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Recognizing Excellence
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WEPAN Awards

WEPAN Awards honor key individuals, programs, and organizations for accomplishments that underscore WEPAN’s mission. Honorees demonstrate extraordinary service, significant achievement, model programs, and exemplary work environments that promote a culture of inclusion and the success of women in engineering. The 2016 WEPAN Awards were presented at WEPAN's annual Change Leader Forum on June 14, 2016. To learn more about the criteria for each award, click on the award name.

Nominations for 2017 WEPAN Awards will open February 20, 2017 and will close April 1, 2017. 


Inclusive Culture and Equity Award


The Inclusive Culture and Equity Award honors an individual or group who has developed and implemented successful inclusive practices, policies or initiatives that promotes positive change with regard to the climate or culture for women in engineering fields at his/her institution. 

2016 Award Recipient: Susan Coady Kemnitzer, National Science Foundation




Leader in Engineering Education Award


The Leader in Engineering Education Award honors faculty, groups or individuals who have created new methods or approaches to enhance engineering education. The award encompasses pedagogical methods, creating course frameworks, and/or effective teaming practices to engage and create an inclusive environment for engineering undergraduate students. 

2016 Award Recipient: Linda Vanasupa, California State Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo



Advocates and Allies Award


The Advocates and Allies Award honors a man or group of men for mentoring, supporting and advocating for the success of women in engineering, or for climate and culture change that supports such success.  

2016 Award Recipient: Brett Gunnink, Montana State University



Industry Trailblazer Award


The Industry Trailblazer Award recognizes and honors an employer or an individual or group of employees in industry who enhance the career success of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals, especially women identifying with underrepresented groups. 

2016 Award Recipient: Lisa Durham, Argonne National Laboratory



Strategic Partner Award

The Strategic Partner Award recognizes a professional organization that has partnered to promote WEPAN’s mission and work during the previous three years. 

2016 Award Recipient: American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Year of Action on Diversity


Betty Vetter Award for Research

The Betty Vetter Award for Research recognizes notable achievement in research related to women in engineering. The award is named in memory of Betty M. Vetter, long time director of the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, who served as the first treasurer of WEPAN, Inc. and was a founding member of the Board of Directors.

2016 Award Recipient: Mary Besterfield-Sacre, University of Pittsburgh


Women in Engineering Initiative Award

The Women in Engineering Initiative Award recognizes an outstanding project or initiative that serves as a model for other institutions.

2016 Award Recipients (2):  
University of Maryland - Flexus: The Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Women in Engineering Living & Learning Community
Halliburton and Colorado School of Mines: Making the Connection Program




WEPAN and DiscoverE Girl Day Award

WEPAN and the DiscoverE Foundation work together to recognize organizations and individuals for empowering girls with information about opportunities in engineering through the “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” initiative.

2016 Award Recipient: Congressman Daniel Lipinski of the 3rd District of Illinois

Founders Award


The Founders Award honors a WEPAN member who exemplifies the spirit of the WEPAN founders through her/his individual service that has made a significant impact for the organization. The award is named for the three founders of WEPAN, Inc. - Suzanne G. Brainard, Jane Zimmer Daniels and Susan Staffin Metz.

2016 Award Recipient: Beth Holloway, Purdue University




Bevlee A. Watford Inclusive Excellence Award

The Bevlee A. Watford Inclusive Excellence Award honors individuals or groups who actively and creatively support the success of women of color in engineering at the undergraduate, graduate, faculty, and/or administrative levels. The award is named in honor of Past WEPAN President Dr. Bevlee A. Watford of Virginia Tech, who has served as a strong advocate for women of color in engineering, held a variety of engineering leadership roles in academia, as well as professional and governmental organizations, and displays extraordinary ongoing commitment to advancing the success of women and students of color in engineering.

2016 Award Recipient: Bevlee Watford, Virginia Tech


President's Award

The President's Award is given at the discretion of the WEPAN President. The 2016 award has been given to the mechanical engineering departments involved in the NSF-funded project TECAID, Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity, for their outstanding accomplishments. 

2016 Award Recipients (5):  
Mechanical Engineering Departments at:
Michigan Technological University
University of Oklahoma
Oregon State University
Purdue University
Texas Tech University


View past WEPAN Award winners here.

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