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Recognizing Educational Excellence

Congratulations All Awardees

The recent IEEE Educational Activities Board Awards honored outstanding leaders and initiatives

Educating the next generation of innovators and engineers is one of the core program pillars of the IEEE Foundation. One of IEEE Foundation’s main partners in this quest is IEEE Educational Activities (EA). 

On 17 November 2023, the IEEE Educational Activities Board celebrated major contributions in the field of engineering and technical education through its 2023 Awards Ceremony, Celebrating Brilliant Minds and a Bright Future. This annual ceremony recognized deserving individuals, a team, an organization, an IEEE Section and Society across numerous categories. The evening was hosted by SK Ramesh, EAB Awards Chair and Rabab Ward, Vice President of EAB. Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu President joined Ramesh and Ward on stage to present the Awards from IEEE-HKN. Several of these awards involved longtime, proactive intersections with the IEEE Foundation. 

IEEE EAB’s Meritorious Achievement Award in Outreach and Informal Education was presented to Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) “for pioneering and leading the IEEE Region 4 Science Kits for Public Libraries program that attracts and inspires the next generation of STEM leaders.” SKPL is an IEEE Region 4-driven initiative that helps excite kids about STEM through the creation of fun science kits available through their local library. “We’re honored and appreciative of this award, which is the icing on the cake for a volunteer activity that gives us so much satisfaction,” shared SKPL Committee Chair John Zulaski on behalf of himself and fellow committee members Douglas De Boer, Rajeev Verma, Michael Wiltermood, William Wilkens, Marilyn Genther and Norman Phoenix. Looking ahead, “our vision is to be sustainably funded to issue at least 50 Region 4 SKPL grants annually and to be recognized worldwide as the go-to resource for other IEEE Regions and Sections interested in starting their own SKPL program,” he said of the team, which donated its US$1,000 prize money to the IEEE Foundation’s SKPL Fund to help more public libraries create a circulating science kit collection. “Foundation staff are experts in handling contributions and seeing to it that donations designated for specific uses are honored,” said Zulaski, “having the Foundation’s oversight ensures that donations will be managed properly.”

IEEE EAB’s Meritorious Achievement Award in Pre-University Education was awarded to Melody Richardson, Founder of STEM on the MOVE, MOVE Community Outreach and Chair, Educational Activities, IEEE-Atlanta. “Receiving this award is a profound honor and privilege that not only represents my individual contributions but the collective dedication of those who have supported me,” said Richardson, whose STEM on the MOVE initiative — the educational arm of MOVE Community Outreach — actively showcases how STEM skills can be used to benefit humanity through such engaging means as STEM workshops, Challenge backpacks and a STEM adventure book. Additionally, in her role as Educational Outreach chair for IEEE Atlanta Section, Richardson fosters STEM connections within local schools through free Family Science Nights, mentorship services and other resources. Said Richardson, “it’s my hope that through these and other STEM outreach efforts, we can inspire and empower the next great innovator, providing resources, role models, support and opportunities to bring their ideas to fruition.”  

Richardson donated her cash prize to the IEEE Foundation to support IEEE-USA MOVE Community Outreach, an emergency relief program that assists victims of natural disasters with short-term communications, computer and power solutions. “The IEEE Foundation’s support has been instrumental in enabling MOVE to contribute to recovery efforts in 35 natural disasters across the U.S., providing essential infrastructure support to more than 1,000,000 survivors,” she explained. “The IEEE Foundation has also assisted the program in globally distributing more than 10,000 STEM on the MOVE adventure books, furthering its commitment to transforming lives through the power of technology and education.” When not deployed for natural disasters, MOVE volunteers conduct community outreach and facilitate learning opportunities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

IEEE EAB’s Life Members Graduate Study Fellowship in Electrical Engineering 2023-2024 was presented to Chase Anderson, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, U.S., where he plans to explore new and better ways of capturing/storing energy and driving greater sustainability. Established in 2000, the Fellowship is administered by the IEEE Educational Activities Board, carries a stipend of US$10,000 per year, and is financed by the IEEE Foundation’s IEEE Life Members Fund. In his acceptance speech, Anderson, an IEEE student volunteer, shared his excitement for the future and thanked IEEE for its work to support young voices like his.

IEEE EAB’s Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Scholarship 2023-2024 was presented to Allen Conrad Small, graduate student at Southern Methodist University, Texas, U.S. Established in 1939 in recognition of Charles LeGeyt’s valuable contributions to the field of electrical engineering, the Scholarship is awarded annually for one year of full-time graduate work in electrical engineering at a recognized engineering school in the U.S., carries a stipend of up to US$24,000, and is awarded via a trust for which the IEEE Foundation serves as trustee. Small was not able to attend the ceremony in person but sent a short video in which he thanked everyone who helped him receive this valuable scholarship.

IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu’s (IEEE-HKN) Asad M. Madni Outstanding Technical Achievement and Excellence Award 2023 was presented to Karen Ann Panetta, IEEE Foundation Director, IEEE Fellow, 2019 IEEE-HKN President, and Dean for Graduate Education at the Tufts University School of Engineering in Massachusetts, U.S. in recognition of her “development of high impact computer vision and simulation algorithms and for leadership in programs advancing female participation in STEM.”

“Karen [is] an extremely rare individual in the engineering profession [who has] total awareness of and dedication [to] the next generation of engineers and scientists,” shared Dr. Asad Madni, IEEE Life Fellow, 2022 IEEE Medal of Honor recipient and namesake of this endowed award made possible through the generosity of his family, friends and colleagues. Presented to a practitioner who has distinguished themselves through an invention, development, discovery or innovation with worldwide impact in electrical or computer sciences, engineering or technology, the Asad M. Madni Outstanding Technical Achievement and Excellence Award is presented by IEEE-HKN, IEEE’s honors society. 

Learn more about the IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) Awards, and watch the ceremony on-demand to learn more about EA’s wide ranging portfolio of University and Pre-University programs and how your support of IEEE Foundation helps to educate the next generation of innovators and engineers.

IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) Awards recognize and honor major contributions to engineering and technical education. Awards are given for meritorious activities in accreditation, continuing education, educational innovation, pre-university education, service to the IEE EAB, employee professional development, informal education systems, and related achievements that advance the practice of engineering and engineering education. There is also a fellowship and a scholarship awarded to rising stars studying engineering. First-year graduate students (2024-2025) are eligible to apply. Nominations and applications will be accepted beginning 1 Feb 2024. For complete details or to nominate/apply, please visit: www.ieee.org/education/awards.html

Pictured in the main image are the 2023 EAB awardees, left to right, front to back are: Ankush Agarwal (Exelon Corp), Chase Anderson, Melody Richardson, Rabab Ward (Vice President of EA), Abdul Ansari (Dehli Section), John Zulaski, Norman Phoenix, DongHyun (Bill) Kim, John Orr, April Cheung, Sandra Magnus, John DeGraw, Colleen Bailey, Sampathkumar Veeraraghaven (President of IEEE-HKN), Karen Panetta, S.K. Ramesh (Chair of EAB ARC), Douglas De Boer, Andrew Jamison  (Geering Up Engineering Outreach), Gary Ka Wai Wong. Not pictured: Allen Conrad Small, Michael WIltermood, Rajeev Verma, Marilyn Genther, William Wilkens, Gerald Sussman, Witold Kinsner, Manuel Delgado-Restituto (Circuits and Systems Society).

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