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    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division and Women for Inclusivity in Science and Engineering Group Outline Robust Collaboration Opportunities

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division and Women for Inclusivity in Science and Engineering Group Outline Robust Collaboration Opportunities

    Courtesy Photo | Representatives from the Federal Women’s Program, one of Naval Surface Warfare...... read more read more



    Story by Esmeralda Careaga 

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

    Potential future collaborations on materials science, mathematics, command surveys and even cybersecurity are just a few of the possible opportunities that could spawn from a new joint effort between Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) and a local university’s women advocacy group.

    The two recently held the first official activity to come out of the new connection that formed late last year between the Federal Women’s Program (FWP), one of PHD’s Special Emphasis Groups (SEP), and representatives from the Women for Inclusivity in Science and Engineering (WISE) group at California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI) in Camarillo, California.

    The goal of the PHD-WISE Collaboration Program is to help increase the number of women in senior leadership positions in STEM and other fields at PHD, and potentially provide the command with experienced employee candidates.

    CSUCI’s WISE has a similar focus and name as an organization at other universities but the CSUCI group has customized its mission and methods to inspire women to engage and participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

    NSWC PHD Deputy Technical Director Vance Brahosky, who spearheaded the collaboration, and CSUCI’s Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Vandana Kohli provided opening and welcoming remarks during the collaboration event.

    Kristine Klimek, a department business operations manager with PHD and lead manager for the WISE-PHD Collaboration Program, said people’s broad backgrounds played a role in the success of the event.

    “We had a diverse group of dedicated participants from across PHD’s career fields with varying perspectives that all brought their A-game to play with CSUCI,” Klimek said. “We had individuals attend who are directly involved in research, human resources and leadership.”

    She said the command’s purpose behind the WISE-PHD collaboration is to build and maintain a highly talented workforce with diverse representation and support, promote women’s participation in STEM careers and education, and leverage knowledge and efforts from across PHD to help execute its overall fleet support mission.

    “I think we gain much from our collaboration with CSUCI—from leveraging capability in meeting mission to supporting our workforce in various ways, such as by developing careers, helping manage work-life balance, creating a healthy work environment and securing our successors,” Klimek said.

    NSWC PHD Chief Technology Officer Greg DeVogel participated in the event and highlighted the importance of cybersecurity, hiring and training, and modernizing ship systems. He said the input gained from the informational event will be used to cultivate new ideas.

    “We run a business, so we must have modern tools,” DeVogel said. “This is how innovation happens—by hearing diverse views from excited and dedicated people.”

    After the presentation, department representatives broke into four chat rooms on behavioral and social science, health science, physical and material science and digital and cyber science. The sessions represented CSUCI’s research areas and PHD’s need for improved fleet readiness and sustainment.

    The behavior science session focused on areas related to workforce development for PHD employees, and how CSUCI could potentially assist by developing measurable surveys for the command.

    Topics highlighted in the health science session included COVID-19 policies, human interaction, communication and environment.

    “We talked about human interest topics such as operating during COVID-19 and restrictions,” Klimek said. “How impacts from the pandemic will change operations following return to the workplace, and how individuals with diverse abilities, limitations and super abilities enhanced by technology are able to operate in the various social-professional environments of the (real) workplace and virtual workplace.”

    The physical science break-out session outlined how materials such as metals are impacting the U.S. Navy. Lastly, the data science and cyber session participants discussed data science, analytics and learning from each other, and cyber aspects.

    NSWC PHD Additive Manufacturing Lead and Materials Subject Matter Expert Armen Kvryan attended the event, and said he was excited to be part of a new collaboration that supports women in the workforce.

    “I enjoyed the event because it brought a unique perspective,” Kvryan said. “I have always been active in promoting women in STEM, and I am honored to be part of this group.”

    While in the physical science break-out session, Kvryan shared his educational background and work responsibilities with CSUCI faculty and PHD participants.

    Kvryan said the networking event helped him gain a fresh point of view and build a pipeline of communication.

    “Specifically, I am looking forward to strengthening collaborations with Cynthia Flores, an associate professor in the mathematics department,” Kvryan said. “One person or group may not have all the answers needed to solve an issue, but with collaboration, the potential of solving the problem exists.”

    Cassandra Ellen Lynch, an electronics engineer with NSWC PHD, was in Kvryan’s group, and said she was also able to connect with Flores.
    The conversation between the two, Lynch said, has led to collaboration.

    “She shared some of her project ideas with us, and I have already begun working with the materials science group at PHD to start collaborating with her students,” Lynch said. “To me, the event was successful, and NSWC PHD is looking forward to working with CSUCI.”

    NSWC PHD Workforce Development and Recruitment and Outreach Branch Manager Anabell Ramos also joined the event, and said she would like to collaborate with CSUCI faculty on developing a survey to evaluate the structure and cultural aspects of the workforce.

    “There may be opportunities to explore cultural perception and organizational structures that encourage or hinder the recruitment and retention of women in the PHD workforce,” Ramos said.

    NSWC PHD Deputy Quality Program Manager and Co-Lead for the WISE-PHD Collaboration Program Sandya Radhakrishna said the event worked as a stepping stone for future gatherings and collaborations.

    “The conference was well attended with active participation by both CSUCI faculty and PHD,” Radhakrishna said. “We will be using the connections made during this event to define the next events.”

    The WISE PHD Collaboration group also held a virtual informational event on March 12 with CSUCI student STEM groups after they requested to connect with PHD.
    NSWC PHD STEM Coordinator Ramon Flores said the meeting focused on providing students with a command overview presentation as well information on student employment opportunities.
    “Collaborating with CSUCI student STEM groups offers PHD access to high-capacity students whose technical backgrounds could make huge contributions to the PHD mission,” Flores said. “This is an indirect result of the PHD-WISE collaboration.”



    Date Taken: 03.31.2021
    Date Posted: 03.31.2021 13:53
    Story ID: 392735
    Location: PORT HUENEME, CA, US 

    Web Views: 120
    Downloads: 1