2020 WSIG Fireside Chat Series

In Summer 2020 the WSIG began a series of fireside chats inspired by “USNA Women in STEM”. This series weaves the STEM topics into our continuing conversation regarding our path to end racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry.

To view recordings of the past sessions, click on the links below.
July 2020 Fireside chat with Wendy Lawrence, ’81
September 2020 Fireside Chat with JO panel

To register for an upcoming chat or to request the video access password, please contact Linda Postenrieder, ’82: post82@whidbey.com 415-235-9413.

2020 Schedule for the USNA Women in STEM series:

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Click here to watch the video of the Fireside chat with CAPT Wendy Lawrence

Join our moderator Kirsten Skeehan ’82 in this panel discussion about power and our choices going forward with Jessica Matlock USCGA ’97 and Lindsay Robinson ’06.

Jessica is CEO of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), a utility in Colorado, and its first female CEO in the company’s 80-year history. Under her leadership, Matlock is helping LPEA transition to a clean energy company and a “utility of the future.”  

Prior to this role, Matlock served as a member of the executive leadership team at the nation’s 11th largest public utility from 2006 to 2019. Her last role was serving as the Assistant General Manager of Customer, Energy Services, and External Relations where she was responsible for directing the customer engagement, legislative and policy strategy for the company, and developing and implementing the utility’s solar, electric vehicle, and demand response programs. Prior to this, Jessica worked as an energy expert for the U.S. Senate and also held a number of positions with the Bonneville Power Administration (one of the U.S.’s power marketing administrations).

Jessica recently created and is the co-Chair of NRECA’s first Women in Power group. She has served in various board and leadership positions for the Large Public Power Council, National Hydropower Association, American Public Power Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, Washington State Clean Technology Alliance, and GridForward. Jessica has also testified and advised the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch on renewable energy and cyber security challenges related to the electric grid. Lindsay Robinson started her career in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer stationed in San Diego on the USS-Benfold (DDG-65), Charleston for power school and prototype, Yokosuka Japan on the USS George Washington (CVN-73), and Honolulu at Cruise Missile Support Activity PacificDuring her 7 years of active duty, she had the opportunity to lead electricians, nuclear mechanics, diesel operators, information technology technicians and electronics technicians.  

Following her military career, Lindsay transitioned to the federal government as a Project Manager and Reactor Systems Engineer at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  While at the NRC, she was also the Vice Chair of the Veterans Network.  Following her time with the federal government, Lindsay transitioned to the private sector where she joined Deutsche Bank as a Vice President engaged in a variety of remediation programs throughout Global Markets, Anti-Financial Crime, Risk, Operations and Procurement Divisions.  She was also the Co-Chair of the Deutsche Bank Veterans Network.  Longing to return to a more tangible career, she shifted to commercial real estate and joined Related Companies as a Project Manager on the Hudson Yards Project as well as the Equinox Hotels Development.  COVID’s economic impact on the hospitality and NYC real estate industries eventually led her to return to her true passion:  nuclear power.  At Oklo, Inc., Lindsay is a manager focused on deployment, design, and reactor operations.     
Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and a Master of Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from The Wharton School of the University of

Click here to watch the video of the JO panel Fireside chat https://women.usnagroups.net/wsig-stem-fireside-chat-junior-officer-forum-featuring-women-alumnae-from-the-21st-century/

USNA Women’s SIG STEM committee is presenting a bi-monthly fireside chat series featuring USNA Alumnae in STEM careers. 

Thursday, November 12th 2020 featured Adm Michelle Howard ’82, USN Ret. and LtGen Lori Reynolds ’86 USMC

Michelle Howard '82, Adm USN, ret

Michelle J. Howard ’82,  Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired

Michelle J. Howard served 35 years in the United States Navy.  She led Sailors and Marines multiple times in her career as the Commander of:  a ship, an Expeditionary Strike Group, Task Force, and a Naval theater. Her last command was from 2016 to 2017 as U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. She simultaneously led NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples with oversight of missions from the Western Balkans to Iraq.  Operations in her career include: NATO peacekeeping, West African Training Cruise, Indonesia Tsunami Relief operations, and the rescue of Maersk Alabama from Somali Pirates.  Michelle J. Howard is a Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.

In 1999 Michelle J. Howard became the first African American woman to command a ship in the Navy. Michelle was the first female USNA graduate to reach flag rank and was the first admiral from the class of 1982. In 2014, she was the first woman to become a four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy and the first woman to be appointed to the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations (number two in a Military Service).  She is the first African American woman to reach the rank of three-star and four-stars in the Armed Forces.

Michelle J. Howard was the Shapiro Visiting Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University from 2018 to 2020.  She taught courses on cyber and policy.

U. S. Naval Academy, Bachelor of Science 1982
U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, Masters Military Arts and Science (History) 1998

Women of Color (STEM) Career Achievement 2008
Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership 2009
USO Military Woman of the Year 2011
NAACP Chairman’s Image Award 2013
Thurgood Marshall College Fund National Hero Award 2014
Annie Oakley Society 2015
French Legion of Honor 2015
Order of Naval Merit Brazil 2017
Atlantic Council Distinguished Military Leadership Award 2017
KPMG Inspire Greatness Award 2018
Veterans of Foreign Wars Armed Forces Award 2019

Honorary Degrees
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2015
American Public University 2015
North Carolina State University 2016

LtGen Lori Reynolds '86

Loretta Reynolds ’86,  Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps

Lieutenant General Reynolds was commissioned in May 1986 upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy and assigned as a Communications Officer. As a Company grade officer, she served in various billets at 1st Marine Division Communications Company, Marine Wing Communication Squadron 18 in Okinawa, Marine Corps Systems Command, and 9th Communication Battalion, I MEF. As a Field Grade officer, she was selected to command Recruiting Station Harrisburg PA and then served as an Action Officer and Division Head at HQMC C4. She was selected to command 9th Communication Battalion in 2003 and deployed the battalion to Fallujah Iraq in support of I MEF during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. She was subsequently assigned to duty with the Joint Staff J6 in Washington DC where she was an Action Officer and Division Head. Col Reynolds assumed command of 1 MEF Headquarters Group in 2009 and deployed the Group to Helmand Province Afghanistan in support of I MEF and RC Southwest during Operation Enduring Freedom. As a General Officer, she commanded Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island/Eastern Recruiting Region from 2011-2014, was the Principal Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense South and Southeast Asia in OSD Policy from 2014-2015 and commanded Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command from 2015-2018. LtGen Reynolds has commanded at every rank.

Her professional military education includes The Basic School, the Basic Communication Officer’s Course, Command and Control Systems Course, the Naval War College and the Army War College. She has earned Masters Degrees from both the Naval War College and the Army War College.

Her personal decorations include:
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (with gold star)
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with gold star).

This event will be moderated by 2 women from the USNA class of 2021:

Midn Juliet Yu

MIDN 1/C Juliet Yu is a senior at the United States Naval Academy where she studies Cyber Operations and Chinese. Born and raised in Seattle, she came to the United States Naval Academy to join the Cyber Force to defend forward and persistently engage so that one day, the people of America can have the freedom to love, innovate, and live their lives without worrying about their security. At the Academy, she shoots on the Pistol Team and serves as both the Brigade Midshipmen Information Systems Liaison Officer and President of the Women in Cyber and Computing Club. Through Cyber internships, independent research on the LTE Protocol, SANS training, and numerous other professional development opportunities offered by the Naval Academy, her passion for serving has only magnified. During her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, dancing, and spending time with loved ones.

Midn Kate Asaro

Originally from San Diego, California, MIDN 1/C Kate Asaro is currently a computer science major at the United States Naval Academy. At the Naval Academy, 1/C Asaro has become passionate about the opportunity to combine military service with technological expertise. Her enthusiasm to pursue a career in a technical field has inspired 1/C Asaro to devote time to professional goals with involvement in the Information Warfare Club, internships at U.S. Cyber Command and Northrop Grumman, and her role as Vice President of the Women in Cyber and Computing club. When she’s not coding, 1/C Asaro enjoys endurance running, kayaking, and backpacking around the trails of Maryland. Upon service assignment in November, 1/C Asaro hopes to join the naval intelligence community.

This event was sponsored by Vets In Tech.

Click here to watch the video of the Cyber Security panel Fireside chat https://women.usnagroups.net/stem-fireside-chat-cyber-security-with-adm-michelle-howard-82-usn-ret-and-ltgen-lori-reynolds-86-usmc/

You MUST register in order to attend these events. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting and adding it to your calendar. Please contact Linda Postenrieder, ’82: post82@whidbey.com 415-235-9413 to register and for video access.

If you have ideas for future featured guests and panelists, please contact Linda Postenrieder, ’82: post82@whidbey.com 415-235-9413.