Previous Women in Tech Honorees 


The New Mexico Women in Tech Awards was created in 2008 to celebrate the remarkable contributions, achievements and impact of women working in the local technology industry. Since its inception, the NM Women in Tech Awards have recognized over 100 women shaping the tech landscape in the Land of Enchantment.  

Today, these prestigious awards aim to promote gender diversity and inclusion in the tech community and highlight the significance of women’s roles and innovations. By honoring the Women in Tech Honorees outstanding work, the awards serve as a platform to inspire and empower more women to pursue careers in technology and to foster an environment of equality and opportunity within the field. 

2023 Women in Tech Honorees 

Rebecca Bleicher is the Director of the Collaboration at ANM. She has over 22 years of experience in engineering and engineering leadership. Bleicher has a long history with collaboration technologies, helping customers as an engineer to migrate to IP Telephony solutions. Since that time, she’s led engineering teams that focused on collaboration deployments and now leads ANM’s collaboration innovation practice. She’s currently focused on next gen collab solutions, cloud calling, and ensuring both sales and engineering are positioned to help customers succeed.

Lydia Tapia is a Professor and the Department Chair of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico. Her research contributions are focused on the development of computationally efficient algorithms for the simulation and analysis of high-dimensional motions for robots and molecules. Specifically, she explores problems in computational structural biology, motion under stochastic uncertainty, and reinforcement learning. Lydia is the recipient of the 2016 Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award from the Anita Borg Institute, a 2016 NSF CAREER Award for her work on simulating molecular assembly, and the 2017 Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) Borg Early Career Award.

Lina Germann Ph.D., MBA, is the Founder and CEO of an award-winning nonprofit, STEM Santa Fe. For over 25 years, Lina has been a STEM advocate and educator, spearheading large STEM events, leading nontraditional STEM programs, as well as teaching and conducting professional development for teachers. Lina is passionate about elevating STEM education as a path for prosperity and increasing diversity in STEM careers.

Dr. Samantha Whipple is an R&D Engineering Manager at SolAero Technologies, a subsidiary of Rocket Lab USA in Albuquerque, NM. She began her career at SolAero as an engineer developing new materials for space solar power applications and now supports a team working with customers to design solar panel power solutions for space missions. Samantha has 2 daughters and 2 dogs that keep her and her husband busy at home.

Natalia is a biomedical engineer working as a Senior Research Scientist for the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of New Mexico.  She collaborates with attending surgeons, fellows, and residents to complete basic science research in biomechanics. As an engineer working in healthcare, Natalia createa custom test fixtures with additive and subtractive manufacturing, use high resolution motion capture cameras, and design studies to understand, improve, and develop surgical techniques, medical devices, and surgical implants.

Kathleen Malechuk graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a BS in Engineering Physics followed by an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico. Kathleen worked for Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. for 10 years as a Research Engineer, before taking a 9-year pause to raise her children. She currently teaches at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she shares her love of Physics and Engineering with budding problem solvers.

Susan Seestrom is the Associate Laboratories Director for Advanced Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer at Sandia National Laboratories. She has been a passionate ally and mentor for women working in STEM fields throughout her 30+ year career and strongly believes that by sharing her experiences and acting as a sounding board for other women in research, she can help them take advantage of the right opportunities to advance their ideas and careers.