The Ely S. Parker Award is the highest honor bestowed by AISES, in honor of the first recognized American Indian scientist/engineer. This award recognizes high achievements and contributions to STEM and educational communities. The Ely S. Parker Award acknowledges innovative contributions, the ability to overcome obstacles facing minorities in their fields, and the recipient's scope and level of responsibility. Furthermore, the Award recipient is selected based on his/her potential as a role model. This Awards is selected by AISES Board of Directors. This 2011 recipient is Everett F. Chavez.
AISES proudly announces the recipients of its 2011 Professional Awards Program: Executive Excellence: Terry-Lee Braun (Seneca Nation); Technical Excellence: Tony Ferguson (Citizen Band of Potowatomi); Most Promising Engineer: Benjamin Mar. From the total group of nominees, Dr. Jerry R. Roberson (Cherokee) was selected as Professional of the Year.
These awardees were selected in recognition of their significant contributions they have made to the STEM disciplines. Now in its eighth year, AISES’ Professional Awards recognize the accomplishments of these individuals as leaders, innovators, and role models. Any American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) is eligible for consideration of a AISES Professional Award based on their experience outlined under each award category:
Executive Excellence - The nominee must be an experienced upper-level manager or a well-established engineer, scientist, professional, or academician who has significant department and budget responsibilities.
Technical Excellence - The nominee must have made a significant contribution to science, engineering, or technology by having designed, developed, managed, or assisted in the development of a product, service, system, or intellectual property.
Most Promising Engineer or Scientist - The nominee must be a professional engineer or scientist with less than five years experience after earning his/her last degree. The candidate's early technical contributions should already indicate a promising career.
Professional of the Year - The AISES Professional of the Year Award is presented for overall leadership and technical achievement. This individual is selected from among the top candidates submitted in all categories.
The awardees will be presented at the Closing Banquet of AISES’ 33rd annual National Conference, on November 12, 2011 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 2011 Award for Executive Excellence is presented to Terry-Lee Braun (Seneca Nation) Terry is a Senior Technical Solutions Executive for IBM. Located in Boulder, CO, highlights of his four-decades-long career include closing over $58B in global outsourcing sales, developing new business models/strategies, positioning himself as a leader and one of the most “sought out” experts in his organization, and driving consensus in worldwide solutions, among other accomplishments. Without having earned a post-secondary degree, Braun has nevertheless achieved such esteem as a leader that his team members have coined a phrase to describe him – “Brauned.” He is also deeply involved in the AI/AN community, serving as IBM Native American Executive Taskforce Co-chair, having conducted the Woman’s Technology workshop with the Mohawk Nation, forming literacy camps and other groups serving AI/AN people. Additionally, he is a member of the Native American/Canada Aboriginal Council Mission.
The 2011 Most Promising Engineer or Scientist recipient is Benjamin Mar (Cherokee). A member of the Technical Staff in the Embedded Digital Systems Department at Sandia National Laboratory (owned and operated by Lockheed Martin Company), Ben received his B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and his M.S. in computer engineering from the University of New Mexico. Four years into his career at Sandia, Mr. Mar has already brought significant contributions to national security: designing, programming, and testing digital designs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or FPGAs) for space and terrestrial systems. Benjamin also holds managerial responsibility, overseeing a six-figure budget for test-stand maintenance and troubleshooting solutions that have saved the Laboratory millions of dollars. He has won several distinctions for his accomplishments as a student and a professional, and currently serves as the Outreach Chair for Sandia American Indian Outreach Committee.
AISES' 2011 Technical Excellence Award goes to Tony Ferguson (Citizen Band of Potowatomi). Mr. Ferguson works for 3M as a Lead Engineering Specialist. He has served in their Engineering Analysis Group for 22 years, and is an expert in coating systems and proprietary dies for ubiquitous household products such as tapes, adhesives, and films, directly contributing significant competitive marketplace advantage to his corporation. Mr. Ferguson has amassed a broad portfolio of expertise in computer hardware/software and network integration, and is a corporate level expert in engineering analysis and modeling. Strongly committed to education, Mr. Ferguson has provided important leadership and advocacy for the AI/AN community within his corporation, as Native American Council Member, Minority Engineering Scholarship Program, and as a recruiter and mentor fro 3M. He received his M.S., Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University.
AISES 2011 overall Professional of the Year Recipient is Jerry R. Roberson (Cherokee). An associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Dr. Roberson has spearheaded over 20 funded research projects in veterinary medicine and bovine health, demonstrating important findings related to the over-use of antibiotics in dairy farms and bacteria resistance, among other topics. In addition to his research, he is an esteemed educator, whose hands-on teaching style has garnered considerable praise including two Teacher of the Year Awards, the 2011 Carl J. Norden: Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, and the 2011 SCAVMA Lecturer and Outstanding Educator Award. Widely published, Dr Roberson is Chair of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. A champion for advancing AI/AN students in veterinary science, he founded and advises Native American Student Association at his University. He holds DVM, PhD, DACVIM degrees from Washington State University.
The AISES Community Service Award is presented to a person whose volunteer efforts have made a significant impact on AISES’ ability to serve its mission. The recipient of the 2011 AISES Community Service Award was JoAnn Brandt of the Environmental Protection Agency. She was selected for her tireless and sustained efforts to support AISES in numerous areas including helping organize the annual summer GRC meeting in Washington, D.C., welcoming AISES Summer Intern participants in Washington D.C., and lending a special effort to find resources to support AISES college students’ attendance at the annual National Conference.