Posted: July 20, 2012
By Kari Fox
The Ohio State Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers received the Gold Inspire Award from SASE National along with the title of “Most Outstanding Chapter of the Year.” The group will receive a $1,000 prize and be recognized at the 2012 SASE National Conference in Baltimore this October.
The gold award is given to the chapter that has made the most significant contributions in preparing Asian heritage students for success in the global business world, in celebrating diversity and tolerance on campus and in the workplace, and in providing opportunities for its members to make contributions to their local communities. This year, out of over 35 applications, the SASE board decided that Ohio State best demonstrated these qualities.
Chapter President Anu Kaushik, received the email telling him the news. “It was kind of surprising because we did a lot last year but we had no idea we were good enough to win,” says the mechanical engineering student. “But it was a good surprise.”
In 2011, the team received the silver award, which encouraged them to reach even further this year.
“We had done a lot that year so this time we knew we had to step it up,” he says.
Members did just that by organizing a variety of events that ranged from simple potlucks to larger scale company plant tours to volunteering at various career fairs.
“We did a couple socials, we went ice skating and we also had a cooking class,” Kaushik says. “It was a team building event and a way to just kind of bond and get to know each other better.”
Kaushik said the highlight of their year was a day-long professional development conference that was organized by SASE and hosted at the Ohio Union in April. Representatives from five major colleges from the Midwest and many other companies from around the area were in attendance.
“The premise of the conference was building leadership skills themed towards people of Asian heritage,” he said. “It helped a lot of the attendees that came out.”
Kaushik said diversity is really important to the chapter which is one of the main reasons for receiving the award. “We’re always trying to encourage diversity within campus,” he said “We have a program we’re starting, called the Global Gateways program, to help international students find jobs and get job placement in the United States.”
Plans for next year include expanding events, adding professional networking opportunities, and volunteering both on and off campus.
“Our goal is to give about 50 hours of volunteering each semester,” says Kaushik. “If we can accomplish that we’ll be good to go.”
With the success of last year’s Midwest conference, Kaushik hopes to bring back another major conference next spring.
“We want to have some type of leadership event where companies can come in to talk and give advice,” he says. “It’s a way for us to learn how to be better Asian heritage leaders in the workplace.”
Kari Fox is a student communications assistant with the College of Engineering