True believer

Carmen Fontana, her husband Vince ’99, and their two boys, Dominic and Porter.

True believer

Carmen Fontana believes an inspired engineer really can change the world.

Carmen Fontana ’00, MEM ’05, did not see many role models when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in systems and control engineering. “Women engineers just weren’t a thing,” she says, and she thinks she floundered early because of that.

 

 

She also came up with a solution. While carving out a fulfilling career, Fontana resolved to be that role model she lacked.

 

“A lot of it is just sharing my story,” she said.

 

That’s the story of a long-distance runner, a cancer survivor, an IEEE influencer, and an engineer who uses technology to improve people’s lives. Fontana will receive a Meritorious Service Award at Homecoming 2022, a tribute to her work on behalf of the profession and of Case and its students.

 

You may have read one of her blog posts or heard one of her podcasts. She’s an “impact creator” for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, showcasing emerging technologies.

 

That was also her focus at Centric Consulting, where she led its software delivery practice for many years. Recently, she jumped to a new venture, Augment Therapy, a startup that uses augmented reality and video game technology to design new therapy programs for patients–often children facing dreaded diseases.

 

“It kind of marries my biggest interests, doing good, meaningful work through technology,” she said.

 

Fontana thanks Case for more than her technical skills. On campus she met her husband, Vince Fontana ’99, with whom she is raising two teenaged boys. She fell in love with cross country running at Squire Valleevue Farm, where she led the team over hill and dale as captain. And she developed the critical thinking skills that she says help her to take on challenging roles with optimism.

 

“I still remain very hopeful that technology will help solve some of the biggest problems of our time,” she said.

 

The Homecoming awards program begins at 6 p.m. Friday, October 7, in Strosacker Auditorium. Learn more and register at casealumni.org/homecoming.

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While a student, the former Carmen Brabham captained the CWRU cross country team.

Carmen Fontana and Kevin Bracey ’93 chat with Case students in 2016.

“I still remain very hopeful that technology will help solve some of the biggest problems of our time."

— Carmen Fontana

Augment Therapy creates video games and other game-like therapies for children facing disease or a disability.

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