Executive Council

FY24 Executive Council

Ally Hardy is an engineer and has grown up around an entire family of engineers, so she has witnessed multiple generations of women run up against the same walls. Although these struggles show themselves in different capacities, her goal is to immensely reduce, if not eliminate, the roadblocks that continue to face women in STEM. And even though more girls and women alike are starting to view STEM fields as a place where they belong, there is so much more to do to maintain those women in such fields in the workplace. SWE provides that support system for girls and women of all ages to fight for their dreams and achieve their goals throughout the different seasons of their lives. Ally is passionate about providing that support and discovering new ways to dissolve bias, embrace different perspectives, empower women as influential leaders, and solidify women as pillars of technical fortitude.

Ally Hardy has been involved in the Society of Women Engineers since 2016 and has served as a leader holding different roles in both the San Diego Professional and Collegiate chapters. Prior to being elected President this year, Ally has served as the FY23 Vice-President of SWE San Diego. During her college career, she also served as the Vice-President of Membership and Secretary for the collegiate chapter. With a unique blend of her fresh perspective on leadership in this new age and her passion for driving development within the STEM industry, Ally has a vision to take SWE-SD and our San Diego community as a whole to the next level being an example for the rest of the world.

Ally holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Bioengineering.

Currently, Ally is an R&D engineer at Becton Dickinson, where she works within the Medical Delivery Systems business focused on global infusion systems including pumps and consumables. Her professional goal is to utilize rapidly advancing technology to improve the health and overall lives of humans all over the world in every corner of the earth.

Dr. Tracy Nguyen is an exemplary change-maker and a true champion of STEM Diversity. Although a practicing optometrist and informal educator, her unwavering passion for STEM outreach has made her a dedicated advocate for empowering women in engineering, aligning perfectly with SWE's mission and vision of achieving parity and equity.

Since joining SWE-SD in 2018, Dr. Nguyen has been a driving force as the FY22 & FY23 Outreach Chair, leading the highly successful "Girls in STEM Inspiration Day" event, recognized as the WE Local 2023 Outstanding Outreach Event. Her dedication and tireless efforts for SWE-SD have not gone unnoticed, as she has received prestigious accolades, including the FY23 Diversity Champion Award, FY23 Member of the Year, and FY21 & FY22 Volunteer of the Year. Additionally, Dr. Nguyen’s commitment to supporting the advancement and acceptance of women in engineering has earned her the distinguished WE Local 2021 & 2023 Engaged Advocate Award. 

Beyond her involvement with SWE-SD, she extends her impact by serving on numerous STEM committees and organizations. She prides herself in being a SWE Counselor for multiple SWENext Clubs worldwide and a devoted FIRST Robotics mentor, volunteer, and judge.

As she joins the SWE-SD Executive Council as FY24 Vice President, Dr. Nguyen is honored and eager to continue the impactful work of previous leadership in striving for parity and equity. She acknowledges the pivotal role SWE-SD plays in advocating for women in engineering and is resolute in her determination to continue this vital work. At the same time, she is enthusiastic about collaborating with like-minded organizations and partners to elevate the awareness and presence of SWE-SD within the community. Her contagious passion, enthusiasm, thoroughness, and diligence are invaluable assets to SWE-SD. In essence, Dr. Nguyen is steadfast in making a lasting difference for women in engineering to inspire positive change for a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

Laura Cunningham is a finance and accounting specialist in the technology industry, so she understands the rewards and challenges of being a woman in STEM. As a former CPA, she has over 15 years of experience in tax preparation, budget development, and financial forecasting.  She has worked extensively in the Technology industry including positions at Hewlett Packard, IBM, Deloitte Consulting, VMware and currently AWS.  She is active in her company’s mentorship groups and is committed to fostering growth and advancement in STEM.

As the STEM Treasurer, Laura plays a pivotal role in managing the council's financial resources. With meticulous attention to detail and a strategic mindset, she oversees budget planning, financial forecasting, and expenditure monitoring. By leveraging her financial expertise, she ensures that the council's initiatives and programs receive the necessary funding to thrive, fostering innovation and growth in the STEM community.

Laura is currently a Sr Business Development Manager of Cloud Economics for AWS leading customers on their cloud journeys by running IT financial models (TCO and ROI) to quantify and qualify the benefits of running applications in the cloud.  She is a member of both Women@SanDiego and WomenatAWS Mentorship Program. She is passionate about furthering SWE’s mission and is excited to bring experience in mentoring and inclusivity serving both our SWE members and the community in the coming year.

Cassidy Thornbury is a water resource engineer with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and M.S. in Civil Engineering from SDSU. She works at Carollo Engineers, a firm that specializes in the planning, design, and construction of water and wastewater facilities. After 2.5 years of interning, she has shifted to a full-time staff professional position and has now been with the company almost 6 years. She grew up with an interest in engineering but also has immense passion for the environment and the natural world, making her a perfect fit at Carollo Engineers. When she is not spending time with friends and family, she is out hiking and exploring the trails and beaches of San Diego.

During her time at SDSU, she was involved in the SWE collegiate section along with other engineering organizations where she took on several officer positions to build leadership skills. Her favorite events to attend were always the ones involving outreach and socializing as she got to interact and connect with peers as well as the community. Being able to share her love for engineering and inspiring others to pursue their dreams has always been an important part of her life. When she was in grade school, there were no dedicated clubs and outreach events for STEM exploration (especially ones including girls), so she makes every effort to support these opportunities, hoping to provide the insight and guidance that she did not have.

Since college, she has been actively involved in the SWE San Diego Membership Engagement committee and served as the FY21 Community Outreach Chair and K-12 Outreach Co-Chair. She also serves as the office ambassador for Carollo Cares, a community outreach program at her work, and has led fundraising events for Water for People to help provide clean, safe drinking water for people in other parts of the world. She is excited to serve as the FY24 Recording Secretary, her attention to detail and organizational skills makes her the perfect fit for the role.

Corresponding Secretary

Kathleen Parker


Kathleen is a mechanical engineer with over a decade of experience working in manufacturing and supply chain in the technology and medical device industries. She’s always had an interest in designing and building things which was supported during her high school years through a program for girls interested in STEM (similar to SWENext). This program offered Kathleen first hand exposure to various career paths and the opportunity to meet professional role models working in STEM. She first joined SWE through her collegiate chapter, becoming an active member again in 2021 after a coworker encouraged re-joining SWE as a professional. She volunteers with her company's women in STEM employee resource group, coordinating a number of SWE initiatives to help connect and support professional women in engineering. Kathleen enjoys volunteering for SWE San Diego’s outreach initiatives, such as the Girls in STEM Inspiration Day. Having directly benefited from programs to support and encourage girls and women in STEM throughout her education and career, Kathleen is motivated to pay it forward through volunteering with SWE.

Kathleen holds both her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Santa Clara University. She works as a Staff Engineer in the MedTech industry.

Past Section Officers