2017 SUNY New Paltz Women's Leadership Summit

2017 SUNY New Paltz Women's Leadership Summit
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School of Science & Engineering

Onika T. Jervis '93, '06g

National Director of Recruitment and Outreach, GirlTrek

Major: Biology


Onika T. Jervis is a community organizer, strategic change agent, and volunteer coordinator at heart. From her undergraduate life as a resident assistant at SUNY New Platz, Onika learned the importance of being a part of helping her community to grow and excel. Today, Onika serves as the national director of recruitment and outreach at GirlTrek, the largest national health non-profit movement focused on mobilizing black women and girls to live their healthiest and best lives by walking daily.


Prior to GirlTrek, Onika enjoyed an extensive career in student affairs at Xavier University, Barnard College, SUNY New Paltz, and Morgan State University. Onika has also built her volunteer professional experiences by actively participating in several community and civic programs: American Heart Association Multicultural Leadership Board, Volunteer Maryland Americorps program, Children’s House at Johns Hopkins Hospital, SUNY New Paltz President’s Advisory Board, SUNY New Paltz, Dr. Margaret Wade-Lewis Memorial Endowment Scholarship Campaign, SUNY New Paltz First World Alumni Reunions from 2005 - 2015, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc 2008 National Conference.


Onika holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from SUNY New Paltz, is a certified conflict mediator, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, a marathon runner, and a Sierra Club outdoor specialist.


Ruth Knoll

Founder, Clinton Arts

Ruth is a resident of Clinton, Michigan and the founder of the Clinton Arts Center (CAC).  Ruth has 30 year’s experience working on large collaborative community based projects.  With a keen knowledge of technology, and an expertise in 501(c)3 start-ups, Ruth's experience serves the CAC and the greater community through her passion for economic development throughout the village.

Among the many projects Ruth has worked on, she has actively participated in significant educational initiatives including books for Africa. Ruth saw a gap in education and she founded a K-5 school for gifted and talented children in Ann Arbor, MI which just celebrated its 21st year in operation.

Currently in the start-up phase, the CAC is a 2 1/2 million dollar investment in a state of the art facility which will house art programming, after school care, a gallery, gift store and coffee shop.  This project serves as a Placemaking space for the community and a spark for revitalization in this village of 2,300 people.



Dr. Gisselle Medina '01

Research Molecular Microbiologist, USDA-ARS

Major: Journalism


Gisselle Medina is a research molecular biologist and works as a collaborating scientist in the Department of Agriculture in New York. Her career as a scientist began at SUNY New Paltz where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She later obtained her doctorate in molecular genetics and microbiology at Stony Brook University. Her thesis work focused on different cellular pathways that are hijacked by invading retroviruses for efficient release. After receiving her degree, she pursued an opportunity at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., where she was able to continue on her research and training in virology. She has taught immunology and microbiology at several colleges and is an adjunct professor at Suffolk Community College. Currently, she is published in several prominent journals and continues to pursue answers to questions—and more questions to answers—in her role as a research scientist for the Department of Agriculture.


Dr. Chigurupati Rani '86

Professor of Computer Information Systems, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Major: Mathematics


Chigurupati S. Rani received her Ph.D. in computer science in 2001 from the Graduate School and University Center, The City University of New York. She has been teaching at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) since fall 2001 as an assistant professor in the department of Computer Information Systems. 

Chigurupati has taught Computer Programming I and II, Telecommunications Networks I and II, Intro to Database Applications, Intro to Spread Sheet Applications, Intro to Computer Applications, Computer Software, and Principles of Information Technology and Computation. She is actively involved in college committee work and was a senator of the University Faculty Senate. Chigurupati has mentored Science and Technology Entry Program students from high school and the recipients of Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (CSEM) scholarships. She also volunteers at the Young Women’s Hebrew Association to teach computer classes to seniors and the SUNY Attain Lab, the Armory for all ages. She is a mentor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in their Mentorship Program. Chigurupati also worked in industry at AMA and IBM Corporation, prior to joining BMCC. She worked at IBM as a programmer in Geometric Design Processor, which managed 3D modeling technology for manufacturing IBM products. Her research interests include data compression, network security, telemedicine, wireless networks, biometrics and bioinformatics. She is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery and the New York Software Industry Association. 


Bianca Vogel Quigley

CEO and Vice President, ErtelAlsop

Major: Engineering *


Bianca Quigley has 30 years of experience in the manufacturing sector. She has held the titles of engineer, materials manager, plant manager, vice president of manufacturing and CEO, working within the pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage, utility and defense marketplaces. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Science degree in industrial and management engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she began her career at DynoNobel, an explosives company that manufactured and distributed detonators for the United States Department of Defense, as well as, auto (airbag) and construction industries.  Later, she went into her family’s third generation business, ErtelAlsop, a liquid filtration company, located in the Hudson Valley.  ErtelAlsop sells filtration equipment and consumables to global companies such as Jim Beam, Pepsi, Sanofi, Avon, GE, ADM and many others.  She and her husband/business partner have traveled the world and have had many of their customers come visit their plant in Kingston and privately their home in High Falls. Her days are spent wearing many different hats, as most small business owners do, such as engineer, entrepreneur, accountant, human resources, logistics, quality assurance, purchasing, grant writer, financial advisor, etc.

Bianca chose engineering primarily due to her strength in math and the sciences, and the need to find a career that could pay for her love of horses. For many years, Bianca worked eight to ten hours at the manufacturing facilities before slipping into her riding clothes to exercise two to three horses each night in preparation for her equine competitions on the weekends. While not being shy to hard work, she successfully operated a horse farm holding more than 20 horses, worked full-time, raised her three children and founded a community theater group at SUNY Ulster for a number of years. Her latest endeavor is launching a new company in 2017, Proof 33 Provisions, which is an online supply house and consulting company for the emerging craft distilling markets in the United States. She is very excited about this new venture and sharing her story and expertise with students attending the Women’s Leadership Summit at SUNY New Paltz.


*Non-SUNY New Paltz alumna