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California State University, Long Beach
Women and Careers Conference
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Speakers' Bios

Keynote Speaker

Panel Members


Commodore Shoshana S. Chatfield

Dr. Shoshana S. Chatfield is Commodore for the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy. Commodore Chatfield has an acclaimed Navy career of leadership command appointments, distinguished commendations and awards, flying tours and higher education experience.

After earning her wings in 1989, her first tour was with west coast Helicopter Combat Support Squadrons, serving with HC-1, HC-3, twice with the Gunbearers of HC-11 and finally with HC-25’s Island Knights. She flew the H-3 and served as Legal Officer and Phased Maintenance and Corros ion Control Branch Officers. For the second flying tour, she was HC-11’s Assistant Maintenance Officer, Flight Officer and Assistant Operations Officer, deploying on board USS MOUNT HOOD (AE 29), USS CAMDEN (AOE 2), and USS SACRAMENTO (AOE 1) to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf supporting Carrier Battle Group Operations.

Commodore Chatfield was appointed to the Joint Staff/OSD Internship Program and served in the Central and Eastern European Branch of the Plans and Policy, J-5 Directorate assisting with Status of Forces Agreements for the Implementation Force (IFOR) in the Balkans. Her responsibilities included being a H-46 flight instructor, Operations Department Head at the Fleet Replacement Squadron, HC-3, Training and Operations Department Head, HC-11, and Officer in Charge of Detachment THREE deploying aboard USS BRIDGE (AOE 10).

She was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy. She instructed courses in American Government and Politics and International Relations and was a Course Director for two courses: National Security Affairs and Political Violence and Terrorism.

Captain Chatfield became the 20th Commanding Officer of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE on March 30, 2005 and the first Commanding Officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE, the Island Knights. Under her leadership, the squadron was awarded the Navy Battle Efficiency “E”, the CNO Safety Award and a Meritorious Unit Commendation.

She was assigned as Deputy Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations in 2006 and commanded a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Farah Province, Afghanistan in 2008. Captain Chatfield reported as the Deputy Commodore for Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet in June 2010 and took command in August 2011.

Her noteworthy personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit awards.

Commodore Chatfield is a native of Garden Grove, California. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and French Language and Literature from Boston University in 1987 and received her Commission through NROTC in 1988. She was subsequently awarded the Navy’s Pol-Mil Scholarship and attended the Kennedy School of Government concentrating her studies in National Security Affairs. Chatfield earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University in 1997 and Doctor of Education, Ed.D. from the University of San Diego in 2009.


Nicole Alberca

Nicole Alberca is the Detective Commanding Officer, supervising all detective operations, of the south central 77th Street Division, the most active division within the City of Los Angeles.

Her extensive experience includes being the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Gang Impact Team supervising all gang and narcotics enforcement efforts in the Topanga Area. Under Nicole’s leadership, she developed and implemented innovative crime fighting strategies for the entire divisional command, which are now known as the “War Room”.

Nicole has served as Lieutenant of Police and Police Watch Commander after developing operational systems for the opening of the 21st and most modern police facility in the city, the Topanga Area Station. Due to her strong work ethic, energy and dedication, Nicole has been promoted as Police Detective, Sergeant of Police, Field Supervisor, and member of the criminal conduct section of Professional Standards Bureau, formerly known as the Internal Affairs Division. After graduation from the Los Angeles Police Academy, her first assignments included patrol officer, field training officer and gang enforcement officer.

Nicole is a native of California, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from University of Arizona in Tucson.


Amber Donahue

Dr. Amber Donahue grew up in El Segundo, CA, enjoying both academia and athletics from an early age. In high school, she became the starting varsity setter in her sophomore year, led the Eagles to their first women's volleyball CIF appearance her senior year, and was named the Pioneer League's most valuable player at the end of that season. Graduating high school as the salutatorian of her class, Amber was recruited to play NCAA Division III volleyball for Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Amber was Grinnell's starting setter for four years, a captain for two years, team MVP one year, and with her teammates in the classes of '99, '00, and '01, shattered 17 of 21 recorded single-match, season, and career records, 6 of which were Amber's when she graduated (and 4 of which still stand today).

Due to her academic record in math and science, upon her acceptance to Grinnell, Amber was invited to join a pre-orientation program then known as the New Science Project, dedicated to helping underrepresented groups in the sciences (including women and first-generation college students like Amber). Through this pre-orientation, Amber was introduced to the campus, to fellow incoming students of similar backgrounds, and to many of Grinnell's science faculty, leading her to choose Biology as her major.

Amber graduated from Grinnell College in May of 2000 with a BA in Biology and immediately landed a job as a Laboratory Associate in the brand new lab of Dr. David Fruman at the University of California-Irvine in July of 2000. After working with Dr. Fruman for a year and a half, she had caught the research bug, and applied to graduate school at UCI. Amber completed her graduate work in just over 4 years, defending her doctoral dissertation in late November 2006. During that time, she was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health Immunology training grant, and was named an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellow by the Orange County chapter of ARCS.

Following graduate school, Amber began as a Scientist in January of 2007 with Quest Diagnostics as a part of the Hematology/Oncology research and development team in San Juan Capistrano, and has since been promoted to the position of Senior Scientist. Amber works to design molecular assays for use in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment decisions related to both solid tumors and so-called "liquid tumors" like leukemia. These include screening tests intended to help with early detection of cancer, as well as genetic profiling of existing tumors to help in determining possible drug resistance and the most effective treatment regimen. Working for the largest diagnostic company in the world has provided a unique opportunity for Amber to work at the cutting edge of cancer diagnostics, and to be a part of the research that dictates global treatment discussions and guidelines. In 2010, Dr. Donahue was the recipient of a Platinum Service Recognition Award, and was a part of the Hematology/Oncology R&D team recognized with the 2009 Excellence in Medical Innovation award.


Sicola Elliott

Sicola Elliott is a wife, mother, successful business owner, real estate agent, motivational speaker, and a thriving author. As an author her book, Pocket Book of Poems from a Teenage Heart, has ministered to hundreds of teens and young women searching to find themselves in the midst of social media and peer pressure. Although she enjoys each new opportunity as a young entrepreneur, Sicola is passionate about mentoring and empowering youth through her self-esteem workshops entitled, You Can’t Fly With Heavy Wings.

At age 13, Sicola began to write poetry. During her freshman year at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, she began writing poems as a method to cope with the everyday challenges she faced as a teenager. This outlet allowed Sicola to articulate her feelings and resulted in her first book, Pocket Book of Poems from a Teenage Heart.

Upon graduation from high school in 1999, Sicola followed in the footsteps of her mentor Carol Norford and opened a Family Childcare. She will celebrate 12 years of being in business in April. Sicola volunteers three to four hours a week mentoring and inspiring youth within the Long Beach community at various schools and public agencies.

Sicola is currently working on a Childhood Education degree with a Business minor at Long Beach Community College. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing, and creating motivational collages. In the future, Sicola aspires to start her own publishing company and after school program for at-risk youth.


Raquel Sanchez

Raquel Sanchez is a Stamping Production Engineer for Toyota Auto Body Company (TABC), a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. TABC is Toyota’s first manufacturing plant in North America and located in Long Beach, CA. The facility stamps and welds sub-assemblies mainly for the Tacoma Truck. Her responsibilities include cost reduction projects, such as reducing material scrap, and developing quality systems to continuously improve the production line efficiency. Other daily responsibilities include production line reviews for safety and ergonomic improvement and team problem solving activities.

Currently, Raquel serves as a member of TABC’s Diversity Advisory Committee, which promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace through newsletters, team member events and community involvement. She is also a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a group that supports advancement in equality for women through education and philanthropy. This year, Raquel is presenting at the Long Beach 10th annual STEM Career Conference for local middle school girls.

After earning a B.S. Mechanical Engineering degree from California State University Long Beach, Raquel took certification courses for system auditing, risk management and project planning. Personally, she managed a 12 person relay team that ran over 200 miles in 33 hours non-stop. Raquel belongs to a local running club, Sole Runners, plays golf, and is active with stand up paddleboarding and yoga.


Natalie Torres

Natalie Torres is a business dynamo as the founding owner of Financially Savvy Latina and a widely known non-profit organization, LA’s Prom Closet. As a businesswoman from age 26, Ms. Torres shares her experiences and wisdom through her Financially Savvy College Student Workshop and Financially Savvy in 20 Minutes book. She is the first Salvadorian American female to author a book dealing with money and the elimination of debt for first generation and minority college students.

As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, Natalie has been nominated for the Los Angeles Business Journal's Best Latino Business Award in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Her activities have been covered in the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, Fox 11 News, Telemundo, KCAL9, La Opinion, KISS FM and POWER 106. She was the Cover Story for The face of Alumni of the Beach Connection Magazine for CSULB in 2009.

Natalie was born in El Salvador and raised in Inglewood, CA. She is a first generation college student with two undergraduate degrees in Finance and International Business from California State University Long Beach. She earned her Master's of Public Administration from California State University Northridge. She has lived in El Salvador, Spain and France, traveling to over 20 countries in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.


Shelley York currently serves as the Vice President, District Manager for Kohl's Department Stores in Southern California. Her sales volume responsibility exceeds $160 million annually, and she is responsible for 12 Kohl's locations primarily in the Orange County and South LA area. In addition, Shelley manages over 40 executives, and more than 1,200 associates.

Prior to Kohl's, Shelley held various Executive positions as Assistant Store Manager, Store Manager and Regional Operations Manager for Target Corporation. Her home office is located in Huntington Beach, CA.


Keya Allen is the Program Coordinator for the University Student Union Program Council and the Associated Students, Inc. commissions at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). She is an alumna, employee of 18 years, radio host and event specialist on campus and in the local community. Her dedication to campus service and programming, includes organizing Smorgasport, hosting Dr. Cornell West and volunteering with the Women & Careers Conference since 2006.

As the Kbeach radio host on "Live with Keya and Dave", Keya discusses current issues facing the students, campus and community. Off-campus, she has assisted in the coordination of large city events such as the Long Beach Gospel Fest and Super Sunday. Keya served as the Regional Director for the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) from 2010-2012, which allowed her to remain current on student issues and trends. Keya has been fortunate to utilize her relationships in the film, music and entertainment industry to provide quality programming. She believes that healthy student development occurs when students have opportunities to engage in real world scenarios which foster critical thinking and improves their academic and professional experiences.

Keya earned a bachelor’s degree in Black Studies in 1998 and is currently working on her master’s degree in Recreation Administration with a projected graduation of 2014 from CSULB. She recently attended the inauguration and inaugural ball of President Barak Obama. Keya enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with friends and family.