2023 RMS Summit Awards

The SWE RMS Summit Awards are presented to RMS members, teams, or collegiates who have made an outstanding contribution to activities within 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 RMS activities. RMS Summit Award recipients were recognized at the 2023 Spring Summit event held on April 15th, 2023, at the CU Boulder campus. This year RMS recognized the following members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the section. 

Taryn Tucker
​Outreach Award

Taryn joined the Rocky Mountain Section in 2022 having graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in May 2022. She volunteered to be part of the Section’s first ever SWENext booth. This booth featured an activity to build robot hands teaching students about biomedical engineering and distributed SWENext swag and information during the YESFest! in Greeley.

Taryn currently serves as the SWENext Chair and since stepping into the role, she has ramped up the SWENext programming to align with RMS outreach strategy for growth in K-12 STEM outreach. Her focus on partnerships and recruiting volunteers led to the partnerships formed with local science fairs and RMS’ commitment to hosting a SWENext booth at the Denver Science Fair. She also developed the idea for engaging with local SWENexters by hosting a virtual panel series. The two panels focused on exposing SWENexters to different STEM university options in Colorado, different types of engineering and STEM degrees at Mines, and different fields of STEM that exist at many colleges to give girls a look into the wide array of careers to pursue. Taryn has also been busy distributing SWENext swag in support of other local STEM events and connected the new Thunder Ridge High School SWENext club with a counselor.
With Taryn’s leadership, the SWENext outreach efforts have expanded the impact to the local community, supporting the growth of STEM interest.

Jackie Welsh
Professional Development Award

Jackie has stepped up in a significant way by being 2023 Spring Summit Committee Chair. She served as a committee member in 2022 and when asked if she would be willing to fill the leadership position for 2023, she didn’t hesitate to take on the responsibility. She has proven invaluable with her insights into lessons learned from last year, legacy knowledge of planning the event, and enthusiasm. She has seamlessly transitioned into the leadership role and has shown a tremendous amount of initiative to coordinate with the team and fill gaps in funding coordination, prospectus writing, and social media calls for membership involvement, to name a few. Various committee members have noted how easy it has been to work with her and commended on her availability and organization skills. She has worked over the course of several months to solicit and determine our exceptional speakers for the event.

Jackie also juggled the role of Corporate Partnership Chair, and Grant Writer & Researcher for SWE RMS. For the first time in a couple of years, she was able to secure a sponsor for the Great Women in Engineering and Science Essay Contest and gained a new partner in Evoqua Water Technologies. RMS is extremely grateful for Jackie’s leadership and her efforts to continue offering exceptional professional development events to our members and strengthen ties with our industry partners.

Sally Kammer
Newcomer Award

Sally moved to Colorado in 2021 and joined SWE RMS in 2022 after being an active member of the Professional Dallas SWE Section for several years. In the short time she has been involved with RMS, she has quickly stepped into significant leadership roles that have had an immediate impact within her committees.

Sally is the Volunteer Subcommittee Lead for the 2023 Spring Summit where she has done an incredible job interfacing with both professional and collegiate volunteers over the course of several months to optimize the “day of” organization. She is also a member of the GESTEM Volunteers/Guides Subcommittee where she has organized industry professionals presenting hands-on workshops and/or guiding groups of students during the full day outreach event. GESTEM is only made possible through the generosity of volunteers who donate their time to this iconic event, and Sally’s efforts have played a significant part in making this happen. Her enthusiasm and commitment to staying engaged with volunteers outside of the organization through her current roles, as well as making genuine connections with RMS members has been commendable.

Sally has been an invaluable member and has been one of the silent heroes enabling some of RMS’ largest events of 2023.

Local Social Coordinators, Fort Collins
Sherisse Hughes & Terry Comerford
Outstanding Membership Award with emphasis in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)
Both Terry and Sherisse are the 2022-2023 Co-Chairs for the Fort Collins Local Socials. They immediately jumped on the opportunity to become involved with RMS and recognized there was a need to support our member base in Northern Colorado.

Sherisse and Terry have reinvigorated membership participation in the area by planning local meetups that are interactive and fun such as happy hours at local eateries, Saturday coffee meet ups and frequent virtual communications. Their dedication to creating a consistent lineup of meetups throughout the fiscal year made it easy for attendees to find something that worked with their schedule, and created an environment where everyone felt immediately connected to other attendees – even if it was their first time coming to such an event.

Bounkheana Chhun
Outstanding Membership Award

Bounkheana has led our Discussion Club this year. As the Chair, she is responsible for curating a list of books that would best fit the needs and impact our member base. Each book she has chosen this fiscal year has sparked widespread interest amongst Club members and she has done a phenomenal job selecting a diverse lineup of books across different genres. Due to the large geographic spread of members across the Front Range, book club discussions were required to be hosted virtually. Even with the common “Zoom burnout” that is often experienced by post-covid, Bounkheana was able to facilitate thoughtful discussions and ask thought-provoking questions about the books that kept attendees engaged. 

GESTEM Corporate Partner Representatives
Sarah Gilmore, Christi Wisleder, Laura Mersmann, Anika Hammond
Outstanding Fund Development Award
Kristina Hermann, Tonya Wyatt
Superior Supporter Award
They have worked tremendously hard for the GESTEM event funding over the past several years. SWE RMS’ annual GESTEM event is only possible through the support of our corporate sponsors, many of whom have donated time, money, and volunteers for over 10 years. These are some of the many SWE RMS members/supporters that advocate within their corporations to gain support for our event. They have worked tirelessly through company red-tape, politics, and corporate challenges, yet year over year, support for GESTEM is there. We applaud your efforts and know that even though you make it look easy, you expend tremendous effort behind the scenes.

As a reference, the Outstanding Fund Development award is presented to SWE RMS members who have made an outstanding contribution to the finances through creative fundraising and is intended to recognize the person who puts the most creativity and effort into raising funds for our section. As for the Superior Supporter award, it is intended to recognize the contribution and efforts made by Non – SWE members to our section.

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Communications & Social Media Team
Kirsten Sargent, Sam Bayliff, Katelyn Moje, Amanda Slager
Outstanding Communicator Award with emphasis in Professional Excellence
The Communications and Social Media team took on new initiatives throughout FY23 and continued to push the envelope to find new ways of connecting with our members. SWE RMS has so many valuable programs, events, and partnerships, but all of those are only valuable if our members are aware of all the opportunities that exist.

The Communications and Social Media Team are the ones that enable that important work to happen and ensure our members receive important updates every week in a simple, easy to read, and visually pleasing way. One of the new processes the social media team implemented in FY23 was recurring social media posts that align with the Tuesday and Thursday newsletters. This new process has notably increased our social media presence and engagement with current and potential members.

This year, they have gone above and beyond to ensure we are providing timely and relevant information to SWE RMS members and partners.

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Awards | General | Members | Prof Dev

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SWE Mission Award Profession 2023 Gold Badge
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