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Coaching Circles

Conference Chair Remarks | 12 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Dorothy Benveniste, Boeing Project Manager (retired)

Dorothy BenevisteConference Chair Dorothy Benveniste recently retired as a senior project engineer and manager of airline customer service initiatives in Boeing Commercial Customer Support in Seal Beach.  She leads technical projects for flight controls, payloads, airframe and structures subsystems, from problem detection through solution implementation across the international in-service fleet of 747 and 767 aircraft. Benveniste is passionate about STEM education support for underserved youth and an advocate for corporate STEM and intern sponsorship. As the Director of Systems Engineering Training, L.A. Chapter of International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), she enables systems engineering training to members. An experienced Agile Scrum Master, Product Owner, Scaled Agile Framework practitioner, and SAFe® Agilist, Benveniste holds a Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Cal State University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Building & Maintaining Networks | 12:30-1:30 p.m. |USU Ballroom 

Topic: Trusted relationships can not only help you get established, but provide the foundation for lifelong professional growth.

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Holly Craig ’84, Owner and CEO, Stratonics (Lead)

Holly CraigAfter graduating from CSULB with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Holly Craig went to work for Spectron Development Labs, where she was part of a team developing state-of-the-art sensors incorporating lasers, optics, and holography to measure phenomena. The primary concentration was in the measurement of aerodynamic properties of missiles in wind tunnels. Transitioning to systems engineering, Craig became an R&D missile program manager at Perkin Elmer Applied Optics Operations, then coordinated between R&D, engineering, and manufacturing groups at Advanced Interventional Systems. In 1992, she and her husband launched Lake Forest-based Stratonics, which has become a leader in sensor technology that measures high temperatures of metal in additive manufacturing processes. Craig continues to be involved in technology development, as well as business activities.

How to Find Internships | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Topic: Learn new strategies for landing an internship to lay your career foundation.

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Monica Amalfitano '94, Interim Director, Design and Construction Services, CSULB (Lead)

Monica AmalfitanoMonica Amalfitano has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from CSULB and is a professionally licensed Engineer in the State of California with over 27 years of management, design and construction, and facility operations experience in Higher Education. Before coming to CSULB, she was a Project Manager and Senior Mechanical Engineer for P2S Engineering. She served as Campus Engineer to CSULB, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSUF and other UCs and community colleges. Monica has her LEED BD+C credentials, and as Campus Engineer, leads CSULB’s sustainability conversations and decisions related to campuswide utility infrastructure and building design and renovations. Monica enjoys mentoring women in Design, Construction, Facilities and STEM careers. 

Importance of Mentorship | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Topic: Measure success on your own terms, while maintaining work-life balance and avoiding imposter syndrome.

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Dana Cabbell, Director of Integrated System Strategy, SCE (Lead)

Dana Cabbrell headshotDana Cabbell, P.E., has worked for Southern California Edison (SCE) for 37 years in the areas of transmission, and distribution long-term planning. Presently, she is Director of the SCE Integrated System Strategy (ISS) group. Cabbell and her team are responsible for ensuring SCE’s transmission and distribution system is safe, reliable, resilient, clean, and affordable through well-informed, strategic decisions regarding grid investments, integration of renewable/energy storage resources, enabling grid modernization, resiliency efforts, and reaching a carbon-neutral electric grid. The team is also responsible for assessing generation, transmission, and new customer interconnections to the SCE grid, performing joint studies with neighboring utilities, and ensuring compliance with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards and WECC Reliability Criteria. Cabbell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. She became a Registered Professional Electrical Engineer with the state of California in 1989.

Starting a New Job | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Topic: Having a mentor can put your career on a growth trajectory. And being a mentor can be just as rewarding and beneficial.

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Mia Fujii, Director of Academic Enablement, Siemens Digital Industries Software (Lead)

Mia FujiiMia Fujii has been responsible for sales, sales management, business development, services, new hire training programs, license compliance and academic programs throughout her 25-year career at Siemens. Author of the book, “Ladies…Make It Your Time Now,” Fujii has been a guest speaker at CSULB Society of Women Engineers chapter events, and other STEM events on campus. She is the recipient of Siemens Inner Circle, Golden Eagle, CEO, and Diversity Council awards, and received a Technology Star from the Women of Color organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Irvine. Prior to Siemens, she held technical positions in support of electrical engineering software applications used to design electrical systems.

Roni Allen, Lecturer, CSULB Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science

roni allenRoni Allen is a CSULB alumni with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administrative Systems and a Master of Science in Educational Technology from National University. She has been an instructor at CSULB for 22 years. Teaching courses in the Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department, she focuses mainly on front-end websites and content management systems. Her students have been involved in a Web-accessible national competition, where they have achieved first place several years. Allen has also been involved in technology grants involving middle and high School students and teachers. Prior to teaching at CSULB, she worked for a small software company that supported accounting software with a focus on manufacturing and distribution. She is a single mom of a 23-year-old son who is pursuing a career in firefighting and a 17-year-old daughter who is a senior in high school. She enjoys being active hiking, paddleboarding and snow skiing.

Finding the Right Engineering Major | 12:30-1:30 p.m.  | USU Ballroom

Topic: Understanding current hiring trends and what engineers really do at work can get you started on the path that fits.

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Debbie Meeks '86, Strategic Alliance Manager, Shell Oil Products (Lead)

Debbie MeeksIn this newly created role, Meeks manages Shell’s largest branded customer in the Retail group, responsible for 37 percent of Shell gas stations, or 4,700 sites. After graduating from CSULB with a BS in Chemical Engineering, Meeks began working at the ARCO Refinery in Carson, California, as a process engineer. She moved to Houston to provide technical support to a wide variety of refineries working for Akzo Nobel. After 10 years in technical roles, Meeks moved into sales and joined Shell Catalysts & Technologies, returning to California. Through various commercial and leadership assignments she has had the opportunity to lead teams of technical experts and sales executives while negotiating with a variety of national and international oil companies. A long-term member of Western States Petroleum Associates (WSPA), she served as the NorCal Associates Chapter and president in 2017.  Meeks is married with two teenage sons and is active at their high school as parent association treasurer.

Note: CSULB events and scholarships are open to all CSULB students, regardless of sex, race, or ethnicity.