Girls Tech Career Day Presenters 2015

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Many thanks to the wonderful local women who will be sharing their path to careers in technology with the girls on Girls Tech Career Day November 13, 2015. Fun to see both some familiar faces from previous and a few new ones!

Abigail Arens

Abigail Arens is a sophomore at Iowa City West High School. For the past three years she has been taking Project Lead The Way (PLTW) courses at school such as Introduction to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering. In her free time she enjoys taking part in school clubs including theatre west and the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS). During the summer Abigail spends her time playing on the school’s softball team.

Kristine Arens


Kristine Arens is currently the President and owner of SiloTree Coaching and Consulting. She has a computer science degree from UW-Platteville and spent 20 years in the IT world as a software developer, system administrator and as a technical project manager.  Today, in her business she helps companies solve problems through software solutions.

Kristine grew up in central Wisconsin, but has called Iowa home for 20 years. She is a member of Iowa Tech Chicks, a LEGO League Coach and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children.

Tricia Ball

Tricia_Ball-headshotTricia Ball originally started with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Iowa, but then returned to receive her B.S. in Computer Science. She has now been working in technology for over 12 years. She started her career at Pearson, after receiving an internship with them. Since then, she has also worked at the University of Iowa, and now with Continuity, a Connecticut-based start-up with a satellite office in Iowa City. She has done most of her development work in Ruby on Rails, but has also dabbled in Java and PHP. She has two children ages 6 and 9, whom she hopes inspire with her technological work.

Leah Becker

Leah BeckerLeah is a UI Designer/Production Specialist at ConnectFive. She is experienced in designing print and web-based materials. Leah graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Art Studio – emphasis in Graphic Design and minors in Art History and Marketing.


Before becoming part of the ConnectFive team, Leah worked as a freelance designer. Aside from her work, Leah enjoys painting, traveling, and spending time with family.

Dawn Ealy

Dawn EalyDawn wears many hats for ConnectFive, including UX Documentation Lead, Project Manager and HR Liaison. She graduated from Central College with a BA in Computer Science and a minor in Business Management.

Prior to joining ConnectFive, Dawn worked in systems analysis, project management and technical writing roles for companies in the pharmaceutical and educational assessment industries. In addition to her technical side, Dawn has also managed hospital volunteers, sold real estate and volunteered for many school, church and sports activities within the community.

Kim Lennox

Kim LennoxKim Lennox studied genetics and biomolecular archaeology (ancient DNA) before joining the molecular genetics group at IDT in 2002. She has spent the last 13 years optimizing way to reduce gene levels in cells using IDT’s synthetic DNA or RNA.


Reducing gene levels can help scientists figure out what a gene does, or can be used therapeutically to help fight diseases (such as cancer) or viral infections (such as Ebola, HIV and Hepatitis C) that are difficult to treat.

Katelyn Lensch

Katelyn Lensch Katelyn Lensch is a UI designer and developer for ConnectFive. She discovered her love of technology and graphic design in High School while building websites for local companies and as a member of the Iowa State 4H Technology Team. She went to the University of Northern Iowa and graduated with B.A.’s in Graphic Design and Computer Science. She has worked as an interface designer and developer for several Iowa companies helping to create websites, mobile apps and software on touch screen devices.


Kristi McCall

Kristi McCall is the VP of Manufacturing Operations at IDT.  Kristi been at IDT for 18 years and loved every minute!  She oversees several departments in manufacturing – from synthesis of oligonucleotides to purification to formulation.  She spends time trying to find ways to improve IDT’s processes, working to keep the staff happy and continually learning, ensuring the highest quality of product and talking with customers to ensure that IDT can find ways to meet their needs. Kristi graduated from the University of Iowa with a BSE in Chemical Engineering.

Elisabeth Wagner

Elisabeth Wagner joined IDT as a scientific applications specialist, and is currently manager of their scientific applications group. Elisabeth is involved with custom assay design, troubleshooting customer experiments, and providing customer support in experimental design and analysis for a wide variety of applications which involve the use of IDT’s DNA products.


In addition to the presenters, the day would not be possible without our organizers Laura Christenson and Deb Walton and our many volunteers, including a great crew from Pearson. Many thanks to Shuva Rahim her photography skills.