Ohio State ADVANCE
The Ohio State University

Our Team

Mary C. Juhas, PhD

Associate Vice President, Ohio State ADVANCE

Mary C. JuhasMary C. Juhas is associate vice president in the Office of Research at the Ohio State University. In this role, she impacts the recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty in the STEM disciplines with a goal to develop research leaders. Dr. Juhas is recognized for her work nationally and internationally in this regard. She holds the appointment of clinical professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

As the leader of Ohio State ADVANCE, Juhas directs “REACH for Commercialization”, a workshop series for women faculty inventors. She is an angel investor. Juhas is ex-officio member and past chair of the President & Provost’s Council on Women at Ohio State. She served a two-year IPA (intergovernmental personnel act) leave as the inaugural program director for Diversity and Outreach in the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation from 2006-2008. She served as 2015-2016 national president of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN); the past chair of the Women in Materials Science and Engineering Committee of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS); Fellow of ASM International, and former ABET board member. Her scholarly research is focused on understanding microstructure/property relationships in structural metallic systems.

Juhas earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Seton Hill University, a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University. She was a Châteaubriand postdoctoral fellow at the University of Paris, France. Juhas has held engineering research and leadership positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Edison Welding Institute. She is married to Professor John Lippold.


Caroline Crisafulli

Director of Innovation

Caroline Crisafulli is a 26-year veteran of the medical device and health care industry.  Caroline is a co-founder of Minimally Invasive Devices, a venture backed medical device start up company.  As co-founder she has navigated the gamut of product development from concept to global commercialization.  She has performed or assisted with every aspect of the business from inception, incorporation, product development from concept to commercialization, quality and regulatory affairs, sales and marketing, international business strategy, executive management, angel and venture fund raising, personnel and human resources.

Caroline has participated in REACH for Commercialization since its inception.  She is passionate about building creative, effective teams and empowering women in technology.  Caroline earned her BS in Genetics and Development from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  She is listed on 5 issued US patents.

Nikki Thomas, PhD

Program Manager

Nikki Thomas is program manager for Ohio State ADVANCE.  Nikki’s background in mathematics and policy informed her interests in sharing
research and data analysis with policymakers to promote diversity in STEM fields. She has significant experience using quantitative data to promote policy change. Nikki has worked with underrepresented groups to better understand their perspectives on persistent societal problems in the context of proposed policy solutions.

As a Ph.D. student, Nikki was a graduate assistant on project Comprehensive Equity at Ohio State (CEOS), funded by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program to increase the representation, retention and advancement of women faculty in the STEM disciplines. Project CEOS was the predecessor to the current Ohio State ADVANCE office.  During that time, she published peer-reviewed articles on the impact of incorporating women faculty’s voices into decision-making in STEM departments; and on the future demographic state of women among science and engineering faculty. One of the findings of Nikki’s dissertation was a positive relationship between participation by underrepresented students in STEM education policy decisions and their mathematics outcomes. Nikki also was a co-founder and co-organizer of the group R-Ladies Columbus, which supports and teaches women to code using R software.

Nikki most recently spent two years on the staff of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, where she led research and data initiatives to improve the well-being of children from underrepresented groups in Ohio.

Nikki earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Boston University, a M.S. in Mathematics from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State.

Katie Musson

Executive Assistant to the Associate Vice President

Katie Musson has over ten years of experience assisting high level executives, with nine of those years spent at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the OSU ADVANCE team, Katie served as assistant and office manager in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Queens University of Charlotte and has previously worked at the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Virginia Oncology Associates.