RMS 2021 Summit Awards

The SWE RMS Section Awards are presented to SWE RMS members, teams, or collegiates who have made an outstanding contribution to activities within SWE RMS during the fiscal year. Nominees are judged based on the significance of the achievements cited on behalf of the nominee and on the contributions of the nominee to various SWE RMS activities. RMS Summit Awards were recognized at the 2021 Virtual Spring Summit event held on April 24, 2021. This year RMS recognized the following members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the section. ​

Shawnee Joyce – Outstanding Communicator
Kicking off the year at the strategic planning committee, Shawnee raised her hand to fill several key roles. She stepped into a co-chair role for Collegiate Partnered Speaker Series, a brand-new program, filling a collegiate-to-professional gap and strengthening our relationship with collegiate sections. Shawnee went above and beyond the original intent of the Series facilitating a lessons-learned session with the local collegiate sections.

Shawnee also volunteered to be a fund development co-chair. In this role, she led the effort to turn the Spring Summit logo into custom apparel. As Shawnee spread the word about our Spring Summit apparel, she expanded her marketing strategies to include highlighting everything about Spring Summit – partnership opportunities, keynote speakers, session speakers, yoga, and all the added benefits of the event.

Shawnee extended her support to RMS filling several vital roles and expanding our programming. Congratulations Shawnee!


Jannine Rouw – Outstanding Membership
Jannine volunteered for the Corporate Partnership co-chair role several years ago. The responsibilities of this role were loosely defined. This year as chair, Jannine restructured the RMS focus and redirected efforts away from seemingly cold call requests for new partnerships and toward continued connection with past and potential sponsors. She issued the first ever corporate partnership newsletter from RMS, creating a stronger and more consistent connection with RMS partners.

Volunteering to fill the long vacant Award Chair role, Jannine wanted to gain more exposure to a different part of the section and to help highlight some of the great work our members are doing to support RMS. With additional responsibilities added to the role, Jannine well-communicated both the society awards and the Summit awards, and even made the Summit Awards a fillable form within the RMS website to simplify the nomination process.

Jannine’s outstanding contributions benefit RMS with improved communication, membership benefits, and external support. Congratulations Jannine!

Anika Hammond and Kristi Johnson-Smith – Value of Mutual Support
Anika and Kristi have been instrumental in driving the success of the Collective Wisdom Groups. Kristi’s efforts revitalized the CWGs when she volunteered to co-chair this program, and she bridged the gap when the previous co-chair relocated to ensure continued success of the program. As a new co-chair Anika brought a fresh perspective and unrelenting drive to continue the success of the program. Kristi and Anika organized and launched two new Collective Wisdom Groups this past year. One of the groups lost a member early on and Anika used her connections and social media to recruit three more members for the group.

Collective Wisdom Groups are a unique and deeply rewarding professional development opportunity for SWE RMS members. Anika and Kristi have been keys in ensuring its continued success! Congratulations Anika and Kristi.

Allyson Junker – Outstanding Outreach
Allyson volunteered as Freshman Scholarship Chair for over 5 years. In that time, she worked to consistently promote upcoming women engineers and to improve the scholarship program. Her dedication continued to grow this program.

Previous scholarship co-chairs appreciated her consistency and reliability. Allyson stepped into the role with ease and served in this vital leadership role with integrity and respect. Allyson exhibited impeccable judgment in filtering through the finalists and distributing scholarship funds to truly deserving students. Allyson coached new co-chairs, always friendly and responsive to the many questions and also open to new ideas.

Allyson carried forward the efficient communication format of advertising the awards. To bring a higher level of awareness to the RMS Scholarship program, Allyson implemented an email distribution to the Colorado and Wyoming high schools. Allyson presented awards annually at the Awards Program, and each year, did a fantastic job highlighting the accomplishments of the scholarship recipients. Congratulations Allyson!

Cheryl Benedict – Superior Supporter
This award is to a non-member with outstanding contributions to SWE RMS.

Career coach Cheryl Benedict shared her time and knowledge of transitioning during one of the most challenging times in history.  Cheryl presented to Merrick MPWR and SWE-RMS, when we were all just beginning to adjust to this new way of life.  During a year filled with many changes and transitions in the world and the workplace, Cheryl generously met with our members not once, but twice, to help us navigate the transitions we faced.

Drawing from her expertise as a leadership consultant and coach, she shared (and asked participants to share) strategies for taking impeccable care of ourselves while giving to others. Cheryl interviewed SWE members prior to the event to incorporate their perspectives of the current crisis.

As we look forward to coming out of this phase of quarantine, we wonder what the new normal will look like, and how we will deal with it. Cheryl led the virtual event Transitioning to the ‘New Normal’ while giving SWE-RMS and other attendees insight on how to handle the differences.  

Cheryl’s virtual events provided RMS members valuable resources, newfound understanding, and a sense of camaraderie. We recognize and thank Cheryl for her contributions as a Superior Supporter!

Spring Summit Committee – Outstanding Professional Development
In the face of COVID impacting in person events, many organizations struggled to provide meaningful events in a virtual format. While hopeful that there could be an in-person event in FY21, the Spring Summit committee pivoted to design a virtual high impact professional development and networking event for RMS.

The committee decided to use this virtual nature of the event to go beyond previous in-person event norms, in line with the event theme of Embrace Uncertainty: Find Your True North. They solicited and negotiated high quality keynote speakers, and without the limitation distance typically provides, they expanded their consideration across the globe. They incorporated many benefits into the virtual event at a low cost to attendees. Instead of limiting the event to a single session per time slot like most other virtual events, they leveraged the platform functionality to allow self-select breakout rooms. Overall, the committee was creative, flexible, and determined to bring RMS a high-impact, far-reaching Spring Summit.

The Spring Summit committee’s mantra in bringing RMS a fantastic platform for professional excellence and an inclusive environment seems to align with the event keynote topic – Go Big or Go Home.

Congratulations to this year’s Spring Summit Committee (Kaitlin Chapman – Chair, Bomsaerah Seong, Christi Wisleder, Lisa Woodward, Patricia Lamminar, and Shawnee Joyce)! 

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