STEM Alumnae

Kaytlin Colburn ’11

Kaytlin ColburnGIS Developer | Oceaneering International

B.S., Environmental Science | Sweet Briar College, 2011
M.S., Geographic Information Systems | University of Redlands, 2013

Leveraging web technologies such as Esri’s JavaScript API and Dojo, Kaytlin builds the tools GIS analysts use: web apps and widgets designed for offshore and emergency response operations. She has presented her work at tech conferences and participated in a company software field test on a Swedish icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean. At the 82nd parallel north, she worked to install servers and antennae that sent real-time data from the ship to the shore.

After graduating from Sweet Briar, Kaytlin worked as an environmental analyst with Avanti Corporation in Alexandria, Va. Her subsequent graduate study at the University of Redlands was supported by a fellow Sweet Briar alumna, and before completing her master’s, Kaytlin landed her current job — again with the support from alumnae.

While at Sweet Briar, Kaytlin served as president of the Environmental Club her senior year, was a Tau Phi, rode horses all four years, and studied abroad for a semester with the School for Field Studies in Kenya and Tanzania. After graduation, Kaytlin traveled through Turkey with anthropology professor Deborah Durham.

Though Kaytlin enjoys working with cutting-edge technology, she plans to return to school to become a teacher and inspire other young women to pursue a career in science. She lives in Houston.

Lindsay Davis ’13

Lindsay DavisEngineer | Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMTI)

B.S., Engineering Science; Minor in Mathematics | Sweet Briar College, 2013

In her job at AMTI, Lindsay designs updates to a weather station that is installed at every U.S. airport and used by pilots to obtain accurate and timely weather information. Along with providing revised computer-aided design (CAD) models for legacy drawings, Lindsay and her colleagues are making the design more functional and easier to manufacture. Lindsay enjoys working on many different aspects of the project, including creating mechanical CAD models, wire-harnessing and simplifying manufacturing, and writing detailed assembly instructions.

During her junior year at Sweet Briar, Lindsay completed an internship at AREVA working in the component repair and replacement (CR&R) department. She was also a departmental assistant, research assistant and summer engineers departmental assistant in Sweet Briar’s engineering department.

Nancy Drew ’10

Quality Engineer Contractor | Edwards Lifesciences

B.S., Mathematics; Minor in Biology | Sweet Briar College, 2010
M.S., Biomedical Engineering | University of California, Irvine, 2015
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering | University of California, Irvine, 2016

Nancy Drew works at Edwards Lifesciences, a company regarded as a global leader in heart valves and critical care technologies.

Through a course in biomathematics at Sweet Briar, she developed an interest in problems at the interface of mathematics, biology and medicine. This interest led her to the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech in the summer of 2009, where she worked on developing simulation models for the spread of an epidemic and using them to forecast the effects of intervention strategies on the spread of an infection.

Upon graduation, Drew worked as a loan origination specialist at USAA before entering the mathematical, computational and systems biology program at University of California, Irvine. After completing this gateway program, she entered the university’s Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering in 2012. Drew’s graduate work focused on cardiovascular modeling, computational biology and image analysis. Her research led to a new metric for quantifying the correlation of orientation in heart tissues and to mathematical models for self-assembly of intracellular structures in heart cells. As a doctoral candidate, she was a graduate student researcher and a graduate teaching assistant. Nancy completed her worked at UC Irvine with a degree in biomedical engineering and defended her Ph.D. thesis in summer 2016.

Maria El-Abd ’12 (M.A.T. ’13)

Maria El-AbdTeacher | Linkhorne Middle School

B.A., English/Creative Writing, Mathematics | Sweet Briar College, 2012
M.A.T. | Sweet Briar College, 2013
Ph.D. Candidate, Education | University of Virginia

Maria teaches mathematics and STEM classes at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg and is completing her dissertation at UVa.

While earning her M.A.T. at Sweet Briar, Maria worked as a substitute and student teacher at James River Day School in Lynchburg and in the Campbell County school system. She then traveled back to her native country of Lebanon to teach secondary math and English at the AZM School in Tripoli. Upon returning to Virginia in 2014, Maria continued her education at UVa. Her research focuses on predictors of literacy achievement in young gifted students in rural schools.

During her time at Sweet Briar, Maria was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta. She also participated in LEAP: Leaders Emerging and Achieving Program, as well as the Sweet Briar Inklings Book Club, the Creative Writing Conference and the literary magazine Red Clay.

Jodi Fisher ’12

Data Scientist | Booz Allen Hamilton

B.S., Mathematics-Physics | Sweet Briar College, 2012
M.S. Candidate, Mathematics and Statistics | Georgetown University, 2016

Upon graduation, Jodi accepted a job at Bungalow LLC for SCOUT, a brand of designer bags, coolers, accessories and rugs. As operations manager, Jodi applied the logical-thinking and data-analysis skills learned at Sweet Briar to assist in forecasting sales and predict inventory demand of the seasonal brand.

In 2014, she returned to academia, enrolling in the mathematics and statistics graduate program at Georgetown University. Jodi now works as a staff data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, a company that provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, governments and nonprofit organizations. She assists clients with report management and development and general statistical analysis of collected data.

Rebecca Penny Humphrey ’08

Assistant Professor of Biology | Aquinas College

B.S., Biology; Minor in Studio Art | Sweet Briar College, 2008
Ph.D., Evolution, Ecology and Behavior | Indiana University, Bloomington, 2015

Rebecca teaches biology with a passion for the liberal arts. She is always looking for meaningful course content to help her students develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Her experience at Sweet Briar fostered her scientific curiosity, observational skills and dedication to complex tasks. While at Sweet Briar, Rebecca worked for the Outdoor Program and was a member of Tau Phi. She also completed independent undergraduate research in biology, an experience that was instrumental in her acceptance to a top-tier Ph.D. program. Rebecca graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. After a year of outdoor-programming work in New Hampshire, she started her Ph.D. program. Upon graduation, Rebecca accepted a position as visiting assistant professor of biology and environmental science at Hollins University, and is now an assistant professor of biology at Aquinas College.

Phoebe Jiang ’14

Phoebe JiangResearch Assistant, Department of Biostatistics | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

B.A., Mathematics; Minors in Economics, Statistics | Sweet Briar College, 2014
Ph.D. Candidate, Biostatistics | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2019

Phoebe performs data management and statistical analyses while exploring advanced research topics. She also provides statistical reviews for research grant proposals in medicine, pharmacy and public health, and participates in the design, execution and evaluation of research projects — working with faculty, medical doctors, epidemiologists, administrators and students. Before her current position, Phoebe was a teaching assistant in the Department of Biostatistics at UNC-Chapel Hill and a biostatistics graduate intern at JMP Life Sciences, SAS Institute Inc.

At Sweet Briar, Phoebe worked in the library as a student assistant and student supervisor and was a tutor and teaching assistant for the mathematics department. She was co-founder and president of the Chinese Club, president of Alpha Lambda Delta and an admissions ambassador. She participated in the Leadership Certificate Program, won the Mathematical Sciences Award, and was named to the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa, the Dean’s List and First-Year Honors.

Sarah Mouri ’06

Sport Horse Veterinarian | Rabanal Equine

B.S., Biology; Minors in Chemistry, English | Sweet Briar College, 2006
D.V.M. | Atlantic Veterinary College, 2011

Sarah is a third-generation Sweet Briar alumna following her grandmother Martha Mansfield Clement ’48, aunt Sarah Clement ’75 and mother Ellen Clement Mouri ’80. Sarah was a member of the Sweet Briar College American National Riding Commission team and a Tau Phi. Following an ambulatory internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., she joined Rabanal Equine as an associate sport horse veterinarian traveling between Westchester County, N.Y., and Wellington, Fla. Sarah currently resides in Paris, Ky., and Wellington, following the hunter/jumper and dressage horse show circuits.

Laura Jane Schaefer ’07

Laura Jane SchaeferSustainability Manager | Oregon Health and Science University

B.A., Environmental Studies; Minor in Classics | Sweet Briar College, 2007

Laura Jane started her career at an architecture, engineering, planning and construction firm in Washington, D.C., completing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance studies and documentation for potential noise, air quality, traffic and energy impacts.

Since then, she has served two terms with AmeriCorps, and earned the Energy Management Certification from Northwest Water & Energy Education Institute and the Certified Energy Manager credential from the Association of Energy Engineers.

In Oregon, Laura Jane has focused on supporting institutes of higher education and research in energy-efficient and sustainable operations. She has served OHSU‘s Oregon National Primate Research Center and Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute since 2011. As sustainability manager, she coordinates all aspects of environmental management for the university’s West Campus. She also manages the landscaping, wildlife and integrated pest management program for the 200-plus acres campus, is the lead resource and advocate for all environmental initiatives, and acts as project manager for all efficiency, natural resource and storm water management projects.

While at Sweet Briar, Laura Jane was an active member of the residential life staff, judicial committee and Tau Phi. She was a non-academic judicial chair and tutor at the Academic Resource Center. She is now serving Sweet Briar on the Alumnae Alliance Land Use and Sustainability Committee.

Arielle Sperrazza ’15 (M.A.T. ’16)

Arielle SperrazzaSpecial Education Teacher | Elon Elementary School

B.A., Liberal Studies; Minor in Psychology | Sweet Briar College, 2015
M.A.T. | Sweet Briar College, 2016

Upon completing her graduate degree, Arielle Sperrazza, accepted a job as a special education teacher at Elon Elementary School. A semester student-teaching at Central Elementary in Amherst while pursuing the M.A.T. prepared her for the challenges — and rewards — of special education. “[Sweet Briar professors] make you work hard to find your own answers. All classes here are inquiry-based: There often is no right or wrong, and you can’t find the answer in a textbook.”

Arielle is following in her mother’s footsteps. Even before enrolling at Sweet Briar, Arielle spent many hours in elementary classrooms observing how one teaches children with special needs. Sweet Briar’s M.A.T. program solidified her passion for special education.

Kelly Winer ’13

Quality Assurance Analyst | Federal Reserve Board

B.A., Mathematical Economics; Minor in English/Creative Writing | Sweet Briar College, 2013

As a quality assurance analyst for the Federal Reserve Board, Kelly coordinates team and client testing, project management, project documentation preparation and maintenance, and stakeholder communication.

While at Sweet Briar, Kelly was a resident advisor in the first-year dorm and a peer counselor for academic, social and personal development. A member of the French Club and a QV, Kelly also worked as a math and economics tutor at the Academic Resource Center and as a teaching assistant in the economics department. In summer 2011, Kelly studied at St. Anne’s College in England through the Virginia Program at Oxford.