Annual NCS Outstanding Student Award Ceremony for Howard University and University of Maryland College Park | AIChE

Annual NCS Outstanding Student Award Ceremony for Howard University and University of Maryland College Park

Thursday, September 23, 2021,
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Virtual / Online

The AIChE National Capital Section (NCS) is proud to host a two-part virtual event that recognizes exemplary students from the Capital region’s universities and provides a virtual networking and career exploration opportunity! Join us on Thurs, Sept 23rd for the 2021 NCS Outstanding Student Awards Ceremony that awards student achievement at the chemical engineering departments of both Howard University and the University of Maryland.  Following the ceremony, learn about chemical engineering career opportunities by networking with highlighted professionals and leaders who have chosen traditional and non-traditional career paths!


This event is free to attend!  Please register through the Eventbrite link provided. Upon registration, Eventbrite will email a ticket containing the link for the Zoom virtual conference room.


6:30 – NCS Greetings & Announcements

6:45 – Student Award presentations by Howard University & University of Maryland Faculty

7:00 – Breakout Sessions: Networking and career guidance with Chemical Engineering Professionals

8:00 – Adjourn


For over 20 years, AIChE-NCS has presented an annual award that recognizes outstanding chemical engineering students from both Howard University and the University of Maryland.  These students are recognized by department faculty for their exemplary academic accomplishments and community contributions. 

Despite continued challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the NCS is proud to finance the awards and preserve this event as a virtual ceremony!

Please see the following pages for detailed information on our Highlighted Professionals who will be participating in our one-of-a-kind virtual networking session for ChemEs.


 Support Outstanding Students and Peers!

Learn about potential next steps in your careers!

Network with nationally recognized Chemical Engineering leaders!

Highlighted Professionals

2021 NCS Outstanding Student Awards Networking Event

  • Ms. Danielle DiPietra
    • Danielle DiPietra is an experienced Operations leader with Duff & Phelps. She holds BS Chemical Engineering from Tufts, and MBA from Cornell. She has focused on cross-functional project management with an emphasis in large transformations in consumer products, food & beverage, and retail. Danielle is a functional expert in Operations Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Supply Chain, and Process Improvement.  Earlier in her career, Danielle was a manufacturing engineer at Danaher, Abbott, and EMD.
  • Mr. Daryll Munoz
    • Daryll Munoz is currently a business analyst based in the New York Metro area with experience in user-acceptance testing, automation testing, and the cloud. He is currently staffed as a QA Engineer at one of the nation's largest telecommunication companies in their customer experience domain. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with highest honors from Rutgers University and is currently enrolled in Rutgers Full Stack Coding Bootcamp. He aspires to be an effective full-stack developer proficient in current technologies. Outside of work, Daryll enjoys traveling, learning languages, playing instruments, and spending time with family and friends.
  • Ms. Elizabeth Haughton
    • Elizabeth Haughton is a Senior Engineer A with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions in Aiken, South Carolina. She is a system engineer at H-Canyon, the only operating, production-scale, radiologically-shielded chemical separations facility still in operation in the United States. She is also a part-time consultant with Environment & Health Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is highly active in AIChE, including serving as a Director on the Chemical Engineering Technology Operating Council (CTOC), an Industry Member-at-Large with Women in Chemical Engineering (WIC), and a member of the LGBT+ & Allies Initiative. Elizabeth received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. In her free time, she likes to travel, cook, and play ultimate frisbee.
  • Ms. Katelyn Dagnall
    • Katelyn Dagnall is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia. She works in UVA’s Choi Laboratory for Optoelectronic Nanomaterials. Katelyn has 5 years of experience in the synthesis and characterization of thin film perovskites for high efficiency solar cells and scintillators, 2 years of experience in heterogeneous catalysis research, and 6 years of experience in leadership and teaching. During her graduate school experience. She has instructed 90+ students in Thermodynamics and Fluid Dynamics Laboratories, created safe operating procedures as the Choi Safety Officer. In addition to research roles, Katelyn has served as a Graduate Recruiter for the Society of Women Engineers, Vice President of UVA’s Women in Chemical Engineering, and President for the Chemical Engineering Graduate Board. 
  • Dr. Manuel “Sebastian” Escotet Espinoza, Ph.D.
    • Manuel “Sebastian” Escotet Espinoza, Ph.D. is an Associate Principal Scientist in the Oral Formulation Sciences (OFS) department at Merck & Co. At Merck, Sebastian focuses on the development and manufacturing of oral solid drug products for HIV and oncology treatments. He is the lead of the Feeder Research Laboratory (FRL), the Modeling and Simulation Technology Development Team, and the Continuous Manufacturing community of practice at Merck. Sebastian has participated in several recruiting and outreach events to promote the hiring and participation of Latinos and underrepresented communities in STEM. Previously, he worked as an intern at the FDA with the Emerging Technology Team (ETT) evaluating modeling tools to improve drug substance manufacturing. Sebastian holds a B.Sci with honors and M.Sci in Chemical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.Eng in Pharmaceutical Engineering and a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University. Sebastian is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and is a dad to a 4-month old baby!
  • Ms. Meera Patel
    • Meera Patel is a Process Expert Manager at L’Oréal. She obtained her Masters in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University and holds a Graduate Certificate in cosmetic science. She is leader in R&D and Manufacturing with over 6 years of proven track record in E2E execution of technical projects, & process develop/scale up  initiative/new product launches within the CPG industry. Highly passionate for the beauty/cosmetic industry specifically within CPG. A result driven, challenging status quo & discipline to understand issues at core- collaborative leader with strategic approach & entrepreneurial like mindset focused on driving decisions keeping business & consumer at heart.
  • Ms. Michelle Shebowich
    • Michelle Shebowich is a Project Engineer at APECS. She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 2014. Michelle started her career as a refining process engineer for Phillips 66, and have since engaged in roles in biofuels chemistry for a startup, project design for an oil and gas engineering firm, and currently in pharmaceuticals as a project engineer/project manager. She loves to camp, hike and travel in her free time and she’s always interested in talking to students about the transition from academic to professional life.