SOURCE: WITI (Women in Technology International)

July 22, 2008 07:00 ET

WITI Announces Women Selected for 2008 WITI Hall of Fame Awards

Five Leaders in Science and Technology to Be Inducted to WITI Hall of Fame During October WITI Women and Technology Summit: Women's Leadership - Shaping the Future

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2008) - WITI (Women in Technology International), founders of the world's premier annual award for women in science and technology, is pleased to announce the stellar class of women who will be inducted into the 2008 WITI Hall of Fame at its annual conference "Women and Technology Summit: Women's Leadership - Shaping the Future," October 12-15 at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA.

"This year's recipients of WITI's 13th class of inductees include women who met rigorous standards of excellence in their contributions to science and technology, their ability in helping shape the next generation of scientists and technologists and for making the world a better place through science and technology," said Julie Lubbering, founding member and spokesperson for the WITI Hall of Fame.

This year's selection of five women leaders for induction into the 2008 WITI Hall of Fame includes:

Deborah Estrin, Director, Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, Professor, UCLA

In August of 2002, the National Science Foundation awarded Estrin and her colleagues a ten-year, $40 million grant to develop a multi-disciplinary research center targeting innovative embedded sensing systems and applications. Under Estrin's leadership the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) has developed new technologies for scientists to study the impact of climate change and land use on watersheds and ecosystems, and most recently has applied mobile technologies to the study of urban concerns. Deborah is the daughter and sister respectively of WITI Hall of Fame inductees Thelma and Judy Estrin. CENS is based at UCLA (

Susan P. Fisher-Hoch, M.D., Professor of Epidemiology, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Not satisfied with being a natural leader or even just a pioneer in her field, Susan Hoch became an unprecedented humanitarian, risking her life again and again in her quest to eradicate the planet's most terrible diseases. She was critically instrumental in the identification of water systems as the cause of Legionnaires disease. While working at the CDC, she led efforts to contain diseases such as Ebola and Lassa fever in the poorest and remotest places on earth. She is now working in minority communities at The University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus in south Texas establishing research programs and mentoring young scientists. Fisher-Hoch's life story, with her husband Joseph McCormick, is detailed in the book "Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC."

Mary Lou Jepsen, CEO, Pixel Qi

Time Magazine named Jepsen one of the 100 most influential people in the world for her work as co-founder and CTO of One Laptop per Child. She was lead innovator and architect of the lowest-cost, lowest power, and greenest laptop ever made, making possible the distribution of millions of computers to children in developing countries. Notably she convinced Asian manufacturers to join the effort despite widespread disparagement about its viability, and led the development of the laptop and saw it into mass production. She is also responsible for the most significant innovations in the laptop -- the innovative sunlight-readable screen, and the laptop's power management system.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

Novakovic is a leader in Tissue Engineering, the development of biological substitutes to restore, maintain or improve tissue function. One of the most promising fields of scientific and technological inquiry, tissue engineering's ultimate goal is custom grown designed or tailored tissue for each person. Novakovic has authored more than 220 articles and two books on Tissue Engineering. In 2002, she was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She directs the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University, and is tirelessly pursuing the dream that one day we can all benefit from Tissue Engineering.

Jian (Jane) Xu, Ph.D., Distinguished Engineer, CTO, China Systems and Technology Labs, IBM

With a PhD in parallel processing, Dr. Jane Xu is a pioneer in IBM middleware and XML software development. Dr. Xu leads IBM Systems and Technology development in China, creating innovations in energy management, environmental improvement and multicore technology. During the 1998 Winter Olympics, Dr. Xu provided technical leadership to the official web site, which handled millions of simultaneous views. She is a leading inventor and holds more than 20 patents. She co-leads IBM's Women Networking Groups in Asia Pacific. By applying effective communications, mutual respect and empowerment, Dr. Jane Xu continuously improves the leadership competency, spirit, and success of all those she encounters.

Individual tickets and tables are available for the WITI Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA on October 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm, as part of the "Women and Technology Summit," a three-day professional educational and networking conference.

"Every year, all WITI Hall of Fame winners are chosen by a completely independent panel of Judges. The women selected for 2008 induction to the WITI Hall of Fame are leaders committed to improving the status of humanity for future generations. WITI Hall of Fame winners stand as role models for the next generation of women" -- fundamental criteria for consideration for induction into the WITI Hall of Fame according to Carolyn Leighton (founder of WITI), a leader herself in establishing the world's premier organization for women in technology. Leighton also adds that these women in particular are unique in that they are specifically women pioneers shaping the future through science and technology.

According to Ron Glover, VP, Diversity & Workforce Programs, IBM Corporation, a sponsor of the 2008 WITI Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, "The rise of women in leadership positions in the workforce is key to innovation. And with that said, we should note that it's no longer just about the number of women who become leaders -- but it is about their intellectual value and contribution to the organizations they support as leaders, it's about collaboration with peers as executives, and it's about acknowledging and rewarding their ideas and leadership. Congratulations to the 2008 WITI Hall of Fame inductees. You are an inspiration to all women and a role model to those considering careers in engineering and the technical professions."

This is the 13th anniversary of WITI's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The WITI Hall of Fame Award was designed to recognize women's innovation across different fields of science and technology and to encourage young girls and women to become more technologically literate, as well as choose careers in science and technology. The WITI Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony is attended by leaders from industry, academia and the media.

For more information, or to register, visit:

To view the entire WITI Hall of Fame, go to:

About WITI

WITI is the nation's leading trade association for professional, tech-savvy women committed to using technology, resources and connections to advance women worldwide. With a global network of smart, talented women and a market reach exceeding 2 million, WITI has established powerful strategic alliances and programs to provide connections, resources, and opportunities within a supportive environment of women committed to helping each other. WITI's mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity.