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Society of Women Engineers Announces Annual Award Winners

applause photoThe world’s largest advocate for women in engineering and technology announced the recipients of its annual awards program, an honorable acknowledgment of achievers and leaders within engineering. The annual initiative aims to recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession through contributions to industry, education and the community. Award recipients include both women and men, professionals and collegiates, all who will be recognized at the awards banquet during WE15, the world’s largest conference for women engineers, Oct. 23, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn.

“Part of the initiative to inspire women to explore opportunities in STEM and encourage them to reach their fullest potential in their careers is providing recognition to those who are positively impacting the field,” said Colleen Layman, president of SWE. “These are the role models who lead by example and inspire the current and next generation. We are honored to have them as part of our mission.”

Awards recipients hail from a variety of institutions, including some of the most influential businesses and corporations in engineering, as well as universities across the globe. The awards recipients are as follows:

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Achievement Award – The highest award given by SWE, bestowed for an outstanding contribution over a significant period of time in a field of engineering.

  • Naira Hovakimyan, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award Endowed by Northrop Grumman Corporation – Celebrating an individual’s rise to success and contribution to the decision-making process within their organization.

  • Barbara Brockett, Honeywell Aerospace

Rodney D. Chipp Memorial – Celebrates the work of a man or company who has made a significant contribution to the acceptance and advancement of women in engineering.

  • Hussein K. Mecklai, Intel Corporation
  • Brian J. Rauch, Ph.D., John Deere

Work/Life Integration – Celebrates an individual who has worked to create programs that help women engineers and other employees balance the commitments of career, life and family.

  • Karla Tankersley, Cornerstone Brands, Inc

Distinguished Engineering Educator – Presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the engineering profession through education.

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Advocating Women in Engineering – Honors an individual who has demonstrated professional excellence in their chose STEM field and has proven to be an advocate of women in engineering and SWE’s objectives.

  • Roberta Banaszak Gleeiter, F.SWE, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Casee M. Eisele, John Deere
  • Agnes Chau Klucha, UTC Aerospace Systems
  • Patty Lopez, Ph.D., Intel Corporation
  • Lynn Tinker, Sikorsky Aircraft

Global Leadership – Honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of engineering and/or technical management in an international setting.

  • Juliette J. McCoy, Ford Motor Company
  • Mary Petryszyn, F.SWE, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Joan Tafoya, Intel Corporation

Prism – Recognizes an individual who has charted her own path in the STEM fields by demonstrating a variety of outstanding career leadership activities in a technical field, as well as leadership in professional organizations and the community.

  • Rosalind Fox, John Deere
  • Lakecia Gunter, Intel Corporation
  • Rahima K. Mohammed, Ph.D., Intel Corporation

Spark – Honors an individual who has contributed to the advancement of women by mentoring those around them.

  • Lew Dennis, Chevron Environmental Management Company
  • Lisa Gable, IBM
  • Barbara H. McAllister, Intel Corporation
  • Jane Orsulak, Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services
  • Shawn Emerson Simmons, Ph.D., ExxonMobil Corporation

Emerging Leader – Honors individuals who have been actively engaged in an engineering or technology profession, and has demonstrated outstanding technical excellence as an individual resulting in significant accomplishments.

  • Sumita Basu, Ph.D., Intel Corporation
  • Jennifer I. Braganza, Bank of America
  • Noramay Cadena, The Boeing Company
  • Jocelyne Gray, P.E., Mason County Public Utility District No. 1
  • Kerrie L. Greenfelder, P.E., CDM Smith Inc.
  • Irma Khan, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Lori Masso, Raytheon Company
  • Katherine Medalle, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Shaila Murty, Intel Corporation
  • Jessica Snyder, The Dow Chemical Company

SWE Distinguished New Engineer – Honors women engineers who have been actively engaged in engineering in the first 10 years of their careers.

  • Ester Marie Barbuto, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Dana J. Day, The Boeing Company
  • Brittney Elko, Genentech
  • Susanna Martinez Kirkland, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc
  • Kalyani Mallela, Starkey Hearing Technologies
  • Michelle Montepara, Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Rachel Morford, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Shelley Stracener, Heads Up Technologies
  • Victoria Borchers Tinsley, Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, Inc.

Fellow Grade – Honor conferred on SWE members in recognition of continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession.

  • Margo Bubb, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Stacey DelVecchio, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Lynda Grindstaff, Intel Corporation
  • Sandra L. Pettit, P.E., Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Beth Snyder, The Boeing Company

Outstanding Faculty Advisor – Celebrates an outstanding contribution by a SWE advisor to a SWE collegiate section.

  • Marca Lam, Ph.D., Rochester Institute of Technology

Outstanding SWE Counselor – Celebrates an outstanding contribution by a SWE leader/counselor to a WE collegiate section.

  • Charlene Willenbring, UTC Aerospace Systems

SWE Outstanding Collegiate Member – Bestowed upon SWE collegiate members who have made an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community and their campus.

  • Emily Deas, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Katharine Gamble, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
  • Carina Hahn, University of Utah
  • Melissa Lindsey, The Ohio State University
  • Leah Meeks, Ph.D., Utah State University
  • Sangeetha Mylvaganam, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Leabeth Mae Peterson, Humboldt State University
  • Abigail M. Spohn, University of Dayton
  • Brooke Sroczynski, University of Dayton
  • Dhanalakshmi Thiygarajan, University of Pittsburgh

Awards recipients will be honored at a formal ceremony at WE15, the world’s largest conference for women engineers, Oct. 23, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn. The conference gathers over 8,000 women at all stages of their engineering careers, from young collegiates to seasoned professionals, and offers unique networking opportunities, education sessions, interview opportunities and more.

For more information about the Society of Women Engineers, visit For more information about WE15, visit

Photo by Mr Moss

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