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2019 Workshops & Activities 

Women Can Do is an exciting opportunity for hands-on experiences with science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) and the skilled trades. Throughout the conference, safety will be our first priority. Each participant receives thorough instruction in the safe use of all materials and equipment. Please be aware that activities may involve hands-on use of power tools, welding equipment, climbing a fire truck ladder, and other activities that carry inherent risks. Therefore, we ask that you review our workshop descriptions thoroughly. Each activity involves hands-on, activities designed to spark creativity and interest! 

2019 Workshop Descriptions


LEGO MANUFACTURING - Chris Kiegle, GlobalFoundries
Experience the manufacturing process in a fun and interactive Lego-based activity, with engineers from GlobalFoundries, the local chip maker in Essex Jct, Vermont. This workshop will introduce you to the challenges encountered and skills required in creating an efficient chip manufacturing process. We will emphasize STEM skills and create solutions -- all while playing with Legos!
Chris Kiegle leads the GLOBALFOUNDRIES workshop team this year at Women Can Do! Chris is an electrical engineer on the Essex campus, doing advanced circuit design and working with teams around the world. Chris has been a leader in STEM outreach for about 20 years, including many volunteer hours in local classrooms.  The team will share their excitement for engineering and manufacturing - bring your creativity and all your questions ~ and try to stump this team of engineers!

Learn how to create simple circuits with pipe cleaners, small batteries, and diodes - the basic parts of every cell phone, laptop or other electronics we use all and every day. If some simple circuit rules are followed, they can be any shape and color so creative types are encouraged! We'll also build a very simple motor showing the basic concept of how every vehicle we ride in every day works. We'll even work on putting the two together! Sara Lestage is an Engineering Manager at IBM in Essex Junction, VT. She has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and several masters level classes on Engineering Business Management. She also coaches volleyball at Essex High School and has a young son, Emmit, that also wants to be an engineer.

This exercise is used to teach and develop individuals in the attributes of collaboration, innovation, and creativity. The Marshmallow Challenge reminds us that in order for a project to be a success, we need to identify the assumptions we are making in the project and test these early on and often. Missa has 20 years of professional architectural experience ranging from tiny homes to multi-million dollar university work with many different architecture firms in Vermont, California and Massachusetts. In 2014 she started her own architectural practice Hinge, with the vision to make design more accessible and affordable to everyone. Missa is an avid travel and has also studied architecture and landscape architecture abroad in Scotland and Japan.

Everyone knows what (building) architects do, but come find out what landscape architects do – from designing Grandma’s garden to determining the look and feel of a streetscape. If you are looking to combine skills in both the arts and sciences, to impact accessibility in public space, or to build resiliency facing climate change, then come learn how landscape architecture tackles this challenges. In this workshop, you will learn to look at outdoor space, identify relationships between the built and natural world and how to graphically express your ideas while problem-solving. Sophie is a professional landscape architect (PLA) with a passion for making outdoor public spaces accessible and available to all. Sophie uses landscape architecture's combination of art and science to plan and design spaces that meet human needs while making wise use of natural resources, and combining the use of natural and built forms to develop places that are not only functional, but also beautiful.

#WOMENCANDOARCHITECTURE – Devin Bushey, et al., E4H Environments for Health Architecture
Our workshop will engage attendees in a mini design charrette. We will offer a quick synopsis of an architectural design problem and challenge them to solve it. Students will be given a preliminary floor plan, design problem outlines, and access to our 2D & 3D design software. Final solutions will be viewed in 3D through our VR (virtual reality) set up. We are a diverse group of architects, designers, and interior designers. We have experience levels ranging from recent college graduate to 25+ years in the field. Jennifer Arbuckle, Syracuse University; Architecture, Devin Bushey, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Architecture; Karishma Tuldahar, Temple University, Architecture; Jamie Gravel, Roger Williams University, Architecture; Kylie Vitti, Norwich University, Architecture; Andrea Costello, Mount Ida College, Interiors; Alex Whipple, Endicott College, studying interiors.


CODING BASICS: VIDEO GAME DESIGN – Devin McCormick, Malina Kirn,
Learn how to code, edit, and personalize your own simple video game, and learn the basics of software engineering. Devin is a Data Analyst at, focusing on SQL data basing of automotive industry data. Her educational background consists of computer science and computer information systems. Malina is a software architect at, specializing in big data engineering. She has a background in computational physics and performed research at an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.

SOFTWARE DREAM TEAM – Sarah Karandy, Inntopia
Interested in a software career? Come learn about the hottest, fastest, and most widely practiced software development process: AGILE. Students will try out real-life roles on an agile software team such as developers, quality assurance, scrum masters, and product owners! You will use crafts and fun projects to create a product for your customer and take it through the development process. And you’ll learn some of the most current industry lingo, too! This workshop will introduce you to multiple career pathways and options in software development. Sarah Karandy is an engaged Scrum Master with a proven track record of helping agile teams deliver. She currently works at Inntopia where she helps two agile scrum teams to deliver quality software. Sarah previously worked at as a QA Engineer and got her education at Saint Michael’s college where she graduated with a BA in Music and Psychology. She has volunteered as an educator for Rosie’s Girls Day Camp Software Engineering 101, and Women Can Do!

WEB DESIGN: LOOK INTO MY CRYSTAL BALL – Roseanne Nelson, Darcy Rothman, Harpreet Dheer-Dixon, VSAC
Sometimes web design is like looking into a crystal ball to determine what the end user is looking for. There are a number of facts to be aware of to successfully implement a web page that meets the end user's expectations. You will learn some common mistakes and skills needed to be a successful web developer. Roseanne has been working for the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation for over 30 years and for the past 16 years in the Information Technology and Project Management area.  She provides management oversight on large projects, mostly web related, as well as supervises software developers and project managers. Darcy has worked at Vermont Student Assistance Corporation for over 20 years and has been a Project Manager for the past 15 years.  She has managed a wide variety of projects and dealt with many different types of developers, business users and vendors. Harpreet has been at Vermont Student Assistance Corporation for one year.  She relocated here from Texas and is the supervisor of the Help Desk and Operations areas in the Information Technology and Project Management department. 

WOMEN IN FILM: BE IN YOUR OWN MUSICAL! – Bess O’Brien, Kingdom County Productions (Double Workshop)
Learn about theater production and breaking into the film industry from filmmaker Bess O'Brien. Students participating in this workshop will also learn the art of storytelling by sharing your own personal stories for the Listen Up Project: a real, original musical based on the lives of VT teens, touring Vermont in fall 2020! Bess O'Brien is an award-winning filmmaker and theatre producer. Her works has been screened and produced across Vt and the United States.


DIGGING IN THE DIRT – Tammy Ellis, Trevor Starr, VT Agency of Transportation
Come and experience the world of transportation maintenance with us. We will offer the opportunity for participants to experience several different types of construction equipment from the operator's seat. Excavation equipment will be used in a real world practical application, "digging in the dirt". Participants can also experience the operation of a front end loader and road grader in a controlled parking lot setting with experienced mentors. We will also have several other popular pieces of equipment on display. Climb aboard, take the controls, and learn how to maneuver heavy equipment! Trevor Starr is the District Transportation Administrator in White River Junction. Tammy Ellis is a District Transportation Administrator with 29 years of experience in Highway Construction and Maintenance at the VT Agency of Transportation

CITY PLANNING: STREETS & ROADS – Michele Boomhower, Dr. Emily Parkany, VT Agency of Transportation
Join Transportation Professionals for an introduction to transportation policy, planning, and practice. We'll focus on one aspect of the planning profession - allocating road space. Come learn how to design streets and roads to meet community goals and needs!
The Vermont Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar is a chapter of the WTS International, an organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women. With over 6,500 members intermationally, including both women and men, WTS is turning the glass ceiling into a career portal through its professional programs, networking opportunities, and unparalleled access to industry and government leaders.

EXPLORING CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION – Jennifer Landon, Associated Builders & Contractors NH/VT
Construction is more than swinging a hammer! In this workshop, you’ll play a couple games and learn about the vast amount of high-paying career opportunities in this STEM industry. Come learn how you can build your career in construction! Jennifer Landon is the Director of Education & Workforce Development for Associated Builders & Contractors of NH/VT. She spent much of her career as a director of internship and career planning at the university level and is delighted to use her talents in teaching leadership, communications and employability skills for the construction industry.  She believes great things happen when education and industry start to speak the same language. Her passion is to provide people with the resources necessary so they can make informed career decisions.

INSPECTION QUEENS – Rose Buckley, Jess Kehler, US Inspect
Women in real estate is nothing new, female realtors are quite common, however a female HOME INSPECTOR? Well, that raises some eyebrows!!! While not a common career for women, more and more women are entering the field and making lucrative careers in the home inspection industry. Meet one such inspector from Maryland, Rose Buckley, and get your hands on some tools of the trade. You will conduct activities of a real home inspection, and learn what impact women are having in the inspection world, and how you can become a part of it! A former translator and teacher, Rose has found her calling in her third career as a home inspector.  Having worked in the industry for the past 2 years, she has found great success locally and nationally. A huge proponent of climate change activism, she now also serves as the national Home Energy Score Ambassador and works closely with the DOE to provide the best information to her home inspection clients. Jess holds a degree in Environmental Biology and became a home Inspector in April of 2019. Prior to becoming a home inspector, she spent 6 years as an inspector overseeing construction materials testing laboratories in the U.S. and Canada.


CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION – Jennifer Harlow, Jennifer Barrett, Orleans County Special Investigations/State’s Attorney
Test your powers of logic and deduction to assess a crime scene and determine which items should be photographed and collected as evidence. Learn from police detectives what it is really like to be a crime scene investigator and what it takes to become one. Jennifer Harlow has a Bachelor in Psychology from Johnson State. She has been a police officer for 22 years, 8 of which she has been a detective assigned to the Orleans County Special Investigations Unit (sex crimes, strangulation, internet crimes, etc.) She is a member of the Crimes Against Children Task Force, and an instructor with the Vermont Police Academy (Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes). Jennifer Barrett is the Orleans County State’s Attorney.

FISHY CSI– Jenna Reed, Cassidy Shaw, Sean Fowler, Vermont Fish and Wildlife
Join Vermont Fish and Wildlife Game Wardens and Fisheries Biologists. Learn about being a warden and how to conduct investigations to determine whether a person has committed a crime. Then help the Fish health biologist perform a fish necropsy to collect samples and test for the presence of bacteria, viruses and parasites. After all information is collected help determine the cause of a fish die off, was it natural causes, a fish disease or human pollution. Jenna Reed, Senior Game Warden. Jenna has been working as a game warden since 2010. She went to Castleton University where she received a B.A. in Environmental Science and a minor in criminal justice. During her time off, she enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, kayaking, biking, and gardening. Cassidy runs the fish health laboratory which is responsible for maintaining healthy fish populations in the state of Vermont.  At the lab, she performs testing to identify bacterial and viral pathogens and parasites using cell culture, bacteriology and molecular biology techniques. Lt. Fowler has been a game warden for 18 years and recently was promoted to Lieutenant.

WHY I WEAR THE BADGE – Gail Lund-Rowell, Chief Loretta Stalnaker, Orange County Sheriff/Royalton Police
Law enforcement is a job with serious responsibilities and the rewards of making a positive difference in your community. Check out the equipment police officers use, participate in a mock traffic stop activity, and investigate whether a career in policing might be a good match for your talents and interests. Gail Lund-Rowell is a police officer at Orange County Sheriff's Department. Loretta Stalnaker is Royalton, VT Police Chief

MEDICINE & HEALTH                                                                                     

REAL LIFE HEROES: RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS – Faye Tolar, Tracy McGuinness, Vermont Tech College
Delivery of effective respiratory care by respiratory therapists requires a deep understanding of the pathophysiology of the lungs, heart, vascular system, and kidneys. During the hands-on session, participants will perform arterial puncture on an arm manikin, manually ventilate artificial lungs with a manual resuscitator, experience chest physical therapy with an airway clearance procedure, intubate an airway manikin, and measure simple spirometry, while learning the essential functions of respiratory therapists! Faye Tolar, MEd, RRT has been a Registered Respiratory Therapist since 1986 and has practiced at the University of Virginia Health System, the Medical College of Virginia Hospital, and the University of Vermont Medical Center.  Faye has been the Program Director of Vermont’s sole Respiratory Therapy Program since its inception in 1990 at Champlain College and at Vermont Technical College since 2004.  Faye has served on the board of the Vermont/New Hampshire Society for Respiratory Care (VT/NHSRC in the positions of Secretary and Delegate and currently is the Vermont representative for the AARC’s Political Advocacy Contact Team. 

Did you know there are over 350 careers in healthcare?! If you are interested in health and medicine, this workshop is for you! Learn more about the many options in health care and learn skills that are used in a clinical environment. Students will get hands on experience in taking vital signs and engage in activities related to infection control! Carlinne DeLima works at Northern Vermont AHEC. Eleanor Thomas is the Health Careers Educator for SVTAHEC.  They provide health careers exploration programming to high school students in Vermont.

PROFESSIONAL & LIFE SKILLS                                       

MAKING SEN$E OF YOUR DOLLARS – Rachel Feldman, Marina Haslam, VSECU
We can all flip a coin, but can you make heads or tails of your checkbook? Do you want to learn the secrets to turning your cents into dollars? Then come hang out with Rachel and Marina and get the master key to your independence: control over your own money! When you’re financially independent, you don’t have to depend on anyone but yourself – which is what boss women do. As an added bonus, you’ll get inside tips on how to join the real world on your own terms, and with financial savvy on your side. Rachel Feldman is the Public Relations Specialist at VSECU. A graduate of Northwestern University with work experience in journalism and state government, she's passionate about living life on her own terms. Marina Haslam is a Tech Support Specialist at VSECU. She is a graduate of Lyndon State College and received a BS in computer information systems. In her free time, she likes to run and practice yoga.

THE ART OF NEGOTIATION: DON’T LEAVE $ ON THE TABLE – Lindsey Lathrop, Lindsey Lathrop Coaching
You're not too young to learn to negotiate! Don't leave money on the table! Coach Lindsey asked for her first raise at age 16. The magic: belief that she deserved more. And then she made the ask. You can learn how, too. Lindsey Lathrop is on a mission to help women take control of their own careers. As a Certified Coach and Gender Equity Consultant, she supports individuals and companies to examine limiting beliefs and cultural biases that hold women back, and helps them learn the skills for advancement. Learn more at


CAREERS IN WATER QUALITY: MORE THAN JUST TAPS & TINKLES – Liz Royer, Diana Butler, VT Rural Water Association
Where does your drinking water come from? Where does it go when you flush your toilet? The water quality industry provides a wide range of careers in the environmental field. Try out activities related to water treatment and chemistry, mapping and maintenance of valves and pipes, and finding leaks and illegal discharges! Liz Royer is the Executive Director of the Vermont Rural Water Association, a non-profit that provides technical assistance and training to public drinking water and wastewater treatment systems.  She has been working in the water quality field for over 20 years with positions in state and federal government and volunteer projects globally.

WHODUNIT? SOLVING BIRD MYSTERIES WITH TECHNOLOGY – Katherina Gieder, Amy Alfieri, VT Fish & Wildlife
So you know that whodunit thriller mystery show you simply can’t turn away from? Find out how you can turn that into a real life career with this workshop that will unravel the mystery of why a bird species that was doing just fine minding its own business is now suddenly in the fast lane towards extinction. Time is running out and it’s up to you to solve the mystery by identifying species, recording data, and decoding what it all means using computer coding. As a biometrician for Vermont Fish and Wildlife, Katherina is the go-to person for any answers related to complex science or wildlife topics. Whether it's figuring out why and what to do about fewer moose surviving than before, or why and what to do about fish showing up with strange black lumps that no one has seen before, she uses the latest cool tech tools and computer programs to help the department solve some of the biggest problems that fish and wildlife face.

HELLO, COWS! – Liz Kenton, Kim Crowe, Dairy Farm Students, Vermont Tech College/UVM Extension (Double Workshop)
Are you a dairy farmer, or might want to be? There’s a lot more to cows than milk! VTC Dairy Management students will host a barn tour and discussion including common herd care tasks, breeding, nutrition, and selfies with the calves. Liz Kenton, UVM Extension 4-H’s youth agriculture project coordinator, helps young people build life and job skills to participate in Vermont’s local food systems through hands-on education, including tractor safety certification and school-based programs such as the “FACES” (Food, Farms, Forests, and Community Education Stories) career profiles project. Kim Crowe, VTC Agriculture Department chair, graduated from veterinary school in 2010 and continued on as an intern and resident in Field Service, a large animal ambulatory practice. She specialized as an on-farm dairy veterinarian with a private herd for two years and the University of Pennsylvania's Marshak Dairy for the remaining year of residency.

SKILLED TRADES                                        

ARE YOU READY FOR FARMER’S MARKET? – Jerry Cassels, Paine Mountain School District (Double Workshop)
You will be after you complete this workshop! You will use hands-on methods like woodworking, painting and other crafting styles to develop your own handmade product. We will also supply you with strategies on branding your product, promoting, advertising and selling. Remember everyone is an artist! Jerry Cassels is the Work-Based Learning Coordinator for the Paine Mountain School District.  His passion is connecting wood, tools and people interested in learning.

LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE – Danielle Bombardier, IBEW
Your life would be very different if you didn't have electricity, but how much do you know about this powerful energy that surrounds us? Each participant will have access to a tool box where they can explore the hand tools of an electrician. We will also be building a lamp and cord project. You will literally Light up Your Life! Danielle started her electrical career in 2011 and got her electrical license in 2016. She completed a 5-year apprenticeship program through the IBEW. She continued the next year to teach the 2nd year class and now is the director of the electrical apprenticeship program. Her focus has been on renewable energy.

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL – Adam Jackson, Artistone of Vermont
Remember the little pig who built its house out of brick? It was the only one to withstand the Big Bad Wolf! Come pick up a trowel, spread mortar, and begin to learn the craft of bricklaying and how to build sturdy structures that could last a lifetime. It could be your new career in a field that is underserved. Adam Jackson is a mason and owner of Artistone of Vermont.

BEHIND THE BUILD – Tia Garcia, HELM Construction Solutions  
Have you ever thought about all of the steps involved to take a building and design idea and transform it to a reality? In this workshop, you will learn about the many steps through the design and build process, from digital drawings to printed blueprints to actual assembly of a high performance wall. You will even get to use tools such as drills and pneumatic staplers to construct a high performance wall assembly. No experience needed! Tia has over 25 years of experience in construction as apprentice, carpenter, site supervisor, and currently as Project Manager/Estimator. She has worked in NYC doing high end mill-work installations/architectural restorations and has run her own renovation business. She currently works on High-Performance residential homes here in Vermont.

2019 Action Expo Stations Coming Soon!