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Graduate students attend Global Summit of Women

June 29th, 2016

By Krista Klinkhammer

Global Summit of Women

Left to right: Liz Jachens, Kendra Sharp, Dick Evans, Gretchen Evans, Phylicia Cicilio, and Susan Elliott.

Three engineering graduate students and Kendra Sharp, professor of mechanical engineering, recently accompanied Richard ’69 and Gretchen ’69 Evans to the 2016 Global Summit of Women in Warsaw, Poland. They were among 1,000 women from 75 countries, and many government and industry leaders, including CEOs and former heads of state.

The three graduate students in attendance were recipients of Evans Family Fellowships for field work related to their graduate programs:

  • Liz Jachens, MS student in Water Resources Engineering, received a fellowship for fieldwork in East Africa to develop a School 2 School initiative between U.S. and African schools as part of the Trans Africa Hydro Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO.org) project. The team is working to install weather stations spaced every 30 km across Africa.
  • Susan Elliott, MS student in Water Resources Engineering, received a fellowship for fieldwork in Ethiopia working with the International Water Management Institute.
  • Phylicia Cicilio, Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering, received a fellowship for fieldwork in rural Alaska to acquire and analyze data on the integration of diesel microgrids with renewable energy and energy storage.

Richard Evans moderated a plenary panel called Closing the Digital & Technology Gender Gap, and presented on the success of drawing females to engineering through the Humanitarian Engineering program at Oregon State. The percentage of female engineers in humanitarian engineering coursework offered at Oregon State or funded by scholarships or fellowships through the program is nearing 70 percent.

“This type of experience is so critical to enabling our female students to truly envision themselves as future leaders who can aspire for the top roles in their organizations,” said Sharp, who is also the Richard and Gretchen Evans Professor in Humanitarian Engineering.

The students were able to attend due to the Evans’ generosity, and appreciated the opportunity to learn from women in leadership positions all over the globe. “I hope to be back in a few years to network and represent myself as a young woman in the industry,” said Jachens.

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