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Annual STEM Night Inspires Future Leaders in STEM

Marian High School's Annual STEM Night was an inspiring evening, offering students a unique opportunity to be inspired by accomplished women in the fields of engineering, healthcare, computer science, and statistical analysis. The event featured an array of remarkable alumnae and other female professionals who have defied stereotypes and achieved great success in their respective careers. Here's a recap of the event and the impressive presenters who shared their journeys and expertise:

Megan Milczarski Peitz '02
Megan, a self-proclaimed nerd, shared her journey from a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Hillsdale College to earning her Masters of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University. She has truly challenged stereotypes as the female founder and CEO of Numerious Inc. Megan has over 15 years of experience in marketing research and has worked with major companies like Google, Meta, Nike, and Lululemon to fine-tune their products and services using mathematics. Additionally, she advises tech start-ups on bringing their products to the market.

Hillary Lewandowski '06
Hillary is a true multi-talented professional who completed a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Computer Science from Oakland University. She also holds a graduate certificate in biomedical sciences. With a career spanning over a decade, Hillary has been working as a website developer since 2007, using her skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL to build websites. Her impressive portfolio includes projects of varying complexity, ranging from simple one-page sites to complex applications. Beyond her work as a full-stack developer, Hillary is passionate about mentoring junior developers and guiding them in best practices. She currently works at Michigan Creative at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Sarah George '15
Sarah shared her journey from attending Kalamazoo College, where she pursued a pre-medical track, to becoming a 3rd-year medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB). Her background in Biology and Anthropology/Sociology has equipped her with a unique perspective in the medical field. Before pursuing her medical degree, she worked for Trinity Health and St. Joe’s in Pontiac, where she served as a Credentialed EPIC Trainer and Clinical Informatics Specialist, teaching employees across the U.S. how to use the EPIC electronic medical record. Sarah is a testament to the diverse career paths available within the STEM fields.

Nicole Turner Rihtarchik '09
Nicole is a marketing professional with extensive experience in the Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. As the Senior Marketing Manager for PEA Group, a land development company with a rich 75-year history, she sets the creative and strategic marketing direction for the organization. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from Michigan State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Wayne State University. In 2022, she earned the prestigious Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) accreditation and was honored as a Crain’s Detroit Business 2023 Notable Leader in Marketing. Nicole's journey is a testament to the impact of marketing in STEM-related fields.

Stacey Pollock
Stacey's passion for land surveying began at Lone Star College in Texas, where she discovered her love for the profession. She graduated in 2018 with an Associate of Applied Science in Land Surveying and Mapping and later earned a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and a minor in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Houston. Currently working as a Staff Surveyor for PEA Group, she actively promotes the surveying profession and serves as the Young Surveyor Coordinator for The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors. Stacey's journey is a shining example of how unique interests can lead to fulfilling careers within the STEM fields.

Kayla Plancon
Kayla, a dedicated civil engineer, holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in Chinese from Wayne State University. In her role as a Senior Staff Engineer at PEA Group, she specializes in the residential department, designing sites for people to live in. Her expertise extends to the layout of buildings, sidewalks, roads, and utilities, with a primary focus on single-family housing projects. Kayla's versatility is evident in her successful completion of various multi-family housing projects. Her journey exemplifies the diverse opportunities available to civil engineers in the STEM arena.

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