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Meet the Panelists

Angela Schwartz, Associate Dean, Executive Education, Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business

Angela Schwartz joined Scheller in July 2023 as the associate dean for executive education. In this capacity, she oversees the Executive MBA program, custom corporate programming, and certificate programs such as Lean Six Sigma. Angela brings over 35 years of senior leader experience across disciplines and industries at companies such as Microsoft, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Homeland Security. She is awarded for innovation by each of these organizations and was a founder of Expedia. 

Angela has experience in product innovation and strategy, sales, consulting, transformational change management, talent development, policy formulation, performance management, public-private partnerships, and disaster science. She is a Georgia Tech alum holding a B.S. in Industrial Management. She received an MBA from Mercer University and is currently completing her PhD at Oklahoma State University. Her concentration is Organizational Behavior, particularly conflict in organizations. 

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Arijit Raychowdhury, Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and Professor, Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Arijit Raychowdhury is the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), one of the largest producers of electrical and computer engineers in the country.

He is the director of the Center for the Co-Design of Cognitive Systems (CoCoSys) under the Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 led by the Semiconductor Research Corporation and DARPA. He also serves as the site director for the Department of Defense-sponsored SCALE Workforce development program in SoC Design.

He has made significant contributions to the semiconductor industry including the design of the world’s first adaptive echo-cancellation network for integrated DSLs, and several foundational technologies in memory and logic design. His work has been recognized with various accolades, including the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Technical Excellence Award, Qualcomm Faculty Award, IEEE/ACM Innovator Under 40 Award, and the NSF CISE Research Initiation Initiative Award. He is an IEEE Fellow and currently serves as a Distinguished Lecturer at the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society. 

Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Raychowdhury held research positions at Intel Corporation and Texas Instruments. He completed his Ph.D. at Purdue University in 2007. 

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Sonda Abernathy, Deputy Director of Human Resources at GTRI

Sonda Abernathy, originally from the vibrant city of Atlanta, Georgia, brings over 20 years of combined human resources (HR) experience to her current role. As the deputy director of HR at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), she plays a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s HR landscape.  


Sonda matriculated from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, where she earned her M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration). 

She also holds a B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration) in Human Resource Management from the Robinson College of Business. 

Professional Path

Before joining GTRI, Sonda served in leadership roles within Georgia State University and Fortune 500 companies, including FedEx. 

Her extensive experience in higher education and corporate settings has honed her expertise in HR practices. 


Sonda resides in the picturesque locale of Sandy Springs, Georgia, where she shares her life with her husband and their two children. 

Passions and Impact

Beyond her professional endeavors, Sonda finds joy in volunteering with local charities and organizations. 

Her focus? Empowering women and supporting families in underrepresented communities. 

Sonda Abernathy’s commitment to excellence and her dedication to fostering positive change makes her an invaluable asset to Georgia Tech Research Institute. 

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Yingying Kang, Director of AI & Data Science, Assurant Inc.

Head of AI and Data Science at Assurant Inc. with over 20 years of success in shaping data-value-driven culture, strategies, and solution deliveries, with 10 years of AI/ML focus. She earned a Ph.D. in Mathematical Programming with over 15 years of optimization modeling and algorithm design experience, and an additional 10 plus years in implementing large-scale service oriented architecture based systems. As a visionary thought lead with successful track record of cultivating artificial intelligence, data science, data engineering and data management teams, she and her teams have monetized over 50 AI and machine learning solutions which created over $50-million cost avoidance and value increase. She has highly accomplished in strategic planning, leading across departmental collaboration, communicating with C Suite and executives to propose technological strategies, drive innovations, and lead successful deliveries of batch and real-time AI and data science platform services and persona driven solutions in InsurTech, travel tech, transportation, software/IT, social media and Enterprise Management Solutions (ERP/PLM/SCM/CRM).  

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Meet the Panelists

Toma Afra, Life Science Consultant at L.E.K. Consulting

Afra Toma, M.S., is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. She graduated with her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Florida International University and University of Florida, respectively. Toma is currently working on developing biomaterials-based immunotherapy for oral wound healing. After graduation, Toma will be heading to San Francisco, California, as a life science consultant at L.E.K. Consulting. In her free time, Toma enjoys photography, eating, and traveling.

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Rossie (Yeseul) Nho, Consultant at Bain & Co.

Rossie is a Ph.D. Candidate with the School of Biological Sciences, studying cellular and molecular neuroscience. She received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Her thesis research focuses on the role of the nervous system in chronic skin and respiratory diseases.

After graduation, she will be joining Bain as a consultant at their Atlanta location. In her free time, you can find her running, trying out new restaurants, playing board games with friends, and in theaters watching the latest releases. 

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Krishna Moorthi Sankar, Consultant at Boston Consulting Group

Krishna has been a consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Atlanta office since August 2023. His work at BCG focuses on the industrial goods (metals, mining, chemicals, etc.) practice area.   

 Prior to joining BCG, Krishna completed his Ph.D. in Materials Science Engineering from Georgia Tech working on corrosion in molten salt systems for next generation nuclear reactors (Dissertation: Effects of Redox Potential on Corrosion in Molten Fluoride Salt). During his free time, Krishna enjoys travelling, cooking, and listening to music.  

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Jeonghwan (Dylan) Son, Strategy Consultant at Siemens Advanta Consulting

Dylan is a recent Ph.D. graduate in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Tech and Emory University (fall 2023). His research focused on developing optical imaging systems for biosciences and clinical applications. With a minor in management of technology innovation, Dylan collaborated in the TI:GER program, practicing commercialization strategy and business analysis alongside MBA and JD candidates. As a Ph.D.2CC member, Dylan co-founded the Technology Transfer Consulting Club, gaining practical consulting experience in operational and client project management. His internship at Biolocity involved supporting investment portfolio management. Since August 2023, Dylan has been a strategy consultant at Siemens Advanta Consulting based in Atlanta, working on diverse projects for both Siemens' internal business units and top external medtech clients. Outside of work, Dylan explores new dinner places and plays squash. 

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Kunal Dani (Session Moderator)

Kunal Dani is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He graduated with dual B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His doctoral thesis work focuses on developing ionic liquids to leverage novel approaches in drug delivery. 

He has held prior leadership roles at Georgia Tech as the president of the chemical engineering graduate student body, the co-president of the Salsa Club, and a Ph.D. fellow in the TI:GER entrepreneurship program. In his downtime he enjoys travel, photography, and staying active through running, rock climbing, and tennis. When not out and about, he enjoys cooking, learning Latin dance (salsa and bachata), and volunteering in STEM outreach programs around Atlanta. 

Meet the Panelists

Shavonti Archer, Transmission Analyst at Georgia Power Company

Shavonti begin her career with NextEra Energy at Florida Power and Light Company in 2014 as a Distribution Engineer/Service Planner. She then moved into the role of a delivery assurance lead, where she coordinated reliability improvements for the Pompano Beach service area. She later became a transmission line design engineer and finally finished her career at Florida Power and Light, as a distribution relocation coordinator, working with different municipalities in the central Florida area. After leaving FP&L, she worked as a transmission line design engineer and transmission project manager for Agbara Engineering LLC, before starting her career with Georgia Power as a distribution engineer. As of January 8, 2024, she is now a transmission analyst sr. with Georgia Power Company. In this role, she assists transmission project managers with the execution of transmission project construction schedules. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Southern University. She is currently the president of the Jefferson St Chapter of Georgia Power Citizens volunteer organization. She is an advocate for promoting STEM education in our youth, and the owner of Systematic Motivation, an organization geared towards that very mission. 

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Stephen Smith, Data Analyst at Sandia National Labs

Stephen Smith has worked at Sandia National Labs for 20 years, and currently works as a data analyst. He has worked as a technical writer, information manager, project lead, systems and quality engineer and currently works as a data analyst. Stephen completed a master's degree in computer science from Georgia TechTech in 2020. He is interested in student outreach, and is excited to share the strategies he used to anticipate knowledge gaps he might face prior to beginning his master's degree, techniques he used to fill knowledge gaps different classes from the OMSCS presented, and how you can be successful too with your educational aspirations at Georgia Tech. Stephen loves to ride bicycles and is passionate about learning foreign languages.  

Tiffany Neal, Founder/CEO at Barlow's Foods

Tiffani Neal, founder of Barlow’s Foods, is a natural born entrepreneur. Since early childhood Tiffani has had the knack of being creative, selling and making something out of nothing. From selling candy door-to-door as a child and launching an online store in the early 2000s, her passion has always been business. Turning that passion into a thriving venture has been a lifelong dream for Tiffani, realized with the creation of Barlow’s Foods. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Barlow's creates the Southeast’s leading best 3 in 1 pancake biscuit waffle mix and seasonal syrups. Tiffani’s professional experience includes ecommerce and more than 10 years in corporate sales, including her most recent role focused on the healthcare industry. Outside of work, Tiffani enjoys finding unique restaurants and things to do on the Atlanta social scene and giving back in her local community.Inspired by her grandfather’s legacy of farming and agriculture. Tiffani is determined to change her family's trajectory by creating something for those who come after her to benefit them for generations to come. 

Meet the Panelists

Curtis "CJ" Johnson, CEO/Founder of Vishnu Systems

Curtis “CJ” Johnson is a four-time founder of technology and service startups with successful private merger and acquisition exits. He’s currently the CEO/Founder of Vishnu Systems: Developing a product that detects vulnerabilities in AI/ML models. CJ was previously the head of cyber-counterintelligence for Truist Bank (Previously SunTrust).     

He’s a highly-decorated cybersecurity professional awarded the National Intelligence Certificate of Distinction by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. His background includes global coverage in industries like FINTECH, national security, critical infrastructure, and research and technology protection.     

CJ started his career in the United States Navy as a cyber counterintelligence agent. He has performed global operations and investigations for the CIA, FBI, and NSA. He holds a M.S. Degree in Digital forensics and EMBA from the Scheller School of Business.

Harold Solomon, Georgia Tech Venture Lab

As part of Georgia Tech VentureLab, Harold helps researchers fund and launch technology start-ups from biomedical, computing, electrical and mechanical engineering. Current projects, include:  

- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) medical device - currently in clinical trial 

- Pediatric tracheal splint - first indication for personalized implantable device platform 

- Highly sensitive and specific early stage ovarian cancer screen, using metabolomics serum sample and machine learning 

- Ovarian cancer nanoparticle carrying RNA payload that reverses platinum chemo-resistance 

Harold co-founded six startups and an angel investment fund. 

Janet Kinard, VP of Engagement at Georgia Tech Alumni Association

Janet Kinard (TE ‘97 and MS ME ‘99) is the vice president of engagement for the Alumni Association. She provides strategic direction for the engagement team working to build and connect the Georgia Tech community across age groups, interests, and geographic areas. Her team creates programs and activities to engage alumni near and far, and works with hundreds of volunteers – students and alumni – who support the organization’s mission. Programs within the team’s portfolio include regional and affinity engagement, the online community, educational travel, alumni history, student to alumni connections, graduating student activities, and new alumni engagement including the 40 Under 40 program.  

Before joining the Association, Janet worked in organizational development and volunteer management for local nonprofits. She continues to serve on the boards of several education-focused organizations.  

A long-time resident of Atlanta, Janet lives near campus with her husband, a fellow Georgia Tech alumnus, and has three daughters including a graduate of UC Dublin and a current NYU student. Janet enjoys running (usually training for something), gardening, and wishes she had more time to read.  

Mary Albertson, Director for the Office of Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech

Mary Albertson is a leading innovation management professional with 29+ years of experience in leadership, strategic management and facilitating transfer of academic innovations through commercialization. As director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech she leads the office in protecting and commercializing technology resulting from $1.5 billion of research expenditures. As senior director of commercialization at PIVOT, University of Utah, Albertson was an integral part of the leadership team and managed interdisciplinary teams responsible for supporting the tech transfer process. Previously she was associate director at Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL), where she worked for more than two decades supporting academic research commercialization. Albertson was also the president of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).