Six student organizations receive 2021 college awards

Posted: May 12, 2021

The Ohio State University College of Engineering recognized six student organizations for excellence in leadership, outreach and service during its seventh annual Student Organization Recognition & Awards held virtually in April.

ACM-W student leaders
Four ACM-W members show their Buckeye spirit in the Numbers Garden. ACM-W was named the 2021 Outstanding Student Organization. 

Participating in more than 100 student organizations in the College of Engineering, Buckeye engineers are committed to improving communities on campus and around the globe, as well as providing peers with opportunities to practice new knowledge and skills in real-world situations.

“We’re proud of the tremendous work done this year by these student organizations and their efforts to better themselves and our world,” said David Tomasko, associate dean of undergraduate education and student services. “Despite a difficult year, they showed their ability to master new challenges and persevere, no matter the obstacle.”

The highest honor, the 2021 Outstanding Student Organization Award and a $3,000 prize, was awarded to the Association for Computing Machinery - Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W) in recognition of their service and impact. ACM-W hosted a variety of professional development, peer support and outreach events, including talks and a virtual networking dinner with industry representatives, networking nights, social events and a mentorship program.

ACM-W also received the 2021 Outstanding K-12 Outreach Award and $1,000 in honor of their numerous outreach events held throughout the year, including virtual hackathons for middle and high school students, and co-hosting a TechnoFashion Design Challenge with local nonprofit CoolTechGirls. Last year, the organization received a $25,000 Ford College Community Challenge grant to teach kids about coding.

Five other organizations were honored for their service in Ohio communities and beyond. Each of these awardees received a $1,000 donation in support of future endeavors.

The new Diversity Outreach Award went to Lambda Psi Minority Engineering Honorary in recognition of their efforts to increase awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion. Members participated in a Young Scholars Program virtual panel discussion with ninth-graders, and coached the Northland High School STEM Club and elementary students in FIRST LEGO League competitions. The organization also received honorable mentions and $400 prizes for the Outstanding K-12 Outreach and Diversity & Inclusion Enhancement Awards.

In recognition of their extensive work to create inclusive communities, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) received the Diversity and Inclusion Enhancement Award for demonstrating inclusion through their membership and activities. SHPE also received an honorable mention and $400 for the Outstanding Partnership with Industry Award.

The Outstanding Community or University Service Award went to Engineers Without Borders (EWB) for serving local and global community needs. These efforts include designing and installing a solar-powered irrigation system for the village of Njau, The Gambia, fundraising for student mental health and Black Lives Matter initiatives, and collaborating on irrigation projects with the Ohio State Student Farm and local nurseries.

The Outstanding Partnership with Industry Award went to the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Connecting industry and students in multiple ways, members created a community interns program, plus hosted a virtual Engineering Health Care Research Symposium and monthly networking series. BMES also received an honorable mention and $400 for the Outstanding Student Organization Award.

The Distinctive Image Award went to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for their efforts to present a positive image of engineering to society. SWE created a database to educate members on being better allies, established an active presence on multiple social media platforms, and maintains a blog, updated website and weekly email newsletter. SWE also received a special $1,000 COVID Relief Impact Award in recognition of their support of the Ohio State community during the pandemic, and $400 honorable mentions for the Outstanding Partnership with Industry and Diversity Outreach Awards.

10 members of the Ohio State SHPE executive board stand shoulder to shoulder on campus.
The Ohio State SHPE chapter Executive Board. SHPE received People's Choice Award.

A People’s Choice Award—determined by live audience voting—and $500 prize went to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The runner-up, the Biomedical Engineering Society, also received $500.

Olga Stavridis, assistant director of the Women in Engineering program, received the 2021 Outstanding Advisor Award for her leadership and guidance as advisor for the Society of Women Engineers.

Engineers’ Council, the liaison between the college’s student organizations and leadership, provided funds for the COVID Relief Impact Award and half of the prize funds winning organizations received this year in order to enable students to continue their impactful work during the pandemic. Members of the E-Council Executive Board and committee directors also evaluated the nominations for the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor and the COVID Relief Impact Awards.