2019 Mentoring Program Applications are NOW CLOSED!

Join us in the New Year for our 6th Mentoring Program! Mentors can provide you with valuable information, guidance and tips for your career advancement. We have gathered an outstanding group of seasoned mentors who are excited to help you.

There are a wide range of areas where mentors can help:

  • Providing tips on how to be promoted or negotiating salary in your job
  • Navigating workplace conflicts/politics
  • Consulting on issues relevant to women, for example: How can women get recognized for their strengths when they are less likely to speak up?
  • Providing personal stories about how to overcome challenges
  • Giving advice about how to dress professionally
  • And more!

Check out our past success stories in our mentor journal!

Here is the timeline of the program.

  • November 3, 2018: Mentoring Program application open
  • November 28, 2018: The deadline for the applications (extended)
  • December 4, 2018: Match Announcement
  • December 9, 2018: Deadline for payment
  • December 11, 2018: Mentors and Mentees Meet & Greet
  • January – May 2019: Mentoring Program

One time Registration fees on Acceptance:
The cost for Students/Post docs are $35 and Professionals are $50

Visit our FAQs and Code of Conduct for more information

Please sign up for our email notification for next year’s Mentoring Program.

Meet our 2019 mentors!


Laura Appleton
(Mentor since 2017)

Laura is a senior consultant at IPR. Her expertise includes primary/secondary market research and quantitative analysis. She has held senior marketing and research positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General, SUN Microsystems and Qwest Communications. In the area of storage and software, she is an alumna of Storage Technologies and McDATA. Laura was also a research director for Centennial Ventures – focused on telecommunications. Prior to work at IPR she consulted for the technology research firm IDC.

Laura graduated from Boston College with a BA in Economics, Boston University with an MBA and the University of Denver with a master’s in Telecommunications. She also completed biology/chemistry coursework in preparation for her PharmD program at the University Colorado Health Sciences Center. Her outside interests include on-going animal rescue efforts, downhill skiing/racing and learning Italian.


Regina Au
(Mentor since 2015)

Regina is Principal, New Product Planning/Strategic Commercial Consultant at BioMarketing Insight with 20+ years experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and healthcare industries.  She helps companies to maximize the benefits of their technology by conducting the business due diligence early in product development to de-risk the process and increase commercial success.

Ms. Au also serves as an advisor for the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center Platform Meetings,  Advisory Board member for an entrepreneur team at the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT, an Executive Judge for Entrepreneurship at Suffolk University and NHHTC Entrepreneur Forum, and a mentor for the Boston University Kindle Mentoring and EforAll for entrepreneurs.


Brenda Loan Baker
(Mentor since 2018)

Brenda is recognized for taking large-scale visions and developing a systematic, step-by-step approach to process creation, performance outcomes, and measurable success.

As an executive coach with proven success in the finance and sales industries, Brenda Loan Baker empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full leadership potential. While she serves leaders at all levels and across a broad range of functional roles and industries, she has a special interest in partnering with women and minorities in normally male-dominated industries like STEM, finance and law, to help them become more confident, visible, and influential leaders. It is Brenda’s passion to assist women and minorities in building greater confidence, improving their communication and public speaking, so they can lead with strength and compassion and become a role model for women to follow.

Brenda is an Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a Certified Professional Coach trained in both Core Energy Leadership™ through IPEC (The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and the Results System™ through Thought/Action. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from the University of Massachusetts.


Samira Farboodmanesh
(Mentor since 2018)

Samira is a Technical Manager for Parenteral Combination Products in Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Team at AstraZeneca. She has been an experienced professional in developing biomedical and combination products and related supporting technologies, ranging from nanofibrous materials to combination products to purification processes. She is passionate to be part of Women Accelerators, especially that she has had successful women as mentors throughout her education and industry experience.

Samira moved from Tehran, Iran for graduate studies and received her Masters and Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell). She became a post-doc and conducted research in Biomedical/Mechanical Engineering joint research with Tufts University and UMass Lowell. She joined the medical device and pharmaceutical industry after her post-doc.

Samira enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities. She is an avid skier and swimmer.


Melissa Hunter-Ensor, Ph.D.

Dr. Melissa Hunter-Ensor is Vice-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Patent Prosecution Group. Melissa focuses her practice on the intellectual property and commercial needs of clients in the life science industry, encompassing pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical agricultural, diagnostics and medical device companies. Melissa has experience representing clients throughout the business cycle, from start-ups and universities to global pharmaceutical companies, with patent portfolio management and strategic alliances, as well as litigation and pre-litigation strategy. She also assists venture capital firms and other investors in assessing the IP risks of target investments and conducts IP patent and licensing due diligence in connection with life science technology transactions.

Before becoming a lawyer, Melissa earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and her thesis research resulted in a first author paper in Cell. She followed this accomplishment with a four-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory of Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz where she was a Jane Coffin Childs fellow.


Miriam Margala
(Mentor since 2016)

In both, her academic and professional careers, Miriam’s interest has always focused on gender equality. What started off as research of gendered and androcentric language use and communication, soon developed into practical involvement with and passion for helping women to achieve equality. She holds a dual Ph.D. in English and Linguistics (University of Rochester) where one area of her expertise is communication and gender. Miriam has presented and published on the topic nationally and internationally.

Miriam teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She also works in the areas of art and literature both in the US and Europe and through her work continues to research and be actively involved with gender issues as they relate to professional, social and cultural aspects of communication.

Miriam is currently a mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students.  She has experience in guiding young women to achieve both their academic and professional career goals. Miriam has been a Women Accelerators mentor since 2016.


Nidhi Maniar

Nidhi has been associated with Women Accelerators as a volunteer for 4 years and as a mentee.
A graduate of Northeastern University with a masters degree in Pharmacology, she has been an active alumni member there, guiding students each year.

Nidhi currently works at MassBiologics, a biotechnology firm in Boston. Her valuable experience includes 5 years of designing assays to validate monoclonal antibodies and supporting other teams in Process Development.

Nidhi enjoys meeting and building connections with inspiring people. She aspires to be a social entrepreneur in India in the near future.


Abhiruchi Mehta

Abhi is an aspiring pharmacist with a background of research in pharmacology and biotechnology, and interest in pediatrics. Her unique background of research and practice will allow her to expand her horizons into a strong clinical role. While she works towards her graduation, she also tutors her peers, leads student groups and collaborates with students from other schools to identify innovative areas where pharmacy students can contribute to better patient care. She believes that education is the key to empowerment and is passionate about sharing this belief with her peers and colleagues. In her free time, she likes to cook, read, and travel


Wendy Silver

Wendy is the founder and president of Beyond the Workplace LLC, a boutique HR consulting company specializing in employee relations. Her unique combination of legal knowledge and HR operational know-how has made her a successful, valued, and highly trusted advisor at all levels of an organization. With over twenty years of experience, she works with companies at various stages of growth and in a variety of industries. She is passionate about inspiring, promoting and creating great places to work and challenges organizations to think outside the box and beyond the “what ifs,” to create workplace cultures that support business growth and employee success.

Before transitioning into HR, Wendy earned her JD from Suffolk University Law School and worked as a Field Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. It was this role that gave her a real understanding of common employment pitfall and where she gained valuable insight including the understanding that while every workplace is unique and special, all confront similar challenges in managing their people. Wendy in lives in Needham, MA with her husband and two teenage children.


Uma Ellur Staehler
(Mentor since 2018)

Uma has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working in a variety of marketing roles at Eli Lilly and Company. She recently transitioned to a new role as Market Research Advisor for the Connected Care Program; this program is focused on leveraging technology to connect various healthcare related components to improve patient outcomes (i.e. pharmaceutical drugs, devices, software, etc.), and is based in the Lilly Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. Uma has had the privilege and opportunity to work in a variety of marketing and sales roles and leadership roles in Global, US, European and China marketing. She has experience in oncology, osteoporosis, diabetes and infectious diseases, as well as across the entire lifecycle for brand management.

She has launched several new products and new indications, and worked in new product planning to late lifecycle and managing post-patent strategies.

She is also passionate about people development, inclusive leadership and “being the change you want to see happen in the world”. Uma has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband David, friends and family; fitness and health (especially running); traveling; and learning about new things, especially people and cultures.


Susu Wong

Susu Wong
(Mentor since 2016)

Susu is the Principal and Founder of Tomo360, an online marketing agency in Lowell, MA. She is an experienced business and marketing strategist who worked on a variety of companies from high-tech industry, healthcare, biotech, higher education to startup companies.  She was an adjunct Professor in Marketing at the UMass Lowell and a frequent workshop speaker at CWE and small business accelerators.   She has a unique combination of marketing, business and technical experience that provides a well-rounded advantage for her clients.  See her career profile on LinkedIn.

Susu is an advocate for helping women advancing their careers. She is one of the co-founders of Women Accelerators.  She holds an MBA/MIS from Lesley University.  Susu has been a Women Accelerators mentor since 2016.