March 2021 Issue

Call for 2021 IEEE-HKN Award Nominations

Who will you nominate? 

IEEE-HKN is actively seeking nominations for the 2021 IEEE-HKN Awards program and encourages members to nominate eligible candidates. Nominations are being accepted now for the following awards:  

All nomination packets, which must include an application, supporting materials and three to five reference letters, will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness and then forwarded to the corresponding award committee for judging. 

Nominations must be completed and submitted by 11:59 p.m. on 3 May 2021

Click here for information on all awards and eligibility criteria.

Nominate Someone Now

Live Webinar: Research and Career Paths
at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Join us at 12:00 p.m. (ET) this Thursday, 25 March to learn about the research being done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the career paths our panelists have taken and how their work and team approach are solving world issues. The discussion will further ideas shared in the February 2021 issue of THE BRIDGE, which was guest edited by Drs. Moody Altamimi and Marti Head, both of whom will join us live. Can’t catch the live event? It will be available for on-demand viewing.

Click here to register for this free event

Volunteers Wanted! Help Us Build Our
Successful Practices Database

IEEE-HKN has launched a Successful Practices Database, and we need your help!

This resource will provide Chapters with new activity ideas and showcase the great work our Chapters perform.

We currently are seeking volunteers to review Chapter Activity Reports. The time commitment is low, as each reviewer will be given 15 to 20 reports submitted by our Chapters. Volunteers will be asked to review, format and write a description for each activity by aggregating the event description and the post event report.

Reviewers also will be asked to assign activity types (webinar, tech talk, etc.), and to review/edit the activity tags (educational, service, technical, etc.) to improve searchability. Volunteers will receive an instruction sheet and a Google sheet template.

After an initial assignment is complete, each volunteer has the option to request more activities to review. A full job description can be found here.

If you would like to assist us in this new and exciting project, please fill out this form.

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Ruth Gruenfelder Koppel: The First Woman Inducted into HKN

In 1947, the Beta Beta Chapter at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, NY inducted Ruth Gruenfelder Koppel as its first ever female member. It turns out, Ruth was not only the first woman HKN member at Beta Beta, she was the first, and for the next four years, the only female member of the entire HKN Society.

The Chapter inducted Ruth, an electrical engineering major attending night classes at the university, not knowing that the National Charter did not allow female members.

It wasn’t until 1951 that the National Charter was amended, to drop the “male qualification” for membership, according to History of Eta Kappa Nu by Larry Dwon.  

Immediately after her induction, the 42 other university chapters and the 10 alumni chapters were polled, and Ruth’s induction was confirmed. At the time, however, it was not known if the National Charter would change. So for a time, Ruth was the first and the last woman HKN member.

Ruth worked as a project engineer at the Sperry Gyroscope Company in Garden City, NY, while studying at Polytechnic University, according to a 6 March 1949 article in the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper.

At the time, she expected to study for a master’s degree with the goal of becoming a consulting engineer, the newspaper article reads. She met her husband, Arthur Koppel, while the two were lab partners in one of their courses at Polytechnic.

It was a distant relative of Mr. Koppel’s who brought this story — and an important chapter in IEEE-HKN’s history, to IEEE-HKN Director Nancy Ostin.

IEEE-HKN is grateful for the countless contributions women engineers have made to our honor society, to our industry and to the global community.

Read more

2021 Graduation Celebration Set for 5 June

Live Online Event!
5 June 2021 at
2:00 PM (ET)

Let’s celebrate the IEEE-HKN Class of 2021! All are invited to attend the event, which  will include a virtual procession of the members of the Class 2021, the presentation of the Outstanding Chapter Awards, remarks from the 2020 Outstanding Student Award recipient, recognition of the 2020 Key Chapters and the elevation of Dr. Maxine Savitz, Vice President, National Academy of Engineering, to HKN Eminent Member.

Register Now

Unearthing HKN Treasure

Timothy Kane, Faculty Advisor for the Epsilon Chapter at Pennsylvania State University, shared photos of the Chapter Charter (dating back to 1909) and the Chapter Signature book, which is being protected by a Nittany Lion. Tim welcomes Epsilon alums to visit the campus for a trip down Memory Lane or to see these finds. You may contact him directly at tjk7@psu.edu for information on the Chapter or to arrange a visit.

 

Have you found any HKN treasure? Send us photos and the stories behind them to be featured in a future newsletter.

Alumnus Spotlight: Robert I. Egbert

Gamma Theta, Missouri S&T
Former National President, National Vice President and Member of the National Board of Directors of HKN
Professor Emeritus, Missouri State University, Retired 2016

The Other Side of the Mirror:
Observations in Passing from a Student Member to a Board Member of HKN

As a junior student majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Missouri at Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology), I was invited to join HKN, the Honor Society of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Reading about HKN, I learned about the history and origins of HKN and that it was an honor society designed to recognize students whose scholarship and character were of high quality.  I was told that HKN membership was also a good thing to include on my resume as I looked for a future job in my chosen field of engineering.

I thought this would be a good thing to do and went through the initiation process and ceremony.  Later as a member of the Gamma Theta Chapter of HKN, I attended chapter meetings, participated in the initiation of additional new members and was generally involved in chapter activities on the Rolla, MO campus.

After I graduated and took my first “real” engineering job, my contact with HKN was through the copies of THE BRIDGE magazine that regularly appeared in my mailbox.  I read the magazine with interest, if only to see how my old college chapter was doing.


All that changed one day when I received a call from the late Dr. J.R. “Bob” Betten, who was then the National Executive Secretary of HKN. Bob invited me to serve on the National Board of Directors of HKN. It was quite an honor and I eagerly accepted, not knowing how informative and enlightening my service on the HKN Board would prove to be.

My first Board meeting was on the East Coast. Attendees included men and women whose names I recognized from journal articles, textbooks, and magazine stories, individuals who were leaders in the world of electrical and computer engineering.  I was impressed that they, though they had advanced far in their profession, still held allegiance to the principles laid out in the HKN codes and charters.  From this side of the mirror, HKN was much more than a little student organization in Rolla, MO. It was an international group of individuals who still believed in and lived by those character qualities stressed by HKN, and which continued to serve as guides through their careers.

Subsequent Board meetings only served to reinforce my initial impressions. HKN was so much more than a student group with a post office box in Rolla, MO. It was a lot more than just a “resume builder” to put on job applications. It is a lifelong community of men and women who strive to live by the codes and creeds of HKN.

I wished then, as I do now, that I could take student members out to the national meetings and show them the other side of the organization. There is indeed much to see and learn on the other side of the HKN mirror.

Read more

Subscribe to Our New YouTube Channel

HKN Connection                                             X-Factor                                          Come Back For More
Podcast                                                               Conversations                                Each Week

Learn more about                                            Watch our webinar series                  New webinars and other
what is happening in                                       featuring our Eminent                        content will be added
the honor society today.                                 Members.                                              every week.

Watch Now                                                        Tune In                                                  Subscribe Now

Call for Memorabilia

If you are downsizing and planning to part with some of your HKN items, such as a Bridge Plaque, don’t toss them, send them to us.

If you would like to donate your Bridge Plaque, a paddle, a bronze casting, photos or other memorabilia, send it to:

IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu
Attn: Nancy Ostin
445 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Show off Your HKN Pride!

Visit our store to purchase
all types of HKN-branded
items, including this wool beanie.
If you need a replacement
certificate, you may order
one by clicking here.

Your Gift Makes the Difference

Our programs and
the support we provide
to our Chapters are
made possible by your
generous donations.
Please give today.