SWE Announces 2021 WE Local Award Recipients

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The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) strives to advance and honor the contributions of women at all stages of their educations and careers as well as recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession through contributions to industry, education and the community. WE Local Awards provide additional opportunities to recognize outstanding SWE members, SWE groups and individuals.

WE Local Awards recipients include professionals and collegians from influential businesses, corporations, and universities across the globe. SWE is pleased to announce the 2021 WE Local award recipients!

“With the WE Local Awards, we celebrate the inspirational contributions and success of members, events that have made a difference, and our partners that help make things possible. These recipients are beyond inspirational, they are the leaders creating the innovative, equitable, diverse and inclusive future of engineering.”

– Dr. Jenn Winikus, 2021 WE Local Local Advisory Board Chair

Congratulations to our 2021 WE Local award recipients!

Professional Awards:

WE Local Legacy Award – Recognizes SWE members who have made a significant contribution(s) to the Society of Women Engineers at all levels of the Society and the engineering profession for at least fifteen (15) years. 

  • Erica Clark-Heinrich, Cummins Filtration Inc.
  • Dorci Cotton, The Boeing Company 
  • Leslie M. Phinney, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Lisa M. Rimpf, Dürr Systems AG
  • Tuyet-Hanh Schnell, Lockheed Martin Corporation

WE Local ELiTE (Emerging Leader in Technology & Engineering) Award – Honors engineers who have been actively engaged in an engineering or technology profession and have ten (10) to fifteen (15) years of cumulative engineering experience.

  • Nichole Elff, Boston Scientific Corporation
  • Lindsay Hess, Lockheed Martin
  • Cassi Janakos, Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services
  • Neema Nair, Cummins Inc.
  • Blanca Rosa Navarro Piedra, DXC
  • Rebecca M. Reck, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jennifer D. Thomas, Pratt & Whitney
  • Victoria Tinsley, Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, Inc.
  • Lauren M. Wolf, The Boeing Company 

WE Local New ELiTE (Emerging Leader in Technology & Engineering) Award – Honors women or those who identify as women / female who have demonstrated outstanding technical performance, as well as leadership in SWE and the community, in the first ten (10) years of their career. 

  • Sahara Becker, McMaster-Carr Supply Company
  • Sreyoshi Bhaduri, McGraw Hill
  • Kimberly Daloise, Bayer
  • Cary Kaczowka, The Boeing Company
  • Brianna LaBarge, Nike, Air Manufacturing Innovation
  • Ishita Mandhan, Redfin
  • Elyse McMillen, Rolls-Royce
  • Hannah Morris, Spirit AeroSystems Inc.
  • Nicole Naber, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Katherine Obbagy, Cummins Inc
  • Rishika Shekhawat, John Deere
  • Erin Syverson, Qualtrics
  • Kristen Wagner, PepsiCo
  • Maryssa L. Weir, General Motors
  • Beenish Zia, Intel Corporation

WE Local Integrator Award – Honors individuals who have been instrumental in establishing a program for their organization to improve the ability of women engineers and other employees to integrate or balance work and family responsibilities. In so doing, the nominee has demonstrated recognition of the need for employees to integrate work, family and personal interests.

  • Preetika Hingorani, Black and Veatch Pvt. Ltd
  • Keerthika Pandiselvan, Ford Motor Company

Engaged Advocate Award – Honors individuals within the following categories contributed to the advancement or acceptance of women in engineering: K-12 Educator; Collegiate Educator/SWE Faculty Advisor/SWE Counselor; Entrepreneur, or STEM Professional. 

  • Christy H. Drewry, NNSA Production Office
  • Maricarmen Escamilla Jauregui, Cummins
  • Stueti Gupta, BlueKei Solutions Pvt Ltd
  • Christina Kull Martens, Northrop Grumman
  • Yin Wai Vanessa Li, Novelis
  • Anne M. Lucietto, Purdue University – Purdue Polytechnic Institute – School of Engineering Technology
  • Tracy Nguyen, Essential Eyecare Optometry and Poway High School
  • Terita Norton, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Claudine Phaire, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
  • Bich-Van C. Pham, PepsiCo
  • Jennifer Tanzillo, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Anna Topol, IBM Corporation
  • Tao Wang, Cummins

Collegiate Awards

Rising Star Award – Recognizes SWE collegiate members with less than 2 years of SWE membership at the end of the previous fiscal year who have made outstanding contributions to SWE, the engineering community, their campus, and the community. 

  • Claudia E. Berdugo Diaz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Madeline Blair, University of Maine
  • Allie Ćemalović, The University of Alabama
  • Alexa Jakob, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
  • Celia Kornegay, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Ozioma Ozigbo, University of North Texas
  • Pauline Rajski, University of Michigan
  • Kelli Ross, The Ohio State University
  • Mallory Smith, The Ohio State University
  • Rachel Tabor, Tulane University
  • Vidhya Thiyagarajan, University of Pittsburgh
  • Hanna Tormey, Cornell University
  • Rebekah Travis, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Lillian Tso, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Sofia Vainikos, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Sophia Xu, The University of Texas at Austin

Guiding Star Award – Recognizes exceptional collegiate leaders with at least two (2) years of SWE membership at the end of the previous fiscal year who have made outstanding contributions to SWE, the engineering community, their campus, and the community.  

  • Simrun Buttar, University of Michigan
  • Taylor Rose Daniels, University of Pittsburgh
  • Emily Ganley, University of New Mexico
  • Natalie Hahn, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Julia Hines, Northeastern University
  • Jessica Horii, Colorado School of Mines
  • Anezka Kovarik, University of Michigan
  • Alejandra Leija, California State University, Fresno
  • Katie Lenz, The Ohio State University
  • Hannah Lin, Georgia Tech
  • Amanda Slager, The Ohio State University
  • Sharon Thomas, University of Michigan
  • Allison Wilcox, University of Michigan
  • Lee Danielle Young, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Group Awards

Outstanding Outreach Event Award – Recognizes a group or groups who plan and carry out a high quality outreach event to inspire future engineers. 

  • California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Colorado School of Mines, Colorado School of Mines
  • Dallas SWE, Dallas SWE
  • John Deere India Lakshya ERG SWE Team, John Deere India Private Limited
  • Rocky Mountain Section, Rocky Mountain Section
  • Santa Clara University, Santa Clara University
  • Society of Women Engineers at the University of New Mexico, University of New Mexico
  • SWE at UVa, University of Virginia
  • SWE Cummins College of Engineering for Women Affiliate, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Pune, India
  • SWE Space Coast Section, SWE Space Coast Section
  • SWE Virtual STEMinists, SWE Virtual STEMinists
  • Upper Cumberland Section, Tennessee Tech University

Outstanding Professional Development Event Award – Recognizes a group or groups who plan and carry out a high quality professional development event to help women achieve their professional goals. 

  • Carnegie Mellon University SWE, Carnegie Mellon University
  • John Deere India : PANKH Program, John Deere India Private Limited
  • Koç University Society of Women Engineers, Koç University
  • Medtronic SWE ERG – Louisville, CO, Medtronic
  • Purdue Society of Women Engineers, Purdue University
  • Rocky Mountain Section, Rocky Mountain Section
  • Rutgers University, Rutgers University
  • Sandia Women’s Action Network, Sandia National Laboratories
  • SWE Central Indiana, SWE Central Indiana
  • SWE Pune Affiliate, SWE Pune Affiliate
  • The Ohio State University SWE Section, The Ohio State University
  • University of Pittsburgh Society of Women Engineers, University of Pittsburgh

Joint Professional/Collegiate Event Award – Is jointly bestowed upon a professional SWE Group and a Collegiate SWE group who have planned and implemented a joint SWE event between the two groups.

  • Chicago Regional Section, Chicago Regional Section; Northwestern University Graduate Section, Northwestern University
  • Rutgers University, Rutgers University; SWE NJ Section, SWE NJ Section
  • SWE Cummins College of Engineering for Women Student Affiliate (SWE CCEW), Cummins College of Engineering for Women; Cummins, Cummins

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Partner Award – Recognizes groups that promote diversity and inclusion and shows commitment to SWE’s mission and goals. Nominees must fit one of the following categories: Diversity partner group (such as AISES, NSBE, SHPE, etc.); Employee Resource Group; and Small Company. Collegiate and Professional SWE sections are not eligible for this award. 

  • John Deere India Private Limited, John Deere
  • PepsiCo Society of Women Engineers (PEPSWE), PepsiCo
  • Sandia Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Sandia National Laboratories
  • US Encompass Women, ABB
  • Vecna Robotics, Vecna Robotics

Sustaining Benefactor Award – Recognizes organizations that have provided significant support to SWE members and/or a SWE group through either financial methods and/or through volunteerism. 

  • Spirit AeroSystems, Spirit AeroSystems

Group Growth Award – Recognizes SWE groups that have demonstrated exceptional membership growth over the past year. No application process is necessary, as this award is determined based on SWE membership data. This award only recognizes SWE Sections, Affiliates, and MAL groups. 

  • Atlanta; Professional
  • Chandler Gilbert Community College Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Charlotte-Metrolina; Professional
  • Fairfield University; Collegiate
  • New Jersey; Professional
  • New York Institute of Technology Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Princeton University; Collegiate
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Collegiate
  • Rutgers University; Collegiate
  • San Joaquin Delta College Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Southern New Jersey; Professional
  • Syracuse University; Collegiate
  • The Citadel; Collegiate
  • The Cooper Union; Collegiate
  • University of Central Florida; Collegiate
  • University of Georgia; Collegiate
  • University of New Haven Affiliate; Affiliate
  • University of Washington; Collegiate
  • Virginia Commonwealth University; Collegiate
  • Wilbur Wright Community College Affiliate; Affiliate

Group Retention Award – Recognizes SWE groups that have demonstrated exceptional membership retention over the past year. No application process is necessary, as this award is determined based on SWE membership data. This award only recognizes SWE Sections, Affiliates, and MAL groups. 

  • California Polytechnic State U., San Luis Obispo; Collegiate
  • Campbell University; Collegiate
  • Cedar Valley Section; Professional
  • Central Coast; Professional
  • Central Illinois; Professional
  • College of DuPage Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Everett Community College Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Grove City College; Collegiate
  • Kettering University – A Section; Collegiate
  • Maine Maritime Academy; Collegiate
  • Merrimack College Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Messiah College; Collegiate
  • Missouri University of Science & Technology; Collegiate
  • Ohio State University; Collegiate
  • Ohlone College Affiliate; Affiliate
  • Quad Cities/Muscatine; Professional
  • Southwest Michigan; Professional
  • University of Kentucky – Paducah; Collegiate
  • Valparaiso University; Collegiate
  • Washington State University NPS – Everett Affiliate; Affiliate

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