As a testimony to the excellence of College of Engineering’s female undergraduate students, each year about 1,800 female engineering students, representing over half of the College's female engineering students, qualify to attend the Women in Engineering Banquet. This event recognizes student and faculty leaders through Student Mentoring Awards, and Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards. Additionally, each year we award corporate scholarships to some of our most outstanding female engineering students.
2020 WIE Banquet: Female Academic Excellence and Leadership
This prominent event brings together nearly 500 students, alumni, corporate partners and Institute leaders to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of female engineering students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above.
The 2020 WIE Banquet has been cancelled.
Gayle Ober (Keynote Speaker)
Each year's banquet features a woman with a distinguished career in engineering and technology as the keynote speaker. The 2020 keynote speaker is Gayle Ober.
Gayle Ober is the president of the George Family Foundation where she is responsible for leading all aspects of the Foundation’s grantmaking, investments and operations including advising and assisting the trustees in meeting their grantmaking goals and serving as the Foundation’s first point of contact to the community. Ms. Ober serves the next generation of non-profit leaders through her mentorship of others and occasional speaking and instructional engagements at seminars and meetings across the US. From 2003-2017, Gayle served as an instructor in the Arts & Cultural Leadership graduate program at the University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education. She is currently on the faculty of the True North Leadership program at 1440 Multiversity (Scotts Valley, CA).
Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Ober was the director of Classical Music Programming for American Public Media|Minnesota Public Radio (APM|MPR). Based in Minnesota, APM|MPR is one of the largest producers of classical music broadcast content and brings award-winning programs to more than 4.6 million people each week. Before joining APM|MPR, she served as the director of Arts, Culture and Entertainment for the City of Saint Paul in Mayor Randy Kelly’s administration. Ms. Ober was the executive director of the Dale Warland Singers from 2000 to 2005.
Ms. Ober serves the non-profit community through her present and past service on a variety of boards and committees including the Mardag Foundation, Chorus America, Schubert Club, The Rose Ensemble, The Saint Paul Foundation, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera and others.
Gayle Ober holds a Master of Arts degree in non-profit management from Hamline University in Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Minnesota.
Scholarships & Awards
The awards banquet recognizes student and faculty leaders through Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, Student Mentoring Awards, and the Helen Grenga Outstanding Women Engineer Award. Additionally, each year we award corporate scholarships to some of our most outstanding female engineering students.
Corporate engagement is a crucial aspect of the Women in Engineering program, and granting corporate scholarships allows WIE’s industry partners to express their shared commitment to encouraging female participation in engineering. Each company defines its own parameters regarding scholarships they wish to give, and WIE reviews and recommends deserving students for these awards.
Eligibility: Scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, financial need, and involvement with women-focused professional organizations such as WIE and SWE as well as other criteria (major, GPA, and citizenship) specified by each of the corporate sponsors. The application for these scholarships becomes available in mid-January.
In 2019, scholarships totaling $160,000 were awarded to 155 outstanding students.
Every year, WIE 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. 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.
The 2019 Faculty Award Winners are Dr. Cristi Bell-Huff from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and Dr. Lauren Stewart from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Every year, WIE recognizes outstanding mentors from the M&M Program, a peer mentoring program for undergraduate female engineering students. The recipients of these Outstanding Mentor Awards are selected from nominations received from mentees who would like to recognize their mentor for providing guidance, friendship, and support throughout the year.
The 2019 Outstanding Mentors are Alison Heffron, Oluwasanmi Toyobo, Kristen McClelland, Maria Jennings, Grace Rocco, Elizabeth Sinner, Kaela Fennell-Chin, Prachi Mishra, Arohi Bhakhri, and Erica Hulette.
Helen Grenga Outstanding Engineer Award
The Helen Grenga Outstanding Woman Engineer Award 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.
This award is named after Dr. Helen Grenga, 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.
The 2019 Helen Grenga Award recipient is Develena Das.
The steadfast support of our companies reflects a genuine commitment to the success and engagement of women engineers as they develop into future leaders. Our corporate sponsors are committed to increasing the number of women in the technical, engineering and scientific fields.The active role of corporate sponsors gives them the opportunity to impact the careers of the best and brightest women engineering students at Georgia Tech. The banquet serves as a platform to award scholarships from our corporate sponsors to many of our most outstanding female engineering students. Students selected to receive a scholarship will be formally recognized at the banquet and will have the unique opportunity to meet company representatives that evening.