7904323: Multi-Team Immersive Integrated Collaboration. Twenty-five peer-reviewed publications.


  • Kate Pond, Associate Frontend Developer, Meltmedia, kate.pond@meltmedia.com 

I’m an Associate Frontend Developer on the Development team. That means I am building lots of tables for HTML emails, updating website content, and coming up with fun ideas. My coworkers are bloody brilliant and completely awesome. I love to stop, collaborate, and listen with them. I’m originally from Alaska where the winters are cold and dark. It’s not like sunny Arizona where you can grow the most amazing Meyer lemon trees. I actually have one at my home I call Jesus Treestos; I use its lemons in everything. They’re delicious! When I’m not building those aforementioned tables, you can find me maybe singing to myself, riding bikes with my husband, or safely landing a float plane. Yeah. You read that correctly. A float plane


  • Leann Steidinger, IT Analyst, State Farm Insurance, Leann.steidinger.nmx0@statefarm.com 

Leann graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. She worked as a software developer for 10 years at one of the nation’s largest IT departments. One of Leann’s passions is to help promote awareness of technical career opportunities and to encourage students to explore IT career paths.


  • Melissa Tellez, Mechanical Engineer, Nissan Technical Center North America 

Melissa Tellez graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelors in mechanical engineering. She has worked at the Nissan proving grounds the past 4 years where she helps develop and test vehicles. In her free time, she enjoys participating in triathlons as well as racing her 95′ BMW E36 M3 with local clubs.




Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!