IEEE’s Journey to Winning Best Club of the Year at the Nittany Excellence Gala
TAGS: Event of the Year NominationHackathon EventHBGIEEE Executive Board RecognitionJeremiah DdumbaNittany Excellence Gala Awards .IEEE Student Branch Achievements .Student Organization of the YearProfessional PhotographyPSUPSU Harrisburg EventsSkills Development Technical Skills Workshops Student Engagement and Support Quality Programming at PSU HarrisburgSoldering WorkshopStudent Leadership Award

Introduction and Achievements

At the 2nd annual Penn State Harrisburg Nittany Excellence Gala Awards, our IEEE Student Branch proudly received the Student Organization of the Year award, a testament to our commitment and hard work. In a moment of individual distinction, the IEEE president Jeremiah Ddumba was also honored with the prestigious Student Leadership Award.

Key Projects and Events

Central to our success are three major projects. The first project is in collaboration with the School of Humanities, we are revitalizing the Penn State Harrisburg radio station, “The Reactor,” with a significant $10,000 grant given to us to repair the station, under the leadership of Alexander Caylor. Our second major project involves the development of a 5-dish radio telescope. A key aspect of this project, the radio telescope’s control system, evolved into a significant capstone project. The control system was developed and fine-tuned by Zachary Martin and Aaron Olsen, with Peter Lee, Michael Cieslak, and Jeremiah Ddumba leading the project into its next phase. Our final project, spearheaded by Dinesh Umasankar, is the development of a dedicated platform, for our semesterly hackathon. The platform is designed for interactive challenges and efficient user and team management, incorporating a leaderboard system.

Our array of diverse and high-quality events, conducted from Fall 2022 to Spring 2023, roots our triumph. The lineup included over 62 events, such as educational trips to Washington D.C. to explore the Air and Space Museum, sessions with Northrop Grumman‘s head of University Relations for career insights, and providing free professional headshots to students. The Teen and Child STEM programs, led by college students at the Middletown Public Library, offer engaging STEM education. Children in grades 5 and below attend the Child STEM session from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, while students in grades 6 to 12 participate in the Teen STEM session from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM every Monday. A highlight was hosting the university’s first hackathon in more than a decade, drawing 67 participants and securing three sponsors.

Leadership and Future Outlook

This achievement is a reflection of the dedication of our 18-member IEEE Executive Board. Despite the challenges of overseeing a wide range of activities, they remain dedicated to enriching the student experience at our university.

Special recognition goes to our IEEE President, whose leadership since May 2021 has been transformative. Under his guidance, the club has grown from 8 to 264 members, not including the Executive Board. His vision has been pivotal in orchestrating our events and driving our projects forward, fostering growth within the club and establishing stronger connections across and beyond the university.

The gala also brought further accolades, nominating three of our events – the Hackathon, Soldering Workshop, and Professional Photography – for Event of the Year. This nod to our efforts underscores the dedication and hard work of the Executive Board. We are immensely grateful to everyone who supported and participated in our events throughout the 2022-2023 academic year.

As we move forward, our commitment to providing exceptional social, professional, and technical skills development remains steadfast. We extend our gratitude for your ongoing support and look forward to delivering more high-quality programming in the future.