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Members of the Denice Dee Denton Women Engineers Hall of Fame


Outstanding Female Engineers

 2008 - Sunita Williams holds a bachelor of science in physical science from the United States Naval Academy and a master of science in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and twice received the Navy Commendation Medal. She has flown more than 30 different aircraft and accumulated more than 2770 flight hours. After an eleven year career in the United States Navy, Ms. Williams was selected by NASA to participate in the Astronaut Candidate Training program. Ms. Williams served as a flight engineer for the Expedition 14 and 15 increments aboard the International Space Station from December 2006-June 2007. At the time of her landing, Ms. Williams broke two world records for females in space. Currently, Ms. Williams serves as the Deputy Chief for the Astronaut Office at NASA. 

2009 -Ursula M. Burns holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. She serves on professional and community boards, including American Express Corp., CASA - the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, National Academy Foundation, MIT, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the University of Rochester. Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a summer intern. From 1992 to 2000, she lead business teams in the office color and fax business and office network copying business. In 2000, Burns was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, heading up manufacturing and supply chain operations. In 2002, Burns was named president of Xerox Business Group Operations. She is an elected member of the Xerox Board of Directors. In 2009, Burns was appointed CEO.

2010 - Lisa P. Jackson
 holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Tulane University and a master of science degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. Lisa leads the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to protect our health and environment by working to usher in a green economy, address health threats from toxins and pollution, and renew public trust in the EPA’s work.  She started with EPA in 1987 as a staff-level scientist in the Washington, DC headquarters and EPA’s Region 2 office in New York City.  In 2002, Lisa joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and was appointed Commissioner of the agency in 2006.  In her current role as Administrator she draws on her chemical engineering background and 20 years of environmental protection work at the regional and state levels.

2011 - Dr. Wanda M. Austin holds a bachelor of art degree in mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College, master of science degrees in systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Southern California. Wanda is president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation. She is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering and system simulation. Wanda is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.



Outstanding Female Engineering Students

2008 - Diana Laboy-Rush holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from California State University at Long Beach, a master of science in engineering and technology management from Portland State University and is currently working on her Ph.D. in engineering and technology management at Portland State University. Ms. Laboy-Rush spent 10 years working in the technology industry. She formerly served as president of the Columbia River Section of the Society of Women Engineers and spent one year teaching math at a California high school. Currently, Ms. Laboy-Rush is the president of Portland Wiz Kids, a Portland Metro area business that focuses on providing children the opportunity to engage in engineering, inventing and creative problem solving programs.


2009 - Lisa S. Diercksen
 holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University and is currently enrolled in the master of science in civil engineering degree program at PSU.  Ms. Diercksen is a graduate research assistant in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory at PSU.  She has completed internships with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc (Phoenix, AZ), and TranSystems Corporation (Kansas City, MO).   Ms. Diercksen is a member of the Chi Epsilon, a civil engineering honor society, and has served as president and vice-president of Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning (STEP).  In 2008, Ms. Diercksen presented at the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress (ITSWC) held in New York.


2010 - Deborah A. Beck
 holds a bachelor of science degree in bioresource research from Oregon State University and a master of science degree in civil and environmental engineering from Portland State University Deborah is currently a Scientist with Vista Engineering Technologies.  While a student at PSU, Deborah was the Laboratory Director of the Greenroof Design and Test Laboratory (GRDT Lab).  In 2009, Deborah represented the GRDT Lab at the annual meeting of Greenroofs for Healthy Cities.  She was also selected to serve as a panelist on the City of Portland’s 2009 Ecosystem Service Benefits Quantification Expert Panel.  Additionally, she has represented the GRDT Lab at Ecoroof Portland 2009 and 2010.



2011 - Kjersten E. Criss is an undergraduate student in electrical engineering at Portland State University. Kjersten is a research assistant working on devices for patients with movement disorders, and software to interface the movement sensors and computers. She is former president of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. Kjersten received the 2010 Outstanding ECE Undergraduate Student Award.