Ashley Garcia
Marketing and Communications Manager

WEPAN Announces 2020 Award Winners

WEPAN Announces 2020 Award Winners

Washington, DC – July 6, 2020 – Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), has announced its 2020 Award Winners. The awards will be presented at the next WEPAN Annual Conference, which is planned for JANUARY 24-27, 2021 in conjunction with the third annual Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) Conference in Crystal City, VA.

The prestigious 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.

WEPAN / DiscoverE “Girl Day” Award – WEPAN and DiscoverE partner to annually select and celebrate organizations and/or individuals that provide exceptional Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day programs. Collins Aerospace has been selected in recognition of outstanding programs which empower girls with information about opportunities in engineering. This year, they were able to host Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at 55 locations! Carrie Reeder, Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Adriana Johnson, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, will receive the award on behalf of Collins Aerospace. Past winners of this award have included: Kennedy Space Center, NASA and Argonne National Laboratory.

The WEPAN Inclusive Culture and Equity Award – Awarded to Dr. Beena Sukumaran for exemplary leadership in implementing programs that promote positive change to the climate and culture for women in engineering fields for serving as a model for others. Dr. Sukumaran has served as the Vice President for Research at Rowan University and on August 1, she will be the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at Miami University in Ohio. Prior to that she was Professor and Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan. Dr. Sukumaran received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.

The WEPAN Advocates and Allies Award – Awarded to Dr. William (Bill) Rosehart, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary for his leadership in implementing programs that advocate, mentor, and support the success of women in engineering. Dr. Rosehart is Professor and Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary. Dr. Rosehart holds a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo and completed the Program for Leadership Development (PLD) from the Harvard Business School (HBS).

The WEPAN Bevlee A. Watford Inclusive Excellence Award – Awarded to Dr. Karan Watson at Texas A&M University for actively and creatively supporting the success of women of color in engineering. It is presented in recognition of her extraordinary ongoing commitment to advancing the success of women and students of color in engineering. Dr. Watson is a Regents Senior Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Provost Emeritus at Texas A&M. Dr. Watson received her Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

The WEPAN President’s Award – Awarded to two outstanding individuals this year in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments that serve as a model for others.

  • Awarded to Laura Bistrek, P.E., Executive Director of Diversity in the Engineering Center, at the University of Dayton. She received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Dayton and MBA from the University of Louisville. Laura has been a WEPAN member since 2006 and a Board member 2016-2020.
  • Awarded to Dr. Lilen Uchima from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Uchima is the Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence and Professional Development programs at the MIT Office of Minority Education and a WEPAN Board member since 2018. Dr. Uchima holds a BA in biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and a Ph.D. in biology from MIT.  

Laura and Lilen make up WEPAN’s membership committee and have worked for the last two years to coordinate membership timelines, communications and all the logistics involved during a time of leadership transition. For their hard work keeping WEPAN’s membership up and running, Laura and Lilen share the WEPAN President’s Award.

The WEPAN Leader in Engineering Education Award – Awarded to Dr. Beth Myers at University of Colorado Boulder for innovative and new approaches that enhance engineering education and create inclusive environments for students. Dr. Myers is the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success Initiatives at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a BA in biochemistry, ME in engineering management and Ph.D. in civil engineering.

The WEPAN Founders Award – Awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Litzler from the University of Washington, a WEPAN member who exemplifies the spirit of the WEPAN founders through her extraordinary long-term service to the organization. This award is named for the three founders of WEPAN, Inc. – Suzanne G. Brainard, Jane Zimmer Daniels, and Susan Staffin Metz. Dr. Litzler is the Director of the UW Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE) at the University of Washington (UW) and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in UW Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington.

About the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN)
WEPAN is a network of thought and change leaders from institutions, organizations and agencies that works to propel higher education to increase the number and advance the prominence of diverse communities of women in engineering. We connect people, research and practice; and power initiatives, projects and professional development that equip advocates with the tools to create sustainable, systems-level changes that allow ALL in engineering to thrive.

WEPAN’s Mission:
We empower people and organizations who are catalyst of change
To ensure the success of women in engineering professions
Through networks, research, practice and resources

The next WEPAN Annual Conference is planned for JANUARY 24-27, 2021 in conjunction with the third annual Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) Conference. The vision of the CONECD Conference is to provide a forum for exploring current research and practices to enhance diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented populations in the engineering and computing professions including gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity, disability, veterans, LGBTQ+, 1st generation and socio-economic status.

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