The Leading Light Awards were held on October 6, 2016 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom and celebrated the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math. Since 1999, Women & Hi Tech has existed as an organization of men and women whose goal is to attract, develop, retain, support, and promote women who are interested in technology, through networking, role modeling, education and professional development.

Women & Hi Tech President and Chief Project Engineer of Helicopters at Rolls-Royce, Tiffany White, welcomed attendees to the gala and spoke about the impact made by the 88 nominees. “Each has made a positive impact in Indiana through their expertise, professionalism, leadership, service, courage and tenacity” said Tiffany J. White. “They are superstars in their communities, whether that’s a small startup company or a large global organization.”

Former Mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard gave the opening remarks followed by Tiffany Trusty, Director of Apprenticeship at Eleven Fifty Academy, who spoke about the outreach efforts of Women & Hi Tech.

Winners announced during the event include:

Women & Hi Tech Undergraduate Scholarship
Emily Barge, Grace College

Purdue University Undergraduate Scholarship
Sydney Boyce, Purdue University

TechPoint Undergraduate Scholarship
Blakely Heaton, Butler University

Women & Hi Tech Graduate Scholarship
Emily Starr, Butler University

Rocore Holdings Graduate Scholarship
Riley Mineart, Indiana University

Octiv Graduate Scholarship
Mary Rushton, Purdue University

Eleven Fifty Academy Scholarship
Bobbie LaFollette, Eleven Fifty Academy

Mentor Me!
Dr. Linda Rorick-Kehn, Principle Research Scientist, Lilly Research Labs, a division of Eli Lilly and Company

Risk Taker
Jocelyn Dunn, Chief Scientist & Founder of Earthonauts, Purdue University/NASA

Rising Star
Laura Wayne, Associate Research Scientist, Dow AgroSciences, LLC

You Inspire Us!
Dr. Erin Albert, Entrepreneur, Writer, Health Outcomes Pharmacist, Attorney, Coach and Podcaster, Myers and Stauffer, LLC.; Pharm, LLC; Yuspie, LLC.

Outstanding Educator in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math
Christine Floyd, Teacher, Project Lead The Way, Brownsburg High School

Outstanding Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math
Dr. Maria J. Blanco, Director, Eli Lilly and Company

Karen Jung, President, Nextech

Barnes & Thornburg Woman of the Year
Sharon Barner, Vice President & General Counsel, Cummins Inc.

More information about the winners is available on the Women & Hi Tech website at