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  • culmegan

IEEE Power & Energy Society Outstanding Student Scholarship

I am deeply honored to be one of the first recipients of the IEEE Power & Energy Society Outstanding Student Scholarship. This is a new award presented by the PES Scholarship Program for Master's students from around the world actively pursuing a degree with a focus in electrical power engineering, and are interested in an electric power and energy engineering career. Up to 20 recipients were chosen based on their academic achievements, contributions to meeting community and humanitarian needs, and leadership in advancing student engagement within IEEE PES.

This award really means a lot to me because I have been developing my role in IEEE and in PES for over four years. It is an incredible honor to be awarded a scholarship recognizing my academic and professional achievements by an international society of which I have a deep admiration. It gives me confidence that the committee, who I'm sure are all highly qualified and well-respected engineers, have expressed their belief that the path I am on is preparing me well to succeed in the field.

This scholarship was a bit unique in that instead of applying myself, students had to be nominated by an IEEE Senior Fellow member. I am extremely thankful to my advisor, Dr. Peter Sauer, for his nomination. Although I had heard of the existence of this new award, Dr. Sauer is the one who found it, chose to nominate me, and reached out to previous work and academic mentors to write letters of reference on my behalf. I am especially grateful to my other graduate school advisor Dr. Kirill Levchenko, my research mentor Mr. Alfonso Valdes, my undergraduate advisor Dr. Katherine Davis, my INL mentor Mrs. Virginia Wright, my Exxonmobil cybersecurity mentor Mr. James Hobbs, and my generous department head Dr. Bruce Hajek for their recommendations on my behalf.

From my understanding of the nomination, the committee really considered just about every aspect of my professional and academic development. The application included information about my degree requirements, my academic history and plan for graduation as it relates to power engineering, my research projects, publications, and presentations, internships, recognitions, service and volunteering, outside projects, and involvement with IEEE and PES. I am very grateful for the time Dr. Sauer spent preparing my application to make sure all of my activities in the areas listed above were given due acknowledgement.

This award goes along with the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative, which is a three year scholarship for undergraduates. I received this award in my junior and senior year of undergrad, and received the top honor of being the IEEE PES John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar for Region 5 in my senior year. It is a huge compliment to receive this recognition from PES during undergrad and again in grad school. In addition to the generous aid the scholarships have provided towards my academic costs, I am grateful for the continued networking opportunities I have received.

I hope, and plan, to one day be able to give back to this program as much as I have received. I know first-hand the benefits from receiving an award, and the generosity of donors who support IEEE and this program is not lost on me. IEEE is a non-profit organization, and it really speaks to the quality of their members and donors that they can continue to support, and create new, scholarship programs.

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