On April 11, Women in Engineering (WIE) saluted outstanding Georgia Tech faculty. “Every year, Women in Engineering presents two awards to engineering faculty members who have had a special impact on students’ lives through their teaching excellence and by going the extra mile to encourage and support the students’ success,” said Tonia Knobf Valeck, WIE educational outreach manager.
The WIE 2019 Faculty Award Winners were Cristi Bell-Huff, Ph.D., from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Lauren Stewart, Ph.D., from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. These awards are given on the belief that the learning environment is enhanced by professors who care, and that this increases student participation and retention. The awards are distinctive because they come from the students themselves. Every year, female undergraduate engineering students are invited to nominate a faculty member who has had a positive impact on their lives.
During the banquet, more than $160,000 in scholarships were awarded to 155 extraordinary female students ranging across the engineering schools at Georgia Tech. This event is not only to recognize the academic excellence of the attendees, but also to provide opportunities for students to network with a number of companies, including Kimberly-Clark, from around the nation.
Also presented was the Helen Grenga Outstanding Woman Engineer Award which was created to “celebrate the accomplishments of women in engineering and is presented to a female engineering student who has demonstrated outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service in her field and in the Georgia Tech community.” The 2019 Helen Grenga award was awarded to Devleena Das from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This award is named after Helen Grenga, Ph.D., who was the first female tenured engineering professor at Georgia Tech in the School of Metallurgy, now known as the School of Materials Science and Engineering.
In 1994, the Women in Engineering program was founded and has been dedicated to recruiting top female students into engineering majors and, once enrolled, to ensure the highest level of retention by fostering an environment that encourages curiosity, creativity and intellectual and personal growth.