WSIG STEM Fireside Chat – Junior Officer forum featuring women alumnae from the 21st century

September 10, 2020 @ 17:00 – 18:00
Linda Postenrieder

The USNA Women’s SIG invites you to join us for the next edition of the STEM Fireside Chat Series on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1700 Pacific Time for a Women in STEM JO panel discussion. (Breakout sessions will be available from 1630 – 1650 by class, team, ECA, warfare specialty, STEM career networking)

Five women will discuss the changing roles of women in STEM as well as the challenges and opportunities facing women in leadership positions within the Navy and Marine Corps. Col MJ Pallotta USMC ’94, Director for USNA Experiential Leadership Development, will moderate the discussion.

The panel will consist of

  • Captain Nizhonlii Robinson, USNA ‘11
    Captain Robinson is currently serving as a Leadership Instructor at USNA. Prior to returning to USNA, she served as a Company Commander within MACG-38 and spent a year in Bahrain as a Watch Officer, as well as multiple other Air Support roles. Captain Robinson graduated from USNA in 2011 with a degree in English, and was a member of the Women’s Track team. Outside of the Marine Corps she has founded Spark: The Pop Up, a Leadership Development Workshop targeted towards the empowerment and growth of women to reach their leadership
  • Emma McCarthy, USNA ‘11
    Emma McCarthLieutenant Commander Emma McCarthy is currently serving as the Engineer Officer on the guided missile submarine USS OHIO (SSGN726). After graduating from USNA with the class of 2011, she served as the first woman Junior Officer on her crew of the USS GEORGIA and went on to earn an MBA at Harvard Business School. Between sessions of reviewing nuclear reactor maintenance paperwork and conning a warship, she enjoys skiing, scuba diving, and relaxing on the couch with her cat Ralph and boyfriend, a fellow submarine officer.
  • Arabia Shanklin, USNA ‘13
    Arabia ShanklinLieutenant Arabia Shanklin serves as an Human Resource Officer and the Diversity & Inclusion Advisor at Navy Region Southwest. She graduated from USNA with a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2013. LT Shanklin commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer and served on the USS SIMPSON (FFG 56), USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41), I MEF G-6, and as the Flag Aide for Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE. LT Shanklin is the Cofounder of the United
    States Naval Academy Minority Association.
  • Mikey Bilotta, USNA ‘13
    Lieutenant Michaela (Mikey) Bilotta graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2013, where she majored in English, minored in Russian, and coxed for Navy Women’s Crew. She completed the EOD pipeline in 2015 and checked into EOD Mobile Unit One in San Diego, CA. There Mikey served as a Mobility Platoon Commander and deployed to East Africa, Syria, and Bahrain. She is currently deployed as a NAVSOF Platoon Commander stationed at EOD Mobile Unit Twelve. Mikey lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Andrew, and mischievous dog, Scout.
  • Sonia Herrera, USNA ‘11
    Lieutenant Sonia “Cookie” Herrera graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in Oceanography in 2011. She completed flight training in 2013 and served as an MH-60R pilot with HSM-72 before completing her flight instructor tour with HT-8 in March of this year. She currently serves as the V-3 Divo onboard the USS Bonhomme Richard.
  • MJ Pallotta, USNA ’94 ModeratorMJ Pallotta 94Colonel Pallotta is the Director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Center for Experiential Leadership Development (ELD) and teaches leadership and ethics to midshipmen. She holds a master’s degree in English and is currently a doctoral candidate in Education at George Mason University.  She resides in Annapolis, MD. Her awards include the Bronze Star and the Navy Commendation Medal (third award).

Questions from the audience will be welcomed following their conversation or you can pose questions in the registration process.


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