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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 it'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.

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Lacey Westcarr

Vice President of Finance

Kappa Chapter at University of Arkansas

"Phi Sigma Rho continues to give me the sisterhood connections long after my collegiate experience. I love having a connection when meeting new sisters."

I was a founding member of the Kappa Chapter.  I have a BS in Accounting. Currently, I work for T-mobile in Fixed Assets Accounting and live in a Kansas suburb of Kansas City with my husband.  I am an avid reader, host a book club and love to be crafty.  


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 Extension

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.



National Board Advisor

This position is currently vacant.

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Sharon Snyder

Vice President of Standards

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.


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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Rebecca Palmer

Vice President of Collegiate Affairs

Alpha Chapter at Purdue University

“The most rewarding aspect of volunteering with Phi Sigma Rho is the way we can connect sisters across the country as friends, colleagues, and mentors. Its an honor to be able to help the sisterhood grow and connect with one another.”

I graduated from Purdue with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and am currently pursuing a dual-degree program for Master's degrees in Systems Engineering and my MBA. Professionally, I am a Battery Module Engineer at General Motors in the metro-Detroit area. Prior to being VP Collegiate Affairs I served 3 years as a Regional Field Director in the Midwest Regions and co-chaired the Membership Education Committee. In my free time I love to play clarinet in my local community concert band.

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Tina Schnell

Vice President of Member Services

Sigma Chapter at Oregon State University

"I appreciate the opportunity to give back to an organization that has played such a large role in who I am. Phi Sigma Rho provided community, support and encouragement while I navigated college, and continues to offer professional/personal development as I find my path as an adult."


I graduated with a BS in Energy Systems Engineering, a BA in Spanish, and a minor in Entrepreneurship. I'm an energy engineer turned project manager delivering utility energy efficiency programs. I've been on the board of my chapter's local alumnae association, was a prospective chapter educator for Boise State, and held the National Resumania Director role before becoming the National Vice President of Member Services. I live in Vancouver, WA with my husband and our dogs, chickens, ducks, and about 100 houseplants.