Women in Making Forum

Women in Making 2023
Women in Making Forum Logo

UConn’s Women in Making Forum seeks to highlight and celebrate how women find success within the maker movement. We will celebrate success stories and discuss best practices to navigate obstacles through interactive discussion and empowering skill-building workshops.

Attendees will leave with a renewed sense of self-reliance and confidence in their individual abilities, realizing a deeper sense of self through hands-on learning.





Giveaways • Skillshare Takeaways • Free Food • Skill-Building

Women in Making Forum Program

Tentative Program

We will observe all health and safety guidelines. Masks are strongly recommended at all times, as well as any other personal protective equipment required for your skillshares if needed.

9:00 am Check-In Begins Check-in and get settled.
9:30 am Welcome Keynote
This year our Keynote Speaker will be Arpita Kurdekar.
9:50 am Skillshare Session #1 There will be different skillshares to choose from. You will choose one when you register.
11:20 am Break
Wrap up Skillshare #1 and move toward the Lunch location.
11:30 am Lunch We will provide Lunch for attendees.
12:30 pm Break
Wrap up Lunch and move towards Skillshare #2.
12:35 pm Skillshare #2 There will be different skillshares to choose from. You will choose one when you register.
2:35 pm Break Wrap up Skillshare #2 and move toward the Forum for closing remarks.
2:45 pm Thank-You & Closing Remarks TBD
3:00 pm Optional Networking Events There will be optional events with networking opportunities for attendees.


'23 Key Note Speaker

This year our keynote speaker will be Arpita Kurdekar. 

Arpita Kurdekar is a Ph.D. candidate in the Integrative Studies Program at the University of Connecticut with a diverse background in both engineering and art. Her doctoral research focuses on exploring the innovative use of virtual reality in interdisciplinary education, specifically integrating engineering and art to nurture creativity in students. Arpita is also a teaching assistant for courses, including Human Factors in Design, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation in Industrial Design, and Packaging Design, all taught under the umbrella of the Krenicki Arts and Engineering Institute.

Beyond her academic interests, Arpita is an avid oil painter and has been featured in multiple art shows and juried competitions throughout Connecticut. Her determination to overcome physical obstacles due to her disability to pursue her love for painting has led her to find innovative ways to create art by attaching a brush to a splint and using a joystick-controlled mobile easel. She believes her fight to navigate these challenges has become the driving undercurrent for her expressive use of color and bold brushwork.

Arpita's educational background includes a Master's in Bridge Engineering from the University at Buffalo in New York and a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from Sinhgad College of Engineering in India. Before starting her Ph.D. studies at UConn, she gained valuable professional experience as a bridge engineer at GM2 Associates, Inc. and the Department of Transportation in New Hampshire.

Follow Arpita and her Work

Email: arpita.kurdekar@uconn.edu

Website: arpitakurdekar.com

Women in Making 2023 Skillshare #1 Options

A Design Thinking Approach to Community Wellbeing with Innovate Wellness

Learn more about how to solve problems relating to community well-being!

Get to Know Innovate Wellness

About Innovate Wellness:

Innovate Wellness is a UConn Student Health and Wellness initiative with additional support from the UConn Wellness Coalition. Innovate Wellness is a space for students to come together and, through the design thinking process, develop innovative solutions for health and wellness concerns they see on campus. Students are able to join this process in 3 different ways, submit an idea, join or create teams to work on ideas or provide feedback for ongoing projects. Students are provided mentorship by UConn faculty and staff to develop their skills, build out their ideas, and prototype their innovations on campus during the process.

Follow Innovate Wellness:

Website: https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/innovate-wellness/

Instagram: @uconnstudenthealth

Make Your Own Jewelry with UNFOLDED LLP Owner and OPIM Innovate Lab Specialist Audrey Larson

Use resin and glass beads to create handmade beaded necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings!

Get to Know Audrey Larson

About Audrey:

Audrey is a Materials Science and Engineering student interested in tech startups and has a small business selling eco-friendly jewelry. She is also a lab specialist at OPIM Innovate and enjoys helping students with their tech projects.

Follow Audrey and her Projects:

Instagram: @audreyhlarson, @artbyaudreyl

OPIM Innovate: @uconninnovate

UNFOLDED LLP: @unfolded.store, @trinketsbyunfolded

Geomate: @geomate.app

Basics of 3D Modeling with Innovation Zone Maker-Specialists Katya Ionkin & Alron D’Mello

Learn the basics of 3D Modeling with Maker Specialists Katya and Alron as we work through the 3D CAD process! Bring your laptop and mouse.

Get to Know Katya Ionkin

About Katya:

Katya is a third-year Mechanical Engineering major, a Maker Specialist at the University of Connecticut, and a Quality Engineering Intern at Leonardo DRS. I'm also Treasurer of the UConn 3D Printing Club, Treasurer of ASME, and a member of the Society of Women Engineers. She found a passion for making as a junior in high school when she learned how to use a 3D printer to print the models she made in SolidWorks. She enjoys learning to code, sewing and thrifting, 3D modeling, and playing video games in her free time.

Follow Katya and her projects:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathrine-ionkin/

UConn Innovation Zone: @uconnizone

Get to Know Alron D'Mello

About Alron:

Alron D’Mello is a second-year Management and Engineering for Manufacturing major and Maker Specialist in the UConn Innovation Zone. He is currently a member of the Engineering House Learning Community, the treasurer of the UConn 3D printing club, a USG Engineering Senator, and the Vice President of UConn FIRST. Alron enjoys making random things in his free time in the Makerspace.

Follow Alron and his projects:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alron-dmello

UConn Innovation Zone: @uconnizone

Data Analytics with OPIM Lab Specialist Zahra Abdulmajeed

Learn how to analyze and visualize data using the Tableau software to solve a problem!

Get to Know Zahra Abdulmajeed

About Zahra:

Zahra enjoys interacting and learning about new tech. She has been assigned to work with VR, AR, and 360. She also is an OPIM Innovate Lab Specialist. 

Follow Zahra and her Projects

OPIM Innovate: @uconninnovate

Women in Making 2023 Skillshare #2 Options

Build Your Own Desk Organizer with Innovation Zone Maker-Specialist Lauren Gobler

Learn how to use various woodworking equipment to build your own wooden desk organizer!

Get to Know Lauren Gobler

About Lauren

Lauren is a Senior Honors student majoring in American Sign Language (ASL) with a dual concentration in Deaf Cultural Studies and ASL & English Interpreting. She is minoring in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS). Lauren has been a Maker Specialist for over two years and is now a Student Manager at the Innovation Zone. She is the Instructional Assistant Coordinator for the ASL program, on the ASL Club Executive Board, and Founder and current Coordinator of ASL Community Housing at the Storrs Campus. In her free time, she loves rock climbing, Spikeball, woodworking, board games, and jewelry making!

Follow Lauren and her Projects

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-gobler/

Mile Love Creations: @milelovecreations

Make Your Own Hydroponic System with OPIM Innovate Lab Specialists Lucy Ledesma and Audrey Larson

Learn how to create entire hydroponics systems and make your own personal hydroponic system!

Get to Know Lucy Ledesma

About Lucy

Lucy is a first-year interested in emerging technologies, especially sustainable ones. She works to develop the EcoInnovate initiative.

Follow Lucy and her Projects

OPIM Innovate: @uconninnovate

Get to Know Audrey Larson

About Audrey:

Audrey is a Materials Science and Engineering student interested in tech startups and has a small business selling eco-friendly jewelry. She is also a lab specialist at OPIM Innovate and enjoys helping students with their tech projects.

Follow Audrey and her Projects:

Instagram: @audreyhlarson, @artbyaudreyl

OPIM Innovate: @uconninnovate

UNFOLDED LLP: @unfolded.store, @trinketsbyunfolded

Geomate: @geomate.app

Pocket Plush: How to Make Stuffed Animals with Happy Dinosaur founder Lyla Andrick

Learn how to make simple felt plush animals and modify patterns with the creator of Happy Dinosaur!

Get to Know Lyla Andrick

Lyla Andrick is the CEO and Founder of Happy Dinosaur; this is her second year hosting a workshop at the Women in Making Forum, and she is so excited to bring back the iconic cube-shaped chicken as well as a few new patterns that people can alter or use to make a collection of stuffed animals! Lyla took a semester off to study fashion design and merchandise and will be returning to UConn as an Innovation Entrepreneurship Major.

Follow Lyla and her Projects

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyla-andrick-292168236/

Happy Dinosaur Instagram: @_happy_dinosaur

Happy Dinosaur Website: https://happydinostore.com

String Art with Innovation Zone Maker Specialist Abigail Koval

Get comfortable using hammers and nails to create your string art masterpiece.

Get to Know Abigail Koval

About Abigail:

Abigail is a freshman majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Her hobbies include drawing, designing, watching YouTube, listening to music, and sleeping. She is also an Innovation Zone Maker Specialist.

Follow Abigail and her projects:

Instagram: @abigailkoval01

UConn Innovation Zone: @uconnizone

Thank You to Our Planning Committee

Co-Chairs: Cody Ryan and Jasmine Morris

Adeena M., Innovation Zone Maker Specialist

Alron D., Innovation Zone Maker Specialist

Anshika P., Innovation Zone Maker Specialist

Audrey L., OPIM Lab Specialist and Co-Founder of Unfolded LLP

Jonathan M., MIS Academic Director, and OPIM Innovate Director

Lindsay P., Innovation Zone Maker Specialist

Olivia F., Innovation Zone Maker Specialist

Sara D., FYP & LC Program Assistant

Taylor C., Innovation Zone Maker Fellow

Get to Know our Co-Chairs

Cody Ryan

Cody is an alumnus of UConn ’07 with a double degree in Psychology and Sociology and is the Innovation Zone Makerspace Supervisor. He has been in charge of the Women in Making planning committee since the event’s founding in 2019.

Jasmine Morris

Jasmine is a current senior at UConn, finishing up a double degree in Animal Science and Applied & Resource Economics. She also has a double minor in Equine Business Management and Therapeutic Horsemanship Education. She is a Student Manager at the UConn Innovation Zone and a recipient of the UConn IDEA Grant. A Ravenclaw at heart, she loves learning and creating, which led her to join her high school’s robotics team. She loves spending time outdoors and with friends. Her favorite outdoor activities include running, horseback riding, and fishing. She joined the Women in Making forum planning committee in 2021 and is excited to be one of the co-chairs for this year. 

Thank You 2023 Sponsors!

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Womens Center Logo
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