We are proud to induct Allison Chisenhall into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.
Allison Chisenhall is a chemical process engineer for BAE Systems and a member of the Employee Resource Group, ABLE. Originally from Texas, Allison graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2015 with a degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Throughout her time in college, she worked in multiple research laboratories in the Johns Hopkins Institute of NanoBio Technology, focusing on both cancer research and DNA nanotechnology. Allison was an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and captain of the Johns Hopkins University Club Volleyball Team. Following graduation, Allison spent her summer as an intern in the Cancer Research Internship (CRI) program for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a program focused on increasing diversity by recruiting and training students from groups under-represented in the biomedical science fields.
It was not until this time that Allison became greatly involved in the disability community. She participated as a mentee in the USBLN Career Link Mentoring Program in 2015, concluding with her attendance at the annual USBLN conference. This experience proved life changing in multiple ways, as the connections she made quickly led to her current role at BAE Systems and sparked her interest in becoming more involved within this community. In 2016, Allison was able to attend the conference as a BAE Systems representative, speaking at a conference-wide session on disability inclusion as a female in a technical field. This year, she has expanded her involvement even further, serving as a mentor in the 2017 USBLN Rising Leader program, aiming to provide the same support that hers did for her. She is a member of the Professional Development Committee for this year’s USBLN conference and will be serving on panels for multiple breakout sessions to share her experiences, challenges, and understanding of coping and succeeding with a disability. Outside of the workplace, she pursues her passion of guiding others to achieve their goals through fitness by instructing exercise classes throughout the week.
What does mentoring mean to you?
“For me, mentoring is about sharing experiences with each other to help improve others and yourself. Mentoring is not a one way street and it is essential for professional growth from both sides. I believe that all young adults, with disabilities or without, should utilize mentors and in turn offer their mentoring knowledge to others once they have developed those skills. Mentoring does not have to be a formal program, either. I recently mentored several young girls from my sorority who are feeling unsure of their future careers. Remember what it felt like then and use what you have learned and what you wish you had known to help those in that place. Everyone can be a mentor, and everyone should.”