2023 Inspire STEM Gala Honorees

Oliver Thiel serves as the site head for Amgen, Massachusetts. Prior to this role he served as lead of the Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging council for the site, and he is an active executive sponsor of several ERGs. Additionally, he leads a group of chemists and engineers, working across the Amgen sites in Cambridge, MA and Thousand Oaks, CA, supporting the commercial process development and commercialization of the Amgen small molecule portfolio. 


Oliver joined Amgen in 2003 and moved to Cambridge in 2018 and has held various positions in Process Development. His teams have been accountable for commercial process development, technology transfers and commercial support across synthetic and biologic modalities, supporting multiple commercial products and > 50 clinical development candidates. 


Prior to joining Amgen, Oliver was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. He has a M.Sc. degree in chemistry from the Technical University Munich, and a Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim. He also holds an MBA degree from the Fernuniversität Hagen.

Banke Oluwole is an educator with a passion for mathematics and an advocate focused on improving teacher working conditions and student learning conditions. The child of Nigerian parents, she grew up in a family who valued education and taught her to take pride in her Nigerian heritage. 


A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, she began her studies as an engineering major at Boston University. She stepped into her first classroom in 1989 and found her true calling.


Over the years, has shared her love of mathematics with her three children, students and the teachers she has mentored. Some of her work has included Return to Ground Zero, which took an innovative approach to supporting professional development by using existing human resources. A program that has been implemented and used for over twenty years. Beyond the classroom, Banke provides professional development and curriculum support for teachers.


While continuing  in her role as a Math Specialist with the Cambridge Public Schools, she has evolved into her current position. She now serves as the first African-American, Vice President for Community Relations for the Cambridge Educators Association. She works tirelessly to engage the community around issues of equity in education, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.


As a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, Banke answers the call to community service as she continues the work of ensuring that ALL children become successful global citizens. 

Artis C. Street is the Assistant Head of School at the Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Boston Public Schools.  In addition, he is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Regis College.  Artis worked in Boston Public Schools since November 2007 as a teacher, instructional team leader, instructional transformational coach, and assistant head of school. 


Artis transitioned from the high-tech industry to education in July 2010.  Once pursuing a math education major in college before switching to engineering, he kept his desire to become an educator in mathematics.  Both inside and outside the classroom, he has motivated students to pursue STEM related college programs and careers.  Artis is passionate about working with students using relevant and engaging lessons.  Using education to break generational cycles of poverty, Artis builds strategic relationships with universities, STEM organizations and companies to provide opportunities for students to explore, learn, and apply academic and social skills to succeed. 


With over 14 years of technical industry experience, Artis worked for Pollak-Stoneridge Company in Canton, MA as a Business Development Manager in the Driveline and Safety Business Unit from 2004 to 2007.  Prior to Pollak, he worked for Motorola in Phoenix, AZ and Austin, TX as a Technical and Strategic Marketing Manager in the sensors and Digital Signal Processing (DSPs) business units from 1999 to 2003.  Before joining Motorola, Artis spent five years at Texas Instruments as a product marketing engineer for Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), microcontrollers, DSPs, and system software solution products for the computer and wireless communications segments.  


Currently, Artis is enrolled in the Urban Education, Leadership and Policy doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston as part of the Boston Teacher Residency Program with a Master of Science degree in Education.  He graduated from Texas State University with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in 2004, and the University of South Florida with a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1993.  Artis received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida State University in 1991.

George is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for building the company’s Global Information Technology function that enables Alexion to serve patients and their families with rare diseases. A bio-pharma industry veteran with over 35 years of business, information technology and cyber-security experience, George and his team developed and implemented innovative technology and enable data-driven insights across Alexion’s R&D, Commercial and Supply Chain functions.


Prior to joining Alexion, George served as Vice President and business line CIO for Merck and Co., where he led the large-scale merger integration of Merck/Schering-Plough across the IT and Shared Business Services organizations. George previously worked at Citibank, N.A.

George serves on the Board of Directors of Charles River Laboratories and The National Center for Women & Information Technology. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Sierra Ventures and Temple University’s Fox Business School. George holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from New York Institute of Technology and completed the Executive Development Program at both Harvard and Wharton School of Business.


George was named to Forbes CIO Next 2021 list that highlights top tech executives who are redefining the CIO role and driving innovation in their industry. In 2020, he was named a Global CIO of the Year finalist by the Boston CIO Leadership Association for demonstrating excellence in technology leadership and was also awarded the Information Technology Leadership Award from Temple University’s Fox Business School.

Kristala L.J. Prather is the Arthur D. Little Professor in and Executive Officer of the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She received an S.B. degree from MIT in 1994 and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1999), and worked 4 years in BioProcess Research and Development at the Merck Research Labs prior to joining MIT.  Her research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, with additional efforts in novel bioprocess design approaches.  Prather is the recipient of an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2005), a Technology Review “TR35” Young Innovator Award (2007), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), the Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award (2011), the Charles Thom Award of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (2017), and the Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE, 2021).  Additional honors include selection as a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2014-2015), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2018), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE; 2020), and AIChE (2020).  

Joshua Aviv, also known as Josh, is a certified data scientist and the founder & CEO of SparkCharge. His experience in the cleantech and automotive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) industries spans 10 years, and he is a dynamic figure in the cleantech community. 


Josh has raised over $50MM to advance EV charging infrastructure and cleantech initiatives across the country.


Josh was named on Insider’s 100 Business Insider’s Transformers list and EY Entrepreneur of the Year.


Joshua was featured on Shark Tank, winning partnerships with both Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. Josh is democratizing access to electric vehicle (EV) charging energy and accelerating EV adoption for everyone.

Dr. Karl W. Reid was appointed Senior Vice Provost and Chief Inclusion Officer at Northeastern University on April 1, 2021. He also holds the title of Professor of Practice in the Graduate School of Education in the College of Professional Studies. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr. Reid served for seven years as the Executive Director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), marking his return to the organization that gave him his first major leadership experience 32 years earlier. A certified diversity professional, Dr. Reid has been a leading national advocate for diversity and inclusion, and increasing college access, opportunity, and success for low-income and minority youth. As Director of the Engineering PLUS Alliance, he leads an NSF-funded national effort to achieve transformative, systemic, and sustainable change in representation of engineering.

Dr. Reid came to NSBE from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), where he oversaw new program development, research, and capacity building for the organization’s 37 historically black colleges and universities and held the title of Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation and Member College Engagement. Before his service at UNCF, he worked in positions of progressive responsibility to increase diversity at his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which he left as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Director of the Office of Minority Education. While working at MIT as Director of Engineering Outreach Programs, Dr. Reid earned his Doctor of Education degree at Harvard University. His dissertation explored the interrelationship of race, identity, and academic achievement for African American males in college. He is the author of “Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College…and Life.” Dr. Reid is also a founding member of the 50K Coalition, a national effort to produce 50,000 diverse engineering graduates annually by 2025.

Dr. Reid was born in the Bronx, New York, and grew up in Roosevelt, New York, a mostly working-class, African American community on Long Island. The high value his parents placed on education, and his admission to a well-resourced magnet high school near Roosevelt, put him on a track to follow his older brother to MIT, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Materials Science and Engineering and was a Tau Beta Pi Scholar. 

After graduating from MIT, Dr. Reid worked in the computer industry for 12 years in systems engineering, product management, sales, and consulting. In 1991, five years into a successful career with the IBM Corporation, Dr. Reid read Jonathan Kozol’s “Savage Inequalities,” a seminal book about educational disparities in the U.S., which sparked his passion for bringing about positive change through education of African Americans and other underserved populations.

Dr. Reid sits on the National Council for Inclusive Innovation at the US Patent and Trademark Office; the Committee on Advancing Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in STEM Organizations at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM); the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) Advisory Council; the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) Industrial Leaders Council; and the Advisory Board of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Research Institute. He also served on the NASEM Committee on Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Technology, deans’ advisory cabinets for the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the University of Michigan College of Engineering. He holds memberships in the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and the Society for Diversity.

Dr. Reid is a frequent contributor to the national diversity dialogue, broadening participation in STEM, author of several commentary pieces, and he has been quoted in numerous articles in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Hechinger Report.

A proud BPS graduate who attended an HBCU on a full academic scholarship is where her passion for learning, mentoring and leadership developed. Raushanah began her teaching career in 2015 after working for over 14 years as an civil-environmental project engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers.


It was soon after returning to school to earn a Master of Science in engineering management from Tufts University she realized her true passion was advancing opportunities for students in STEM through educational outreach and by promoting inclusion in engineering and related careers especially for underrepresented student groups from Boston.Then decided to change careers and completed another Master’s degree, this time in secondary education at UMass Boston.


Since changing careers, Raushanah has worked as a STEM specialist within the Boston Public Schools and uses an integrated approach to teaching science, engineering design, physics, coding, digital and financial literacy in grades K-12.


Additionally, she has worked in education settings within the Department of Youth Services, where she integrated math, HiSET test prep, and career readiness skills. In addition to her classroom teaching, she continues her volunteer work in community outreach and public service, tutoring math, curating STEM enrichment, summer programs and camps.


Her aspirations for teaching are influenced by some of her first teachers, including her father, a retired math teacher who hoped to become a civil engineer. Of teaching, Raushanah says, “I feel most fulfilled when I am able to be creative. Being able to continuously learn and share new things is what makes teaching so fun.”

Entrepreneur, operator and leader, Jody Rose is Cofounder and President of Hack.Diversity, a non-profit committed to transforming the economy by breaking down barriers for Black and Latine professionals in technology. Formerly the President of the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA), Jody has spent the past seven years working in collaboration with the venture and startup communities to help foster a more innovative, collaborative and inclusive ecosystem. Jody’s achievements include successfully leading the entrepreneurial community’s fight for non-compete reform, and co-founding one of New England’s most innovative workforce development programs – Hack.Diversity, now the foundation arm of the New England Venture Capital Association.


Jody has held executive-level roles with both enterprise corporations and lean startups, focusing primarily on mobile, eCommerce and digital media. Prior to joining the NEVCA in 2015, Jody served as the SVP of Digital Strategy and Corporate Development at Blueprint NYC, an event production agency based in New York. Previous to that, Jody led National Mobile and Brand Partnerships for micro-location mobile marketing platform, Swirl Networks. Before joining Swirl, Jody served as Director of National Brand Partnerships at Rue Gilt Groupe, where she was responsible for leading brand relationships with a focus on driving new customer acquisition for national partners. She was one of four employees to launch a new division of Rue Gilt Groupe (Rue Local) and was responsible for leading the launch of their first local market and national strategy. Jody began her career in cable and telecommunications, where she held multiple sales and marketing positions, and quickly rose through the ranks at powerhouses such as MTV Networks, The Food Network, and HGTV. Jody’s experience also includes numerous board positions within the telecommunications and media industries.


Jody serves on the Board of Directors of Cambridge Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATC), is a Board Director for The Rapid7 Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors of The New England Capital Association. In 2016 Jody received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Mount Ida College, was named by The Boston Business Journal as a member of The BBJ’s Power 50: The Game Changers, and was the 2017 recipient of the Ad Club’s Rosoff Award for visionary empowerment of diversity. In 2018 Jody received uAspire’s First One Award and was recognized by Boston Magazine as one of The 100 most influential people in Boston. In 2019 Jody received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology and also served as a Member of Baker-Polito Administration’s Economic Development Council for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2018 and 2020, Jody was recognized by Boston Magazine as one of The 100 most influential people in Boston and in 2021 she was ranked number 11 on The Boston Globe’s Tech Power Player 50 list.


Your gift helps fulfill our mission to graduate 10,000 black engineers by 2025. Learn more about the Inspire STEM Gala on our website!