Megan Hammond, assistant professor in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering has been nominated for Outstanding Education in STEM Award, given by the organization Women & Hi Tech. Winners will be announced at their annual gala, the Leading Light Awards on October 1st, in a virtual format in 2020 due to COVID-19.
According to the organization, nominees must have made a significant impact on the lives of their students, and have demonstrated excellence in teaching engaging programs that promote student interest, success, and leadership in STEM. Special consideration will be given to those who have implemented programs to teach these disciplines in a hands-on environment and to those who have demonstrated a commitment to young women in these areas. Nominees must also be an educator at a K-12 school or an institution of higher learning in Indiana and must have a primary academic focus in STEM.
“It was a surprise when Dr. Olawale informed me that he was planning on submitting my name, but it was quickly followed by extreme honor and joy,” Hammond said.
For David Olawale, assistant professor in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering, nominating Hammond was an easy call because she was the perfect fit. “Dr. Hammond has been a great role model for our female engineering students,” he said. “She has helped in the retention of female students in our engineering programs through her strong presence and outstanding teaching skills as part of our first-year engineering team of professors. Her presence, story, mentoring, and excellence in teaching imbibe great confidence in our female students that they have all it takes to excel.”
Hammond is in just her second year as a member of the faculty at the University of Indianapolis so she takes pride in her hard work and dedication being recognized at such an early stage of her career. “I have a lot to improve on and I am always eager to learn more, but hopefully this recognition means I am doing something right,” she said.
“I have the great pleasure to work with a wonderful and supportive family of colleagues, without whom I would struggle to do this,” she added.
Hammond says there’s “no escaping” STEM so students, particularly young women, should embrace it. “As long as you continue to learn, you continue to discover all that STEM has to offer,” she said. “There is too much out there to limit opportunities, so that’s how I think more girls and women can be encouraged to pursue STEM careers.”
“We all do so much for the R.B. Annis School of Engineering, so these moments to have that hard work recognized is just wonderful,” she said. “I think to recognize one member of our team is to recognize the hard work of us all.”