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Breakout Speakers

The tracks for this year’s breakout sessions are:


  • Samantha Rafie, Ph.D.

    Samantha Rafie, Ph.D.

    Assertiveness Training: Speak Up For Yourself!

    Don’t get what you want? Are you afraid to speak up? Overwhelmed by how much you take on? Anxiety and fear have the power to stop you in your tracks, keeping you from growing into your best self. In this workshop, you will become more aware of how you communicate, build skills in assertive communication, and practice asking for what you want.

    Dr. Rafie is a psychologist specialized in chronic pain management. She received her doctorate from Palo Alto University and her post-doctoral fellowship with renowned leaders in pain management at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Forever a UC Irvine Anteater at heart.

  • Lauray MacElhern

    Lauray MacElhern

    Food as Medicine: Cooking Demo

    Lauray is Managing Director of the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine and Lauray oversees its four mission areas and related committees: Clinical, Education, Research, and Community Partnerships. Lauray is co-founder, teacher, and trainer of the UCSD Natural Healing & Cooking Program. She is also co-founder and elected co-chair of the Business of Integrative Medicine sub-committee of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM). Lauray joined UCSD after running a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, The Cancer Project, dedicated to nutrition education and research for cancer prevention and survival. As part of that role, she worked with and trained more than 100 chefs around the world on how to teach the organization’s award-winning cooking and nutrition courses. From an early age, Lauray has been personally immersed in healing cooking, naturopathy, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine modalities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and commerce through coursework in the Wharton School and Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and advanced degree coursework in nutrition sciences through extension programs at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, and American University.

  • Erin Gross, M.D.

    Erin Gross, M.D.

    Sexual Health Throughout the Woman’s Lifespan

    Dr. Gross is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who specializes in vulvar and sexual health issues, including pain during intercourse and lack of desire. Many women experience vulvar pain (i.e. itching and burning), which can be often misdiagnosed or ignored. Dr. Gross provides focused care for women with vulvar pain (vulvodynia) and conditions including vulvar vestibulitis, vulvar itching and chronic vaginitis. She also provides comprehensive care to women, including well woman care and treatment for common gynecological issues such as abnormal Pap smears, fibroids, ovarian cysts, abnormal bleeding, or gynecological infections. Dr. Gross is experienced in minimally invasive gynecologic procedures, including laparoscopic and hysterioscopic procedures, Essure and endometrial ablation. Dr. Gross completed her residency training at UC San Diego School of Medicine and earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College. She is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. In 2013, Dr. Gross was the recent recipient of the National Vulvodynia Association’s Dr. Stanley C. Marinoff Vulvodynia Career Development Award.

  • Kathryn Macaulay, M.D.

    Kathryn Macaulay, M.D.

    Sexual Health Throughout the Woman’s Lifespan

    Dr. Macaulay is a board-certified gynecologist who provides comprehensive care to women of all ages. Dr. Macaulay has a special interest in caring for perimenopausal and menopausal women and treats common symptoms and conditions of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, osteoporosis, and weight gain. She also has extensive experience in hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Macaulay is the coordinator of the Menopause Health Program at UC San Diego Health. As a gynecologist specializing in menopausal health, she considers it a privilege to provide continuity of care for women through different phases of their lives. As a professor of reproductive medicine, Dr. Macaulay’s research interests include sexual function in breast cancer survivors, the effects of menopause and hormone therapy on sexual function, and health needs assessment for women in midlife and menopause. Dr. Macaulay earned her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She completed her internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at UC San Diego School of Medicine and has practiced at UC San Diego Health System since 1999. Dr. Macaulay earned her certification as a Certified Menopause Practitioner from the North American Menopause Society. Dr. Macaulay is an active member of the North American Menopause Society and a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • Ellen Beck, M.D.

    Ellen Beck, M.D.

    Inner Wisdom Workshop

    As a family physician, Dr. Beck’s primary interest is teaching and practicing a mind, body, and spirit approach that helps to create an environment in which a person can take charge of their health and achieve joy and wellbeing. Dr. Beck is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, the Director of Medical Student Education for the Division of Family Medicine of UCSD School of Medicine, and the Director of Education for the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine. She is the Co-Founder and Director of the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project, as well as Director of the national faculty development program, Addressing the Health Needs of the Underserved, and a year-long UCSD based Fellowship in Underserved Health Care. Each of these programs is based on a core philosophy that is empowering, humanistic, and transdisciplinary and sees the community as teacher.

  • Michelle Obispo McQuerry, PT, DPT, OCS

    Michelle Obispo McQuerry, PT, DPT, OCS

    Stand Tall: A Physical Therapist’s Approach to Postural Wellness and Pain Prevention in the Workplace

    Michelle Obispo McQuerry is a physical therapist at the Perlman Physical Therapy and Hand Clinic and is also certified as an orthopedic clinical specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She joined UC San Diego Health Rehabilitation Services in March 2012 and is passionate about orthopedics and empowering patients to regain function and return to the activities they enjoy. Michelle is also a credentialed clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and teaches students in physical therapy graduate programs. As a clinical instructor, she emphasizes using evidence-based practices in developing effective techniques for patient recovery. Michelle earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Southern California (USC) and completed her clinical work at several outpatient orthopedic and sports medicine clinics in Los Angeles and San Diego, including USC Physical Therapy Associates and Sharp Rees-Stealy. Michelle also worked in a skilled nursing and rehab facility, assisting patients with dementia, cardiac pathologies, cancer, joint replacements and lower extremity amputations. Michelle has been an active member of the APTA since 2008. She is currently a district representative for the California Physical Therapy Association and has served as the Legislative/Political Advocacy Chair for the organization.


  • Silvia Mah, Ph.D.

    Silvia Mah, Ph.D.

    FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP: From Passion to Profit, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business Series

    How To Start A Small Business

    Alumni and Staff Entrepreneurs Panel

    Silvia Mah is CEO of Hera Labs, a unique business accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurial women to test ideas and grow their business. Under Mah’s direction, the accelerator has helped 350 women launch their passion-filled startups and take their businesses to the next level, creating more than 40 new jobs in the process. Mah is also an angel investor in female-focused endeavors and co-founder of Hera Fund, an angel fund investing in female founders. A 2010 graduate of the Rady School of Management, Mah helped develop mystartupXX.

  • Lada Rasochova, Ph.D. (Moderator)

    Lada Rasochova, Ph.D. (Moderator)

    FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP: From Passion to Profit, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business Series

    Alumni and Staff Entrepreneurs Panel

    Immediately following the breakout session “How to Start a Small Business” with Silvia Mah, a panel of five female entrepreneurs — each with strong connection to UC San Diego — will discuss the challenges and rewards they face in developing their skill and passion into thriving small businesses. From freelancing to funding other entrepreneurs, these women represent key points in turning your passion into profit.

    Dr. Lada Rasochova is the executive director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management, founder and managing director of the Rady Venture Fund, founding director of StartR and mystartupXX accelerators, and CEO of Dermala Inc., an early stage biotech startup. With UC San Diego since 2009, Rasochova serves as faculty for the Rady School and received her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and development biology from Iowa State University and MBA from UC San Diego. In her role for mystartupXX, Rasochova supports the next generation of female founders and female-led technology startups. Dr. Rasochova has been recognized as the “Most Innovative Thinker” by the San Diego Magazine in 2016.

  • Michelle Fredricks

    Michelle Fredricks

    FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP: From Passion to Profit, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business Series

    Alumni and Staff Entrepreneurs Panel

    Michelle Fredricks uses her skills in graphic design and photography both in her current position at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy as well as her freelance consulting business. Focusing on print and website design, Fredricks found her passion while an undergraduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from San Diego State University. She has worked on projects for academic, corporate and non-profit customers for over 8 years, and offers guidance to other small businesses on the importance of branding and design.

  • Lisa Lee

    Lisa Lee

    FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP: From Passion to Profit, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business Series

    Alumni and Staff Entrepreneurs Panel

    Lisa Lee is not only a 2012 graduate of UC San Diego but is also a current staff member, supporting programming for the School of Global Policy and Strategy’s research and outreach programs. But Lee has a passion beyond UC San Diego, too. After maneuvering the complicated process of gaining a county-registered Cottage Food Operation license, she launched her small business Home Bakeshop in late 2015. Featured in UCSD Alumni’s Holiday Gift Guide 2015, Home Bakeshop is currently focusing on specialty baked donuts, hand delivered by Lee herself.

  • Trang Hammond

    Trang Hammond

    FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP: From Passion to Profit, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business Series

    Alumni and Staff Entrepreneurs Panel

    A 2004 graduate of UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences, Trang Hammond was medical-school bound before turning her passion for business and management into her own company, Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream. With a unique focus on high-quality desserts and sustainability, Hammond and her co-owners built and opened their first walk-in ice cream shop in North Park. A successful venture, Hammond opened their second, sister shop in Pacific Beach late 2015 and their third location in Point Loma is slated to open spring 2016. Hammond started out working alongside her husband in their first location and now they are managing over 20 employees. Her vision is to provide San Diego with delicious, super-premium gourmet ice cream from Hawaii.

  • Maribel Gomez

    Maribel Gomez

    Bisexuality and Fluid Sexuality: A Workshop

    Over 40 percent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) identify as bisexual, with nearly 30 percent of those being female. Yet bisexuality is often regarded as merely a phase, if recognized at all. And just what does “fluid sexuality” mean, anyway? This workshop will answer this question along with many others, drawing attention to a portion of our society that routinely reports higher rates of mental health issues, suicide and sexual or physical violence. Regardless of how you identify, the bisexual/fluid sexuality community deserves to be heard. This session is organized by the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues with help from the LGBT Resource Center.

    Maribel has served as the UC San Diego LGBT Resource Center’s assistant director of education for over two years, guiding students, faculty, staff and visitors on cultural competency surrounding the LGBT community. Gomez holds a master’s degree from San Jose State University in Mexican-American studies, with an emphasis on policy, food justice and ancestral healing. As an undergraduate at UC Davis, she focused her work on Chicana/o studies and design.

  • Wendy Campana, Ph.D.

    Wendy Campana, Ph.D.

    Gender in STEMM Panel

    UC San Diego recently hired three female physics professors, bringing the total women working in the field on campus to seven, but is this a true, fair representation? Just how unique are we, especially when viewed across the entire spectrum: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. This combined talk with two experts who both work in STEMM fields as well as research gender bias in STEMM, provides an overview of unconscious bias in hiring. The session is being organized in conjunction with the UC San Diego Center for Research on Gender in STEMM, focusing on furthering the understanding of gender inequality and gender equity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

    Wendy Campana is a professor of Anesthesiology and member of the Program in Neurosciences at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Prior to joining the Anesthesiology faculty in 2000, Dr. Campana was an NIH postdoctoral training fellow in the Department of Neurosciences. Her current research focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms in response to nerve injury and how that is associated with chronic pain. Dr. Campana is the recipient of the ISSLS prize for her work in low back pain and treatment with erythropoietin. She was an invited participant of the National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine (NCLAM) and the AAMC Women’s Mid-Career Development Program. Dr. Campana co-founded the Society for Advancement of Women in Anesthesiology (SAWA) and the Women in Health Sciences Committee, now spanning 13 departments in the School of Medicine. As co-director of the Center for Research on Gender in STEMM, she is leading a study on how a “climate accelerator” (an organized women’s group comprised of faculty, residents and post docs) impacts residency recruitment in a department where women are severely under represented.

  • Pamela Cosman, Ph.D.

    Pamela Cosman, Ph.D.

    Gender in STEMM Panel

    Pamela Cosman is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate dean for students at the Jacobs School of Engineering. With UC San Diego since 1995, her current research is on image/video compression and processing, and wireless communications. Cosman served as director of the Center for Wireless Communications (2006–2008), and editor-in-chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (2006-2009). She is the recipient of the ECE Departmental Graduate Teaching Award, a Career Award from the National Science Foundation, a Powell Faculty Fellowship and is a Fellow of the IEEE. As co-director of the Center for Research on Gender in STEMM, she is leading a study on gender-related effects on questions and interruptions during academic job interview seminars.

  • Carmen Kcomt

    Carmen Kcomt

    Journeys to Empowerment

    Carmen Kcomt is a foreign attorney and former Magistrate from Peru; she has served in the Judicial Power for 10 years as a Family and Juvenile Judge. Ms. Kcomt holds a Master’s Degree in International Law of Human Rights, she was a professor in two universities in Peru, Carmen has also worked for United Nations supervising the comply of the rights of the prisoners in detention centers in the northern part of Peru. Carmen was a guest teacher in the University of San Diego. She was a volunteer with San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program and for her work with the poor she received the “Manual Wiley Award,” she is the Delegate for the State of California before the Refugee Congress and the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, in 2014 she was awarded with the “Local Hero Hispanic Heritage” by KPBS National broadcast, the last year she received the “Distinguish Citizen” award by the San Diego County Bar Association and she is also graduated from the FBI Citizens Academy. Ms. Kcomt is a prolific author, having written over 80 articles in newspapers in Peru and in San Diego, and has co‐authored two textbooks regarding domestic violence and children’s human rights. In the present, Carmen is the Director of the Legal and Social Department with La Maestra Community Health Centers, she also manages the Human Trafficking Program.

  • Nalia Chowdhury

    Nalia Chowdhury

    Journeys to Empowerment

    Naila Chowdhury is a leading management professional, motivational speaker and philanthropist, peacebuilder from Bangladesh. Her core focus is creating self-sustaining programs that economically empower girls, youth and women through Social Credit to underprivileged groups and individuals. Chowdhury is a technology advisor via the Technology Partner Network to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is also founding member of Fashion4Development, New York, as well as board director to Athgo International, Better World Wireless and Advanced Development for Africa. She is founder and chair, TeleConsult Group. Alliance4Empowerment, Women4empowerment. Her work also allowed her to get involved with projects which dealt directly to stop human trafficking, flesh trading in India as a Consultant of Marie Stopes. She did her Masters Degree in Marketing from Dhaka University. She also has a Senior Executive Business Management Diploma from Singapore National University and an Executive MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.

    This session is organized by the Alliance 4 Empowerment.

  • Robin Sol Lieberman

    Robin Sol Lieberman

    Lead with Charisma: How to Connect with Anyone, Anywhere, to Change the World!

    Got an unstoppable mission in your heart? Ready to make an impact but fear the seeming hurdles from here to there? Stop trying to do it alone. It’s time to amass a team of support around your mission. In this session, you’ll lean elegant, effective communication skills that enable you to easily align with others — even those who are radically different than yourself — so you can make a radical difference! Expect to leave with a reliable 3-step formula to help you lead in today’s hyper-connected world. Discover the power of choosing courage over comfort, compassion over ignorance, and freedom over fear. Your innate charisma communicates who you are — the most engaging tool you can use when inviting others on your ride!

    Robin is the author of The Charisma Code: Communicating a Language Beyond Words (June 2016) and the founder and creative director of a global communicating training and consulting firm, TrueCharisma. With teachings sourced primarily from her culturally-immersive world travels and background in Anthropology, Robin trains leaders, international business people, refugees, ex-convicts, and anyone who wants to improve their life by learning to connect with people different from themselves. She also leads training sessions for IMPACT leadership 21’s Emerging Global Leaders program, in partnership with the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Robin serves as an advisor to Alliance 4 Empowerment, an organization committed to creating social and economic inclusion worldwide.

Career Development

  • Roxy Farkas

    Roxy Farkas

    Self-Reflection on Your Career Goals and Values

    In this session you will self-reflect on future career goals mindfully and you will leave with a set of values cards that can help inspire you to reach your career goals. This is a reflective seminar so please bring a journal/paper.

    • Intended learners will leave with a better understanding of their top five values
    • Intended learners will reflect on future or current goals and share with peers their career ideas and goals
    • Intended learners will walk away with in Individual Development Plan (IDP)

    Roxy is a Career Advisor at the Career Services Center, focusing on Undergraduate undeclared students, Freshmen and Transfer Students/Community Centers, and career assessments including StrengthsFinder and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is ENFJ, and her StrengthsFinder Top 5 themes are: Ideation, Input, Positivity, Command, and Futuristic.

  • Millicent Scott

    Millicent Scott

    Resume Tips and Recruitment Information

    It’s not me they see, It’s my resume! Let’s talk about making your resume your best

    marketing tool to get better results. You are applying for job after job and you are not getting referred to the departments and you are wondering why? Let’s talk about it.

    Millicent Scott is the Talent Outreach Advisor for Central Human Resources. She has worked for UC San Diego for the past 25 years. She worked 16 years of her career with the Medical Center as an Insurance Specialist, worked in Payroll as a Specialist, has worked in HR the past 8 years as a Senior Employment Advisor and is now enjoying the transition into her current role as Talent Outreach Advisor.

  • Suzi Harris

    Suzi Harris

    Tips for Creating a Strong LinkedIn Profile

    Suzi Harris and Karina Jones

    Do you have a profile on LinkedIn? Not sure how to use it? Not seeing the results you want? This workshop will help you create and strengthen the visibility of your profile so you can create better connections, and stand out in the online professional community. We will review account set-up, networking options, and creating an attractive profile.

    Suzi Harris joined UC San Diego in 2015 as a Sr Associate Executive Recruiter for Executive Recruitment Services (ERS). ERS is committed to delivering the most efficient and successful recruitment while maintaining the highest level of quality.

    Karina Jones is an Associate Executive Recruiter at UC San Diego. She joined the Talent Acquisition team in 2014 as a Talent Advisor, and is now working with Executive Recruitment Services (ERS) on searches for UCSD and other UC campuses.

  • Kelly Jenkins-Pultz

    Kelly Jenkins-Pultz

    Salary Negotiation for UC San Diego

    The latest data from the Census Bureau indicates that women working full-time, year round, continued to earn 21% less than the average working man. This workshop will discuss the factors that contribute to the wage gap and offer practical suggestions for individual women seeking to maximize their earning potential. Participants will learn how to gather market-based salary information, gain practical strategies for approaching salary negotiations, and take home valuable career advancement resources.

    Kelly Jenkins-Pultz is the Regional Administrator for the San Francisco Women’s Bureau office and oversees efforts to create and deliver educational outreach activities in the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. The Women’s Bureau’s mission is to advance women’s wages, job opportunities and benefits; and provide technical assistance to educators, business and community leaders about policies and programs to enhance women’s economic status. She has worked with nonprofit organizations and with elected officials at the municipal, state and federal levels of government. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Women’s Studies from the George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

    Kelly will be joined by Karina Jones, Talent Acquisition Specialist from Central Campus HR, who will answer UCSD-specific questions.

  • profile placeholder image

    Stephanie Wong


    What is mentorship? How can a mentoring relationship benefit you? In this session, we’ll talk about mentoring, being a mentee, and how it can help you – whichever side you’re on! We’ll also have a fun activity to give you a taste of mentorship, so you can try it on for size and better determine whether it’s a good fit for you.

…and many more!