For Immediate Release
August 14, 2013
For more information, contact:
Glenda Silvey (918) 660-3317 Cellular (918)770-2407
Tracy Kennedy (918) 660-3316 Cellular (918) 691-7174
Tulsa, Okla. – The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has named OU-Tulsa graduate student Christella Chavez one of its 2013 Outstanding Collegiate Members. The award recognizes students’ significant contributions to SWE, the engineering community and their universities.
"I am surprised and honored to be chosen for this award from SWE, an organization I respect so much,” Chavez said. “I volunteer as a SWE member because I believe in its mission and wholeheartedly support the programs it offers for women and girls in engineering. It’s a real bonus when you receive recognition for doing something you truly love.”
Chavez is a Ph.D. in engineering candidate at OU-Tulsa, where her focus of study is mathematical modeling and policy recommendations for addressing telecommunications disruptions during disasters. She returned to graduate school after more than 20 years in the military and corporate America. She earned her BS degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, and an MBA from The University of Tulsa, where she specialized in management systems and international business. The mother of two college-aged sons, Chavez jointed SWE more than ten years ago and has served in several capacities, including most recently a two-year term as Regional Governor. She is a board member of the Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a 2012 Fellow of the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, and served as mentor and coach for the first robotics program at Tulsa’s Cascia Hall High School.
Pramode Verma, Ph.D., professor of engineering and Director of the Telecommunications Engineering Program at OU-Tulsa, said he is delighted that the Society of Women Engineers granted this recognition to Chavez. “Christella actively supports several professional engineering programs in Tulsa, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Her concern and support for the community at large are well known.”
The SWE encourages women to achieve full potential in careers as leaders and engineers and expand the image of engineering. Chavez will receive her award at the Society of Women Engineer’s annual conference this October in Baltimore.
The University of Oklahoma Schusterman Center is home to all OU programs in Tulsa. Located on a 60 acre campus at 41st and Yale, it strengthens OU’s presence in northeast Oklahoma and expands educational, research and patient care programs in the Tulsa area. OU-Tulsa offers six bachelor’s degree completion programs; 14 master’s degree programs, including the physician assistant program, nurse practitioner program, doctoral programs in medicine, physical therapy, education, early childhood education, engineering, pharmacy and nursing, as well as nine residency programs in medicine. It is also home to the OU School of Community Medicine, the first of its kind in the nation, created with the explicit purpose of improving the health of all Oklahoma communities. For more information about OU-Tulsa, call 660-3318 or visit http://tulsa.ou.edu.