The application to host the next Student Leadership Conference is now available. Please click here to learn more about the revamped conference and to learn about the process to apply to host!

The annual IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference is a signature program of the society and is an opportunity for your chapter to meet with other officers, members, faculty advisers, members of the Board of Governors, and staff. The conference includes opportunities for professional development, leadership training, and networking.

Student Leadership Conference 2018

The annual IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference was hosted by University of Florida in Gainsville, FL, USA between 13 April- 15 April 2018, allowing members to meet other IEEE-HKN members from around the world and grow their professional and leadership skills while enjoying the weekend.

Your input and experiences are critical to making sure that the Board is building the HKN experience to best support the work of our Faculty Advisors, provide the resources and training important to your success, to provide a the roadmap to the desired experience for Faculty Advisors. The HKN Board of Governors has also included Faculty Advisor recognition as a key element to a successful program.

Should you wish instead to support the Student Leadership Conference or your local Chapters attendance, please consider donating to the HKN Student Leadership fund .
A suggested donation of:
– $131 would cover the cost of one student attending.
– $250 would cover one Chapter attending
– $500 would cover two Chapters attending.

IEEE-HKN provides up to a $250 reimbursement to chapters to cover student attendance. Additionally, a further $250 is available for faculty adviser attendance. Once the conference is over, information will be sent out on how to claim the reimbursement, normally just a simple matter of sending in an expense form and receipts for nationals to process.

Finding Funding

Here are some potential sources of funding in general, with examples of emails that we’ve sent in the past. Feel free to shamelessly copy them and update as appropriate. Replace Purdue and ECE with your department name as appropriate.

So long as you’re polite, it can’t hurt to ask almost any potential source. In the grand scheme of things, the few hundreds of dollars that most chapters need to be able to attend isn’t outrageously large. Think about what your potential donor cares about, and emphasize the value of trip to your chapter in terms of what the donor is interested in supporting. In-person conversations are generally more likely to be productive than email, especially with busy faculty/staff.

Your ECE/EECS/etc. Department

Your department is a great source; we’ve personally gotten several HKN SLC trips paid for by our department. Ideally, your chapter is engaged with your department chair(s) enough that they know about HKN. Even more ideally, your chair is a member of HKN. (p.s. if they aren’t, you should fix that by initiating them as an honorary initiate!)

An in-person meeting is likely to be most successful at securing funding:

  1. Contact the chair’s administrative assistant to set up a meeting. If you don’t know who that is, stop in any department staff member’s office and ask them — they will want to help you! In-person will be the fastest, but email also works.
  1. Example: (this can be in-person or email, really)
    Hi Lisa,
    I’m the current president of IEEE-HKN, the international EECS honor society. Could I get 15 minutes with Prof. Papaefthymiou to chat about what our chapter’s up to? I’m generally available after 2 pm most days.Thanks,
  1. If you don’t hear back within 2 business days, feel free to politely bump it to the top of their inbox. If you don’t hear back within another business day, figure out where their office is, and go stand in the doorway until they schedule you an appointment with the chair.
  1. The meeting
  1. Setting Up (10 minutes): Introduce HKN to the chair/update them on your chapter’s activities
  1. This depends on how much the chair knows about HKN and what your chapter does.
  2. Emphasize your service activities, especially services you might provide to students in ECE and the college community in general.
  1. The Ask (5 minutes): (hit these points however seems natural)
  1. Introduce the conference and that your chapter is working to send someone to represent your school.
  2. Attending the conference will strengthen your chapter by being able to exchange ideas with other chapters.
  3. HKN HQ provides a $250 travel stipend per chapter, but that won’t entirely cover the flight/drive/hotel.
  4. “Would the ECE department be able to support our chapter and fund the remaining $300?”

If you can’t make an in-person meeting work out, here’s an example email to send to your department chair. Obviously adapt this to your chapter, but here’s what I would send for Beta Epsilon.

Subject: Support for student travel to HKN conference?


I’m currently the president of Michigan’s chapter of IEEE-HKN, the international honor society for EECS students. We have about 50 active members; we’re the group that hosts the Student-Faculty Mixer every semester.

The annual HKN conference is in Gainsville, FL during April, and our chapter is trying to send me. Not only would I be representing Michigan to a bunch of high-achieving students that are likely to go to grad school, but our chapter would be able to exchange ideas with dozens of other chapters.

I’m excited about this opportunity, but financial considerations are currently preventing us from participating. HKN HQ is providing a $250 travel stipend per chapter, but it’s going to cost around $600 for the flight and hotel.

Would the ECE department be able to support our chapter by funding the remaining $350?

Thank you, and have a great day,


If you don’t hear back in 2 business days, feel free to politely bump it to the top of their inbox. If you don’t hear back in another business day, I would recommend forwarding the message to the chair’s administrative assistant (see above for figuring out who that is), and ask them to check with the chair to make sure they saw the email.

Your College

  1. Dean:
  1. Getting money from your college is very similar to getting it from your department. You’ll just need to figure out who your dean’s assistant is, and you’ll likely spend more time introducing the org and what you do for the community.
  1. Student Affairs / Student Life
  1. If you have an engineering student affairs office, they might have discretionary funds to support student org activities. If there’s a specific staff member who’s the liaison with orgs, talk to them first. If they don’t have funds, they should be able to help you (try to) find funding from the college or university as a whole.
  1. Corporate Relations
  1. It’s a bit of a long shot, but your engineering corporate relations office might either have money sitting around for student orgs, or know of a corporate partner that might be willing to sponsor your trip, either charitably or in exchange for some type of recruiting.
  2. Go to your college’s website, and if there isn’t an explicit corporate relations group, email someone that has “Development” or something similar in their title.
  1. Example:
    Subject: corporate partner for engineering student org?
    Hi John,I’m president of Michigan’s chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical and computer engineering honor society. I’m trying to find funding for the chapter to send me to the annual conference. I was wondering if the College is able to connect me with a corporate partner to sponsor my travel in April. I’m not sure if you’re the right person to talk to, so, if not, I would really appreciate it if you could bounce me to someone who would know the answer.Thanks, and have a great day!-Kyle

Student Government

!. Look up the funding guidelines on your student governments’ websites. Some colleges have a single central student government while others have more of a federal system. Regardless of what type of system your school has, each student government will likely want to support your chapter to attend this year’s student leadership conference.

2. Prepare the funding request. Be sure to highlight the aspects of the conference that will enable you to enrich your campus community. This year’s student leadership conference will provide you with numerous resources, including funding sources through IEEE and more that you will be able to share with your fellow students. Further, the personal and professional benefits are immense; attending this conference will help you network with the future leaders of our field as well as companies, academics, and other thought leaders.

3. Request a meeting with your student government’s funding committee leadership (Perhaps the treasurer, vice president of finance, or equivalent) to discuss your request before you submit it. They will be able to help you fine tune the request such that it has the best chance possible for funding.

4. Feel free to touch base with the Epsilon Sigma Chapter conference committee.  (

Extra note: Some student governments won’t fund travel or won’t fund events off campus. That’s ok. If you find yourself in a situation where your student government won’t fund a “standard” request to attend the conference; approach it from a different angle. You are asking for funding to bring new skills to campus. You’re going to be able to bring more community service opportunities by learning from other chapters. You’re going to get trained on conducting professional development sessions for your department/college.

HKN Chapters are invited to submit a proposal to host the 2019 Student Leadership Conference

Proposals can be from a single chapter or a group of chapters. For information and the form to submit a proposal visit Apply To Host SLC 2019 page:

  • Deadline for submissions: Monday, October 15, 2018, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Notification of selection: Thursday, November 1, 2018, 8:00 pm EDT
  • HKN Student Leadership Conference 2019: October, 2019
Reference Material: SLC Host Chapter Handbook
For questions or assistance please contact Jim Conrad, Conference Committee Chair:

Student Leadership conference 2017

The annual IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference was hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, USA, between 31 March to 2 April 2017, allowing other IEEE-HKN members from around the world and grow their professional and leadership skills while enjoying the weekend.

The theme was “Worldwide Engineering.”

Donate now

Your donation can directly benefit the student at next years SLC, just select the Student Leadership Conference from the “Designation” dropdown

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Sponsors and Partners

A huge thanks to all our Sponsors and Partners for this years Student Leadership Conference! If you would like to join our sponsors in supporting the conference, please review the Sponsorship Packet and contact