In the News, January 2014

In the final week of December 2013, President Obama and The White House announced 102 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. This is “the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers with awardees selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.” Click here for the full list

Several of these researchers are Tau Beta Pi members, including: Jennifer A. Dionne, Ph.D. (MO G ’03), Stanford University/Dept. of Defense; Moh Y. El-Naggar, Ph.D. (PA A ’01), USC/Dept. of Defense; Jennifer L. Reed, Ph.D. (CA Y ’00), University of Wisconsin-Madison/Dept. of Energy; and Lucy E. Cohan, Ph.D. (NY D ’05), CIA/Intelligence Community.

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The Post-Standard (NY) reported on the recent partnership between the Skaneateles Education Foundation and the Elsa and Peter Soderberg Charitable Foundation with plans to “team with the school district to better prepare Skaneateles students for jobs in the STEM fields. A joint statement from the foundations said the initiative will focus on innovative classroom resources and programming, expanded extracurricular opportunities and enriched professional development for teachers.”

Peter H. Soderberg, CT A ’68, and his wife Elsa support Tau Beta Pi’s annual Scholarship program sponsoring 20 scholarships dating back to 1998. Read the article for more details on the new science, technology, math, and engineering initiative in New York’s Skaneateles schools.

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Michael E. Webber, Ph.D. (TX A ’95), recently wrote an op-ed article for The New York Times with his idea on how to “modernize the gas tax” in the United States. Dr. Webber is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas.

He proposes a new option in the form of a “ton mile” fee based on how far vehicles travel and how heavy they are. This half-cent fee per mile would ensure “that all drivers pay their fair share to fix the resulting road damage.” He sells his plan as pleasing to partisans of both political parties, allowing for the elimination of gas and diesel taxes, and encouraging energy conservation.

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