The Glue Talk Blog

H.B. Fuller's feature on women in science.

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Posted 10 Feb 2020 by Liz Grohn Andert, Global Digital Marketing Manager

At H.B. Fuller, we believe in celebrating the individuals who make a difference, which is why, in honor of this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we wanted to take the time to spotlight several women in our organization who are championing science.

Here are their stories.

H.B. Fuller is excited to spotlight these extraordinary women and looks forward to continuing to engage in efforts to make a positive difference for women everywhere.

If you have a passion for science and are interested in working for H.B. Fuller, search for open jobs here.
  • Traci Jensen, Vice President, Global Business Process Improvement

    H.B. Fuller's Traci Jensen feature for women in science.

    Traci has been with H.B. Fuller for 11 years. She’s worked in several roles within the organization, leading various business lines and directly managing R&D, marketing, sales, technical service, and manufacturing units.

    With a chemistry degree from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Kansas, Traci began her career over 30 years ago in a technical service role, which allowed her to find a balance between working directly with customers, sales, and R&D teams. She attributes much of her learning to the amazing managers and leaders that she’s interacted with, as well as her flexibility in taking on a variety of roles as it enabled her to step out of her comfort zone and gain valuable experience.

    Fun Fact:

    Traci is a proud supporter of Girls on the Run, a non-profit program that works to encourage pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games, and is also proud of her work in helping bring back a college recruiting program targeting STEM majors at predominately Big Ten universities. Not only does this have an immediate impact in helping recruit talented, smart individuals, but it also has a long-term effect as these professionals grow within their careers in their respective companies.

    Today, Traci is leading H.B. Fuller’s efforts in global process improvement to drive efficiencies across the organization’s three business segments.

  • Emily Brunner, Area Technical Specialist

    Having started out as an H.B. Fuller intern, Emily is excited to have worked with the company for two-and-a-half years. Her current role is in the Construction Adhesives global business unit, where she works as an Area Technical Specialist for the Flooring group. Emily provides technical support, training, and education, and particularly enjoys helping launch new products.

    Having received a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Emily attributes much of her progress to both her educational background and her opportunity to intern with H.B. Fuller. That experience allowed her to talk to people in the roles that she was interested in pursuing, and feedback from her managers proved to be invaluable as it enabled her to finetune her skill set and identify which positions would be a good fit. Emily also enjoys helping mentor H.B. Fuller interns and is additionally a member of the Next Generation Professionals committee.

    Emily uses science every day through recommending different products for different applications, based on their chemistries. She understands that, without science, her job would be a guessing game, as it is precisely science that provides the rationale for her recommendations.

    Fun Fact: 

    When she’s not working, Emily enjoys combining her passion for science and love of food in the kitchen. In fact, she even attributes cooking and baking for having propelled her into a chemical engineering field of study.

  • Kristy Beckman, Director, Program Management Office

    H.B. Fuller's Kristy Beckman women in science feature.

    Kristy has been with H.B. Fuller for nine years. As the Director of Program Management, Kristy feels fortunate to get to drive some of the biggest and most strategic initiatives for the company, including the Royal Adhesives integration and the organization’s work with Google Glass. Kristy also enjoys getting to meet and connect leaders to one another.

    Having received a Chemical Engineering degree from Michigan Technological University and an M.E. in Engineering Management from the University of Wisconsin, Kristy started her career as a Product Development Engineer in non-metallics and tribology (the study of friction and wear). After several years working in various roles within different organizations across the U.S., including Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Texas, Kristy found herself at H.B. Fuller. She’s transitioned from Director of Global R&D Operations to Director of Hot Melt Product Management to Global Hygiene R&D Director (including an assignment in Malaysia), to her current role. She holds 15 patents across multiple industries.

    Kristy recognizes the value of science in her everyday life, both at work and elsewhere. She’s confident that her background in engineering has helped her become a great problem solver, especially as she’s regularly faced with business problems and looks to implement win-win solutions.

    Fun Fact: 

    When she’s not working, Kristy loves exercising. As a huge proponent of the benefits of exercise in all aspects of life, Kristy enjoys teaching fitness classes at H.B. Fuller and in the community, having been a certified fitness instructor for 24 years.

  • Rutika Padsalgikar, Sourcing Analyst

    H.B. Fuller's Rutika feature for women in science.

    Rutika has been working at H.B. Fuller for a little under a year, having previously interned with the organization. As a Sourcing Analyst, Rutika specializes in securing raw materials. She relies strongly on her innovative skill set to help gain materials that are more cost effective and that will work in adhesive formulations. Additionally, she also negotiates with suppliers for competitive pricing.

    Rutika graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a minor in Supply Chain Management. While she has always liked science and math, she also enjoys the business side, which ultimately inspired her decision to go into a sourcing position.

    Rutika also tutors at Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (IOCP) in math and science, and finds it particularly rewarding to see young people grow in their understanding of subject matter she enjoys.

    Fun Fact:

    When she’s not using science, Rutika finds herself traveling the world, having lived in Belgium, Scotland, and Australia, where she still maintains citizenship.

  • Heather Campe, Senior Vice President, Global Specialties
    H.B. Fuller is celebrating women in science with Heather Campe, Senior Vice President, Global Specialties.
    Heather has worked at H.B. Fuller for 11 years. As the Senior Vice President for the Global Specialties segment, she directly manages global hygiene initiatives and a team of experienced leaders who run the ACS, tape and label, and rolled paper and tips businesses — all of which make up Global Specialties that deliver over $550 million in revenue to H.B. Fuller. 
    Heather holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. Having started her career in technical service, she transitioned to working as a field sales representative before starting and managing an inside sales team. She then moved into a marketing role before managing a new product innovation team. Heather believes that her background in science is what helps her to ask probing questions that spark new ideas and uncover risks that need mitigating. She understands that scientific lessons learned are translatable tools to business and technical roles. That understanding helps her translate how H.B. Fuller’s capabilities can help customers achieve their business objectives, a skill she brings to her company representation on the Board of Directors at the Adhesives and Sealants Council.
    Heather has enjoyed mentoring many people within the H.B. Fuller family, and is also on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Share My Fortune, an organization whose mission is to help orphans get a second chance in life by raising funds to contribute food, clothing, educational essentials and other resources to orphanages around the country.
    Fun Fact:
    In addition to the United States, Heather has lived in England, Germany, and China. She loves traveling and experiencing new cultures, and has been fortunate enough to travel to over 40 countries to-date.
  • Elizabeth Knauzs, Senior Application Specialist, Battery, EV 

    H.B. Fuller's Elizabeth Knazs feature for women in science.

    Elizabeth has worked at H.B. Fuller for nearly two years. As a Senior Application Specialist, she supports business growth by developing application-related solutions to prove the benefits of commercially available products. She also helps manage projects, from new business leads to the final sales stage, to ensure customer success. As the world moves toward new technologies, Elizabeth understands that her role will be critical to finding innovative solutions with advanced adhesives.

    Elizabeth confirmed her love of chemistry, physics and math in her collegiate studies at Louisiana State University. From there, she worked for many years at Dow Chemical, gaining experience as an Analytical Technologist, Quality/EHS/Logistics lead, Solar Application Engineer and Technical Service lead, and finally as a Quality/Analytical Ops lead. Realizing that she missed the innovation and customer interaction, however, is what prompted her to pursue her current role at H.B. Fuller.

    Elizabeth is passionate about science, and understands how it is key to helping customers achieve success. She is grateful to be able to do a job that pushes her limits and analytical knowledge to help solve tomorrow’s challenges.

    Fun Fact:

    When she’s not working, Elizabeth enjoys volunteering at local food banks and helping with her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop and class activities.

  • Elena Eiden, Global Product Manager, Aerospace

    H.B. Fuller's Elena Eiden, global product manager, aerospace, women in science feature.

    Elena is new to the H.B. Fuller family, having started in October 2019. As the Global Product Manager for the Aerospace market, Elena is responsible for supporting the organization through strategic initiatives designed to enable sales teams to drive new business opportunities and application development within Aerospace.

    Elena holds a degree in Clinical Psychology and a Minor in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and entered the Aerospace, Military and Defense business when she was recommended for an open sales position at a top distributor (Krayden). After working there for three years, Elena accepted a position at 3M Aerospace as a Sales Specialist covering Boeing and the Pacific Northwest, where she worked for 3.5 years before accepting her dream role in product management at H.B. Fuller.

    Elena enjoys volunteering, as demonstrated by her participation in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Women in Aviation, and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE). Specifically, Elena was a member of the Student Relations committee in the Seattle chapter of SAMPE, where she worked to increase participation and learning from college students and provide scholarships to use towards STEM education or to attend industry trade shows and workshops.

    Fun Fact: 

    When she’s not working, Elena enjoys picking up new hobbies. Over the last two years especially, and having purchased a house, she’s enjoyed learning how to remodel a home on her own, most notably the custom, built-in pantry she recently finished.

  • Kirstin Hedin, Global Product Management and Marketing, Hygiene, Health, and Consumable Adhesives
    H.B. Fuller is celebrating women in science with Kirstin Hedin, Global Product Management and Marketing, Hygiene, Health, and Consumable Adhesives. 


    Kirstin has worked at H.B. Fuller for 10 years and leads Global Product Management and Marketing for the Hygiene, Health, and Consumable Adhesives business. She enjoys working closely with all functions of the business to deliver value to existing customers and to create opportunities for growth with new customers. Specifically, she works with marketers, product line managers, pricing managers, and sales excellence experts to ensure they’re identifying trends in the markets that H.B. Fuller serves and then developing, marketing and selling products that enable our customers to meet those trends.
    Kirstin wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do while pursuing an English and Communications degree, and started working in Supply Chain that eventually led to a role in Sourcing. She especially enjoyed finding ways to help the business by negotiating with suppliers to drive the best outcome and working with partners in R&D and Operations to execute. From there, Kirstin moved into a Strategic Account Manager position in the sales organization, which eventually led her to marketing and business leader roles. Kirstin found her passion in Marketing. She enjoys acting as the bridge between technology and commercial to take complex, technical information and transform it into messages that are important to H.B. Fuller customers.
    When she’s not working, Kirstin is helping mentor H.B. Fuller employees, especially those who, like her in her early career, don’t quite know what they want to do. She also enjoys participating in H.B. Fuller’s volunteer events for Junior Achievement.
    Fun Fact:
    Kirstin has two silver dollars, which means that she’s contributed to two patent filings, and is listed as an inventor on an H.B. Fuller patent filing. This is something she’s particularly proud of given her non-technical background, and proves that everyone can contribute to Science. 
  • Elizabeth Ryne, Technical Account Manager, Flexible Packaging

    H.B. Fuller is celebrating Women in Science with Elizabeth Ryne, Technical Account Manager, Flexible Packaging.

    Elizabeth joined the H.B. Fuller family three-and-a-half years ago and is responsible for ensuring current customers are happy with their products and support as well as finding and bringing on new customers. She has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, and was recruited directly out of college.
    Having started out in technical service, Elizabeth quickly learned to put her problem solving skills to the test, as it required her to be in direct contact with customers. In that role, she also worked closely with members of the sales team whose accounts she supported, and discovered a passion for their added challenge of selling and retaining customers (which she does now).
    Elizabeth knew at an early age that she wanted to pursue science in her career. Science was always her favorite subject in school, and she especially recognizes the value today in what she studied previously as she regularly has to draw on her chemistry background to understand how products work to optimize performance at customers.
    Fun Fact:
    When she’s not working, Elizabeth enjoys volunteering with the Dallas Public Library teaching a class to prepare adults to take the GED, and also leading H.B. Fuller’s Next Generation Professionals Committee (which provides a community and resources to employees who are new in their careers). She also enjoys traveling and practicing her Spanish-speaking skills abroad.
  • Heather Godinez, Scientist II, Foster/Childers Brands
    H.B. Fuller is celebrating women in science with Heather Godinez, Scientist, Foster/Childers Brands.  

    Heather has worked at H.B. Fuller for seven years. She currently works in the Utility and Infrastructure segment within the global adhesives manufacturer’s Foster and Childers brands helping develop new formulas and maintain and improve existing formulations. She’s also worked previously with the Flooring segment with RTU mastics, grouts, and caulks.


    Heather has a degree in Biology with a focus in Genetics and Biotechnology from the University of Iowa. Having started working as a chemical technician for a company that makes Sharpie markers and pens, she then came to H.B. Fuller as a chemist, where she draws on her scientific knowledge daily to problem solve.


    Heather enjoys serving as the Community Affairs Council Chair for the H.B. Fuller Aurora office in Illinois, and especially enjoys orchestrating annual Make a Difference events and running other volunteer efforts in the community. Her favorite charity to work with, however, is Special Spaces, in which team members create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses.


    Fun Fact:

    After having her son, Heather started weight lifting and exercising, and enjoys participating in those activities three to five times weekly.

  • Sara SUN, PUR Scientist, Textiles
    H.B. Fuller celebrates women in science with Sara SUN, PUR Scientist, Textiles.  

    Sara has worked at H.B. Fuller for eight years. As a chemist, she is responsible for helping develop new products for the textile industry and bring them to market. Sara has a Master’s degree from Zhejiang University and started her career as a sales trainee. From there, she gained experience in several departments, including R&D and plant processing, where she learned that R&D was where her passion was.


    Sara appreciates the feeling of success and happiness that accompanies her job, both because of the work itself and also because of her experience as a member of the H.B. Fuller family. She also enjoys the variety her role affords, as she’s able to work with formulations in the areas of transportation fabrics, garments, and home textiles.


    Sara attributes her mother for having helped influence her to be the best that she can. She knows that it is her mother’s hardworking attitude and love of learning that continues to inspire her in her daily life.


    Fun Fact:

    In Chinese, Sara’s name is traditionally one reserved for men, so before meeting her, people often assume she is a man. Sara loves it, though, as it allows her to demonstrate first-hand that technical roles are not reserved solely for men (as is often the case).

  • Selda Çolak Akbasli 
    Selda Çolak Akbasli at H.B. Fuller 

    Selda has worked at H.B. Fuller for seven years and is currently holds a global leadership role in our HHC business. Her responsibilities are many, including hitting budget targets, leading her team, and ensuring that practices and products always align with H.B. Fuller’s standards. Turkey is a very important sector of business for adhesives, but it also comes with many political and economic challenges that must be balanced with strong, market-savvy leadership.


    Selda’s education began with a double major in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. After studying and completing her thesis in Newcastle, England, she began a technical career in R&D Industrial Adhesives. Nine years later, moving toward a sales-oriented career would prove a challenge. As Selda explains, “After having such technical roles with double engineering degrees for so many years, it was difficult to adapt myself into sales, especially in the male dominated world of Turkey’s transportation segment. I worked a great deal and actually saw that my technical background explicitly helped me to prove myself in front of customers.”


    She went on to further her sales career at H.B. Fuller and remains optimistic in her work today. “The most important thing for me since the beginning has been to work a lot for anything I target, putting all my effort toward the things that I have power to change. Once you succeed in your personal and professional life by being yourself and owning your dreams and passions, you automatically light up your environment and the people around you.”


    As both a student and a manager, Selda has put an emphasis on coaching new graduates and young people at the early stages of their careers to help them foster respectful environments. “Being a woman, especially in some developing countries, can be difficult. You have to create your own opportunity. You have to fight for creating equality not only for yourself, but also for the other women or young girls around you — and you cannot give up.”


    Selda’s strong background in science continues to help her with her responsibilities in sales. With science as a tool to create trust for customers, the ability to speak about facts and solve problems with engineered solutions remains one of H.B. Fuller’s strong suits. 


    Fun Fact: Selda draws inspiration for positive change from her primary school teacher, who widened horizons with her extraordinary vision despite a locally traditional, conservative culture 35 years ago.

Blog Categories