The Career Guidance provided by IEEE’s Essential Resources Inspired her to Give Back Through Volunteering
Mythili Chaganti’s involvement with IEEE started as a student in India. She won an engineering essay writing contest, and the reward was a one-year student membership to IEEE. Thus, her journey with IEEE started.
As Mythili progressed through her engineering classes, she found the resources at IEEE indispensable. She particularly gravitated towards the IEEE Xplore articles and the opportunities to network with industry professionals, especially the professors in the United States who were responsive to her inquisitiveness.
These connections she made as a student member motivated her to pursue an advanced degree in the United States. She was accepted to the Electrical Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Missouri, Rolla, now the Missouri University of Science & Technology. During her advanced study she chose Power as her concentration and an advisor, Dr. Mariesa Crow, who later became her mentor and encouraged her to continue her membership with IEEE.
She became a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) and is active in her local student chapter. She credits Dr. Crow’s leadership and acceptance of diverse ideas for helping the student branch become her home away from home.
“Dr. Crow is very active in PES, held leadership positions on the board of PES, and an accomplished professional receiving many accolades,” shares Mythili. “She also demonstrated and modeled to all female engineers respecting work-life boundaries.”
After graduation, Mythili landed her first job in Minneapolis, working for a utility company. She continued to volunteer with the IEEE PES Twin Cities chapter. She was recognized for her efforts at the Chapter with the Outstanding Engineer Award in 2015 and then elevation to Senior Member in 2016. Her work in the technical area, ‘Aeolian Vibration Field Measurements of Transmission Overhead Conductors,’ won Outstanding Technical Paper Award in 2017 and is available in IEEE Xplore.
“I am extremely grateful and humbled for the recognition,” explains Mythili. “It gives me joy to see many young professionals, especially women, join IEEE PES to make a difference. I am forever indebted to Dr. Crow for instilling a purpose in me so I can continue that legacy of leadership and pay it forward.”
Mythili has chosen to donate to PES philanthropic programs through the IEEE Foundation and asked her employer, CenterPoint Energy, to match her volunteer time with a charitable gift. She did this because upholding community vitality and giving back to enhance STEM education are CenterPoint Energy Foundation’s core giving pillars. The IEEE Foundation’s approach of combining technology and philanthropy resonates with her and aligns with CenterPoint Energy’s foundation. While growing up in India, her community faced severe power outages, and she saw firsthand the impact of energy poverty.
“Electricity is one of the necessities of modern day living. Educating, engaging, energizing, and illuminating the communities we all live in is my inspiration to pursue a career in engineering,” shares Mythili. “The IEEE Foundation provided a conduit to put that knowledge into practice through several philanthropic programs. These impactful programs and the transformed communities bring me back to IEEE Foundation.”
Mythili believes the five pillars of the IEEE Foundation giving are important. And there is a program to fit most members and their passion for making a difference. She concludes, “It truly takes the commitment of many visionaries to embark on programs that help deliver on the vision and mission of IEEE and the IEEE Foundation to advance technology that will benefit humanity.”
Use the widget found on our Employee Matching Gift webpage to discover if you too can leverage your employer’s matching gift program to have your giving or volunteer hours matched.