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Headquarters Staff


Gabrielle Salazar

Executive Director

Zeta Chapter at University of Pittsburgh

"Phi Sigma Rho has been a wonderful blessing for me, impacting my life in many ways from helping me survive college to forming some of my deepest friendships to leading my professional career in new directions."


In college I studied and graduated with degrees in Bioengineering and Spanish. I started my career working as an engineer in hospital process efficiency before moving on to medical device regulation. I’ve been working for Phi Sigma Rho since 2015, first as the Communications Assistant and now as Executive Director. I currently live in Pittsburgh, PA with my husband and our corgis, Crosby and Nellie, where we enjoy exploring the city on foot, by bike, and through tasting the best food it can offer.


Caitlin LaFontaine

Assistant Executive Director

Eta Chapter at University of Michigan

"I love working for Phi Rho because t's incredible to see how much the organization has evolved since I was an active member, and I can't wait to be part of its continued growth and success!"


I graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. As an active, I served as President and Vice President of Finance for the Eta Chapter. In addition to being Assistant Executive Director, I also work as a shift supervisor with Starbucks and am pursuing a graduate degree in Nonprofit Management. I currently reside in Plymouth, MI with my husband, Alec, and our dog, Eleanor. In our spare time, we enjoy home brewing, traveling in northern Michigan and watching The Office over and over. 

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The National Board


Kellan Ponikiewicz

National President

Lambda Chapter at Penn State University

"Phi Rho is needed to give the many young women in engineering and engineering technology collegiate programs a place to socialize with like-minded women and build a lifelong network of friends, colleagues, and mentors."

As a collegiate member, I was a founding member of the Lambda chapter. I have served on two previous National Councils as VP of Programming and VP of Finance, As VP of Programming I was responsible for creating LEAP, the national leadership program, and Resumania. I also served on the first Board of Directors for the Foundation. Professionally I am a senior counsel at Cerence Inc. where I focus on intellectual property management and enforcement. I have a B.S. in electrical engineering and a J.D. from Suffolk University.


Alex Caliguire

Vice President of Finance

Delta Chapter at University of Toledo

“I like being a national volunteer because I believe my access to Phi Rho helped me grow into the engineer I am today. Volunteering nationally gives me a chance to give back to the collegiate community so they have the same, if not more, opportunities I had.”

I previously served on National Council as VP of Collegiate Affairs on the 14th National Council and as VP of Finance on the 16th National Council. I graduated from the University of Toledo with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Professionally, I am an Automation Engineer at CRB. She currently resides in Ohio.


Mary Beth White

Vice President of Alumnae Engagement

Sigma Chapter at Oregon State University

“When I joined I didn't really understand that Phi Rho would help me celebrate some of my biggest life events and help me through both personal and professional hurdles during college and now after. Being able to help other women find that encouragement is why I have stayed involved.”

I graduated with an Honors BS in Industrial Engineering in 2010. Prior to serving on the 17th National Council, I’ve been a colony educator, regional field director, and alumna advisor. Professionally I work as an Industrial Engineer Team Leader at Boeing’s Fabrication site in Portland, OR.  I live in NE Portland with my husband and two cats, Odo and Annora.

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Jenna Daghstani

Vice President of Expansion

Delta Chapter at University of Toledo

"Phi Sigma Rho is a second home for women entering engineering.  College can be difficult as is, and for women entering engineering this is especially true."

I graduated with BS in Bioengineering from Toledo and also received a MS in Systems Engineering at George Washington University. Prior to serving on the 17th National Council, I was a colony educator for Cleveland State University and the National Leadership Director. In my spare time, I enjoy biking, crafting, and playing pinball. Professionally, I am currently a Product Engineer at Gebauer Company in Cleveland, Ohio.


Melanie Larson

Vice President of Membership

Beta Chapter at Ohio State University

"When the opportunity arose for me to become the VP of Membership, there was never a doubt in my mind about doing it. I love being able to share the sisterhood, improve upon on processes, and assist and teach as many baby penguins as possible!"

Hi, my name is Melanie Larson and I am an Ohio State Beta Chapter Alum ('18). I graduated with a degree in Industrial engineering and am currently in a manufacturing and leadership development role at International Paper in Los Angeles, California. In my free time I love to go hiking, spend time outside, explore new places, read, horseback ride, and hopefully learn to surf soon!


Helen Lu

Vice President of Standards

Alpha Gamma Chapter at University of Louisville

"Being a national volunteer allows me to continue to be involved and make new friendships, and I love getting to work on our CBP, the main thread tying all our diverse chapters and alumnae together into one sorority.”


I graduated with a B.S. in Bioengineering with a minor in chemistry. I’m currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Louisville, planning to match into Emergency Medicine. I previously served as the Active Advisor on the 15th National Council.


Stephanie Donahue

Vice President of Communications

Beta Chapter at Ohio State University

"Phi Sigma Rho has created a special place for women who may not feel they have a home elsewhere. Through the sisterhood we have both a supportive network of peers and the encouraging company of friends, both near and far.”

Professionally, I am the co-founder and CEO of Pait Group. I hold a BS in Computer & Information Science. I currently reside in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is my first time serving on National Council.

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Sharon Snyder

Vice President of Collegiate Affairs

Iota Chapter at Ohio Northern University

“The benefits of being a Phi Rho don't stop at graduation - my sisters have been there for me through graduate school, a cross-country career move, and yes, during my undergrad years when I was questioning my choice of major. ”

I hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and a MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I previously served at the collegiate level as secretary and historian, and I have nationally served as a Regional Field Director in the West 2 region. Professionally, I am a Senior Principal Systems Engineer for Northrop Grumman Space Systems. I live in the DMV area with my husband and two feline fur babies, Hamilton and Sammy.


Kathleen Vijaywergiya

Vice President of Programming

Beta Chapter at Ohio State University

"I would not be who I am today if not for my sisters. My friendships have sustained almost 25 years and these are my people that I go to for support, encouragement and advice."

I graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering and hold an MBA in Management from Baldwin Wallace University. I previously served at the collegiate level as chapter president, new member educator, and historian. Professionally, I am an Enterprise Technical Quality Consultant at Progressive Insurance utilizing my Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification. I live in Independence, OH with my husband and 2 boys.

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Allison Lenhoff

National Council Advisor

Eta Chapter at University of Michigan

"Volunteering allows me to help support the growth and advancement of our sisterhood to ensure that many sisters can be positively impacted by all the benefits of our sisterhood."


I have previously held various positions on past National Councils, including President (2013-2015), VP of Finance (2007-2009), and VP of Publications (2005-2006). I have also volunteered for Phi Sigma Rho in numerous other roles including Foundation Director, National Audit Director, Nominating Committee Chair, Organizational Structure Committee Chair and Eta chapter alumnae advisor. I was the recipient of the 2017 Pearl Award for exceptional service to the Sorority and was a member of the inaugural class of the Order of the Pyramid. I hold a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Biomedical Engineering. Professionally, I work for General Motors in Vehicle Safety Strategy. I currently reside in Birmingham, MI.