External Advisory Board
|Rachel Bagby is currently the Manager, Supplier Quality, Systemic Corrective Actions at Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company. She has been at Sikorsky since 2010 in roles of increasing responsibility that emphasize continuous improvement, Quality, component investigations and project management. Prior to Sikorsky, Rachel joined UTC in 2008 as an Operations Leadership Program (OLP) Associate and rotated through UTC-Corporate, Otis-North America and Sikorsky-Stratford completing various Quality and Continuous Improvement projects. In Rachel’s current role, she is responsible for establishing and executing plans to drive systemic corrective actions to improve Quality performance of the Sikorsky supply base. Working closely with Supplier Quality organizations and Supply Management teams, Rachel leverages tools and best practices to lead supplier engagement and ensure corrective actions are effectively executed while significantly reducing Quality performance metrics. Rachel holds a B.S.E. Biomedical Engineering and a M.B.A. the University of Hartford, 2005 and 2008, respectfully.|
President and Chief Executive Officer
|Dr. Sandra Inga is employed with Hartford (CT) Public Schools. A semiconductor engineer with Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment/Hewlett-Packard for more than 15 years, Sandra began her career in education in 1998 as a chemistry and biology teacher. Currently, Sandra works in the Office of Academics/Curriculum and Instruction – as the S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics’) Director. Sandra is a passionate educator, who has taught chemistry and mathematics in Nigeria. Sandra serves as a trustee on the boards of the Connecticut Science Center and the Connecticut Invention Convention. She has presented at conferences on STEM-related topics, locally, nationally and internationally. In her spare time, Sandra enjoys tutoring students and engaging students in S.T.E.M.-related content/ careers.|
|Michael A. Rooke, Ph.D.
Northwestern CT Community College
|Dr. Michael Rooke currently serves as president of Northwestern Connecticut Community College, and has served for over 10 years within the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities System. Prior to joining NCCC, Dr. Rooke was Chief Academic Officer at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, and also served as Director of the Business, Engineering & Technologies Division at Manchester Community College. From 1996-2003, he served as assistant and associate professor at the University of Hartford. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Kansas State University, an M.S. degree in Educational Technology from Long Island University and a B.Sc(Hons) degree in applied chemistry from Nottingham Trent University, U.K.. While at Manchester Community College and Tunxis Community College, Dr. Rooke recruited and advised over 200 engineering and manufacturing students, assisting them with transfer to universities. He now works closely with local businesses in the north-west corner of CT through the chamber to align the engineering and manufacturing programs at the college with local industry.|
|Dr. Jeff Seemann
Vice President for Research
Dr. Jeff Seemann is the Vice President for Research and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut, with responsibility for research leadership of one of the top twenty public research universities in the United States.Before coming to UConn, Dr. Seemann served as Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University where he oversaw the University’s $700 million-plus research enterprise and as Chief Research Officer for the eighteen member Texas A&M University System, one of the largest systems of higher education in the country. He had previously served as Dean of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Dr. Seemann received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Oberlin College and his PhD from Stanford University. He is an internationally recognized biologist with research interests in the biochemistry and molecular biology of photosynthesis. In the course of his research career, Dr. Seemann has been awarded more than $24 million in research funding, has published more than 75 peer-reviewed publications and has been listed by Current Contents as one of the most highly cited researchers in the world in the area of plant and animal sciences.
Vice President of Programs
Director of the Mandell Academy for Teachers, CT Science Center
|Cheryl Tokarski is currently the Vice President of Programs at the Connecticut Science Center. Mrs. Tokarski holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as an Executive MBA, both from UConn. After a career in software development and project management working at GE, Dana Corporation and Pitney Bowes as well as running her own software consulting firm, Cheryl made the transition into education. For seven years she taught Math and Computer Science in the middle and upper schools at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury and served as the pre-K – 12 Math Department Chair for five of those years. In 2015, Cheryl joined the Connecticut Science Center as the Director of the Mandell Academy for Teachers – a perfect role that blended her passion for education with her strong business skills – and has now moved into the position of VP of Programs replacing Hank Gruner who recently retired from the position.|
|Sonia Tulyani, Ph.D.
Engineering Assistant to Dr. J. Michael McQuade, Senior VP, Science & Technology
United Technologies Corporation
|In her current role, Dr. Sonia Tulyani provides analytical, technical, administrative and procedural support to assure the efficient execution of a broad scope of activities under the Science & Technology office ranging from technical evaluations for strategic UTC investment, to managing UTC due diligence teams, to overseeing cross-UTC collaboration initiatives. She joined UTC in 2002 working in the Research Center where she conducted materials development research and served as Group Leader, managing the materials characterization facility. Sonia holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University, and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.|