top of page

Athena's Annual Pinnacle Scholarship Awards

Championing the Next Generation of STEM Leaders

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2020 PINNACLE SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS! 

Ruchi%20Agashe_edited.jpg

"I will be pursuing a degree in molecular, cellular and developmental biology to help prepare me for a career as a physician. Thank you to Athena and to all the women who are paving the way for even more women to continue to lead in STEM fields."

15-Chaudhuri-An-20W_edited.jpg

"I'm planning to major in material science and engineering with a focus on environmental sustainability and policy. In the future, I hope to  work in an intersection of fields to drive materials research and policy in clean tech towards positive climate action and inequity solutions."

Anushka_GuptaEDIIT_edited.jpg

"I'll be pursuing a degree in computer science to prepare for an interdisciplinary career including natural and programming languages to benefit people in the future. As a Pinnacle Scholarship winner I am most grateful for an improved network to change the world through the creative fusion of diverse ideas."

Sarina%20Krishnan%20Photo%20(Headshot)_e

"I plan to major in an interdisciplinary degree that combines applications in computing with technology and society to prepare me for a career in public service."

Sarina Krishnan
Karla%20Padilla%20Leon_edited.jpg

"I will be attending the University of Southern California and double major in Global Health and Neuroscience on the Pre-Med Track. I am grateful for all of the support of my family and the people who have believed in me, including the Athena Pinnacle Foundation."

Canyon Crest

Academy

Studying Biology 

at Yale University

Ruchi
Agashe

Westview

High School

Studying Engineering

at MIT

Westview

High School

Studying Computer Science

at Columbia University

Olympian High School

Studying Neuroscience

at USC

Karla
Padilla Leon

The Bishop's

School

Studying Technology

at Princeton

Anushka
Gupta
Anushree
Chaudhuri

Meet the 2020 Pinnacle Scholarship Winners

Meet the 2020 Pinnacle Scholarship Winners
Search video...
Karla Padilla Leon
01:09
Play Video

Karla Padilla Leon

Sarina Krishnan
00:47
Play Video

Sarina Krishnan

Anushree Chaudhuri
01:21
Play Video

Anushree Chaudhuri

Ruchi Agashe
00:40
Play Video

Ruchi Agashe

Athena proudly champions the next generation of women leaders in science and technology through its Annual Pinnacle Scholarships. Each year, these merit-based scholarships are awarded to five remarkable high school seniors to promote the next generation of women leading in STEM.

Pinnacle scholarships are awarded to high school seniors planning to enter a four-year university to study in the sciences, math, or engineering fields. Outstanding applicants are well-rounded women who’ve demonstrated academic excellence, leadership in school organizations, and community involvement. Winners receive their scholarships at our annual Pinnacle Awards celebration.

In addition to a financial award, each Pinnacle Scholarship recipient is paired with an Athena Foundation board member for a mentorship. 

Shae Galli 
Shae Galli.png

Through Athena, my incredible mentor not only gives me insightful advice about academics and about the wide world of STEM, but our discussions spark my curiosity about science and solidify my passion for the field.

Sara
Zaknoen 
image.png

Mentoring these remarkable young women keeps me young. It is an honor to mentor the future STEM leaders of our world.

Screen Shot 2020-06-24 at 3.56.35 PM.png
Meilynn
Shi

Northwestern

University

I am so thankful for the mentoring I’ve received through Athena. It has helped me think through and beyond my professional and personal ambitions and has helped me set aside my anxieties when I step off the beaten road.

UC San Diego

Principal | Zed Strategic Consulting

image.png
Lynne Friedmann 

Principal | Friedmann Communications

As a mentor, the goal is to sharpen the focus of my Pinnacle scholar through the lens of my experience—a body of knowledge that is continually enhanced as her interests become my interests. This leads to stimulating conversations and growing pride as she excels at her studies and launches her career. Looking forward to the day when my role as mentor evolves to that of a colleague in STEM.

Marisa Beresford.png
Marisa Beresford 

Cal Poly SLO

Having a mentor is extremely helpful because it gives me a more personal connection to Athena. My mentor sends me current articles related either to my field of study or to my hobbies, keeping me up to date on all of my interests. I’m very grateful to have someone advise me on my career path as I grow my skill set. She’s a great resource and someone I look forward to continuing my relationship with. 

Gillian.png
Gillian
Folk 

The Athena mentorship program has provided me a female role-model in the STEM workforce that can relate to my aspirations and provide support and advice.  She has inspired me and I know I can come to her with any question.  

image.png
Sue Ebner 

Principal | Ebner Consults

I view mentoring as a mutually beneficial relationship, based upon trust, confidentiality and empathy. My role is to provide my mentee exposure to new ideas and approaches, advice on optimizing skills and overcoming weaknesses, encouraging new skills, embracing new opportunities/roles and enhancing leadership/executive presence. I encourage my mentee to reflect, commit, take action to be herself, be bold and be engaged. As a mentor, what an honor and a privilege it is, I am equally challenged by gaining exposure to new perspectives, approaches and ideas.  

Cal Poly SLO

Previous Pinnacle Winners

 

​2020

 

Individual in Life Sciences

Dr. Kiana Aran

 Chief Scientific Officer | Cardea Bio

Individual in Technology

Vicki Mealer-Burke

Chief Diversity Officer | Qualcomm

Individual In Service

Maysoon Lehmeidi

Program Manager | UC San Diego

Rising Star

Yelaine Wang

Financial Analyst | Teradata

2019
 

Individual in Technology
​Mary Gendron
Senior Vice President & CIO | Qualcomm


 

Individual in Life Sciences
Sheila Gujrathi 
President & CEO | Gossamer Bio


 

Individual in Service

Pamela Gardner

Founder | Biotech Vendor Services

Rising Star

 Kylie Taitano

Software Engineer | Intuit



2018

Individual in Life Science
Dr. Ciara Kennedy
President and CEO | Amplyx Pharmaceuticals


Individual in Education
Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff
Dean, College of Science and Mathematics | California State University, San Marcos

Individual in Technology
Kathy Herring Hayashi
Senior Staff Engineer | Qualcomm

Individual in Service
Amy Bergen
Vice President, Business Development | The Leadership Edge

Company/Organization
Intuit

Startup Life Sciences/Technology
Daré Bioscience

NAME

TITLE

COMPANY

AristaMD

Pamela Cosman, Ph.D.

Nancy Hong, Ph.D.

Coin Up

Sabrina Johnson

Mitchell International

Nina Smith

Camille Newton, MD

Tricia Ward

Lauren Lek

Elizabeth Altman

Navrina Singh

Silvia Mah, Ph.D.

Navrina Singh

Allison Alberts, Ph.D.

Barney & Barney, a division of MMA

Shavon Lindley

Saundra Pelletier

UCSD, mystartupxx

Georgia Griffiths

Karen Overklift

Sanford Rose Associates – San Diego

Saura Naderi

Barbara Noerenberg

Connie Matsui

Gaylene Xanthopoulos

Gabriele Wienhausen, Ph.D.

Adriana Vela

PwC

Marcea Bland Lloyd, J.D.

Tamera Weisser, Ph.D., J.D.

Sony Electronics, Inc.

Barbara Sawrey

Trindl Reeves

Aurelia Flores

June Komar

Dr. Jacqueline Trischman

Qualcomm

Teresa Young

Rhonda Rhyne

Nancy Aitkenhead

Pamela Surko

Brenda Gebler

Karen Hernandez

Nancy Taylor

Cooley

Wendy Johnson

Jo Moss

Ellen Morgan

Arlene Harris

Amylin Pharmaceuticals

Lynne Friedmann

Jeanne Ferrante

Karin Eastham

AMN Healthcare, Inc.

Theresa Gilly

Althea Technologies, Inc. 

Vicky Carlson

Ginger Graham

Theresa Drew

Madga Marquet

AWIS

Andrea Cook

Pfizer La Jolla

Nancy Taylor

Kay Chandler

June Chocheles

Barbara Depass

Lisa Haile, J.D., Ph.D.

ProfitLine, Inc. 

Martha Dennis, Ph.D

Ginger Hovenic, Ed.D. 

Sandra L. Schmid

Cathryn Campbell

Deloitte & Touche LLP-San Diego Practice

Tina S. Nova, Ph.D.

TEAL Electronics

Patricia Winter

Susan Howell Ten Eyck

Women First Healthcare, Inc. 

Janice Dehesh

Abby Silverman

Autumn Chapman

2017

 

Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

RiverVest Venture Partners

CEO & Founder

Exec VP/General Manager

2016

President

Senior Associate

Head of School

Managing Partner

2015

Head of Qualcomm ImpaQt

Co-Founder/CEO

Head of Qualcomm ImpaQt

Chief Conservation and Research Officer

2014

Co-Founder/CEO

CEO

President/CEO

Program Director

2013

Founder, myLab, Calit2

VP, Corporate Research &

 

Retired

President

2012

Associate Dean for Education

Founder & President

Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel

Of Counsel

2011

Assoc. Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education, Academic Affairs

Chief Sales Officer/Principal

Senior Counsel

Corporate Executive Vice President of Strategy & Administration

2010

2009

2008

President & CEO

Retired Director

President & CEO

Founder, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer

2007

2006

President & CEO

2005

Managing Partner

Co-President & Co-Chief Executive Officer

Science Teacher

2004

Science Coordinator

Partner

2003

2002

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation-Business Roundtable for Education

Professor and Chairman, Department of Cell Biology

Managing Partner

Managing Partner

2001

Chief Executive Officer

Senior Vice President

2000

 

AristaMD

 

UCSD

Managing Director

Coin UP

Dare Bioscience

Mitchell International

Mitchell International

PureWick

Booz Allen Hamilton

OLP

KPMG

Qualcomm Labs, Inc.

Hera Labs

Qualcomm Labs, Inc.

San Diego Zoo

Women Evolution

WomanCare Global

G2 Software Systems, Inc.

San Diego Science Alliance – BE WiSE

Sanford Rose Associates – San Diego

UC San Diego

Qualcomm

Biogen Idec

The Leadership Edge

UC San Diego

NanoTecNexus

 

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Jones Day

Sony Electronics, Inc.

 

UCSD

Barney & Barney LLC

SAIC

 

Scripps Health

CSU San Marcos

Deloitte LLP

Innovative Cardiovascular Advancements

SAIC

UCSD Global Connect

AMN Healthcare

Cooley

SD County Office Ed

Cooley

Aires Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Tech Trek Science Camp for Girls (held at UCSD)

Synteract

 

Jitterbug

High-Tech High School

Office Pavillion

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Althea Technologies, Inc. 

High-Tech High School

San Diego Country Office of Education

Cooley Godward LLP

SAIC

Monarch School

Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, LLP

Windward Ventures

President/CEO

The Scripps Research Institute 

Campbell & Flores, LLP

Theresa Drew

GenOptix, Incorporated

San Diego Science Alliance

City National Bank

Qualcomm

Baker & McKenzie

Oceanside High School

2020 Athena Pinnacle Scholarship Winners

Ruchi
Agashe

Canyon Crest

Academy