As one of three women in her first undergraduate engineering class at the University of South Wales, Benita Mordi ’15 quickly learned the challenges and stereotypes associated with women in engineering. When she arrived at Texas A&M, she found community and unwavering support in the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers.
She is now the president of the National Society of Black Engineers – Chicago Professionals and continues to advocate for underrepresented groups in engineering. Recently, Mordi gave a TEDx Talk, where she emphasized the positive role models she met at Texas A&M and how they helped her achieve her position as a senior systems engineer at Dell Technologies.
Having always dreamed of working on vehicles—whether on land, air, sea or space—Sharon Pearlnath ’21 found a love for software and data science in Aggieland. She co-founded and served as president for Tidal TAMU, an organization focused on bringing awareness and teaching students about data science and computer programming through projects and workshops. After interning at Boeing for two summers, she is now a full-time software engineer for the International Space Station Command and Control Software team.
After earning her degree in chemical engineering, Stephanie Hertzog ’96 earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She is currently the CEO of North America Energy & Resource for Sodexo, a company that serves more than 100 million consumers each day. She has chaired the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering’s Advisory Council, served on the College of Engineering’s Advisory Council and been a member of the Engineering Honors Steering Committee.
Hertzog has also served as president of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Club of Houston and vice president of the HBS Alumni Board. In 2020, she was named in the National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Oil & Gas and was also recognized as an Outstanding Leader in Energy Honoree by the Houston Business Journal in 2018.
Fiona McCracken Allen ’82 was the regional manager for the Trinity River Authority, where she is responsible for wholesale water and wastewater services for 1.4 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex following her time as Deputy City Manager for the city of Arlington for more than 20 years. Now a senior advisor for HR Green, she provides expertise in program management and water resources for select clients in North Texas.
She has received a multitude of honors, including the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering’s Distinguished Graduate Award, the College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award and Mid Cities Chapter TSPE Engineer of the Year. She has also presented and co-authored papers at several state conferences as well as at the American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation national conventions.
As a technical fellow, Dr. Merri Sanchez ’85 provides strategic and technical advice to The Aerospace Corporation. Before this role, she was the chief scientist of the Air Force Space Command, advising the commander on space and cyber science and technology. She also served as a senior executive at NASA, working with Department of Defense space-related matters, the International Space Station Program, and the Shuttle Program. She was also a senior director for the Space Systems Group at Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Sanchez is currently a member of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station external advisory board and formerly served on the College of Engineering and Aerospace Engineering advisory boards. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and was inducted into the Colorado Space Hero Hall of Fame. She has received numerous national, NASA and Air Force medals and awards and has authored more than 18 publications.
A former president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers International and general manager of the Chevron South Africa Business Unit, Janeen Judah ’81 ’83 has played a role in offshore development projects, environmental cleanup and decommissioning for global operations. Before joining Chevron, she worked for Texaco and ARCO. She now works as an independent director for various companies, including Patterson-UTI, Crestwood Midstream Partners LP and Aethon Energy.
Judah has four degrees and has been on the board of directors for four companies. She is the founding chair of the Aggie Women Engineers Network, serves on the College of Engineering’s Advisory Council and is a member of the Petroleum Engineering Industry Board. Judah is a renowned leader and speaker and often speaks to audiences about how Texas A&M contributed to her success.