Driving Change Webinar Series
The Ohio State University is a global leader in Diversity and Inclusion efforts, embracing and implementing solutions capable of delivering foundational and systemic change.
The Ohio State University's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Corporate Relations invite you to join us for the fourth webinar in our corporate-focused webinar series, Driving Change.
Hosted by Dr. James L. Moore III, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University, the Driving Change series showcases Ohio State's leadership in delivering foundational and systemic change in Diversity and Inclusion and provides corporations with access and opportunities to engage with Ohio State in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, core issues, and sustainable solutions.
- PANELIST: Dr. Ayanna Howard
Dr. Ayanna Howard is the incoming Dean for the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Previously, she was the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor in Bioengineering and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also held a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Partnership on AI and Autodesk.
Prior to Georgia Tech, Dr. Howard was at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she held the title of Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist. Her research encompasses advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), assistive technologies, and robotics, and has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed publications. At NASA, she worked on designing advanced technologies for future Mars rover missions. Now, she works on projects ranging from healthcare robots to developing methods to mitigate bias and trust in AI. In 2013, she founded Zyrobotics, an education technology startup, which designs AI-powered STEM tools and learning games for early childhood education. She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the Robotics Ph.D. program, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in ECE at Georgia Tech.
To date, Dr. Howard's unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in Vanity Fair, USA Today, Upscale, Black Enterprise, and TIME Magazine, as well as being recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider and one of the Top 50 U.S. Women in Tech by Forbes. She regularly advises on issues concerning robotics, AI, and workforce development, including functioning as an appointed member of the Georgia State Workforce Development Board and an AI advisor on the YouTube Future of AI documentary series produced by Robert Downey Jr.
Dr. Howard is a frequent speaker and expert source for venues such as CNN and NPR. She regularly gives invited seminars at venues such as the Smithsonian Design Museum, Science Museum of London, Detroit Science Museum, and the National Security Agency. Her research leadership has also been externally recognized through her role as a U.S. Embassy Speaker Specialist and her Congressional Testimony on Innovation, just to name a few.
- PANELIST: Dr. Grace Wang
Dr. Grace Wang joined The Ohio State University in December 2020 as Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Knowledge Enterprise where she plays a lead role in expanding the University's cutting-edge research, enhancing creative expression and scholarship, stimulating entrepreneurship, and building strategic partnerships.
Dr. Wang has nearly 20 years of experience in research and economic development. Prior to OSU, she held dual roles as Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at the State University of New York (SUNY) System and Interim President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. At SUNY, Dr. Wang led its research enterprise with about $1.7 billion annual expenditure. She advanced a research and economic development growth strategy, expanding its research capacity in key strategic areas. She was instrumental in establishing large-scale strategic partnerships at SUNY, advancing SUNY's R&D capacity while fueling regional economic growth.
Prior to SUNY, Dr. Wang served as acting Assistant Director for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this role, she led the Engineering Directorate at NSF, managing a funding portfolio of over $900 million dedicated to investments in frontier engineering research, supporting engineering education, and fostering innovation and technology commercialization. She previously served as NSF's Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering, overseeing the operation of the Directorate for Engineering and helping to identify and implement research, innovation, and education priorities.
Dr. Wang began her career at IBM/Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, focusing on research and development of magnetic thin film and carbon overcoat for data storage. She holds seven U.S. patents. Dr. Wang was also a professor in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation at University at Buffalo. Dr. Wang received a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University.
- PANELIST: Yvette Hunsicker
Yvette Hunsicker serves as the vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM) with responsibility for leading the company's philanthropic and community relations programs and inclusion and diversity practices in the U.S.
Hunsicker joined Honda of America Mfg. Inc. (HAM) in 1989 as a production associate in the Marysville Auto Plant's Welding Department. While in production, she also held positions at the Anna Engine Plant and the East Liberty Auto Plant, and joined the Human Resources team in 1994.
After joining the Human Resources department, Hunsicker progressed through various human resources roles supporting several HAM divisions.
In 1999, Hunsicker accepted a position in Japan working in expatriate administration at the Honda Motor Co. New Model Center. In this role, she founded The Buckeye Tutorial, an international program to support the educational needs of Honda expatriate children, grades K-12.
In April 2017, Hunsicker took on the position of assistant vice president of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity. In April 2019, she assumed the additional responsibility of leading the Human Resources Division at Honda North America, Inc. (HNA).
In 2020, HNA was integrated into AHM as part of a corporate restructuring and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity became part of the Corporate Affairs Division of AHM. As part of this change, Hunsicker took on added responsibility, overseeing the Corporate Social Responsibility Department, the company's corporate relations programs and the American Honda Foundation.
Hunsicker serves on the Columbus, Ohio YWCA Board of Directors, the Advisory Board at the Hilliker YMCA in Bellefontaine, Ohio, the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center Board of Directors, the National Diversity Council Board of Directors, and is a member of The Conference Board Global Diversity & Inclusion Executive Council.
Hunsicker graduated from Urbana University with a B.S. in Business Management and later earned the designations of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and certified Diversity and Inclusion Professional through the National Diversity Council and Cornell University.