Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion announces annual awards


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion (CEOI) has announced their annual awards. Every year, the CEOI honors students, faculty and staff with various awards in each of the following categories: multicultural engineering; women in engineering; student research and graduate equity; and student transitions and pre-college programs.

The winners, from first-year students to faculty members to programs/organizations, were recognized for achievements in leadership, mentorship, research and advocacy. Award recipients have shown their determination and commitment to advancing equity and inclusion by dedicating their time to the CEOI in order to have a positive impact on the College of Engineering.

“We are so proud to recognize these highly deserving individuals,” said Tonya Peeples, associate dean for outreach and inclusion and professor of chemical engineering. “All of the winners have accomplished incredible things to advance the College of Engineering’s mission to increase equity and build community.”

Here are the 2020 award recipients:

Multicultural Engineering Awards

  • 2020 Emerging Leader
    Isabella Perez, first-year student
  • 2020 Outstanding Leader
    Julia Solaheiro, materials science and engineering senior
    Felix Amon, mechanical engineering senior
  • 2020 Outstanding Mentor
    Johnathan Vicente, mechanical engineering junior
    Honorable Mention: Abigail Keppel, mechanical engineering senior
    Honorable Mention: Millo Dutervil, mechanical engineering sophomore
    Honorable Mention: Sokhna “Soso” Wane, computer science sophomore

Women in Engineering Awards

  • 2019-20 WEP Outstanding Academic Facilitators
    Maria Ellis, electrical engineering junior
    Elizabeth Trautman, biomedical engineering junior
  • Nadine Barrie Smith Outstanding Mentor Award
    The Nadine Barrie Smith Outstanding Mentor Award for women in engineering is endowed by Andrew Webb in honor of his wife, Nadine Barrie Smith, who unexpectedly passed away at the age of 48. She was a founding member of the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering and a member of the Graduate Program in Acoustics. As one of the few women faculty in engineering, she faced many challenges working in a male-dominated environment and overcame them with determination, hard work, humor and sheer talent. The Nadine Barrie Smith Mentor Award recipient is an upper-level woman engineer who, like Nadine Barrie Smith, has devoted significant time and resources to mentoring other female students in their quests to become better students, people and engineers.
    Bridget Corso, computer engineering junior
    Abigail Keppel, mechanical engineering senior
    Malaree Scott, civil engineering junior
    Molly Sizemore, architectural engineering senior
  • Joelle Award for Women in Engineering Leadership
    The Joelle Award for Women in Engineering Leadership recognizes outstanding leadership contributions by a woman undergraduate to the College of Engineering. The award is endowed by Edward and Jane Liszka in honor of her parents, Joseph and Eleanor Munafo. Joelle is a combination of their first names. The Joelle recipient is an upper-level woman engineer who has an outstanding record of leadership, service and citizenship that positively affects the climate for women in the College of Engineering and/or at the University.
    Kahley McBeth, computer science senior
    First Runner-Up: Lauren Katch, engineering science and mechanical engineering senior
    First Runner-Up: Kayli Rentzel, mechanical engineering senior

Student Research and Graduate Equity Awards

  • 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student
    Adriyel Nieves, electrical engineering master’s student
  • 2020 Outstanding Graduate Mentor
    Jiayang “Jerry” Liu, engineering science and mechanics doctoral candidate
    Honorable Mention: Sooyeon Lee, information sciences and technology doctoral candidate
  • 2020 Outstanding Mentor
    Yiqi Zhang, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering
    Honorable Mention: Brad Sottile, lecturer in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • 2020 Emerging Researcher
    Carlos Abarca, mechanical engineering sophomore
    Honorable Mention: Luna Morales, first-year student
  • 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Achievement
    Emma Hocker, engineering science and mechanics senior
    Honorable Mention: Andrew White, mechanical engineering senior

Student Transitions and Pre-College Program Awards

  • 2020 Campus Outreach Faculty Advocate
    Nestor Handzy, associate teaching professor, Department of Mathematics
  • 2020 Change of Campus Peer Mentor
    Jesly Berrios, materials science and engineering senior
  • 2020 Pre-College Program by a Department
    Anything is POssible for Girls in Electrical Engineering Camp (APOGEE), electrical engineering
  • 2020 Pre-College Program by a Student
    Dia de Ciencias, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

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Megan Lakatos