STILLWATER – Oklahoma State College alumna and Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Cara Cowan Watts shall be acknowledged Saturday with the Ely S. Parker Award, the best honor awarded by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
Watts will obtain the award through the American Indian Science and Engineering Society nationwide convention – which is being held nearly – for her contributions and achievements in science, know-how, engineering and arithmetic.
“I consider our tribal nations and Oklahoma each win when STEM careers and levels are valued and embraced by extra folks moderately than fewer,” she stated.
Cowan Watts has adopted her personal recommendation. The three-time OSU graduate earned her bachelor’s diploma in mechanical engineering in 1997, a grasp’s diploma in telecommunications administration in 2002, and a doctorate in biosystems engineering in 2015.
In 2001, she and her brother, Brett, established a scholarship fund for Native American engineering college students of their dad and mom’ honor. The Beverly and Clarence “Curly” Cowan Endowed Scholarship Fund is offered to any Native American pupil from Seminole Excessive Faculty, Rogers County or Sequoyah County who majors in engineering at OSU.
“Our dad and mom had been and all the time shall be lecturers,” Cowan stated. “They inspired us to go to school, pushed us to succeed, and most significantly, supplied us alternatives to succeed. There is no such thing as a doubt that they’re the muse for our success; they put us in place to get to the place we’re right this moment.”
The siblings are each graduates of the Bridge to Doctorate program, which is designed to boost the variety of underrepresented teams incomes superior levels. This system is an initiative of the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a nationwide program created to encourage undergraduates to pursue levels in STEM disciplines.
Brenda Morales, director of OK-LSAMP program at OSU, congratulated Cowan Watts for successful the Ely S. Parker Award.
“Thanks for being an incredible STEM advocate and consultant to your neighborhood,” Morales stated. “You’re very deserving of this award for all you’ve finished and proceed to do.”
As an OSU pupil, Cowan Watts was concerned with the college chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the Native American Pupil Affiliation, which gave her real-world expertise in management and managing folks.
“My OSU engineering levels guarantee that I’ve the power to carry essential pondering, course of enchancment, venture administration, technical writing, along with a powerful science and math basis for any job I deal with,” she stated.
As an expert, Cowan Watts – CEO and principal proprietor of Tulsa Pier Drilling – continues to present again to the subsequent technology of STEM professionals.
She labored with Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, vp for Institutional Range and chief variety officer at OSU, and Dr. Jovette Dew, lately named director of OSU’s Workplace of Multicultural Affairs, to barter with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to alter the Nationwide American Indian Science and Engineering Honest from a digital occasion based mostly in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a bodily occasion in Stillwater.
“Dr. Cara Cowan Watts was instrumental in OSU internet hosting the Nationwide American Indian Science and Engineering Honest, which caused 50 elementary and secondary college college students from as far-off as California to OSU for the two-day occasion in 2019,” Kirksey stated.
The coronavirus compelled the 2020 occasion to happen nearly, however Cowan Watts is hopeful the 2021 truthful will happen in-person.
“The NAISEF is a chance for our Native college students from throughout Indian Nation, together with city facilities, to be taught not simply the scientific technique, however tips on how to analysis, doc, develop an thought to completion, current their work to professionals in addition to their friends, and learn to work together with others when their concepts are challenged,” Cowan Watts stated. “The world wants extra vigor and NAISEF offers a secure setting for our Native youth in fifth grade via twelfth grade to be taught and compete for money prizes, journeys to the Worldwide Science Honest and extra.
“NAISEF is an unbelievable occasion that draws world-class professionals who’re invested in our youth and know it’s best to start out recruiting early. This consists of authorities businesses such because the USDA and CIA in addition to small enterprise house owners akin to myself or of us from oil and fuel, know-how and extra. At one level, NAISEF had over 400 college students collaborating. We hope to return it to that quantity or larger.”