A six-week, sustained program for female STEM students to learn…

Our Fall 2021 Facilitators

Interested in becoming an iLEADinSTEM program facilitator? If yes, CLICK HERE to apply.

Our iLeadInSTEM program facilitators consist of teachers within DFW school districts that provide instruction on STEM related topics such as:

  • Intro to Physical Computing
  • Intro Web Development
  • Cybersecurity Basics
  • Computer Programming – Java/C++
  • Animation & Graphics
  • Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning
  • Cloud- Private/Public/Hybrid
  • Data Science/R/Python


Amieé Himler

Amieé received her Bachelors in Mathematics and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Texas at Dallas. She also obtained her teacher certification through the UTeach Dallas program, which she still supports in various capacities including on the Science and Math Education Advisory Board. She is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership, as well as working towards her Principal Certification, from the University of North Texas.

Amieé has spent her entire career thus far in Richardson ISD. She began her career as a high school math teacher and currently serves as a district STEM Specialist supporting the integration of STEM for all students in grade PreK through 12. Amieé spends her time connecting with campuses with effective tier 1 instruction in all content areas through engaging, hands-on, real-world experiences driven by inquiry and problem-based learning. Her commitment and passion for supporting students and teachers is infectious.

As much as she loves her job, Amieé loves her family even more! She recently celebrated 10 years of marriage with her husband and is proud of her two elementary children, Stephen and Madison, who love playing games together such as Qwirkle, Ticket to Ride, and Uno.

Sensor Technology

Jennifer Sanders is Cofounder and Executive Director of the North Texas Innovation Alliance, a 501c3 public-private partnership which will be the largest such initiative in the U.S., with the mission of creating the most connected, smart and resilient region in the country. In 2015, she cofounded the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) a 501c3 public-private partnership dedicated to supporting Dallas’ smart cities strategy and currently serves as its Executive Director. DIA’s Smart Cities Living Lab is the fastest-to-market smart cities initiative in the country.

She is community-driven, serving as Past-President of the Mayor’s Star Council, board member of the Suicide & Crisis Center and Better Block, among others. In 2019, she received the UN Day Global Leadership Award, has been named to Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Top Women in Technology, State Scoop’s Top Women in Technology, and Tech Week 100. She graduated from the University of Virginia.

Operationalizing Digital Health – AI/ML, Robotics and Patient Centric View

Priyanka Kharat
CIO and Vice President, Commercial Cloud Solutions

Priyanka is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of NovaSignal with responsibilities extending from commercialization of our cloud-based solutions to their secure streamlined integration at the point-of-care. In her role as Head of Commercial Cloud Solutions, she works with innovation, marketing, and sales to operationalize clinical workflows that help our providers bend cost curves and improve health outcomes for their patients.

Before joining NovaSignal, she was the Vice President, Enterprise Integration (Data Engineering and Machine Learning) at Parkland Hospital and Health System in Dallas. At Parkland, she led multi-disciplinary engineering and data science teams with clinicians’ insights to build a cloud-hosted real-time AI/ML platform (patents pending). Predictive models deployed on this platform today help clinicians assess both risks of mortality in acute care setting as well as exacerbations of chronic conditions like pediatric asthma and diabetes.

Through the decade prior to her healthcare focus, Priyanka built her technology career working for Intel Corporation after starting at Qualcomm. At Intel, she was leading global teams to deliver power-efficient computer vision applications across the continuum of Intel-powered mobile, autonomous cars, digital surveillance, and smart cities solutions.

Honored by the Dallas Business Journal as 2019 Women in Technology, Priyanka believes in the power of diverse and inclusive teamwork and strives hard to achieve that.

Priyanka has an MBA from Chicago Booth School of Business, a Master of Science (MS) from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, India.

Cloud Computing

Sailakshmi Santhanakrishnan ( Sai)
ProServe – Senior Security Assurance & Advisor
AWS – Professional Service,  Security Advisory Assurance Practice

Collaborative, result driven cloud risk, compliance and security executive who has enabled Fortune 100 & 500 organizations to successfully deliver highly visible and significant regulatory, compliance and technology initiatives.

As a trusted advisor, her core strengths are in partnering with the C-suite and business segments to enable their cloud adoption journey  to build resilient and regulatory compliant organizations in the Cloud.

Sai’s is enjoys global travel and learning about cultural variances. Sai’s is involved in her community as NextGen advisor, volunteer, and mentor  and as a guest faculty University of Texas, Dallas.

Fun Facts :

  • Recently co-authored a book, ‘The CISO Mentor’ which has been published on Amazon with 100% of the book sale proceeds going towards funding STEM education and Cybersecurity enablement. Now available on Amazon

Co-Founder of WeInspire.Guru
Wicys Mentor (Wicys.org)
Passionate About:  Enabling NextGen /Women Empowerment

Data Science

Seemit Sheth

Seemit Sheth is a data science executive in the financial services industry with 20+ years of experience. Currently, he is the head of data science for USAA Bank and part of its executive management group. Previously he held several data science leadership roles at Capital One. Over the past 20 years, Seemit has developed several world-class data science organizations and designed industry leading data science products.

Seemit has master’s degrees in mathematics as well as in statistics. Besides data science, he is interested in number theory, tennis, mentoring, and Indian classical drum called tabla.

Digital Ethics 

Paola Saibene 

Paola Saibene has been a technologist for 26 years, having held multiple C-suite roles (CIO, CTO, CSO) in large, global organizations, having received national awards in innovation and cybersecurity, and having led thousands of her own team members to fulfill business missions, and thrive despite constraints. She has also worked as a Data Privacy Officer and as a VP of Enterprise Risk Management.  Paola blends innovation, digital transformation, strategy, growth, security, privacy, risk, compliance, and governance into an ecosystem of high resiliency and strength, especially as it pertains to data and its valuation process.

Presently, Paola leads the Data Governance Practice at Teknion Data Solutions and teaches at Georgetown University (Information Security Master’s Program), Dallas Baptist University (Digital Risk Management Program), and the ENAE University in Spain (Master’s in Data Science ).  Her curriculum across universities is built on data seen from a “Governance by Design” approach, infused with Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, Digital Ethics, Enterprise Risk Management, and Information Security Law.  She is also the co-author of the “CISO Mentor”.

Tamara BassamEntrepreneur

Tamara is an innovative technology and business professional highly effective in different roles that varies from product management, pre-sales, post sales, account, and project management. Skilled in leading international, cross functional teams, demonstrating exceptional communication skills, analytical thinking and creative problem solving. She approaches every business case with entrepreneurial mindset which made her earn her master’s in engineering entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in electrical and telecom engineering. She is inspired by STEM activities for girls, believes in women leadership and lives life to tell a great story.

 Sheryl Pinckney-Maas – Entrepreneur

Sheryl Pinckney-Maas is the CEO and Founder of Guardian Zone, LLC, a technology company in Colleyville, Texas that is a leading provider of crowd-sourced security solutions. Sheryl has launched a cutting-edge security mobile app and software platform that fortifies public safety. Her company is first in the market that addresses the public-private challenges at large public venues.

Sheryl created Guardian Zone by leveraging her 25 years’ experience as a Foreign Service Officer and U.S. Diplomat living and working in six international markets: China, South Africa, Mexico, The Netherlands, Jordan and Peru. As a senior officer, she was a member of the Embassy’s Emergency Action Committee and the International Trade Administration’s representative on the Overseas Security Advisory Council, where she worked closely with U.S. based companies’ overseas operations. Using her experience of living in high threat and high crime countries, she has taken more than two decades of knowledge and created a security solution for today’s corporate, educational and entertainment industries.

Proud member of the Microsoft for Startup Program.

Ghazal Qureshi – Entrepreneur                                      

Ghazal Qureshi is a (now) native Houstonian who came to Houston with her family from Pakistan in 12th grade.  She is a Computer Scientist and has worked for over 20 years in the technology space.  When she saw a lack of adaptive educational programs focused on developing critical thinking skills, she formed her first educational company in 2011 offering STEM afterschool programs.  She grew from 1 location in Houston to over 107 franchised territories across multiple countries.  In early 2020, she was dissatisfied with the lack of innovation in education.  For this reason she exited her first company and formed UpBrainery Technologies. UpBrainery is an Innovative and Immersive educational technology platform coupled with neuroscience research based programs in order to provide adaptive learning and individualized pathways for students at home or in the classroom. UpBrainery takes advantage of the technological advances in AI, Machine Learning and game based education in order to provide an immersive and engaging educational experience. Since inception, UpBrainery has won major accolades through Google for Startups, Forbes Next 1000, Houston Business Journal and others. UpBrainery is also the exclusive K12 educational pathway provider for the US Congressional App Challenge.  www.UpBrainery.com

In addition to these teachers, the values-based leadership coaching is led by Certified John Maxwell Coaches. They guide students in self-practice and peer-to-peer leadership embracing the following components:

  • DISC Personality Assessment
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Global Impact – L3 student prepared presentation

Meet the John Maxwell Team:

Dawud Mabon

Since 2016 Dawud Mabon has been speaking, and training business professionals on leadership. Dawud is focused on leadership development for business owners, business leaders and non-profit organizations. Dawud also has a passion for financial stewardship and is the author of the book For God Loves A Cheerful Giver.

His volunteer work includes Leadership Arlington, and The Arlington Highlands Rotary. Dawud is a member of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, and BNI Texas Referral Rangers.

Dawud has been married to his college sweetheart Tolu for 21 years, and he is the personal chauffeur to his 3 children Lola, Nathan, and Noah sporting and academic events.

Chonnie B. Richey

Since 2010, Chonnie Richey has served in various leadership roles including COO/CFO of a healthcare organization and Founder of the non-profit Independence Gardens. As a John Maxwell Team Leadership Coach and Speaker, she continuous to share her experiences with others on the value of the imperfect leader.

Through active collaboration, engagement, and communication, Chonnie continuous to develop
business professionals and students into effective leaders that make a positive impact within their organizations, professional life, and their communities.

Chonnie received her degree from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is currently completing her Masters of Public Health degree from George Washington University. Chonnie has been married for 19 years and is the cheerleader for her greatest accomplishment: her three children, Sofia, Kara and Lachlan.