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Women in STEM

March 20 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the College of Technology and the College of Engineering & Sciences will be hosting a Women in STEM event with the goal of providing our students the opportunity to support one another in their career paths in STEM fields.

All PNW students are welcome to attend.

The event will feature a panel discussion with PNW alumna, industry partners andfriends. The panelists will share their experiences:

  1. Challenges unique to them in obtaining their degree
  2. Challenges unique to them in obtaining roles and barriers that they have had to overcome
  3. Imposter phenomena, pay and/or equity gaps
  4. Ways to support one another (finding a sponsor or mentor)

After the panel, we would like to offer students the opportunity to network with industry partners, alumna and friends.

Register to Attend on MyPNWLife

Meet the Panelists

Rebecca Scalchas

Rebecca Scalchas, ’19

Computer Information Technology, Concentration in Cybersecurity

Rebecca Scalchas, a Purdue University Northwest graduate from the College of Technology in 2019, is the Senior Analyst on Hyatt’s Cyber Security Operations team at the Corporate Hub in Chicago and boasts nearly 5 years’ post-grad expertise. Her journey, evolving from an established history working with small electronics, information systems, and server administration, has equipped her with a unique skill set and an eye for detail. As the senior member of a full-time team of six, she works to protect a fleet of over 76,000 workstations and servers from established and emerging cyber threats.

Rebecca’s dedication extends beyond her professional role. She is passionate about staying up to date with industry developments and generously shares her knowledge. With the enrichment of several certifications including the prestigious SANS GIAC Security Essentials and Certified Incident Handler Certifications (GSEC and GCIH), and ISC2’s CISSP Certification, she is committed to continuous growth.

When Rebecca made the commitment to pursue a degree as an adult student in 2015, only 10% of cyber security positions were held by women. Today, that percentage has risen to 24%. She finds it vitally important to serve as the mentor and teacher that she would have looked to in her own journey and lead her peers by example.

Kelly Dallas

Kelly Dallas, ’98

Mechanical Engineering

Kelly Dallas is the Director of Engineering for the Flat Rolled plants of Cleveland-Cliffs. She is responsible for managing the capital budget for the steelmaking facilities as well as the engineering teams at the flat-rolled, plate and coke facilities.

Kelly’s career began with legacy company Bethlehem Steel in 1999 in the Burns Harbor engineering department and has taken on increasing responsibilities in the engineering departments of the legacy companies. Kelly is involved with the Midwest Chapter of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST), received the 2011 Outstanding Service Award for the Midwest Member Chapter, is a Past Chair of the Midwest Chapter and past representative for the Board of Directors for AIST National.

Kelly is the Chair of the AIST University-Industry Relations Roundtable (UIRR), a former Chair of Material Advantage Committee (MAC), current Vice Chair for the Project & Construction Management Technical Committee (PCMTC) and is Chair of the recently formed AIST Women in Steel (WIS) committee. In 2014, she received the AIST President’s Citation Award for “her work in promoting AIST reaching beyond colleges to high schools”. She also received the 2017 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana award for Construction/Manufacturing.

Kelly is featured in the book “Women in Steel, Women of Steel”. Kelly received her Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University Northwest (2008 Outstanding Alumni in Mechanical Engineering) and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University.

Dominique Edwards

Dominique Edwards, ’11


Dominique Edwards is a Black land steward, local educator, and food systems planner based in Northwest Indiana who currently serves as the Equity and Engagement Coordinator for the NWI Food Council. Dominique is a 2011 graduate of Purdue Northwest’s Biological Sciences program,
2016 graduate of DePaul University’s Sustainable Urban Development graduate program and is currently obtaining her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from National Louis University where her research focuses on trauma-informed food accessibility in urban food insecure environments in Northwest Indiana with a special focus on connecting this complex social issue to the adverse impacts of land loss and structural racism on Hoosier Black farmers.

Dominique is incredibly passionate about revitalizing local food systems through the development of community food projects and was one of the co-founders of the NWI Food Council in 2015 and served as an Executive Board member until Spring of 2023. Dominique previously served as the Northern Region Representative for the American Planning Association’s Indiana Chapter and created the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee in 2020 and serves as the Co-Chair.

Since graduating from DePaul, Dominique has advanced her work in food systems and has become multi-disciplined in the field of urban planning. She is featured in the children’s book One Earth: People of Color: Defending the Planet by Anuradha Rao, which highlights some of her earlier work to revitalize local food systems. Dominique continues to work on many levels, including nationally, to educate other urban planners and policymakers about Northwestern Indiana’s food system challenges.

She also manages the Walker Street Park Community Garden, a community garden in Michigan City, Indiana’s Eastport neighborhood, a neighborhood in which she was born and raised, and works with residents, local farmers, and representatives of other subject matter areas such as public health and academia to address food insecurity, implement local programming and policies to support systematically excluded communities.

Not only does Dominique work on multiple levels to address food insecurity, but she also works directly with residents to grow food, educate, develop programs, and community food projects in surrounding communities as well. Due to Dominique’s extensive achievements over the past decade, in 2023, she was recognized by the Society for Community Research and Action and awarded the Community Psychology Graduate Student Award for Anti-Racist Praxis and recognized as one of Northwest Indiana’s Women on the Rise by the Purdue Northwest Leadership Institute and the Society of Innovators.

Cassidee Jacobsen

Cassidee Jacobsen, ’12

Mechanical Engineering

Cassidee Jacobsen is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Purdue Northwest currently living her dream in the aerospace industry. In her role as a National Account Manager for Regal Rexnord Aerospace and Defense, Cassidee works with strategic customers including General Electric, Rolls Royce, Eaton Aerospace, Collins Aerospace, and Williams International. If you’ve ever been on a commercial plane, then Regal Rexnord was along for the ride to reach your destination. Cassidee works with engineers and commodity leaders to provide highly engineered solutions that can be found in every aspect of the aerospace industry, from engine systems and flight controls, to landing gear and aircraft structures. Cassidee’s passion for aeronautics and space was realized when she was 14 years old and attended Space Camp at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Cassidee is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. She gave birth to her son during her first semester of engineering school and raised him as a single mother for her entire college journey. She is now married and has two more children. One of her greatest passions is supporting women (particularly mothers) in STEM and manufacturing. As well as sharing ways to balance their work and family life. Cassidee serves as a steering member of the Regal Rexnord Women employee resource group and as a mentor for other women inside her organization. In addition, she is a chair member of culture council through the corporate office focusing on keeping remote employees engaged and contributing back to the community through volunteerism.

In her free time, Cassidee enjoys playing roller derby, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. She is a member of South Shore Roller Derby, Northwest Indiana’s premier flat track roller derby team. Her children are very active in sports and her favorite thing is to watch them do something they love.

Haley Sandman

Haley Sandman, ’20

Construction Engineering Management Technology

Haley Sandman holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Management Technology from Purdue University Northwest, where she also minored in Spanish and attended the Universidad de Extremadura in Spain during a study abroad. Initially studying engineering and nearly pursuing social work as a career path, choosing construction management has served Haley well.

With over six years of experience in the industry, Haley has gained extensive knowledge in estimating, purchasing, and managing active trades. Currently serving as an assistant project manager, Haley has discovered a fulfilling environment that fosters professional growth and takes on projects that drive positive change. Working for a minority owned and operated general contracting company with strong corporate ethos that actively supports minority-owned contractors and embraces ethical practices is an integral component of her career.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Haley fills her cup by attending live music events, exploring new destinations, and indulging in interior design. She also enjoys her time as an active volunteer as treasurer for a non-profit organization that promotes positive mental and emotional health for minority women.

To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity at oie@pnw.edu or (219) 989-2163 five days prior to the event.


March 20
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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CIVS Theater, Powers Building (PWRS)
6937 Woodmar Avenue
Hammond, IN 46323 United States
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