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News Release

IEEE-USA Announces $5,000 in Video Competition
Scholarship Awards for U.S. Undergraduates

WASHINGTON (12 February 2009) — Coinciding with Engineers Week from 15-21 February, IEEE-USA is announcing $5,000 in scholarship awards to five undergraduates at four U.S. universities, who entered the organization's 2009 "How Engineers Make a World of Difference" video competition. According to IEEE-USA Communications & Public Awareness Vice President Paul Kostek, the winners are: first prize ($2,000), Samantha Caldwell, University of Texas-Austin; second prize ($1,500), Ben Toler and Emile Frey, Louisiana Tech University-Ruston; third prize ($1,000), Paul Curtis, Indiana University at Purdue University Indianapolis; and honorable mention ($500), Matt Elder, Rutgers University.

The four entries were deemed most effective in reinforcing for an 11-to-13-year-old audience how engineers improve quality of life. The three-judge panel included: Andrew Quecan, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford University; Suzette Presas, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Nate Ball, mechanical engineer and host of PBS' "Design Squad." According to chief judge Quecan, "the ability of the video to reach the targeted audience was a key factor in determining the winners."

Samantha Caldwell, who submitted the first-prize entry, is a mechanical engineering major at UT-Austin, and plans to complete her bachelors and master's degrees at the university. She cites a goal "to design a vehicle to operate without gasoline and use biofuels electricity or a different source of green energy." Caldwell will be recognized at the IEEE-USA's annual meeting in Salt Lake City on 28 February.

Second-prize winners Ben Toler and Emile Frey from LTU-Ruston are repeat winners in 2009, having garnered the first prize in 2008. Frey is applying to the University of New Orleans to enter its film program. Toler is pursuing his master's and doctorate in nuclear engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Third-prize winner Paul Cutis at IUPUI is planning to attend graduate school to study computer engineering.

The three major award winners each spent one to three weeks over their universities' winter breaks preparing entries. The first and third-prize winners even drafted their siblings to appear before the camera. The video competition was designed to be replicated in IEEE Student Sections both in and outside of the United States. IEEE-USA will launch its third 2010 video scholarship competition in September. To view all of this year's award entries, go to

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 215,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 375,000 members in 160 countries. See

Contact: Pender M. McCarter, APR, Fellow PRSA
IEEE-USA Senior Public Relations Counselor
Phone: + 1 202 530 8353


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