FY25 Core Board Nominees

Katherine Allen

Katie is a Sr. Engineering Manager who works at Collins Aerospace. She has been active in SWE since her college years at the University of Notre Dame. Katie joined SWE-ECI in 2011 and has previously served as K-12 Outreach Chair when she inaugurated the popular Jr. Girl Scout Day event and President when she helped revamp the bylaws and bring in Rockwell Collins corporate sponsored memberships. She has been Treasurer many times and earned the SWE-ECI Leadership Award in 2015 and 2016. Katie has attended and organized numerous section events. 

Katie would like to continue as Treasurer as she feels that she is good at the role and has done a good job keeping SWE’s budget the last few years. She has ensured that our grant from Collins Aerospace is kept active, allowing many of the popular events to take place. Being Treasurer allows her to help in many different aspects which she enjoys. It is also a good fit for her life, currently. The treasurer role allows her to support the section on her own schedule.


Kristen Wagner

Kristen Wagner is a Mechanical Engineer at PepsiCo – Quaker Foods & Snacks in Global Grains & Ingredients Research & Development. She has worked at PepsiCo for the past eleven years since she graduated from The University of Iowa in 2013. Kristen has been active in SWE for fifteen years; four years as a collegiate and eleven years as a professional member. Throughout her professional career, Kristen has held various roles within SWE-ECI: President for five years, Vice-President for one year, Jr. Girl Scout Day Chair for two years, and College Outreach Chair for three years. In 2021, Kristen was awarded the SWE WE Local New Emerging Leader in Technology & Engineering (ELiTE) Award. Locally, Kristen has received the SWE-ECI Leadership Award 2019-2023, and she received the SWEsterhood Award in 2018. Aside from work and SWE, Kristen’s favorite hobbies are traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband Devin, five-year-old son Logan, two-year-old daughter Arabella, and dog Rylee.

For FY25, Kristen would like to step down to be the Vice President. Being VP allows Kristen to continue to be actively involved in the ECI section and fill in as needed while balancing other aspects of her life. Kristen is extremely passionate about SWE and looks forward to what FY25 will bring.


Jillian Nagle

Jill is a Technical Readiness Leader for Initiatives at P&G Oral Care in Iowa City. She studied Mechanical Engineering at The University of Iowa where she graduated in 2013. At The University of Iowa she was very involved with the Society of Women Engineers. She held several executive board positions throughout her four years and rounded off her collegiate SWE career with being the President her senior year.

Upon graduation, Jill got involved with the local professional section, SWE-ECI. Over the past 10 years Jill has been Vice President, President, K-12 Outreach Chair, and Secretary. She is always willing to fill in wherever needed. She has really enjoyed staying involved with SWE throughout her professional career as a means of networking with other women, continuously learning, and helping to shape the future generations in STEM through outreach. For FY25, Jill is running for Secretary, as she would like to continue to be heavily involved in SWE-ECI. She also would like to stay very involved with our K-12 Outreach initiatives to ensure we continue to promote STEM in our community.


Henal Patel

Henal graduated with an Agricultural and Biological Engineering degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2022. Upon graduation, Henal moved to Iowa and began a rotational program for six months with Quaker Oats – Supply Chain followed by being the Quality Supervisor overseeing Captain Crunch and Life Cereals. She is currently a Productivity Leader at Quaker Oats managing projects and innovation for the Instant Oats and Instant Grits department.

Henal is equally interested in the FY25 core board roles of Secretary or Treasurer. This year as the Professional Development Chair, Henal has gained great exposure to event planning, section events, networking, and building a community with other female engineers in the area. Through the experiences she’s had within this past fiscal year, Henal would love the opportunity to continue to help the SWE-ECI section through the elected core board roles mentioned above. In college, Henal held the roles of Professional Development Chair, Secretary, and President for a student organization called MANRRS. Bringing previous knowledge and adapting to the needs of the section, Henal hopes to help in the continuation of having a unique and passionate group of women in STEM in the East Central Iowa area.


Margaret Nelson

Margaret is looking to re-engage with SWE after a hiatus during busy times in her career and life. During her undergrad at UMN-TC (2011-2015) for Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Margaret was actively involved in SWE through roles in outreach (K-12 and on-campus), event and career fair planning including serving on the SWE Region H planning committee, and as a Treasurer. In the meantime, Margaret has moved from Minneapolis to Fort Dodge (2015-2017) and has found herself nested in Cedar Rapids (2017-present) with a house, a long-term partner, three cats, one dog, and more time to follow her passions. This fall she’ll be starting grad school at The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business in the part-time M.S. Data Analytics program. Having pivoted from bio-engineering in an ethanol facility to environmental compliance, construction project management, and now working with the City of Cedar Rapids in Public Works coordinating road reconstruction, rehabilitation, and maintenance projects, Margaret feels her jack-of-all-trades experiences can provide a valuable perspective on non-linear career paths. She also hopes to learn and develop friendships with others in the area, re-establishing friendships and community. Margaret is an introvert that enjoys planning group outings, attending community events, and lifelong learning.

Margaret would like to contribute where there’s a need or opportunity to provide support. Since she hasn’t attended many events recently, Margaret especially wants to learn the culture and pace of the SWE-ECI section through working with those who have been long-term members, while providing backup and extra support where she can. Margaret looks forward to becoming more involved!


Samantha Armstrong

Samantha moved to Iowa in 2019 and has enjoyed meeting more people through SWE-ECI. She got married in 2021 and lives with her husband; they are both engineers and met in college. Samantha is currently an engineer at Schneider Electric. Within SWE-ECI, she has been Communications/Marketing Secretary for three years now and really enjoys it.

Each year Samantha tries to add one more aspect of social media and would like to continue to grow SWE-ECI’s presence. This year her goals would be to post on LinkedIn once per month and continue to create reels on Instagram of SWE-ECI’s events.