The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) honored MSE graduate student Grace Pakeltis with a 2020 SWE Outstanding Collegiate Member award. The award recognizes her impact on the society as well as the engineering community and the UT campus.
“SWE has been an integral part of my engineering career beginning in undergrad and continuing to present,” said Pakeltis. “It is such an honor to receive this recognition and, moreover, to be able to contribute to a society that has given me so much throughout the years.”
She serves as the graduate member coordinator for society-level GradSWE, the society’s community for graduate-student focus. She fosters this community around the world while providing resources and support to both GradSWE group leaders and individual graduate students. Her passion for SWE and assisting graduate students inspired her to start a GradSWE group for UT‘s SWE section.
“I am excited to work with the society-level GradSWE Leadership Team as well as to work on graduate programming with the UT SWE section,” said Pakeltis. “In the future, I plan to continue involvement at the societal level of SWE in whatever capacity I can.”
Pakeltis will accept the award at SWE’s annual conference, WE20, scheduled for a virtual presentation November 3-14.
“The men and women recognized have lived and learned through significant contributions to the engineering community, and they continue to lead in their careers and personal lives,” said Cindy Hoover, president of SWE. “They are leaders paving the way to empower and inspire future women engineers across the globe.”
In addition to SWE, Pakeltis is her department’s senator on UT’s Graduate Student Senate. In this role, she advocates for students on a variety of issues including mental health and diversity and inclusion in the graduate school. She shows her Volunteer Spirit for outreach by helping run university events such as Materials Camp, Governor’s School, and Research Days.
The award also recognizes Pakeltis’s continuing dedication to SWE’s mission of highlighting the impact and importance of women in engineering across the globe, leading by example, and demonstrating that a career in engineering can be a fulfilling, rewarding pursuit for women of any background.
“Receiving the Outstanding Collegiate Member Award further inspires me to continue working to advance SWE’s mission and support women in engineering,” said Pakeltis.