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College of Education alumna receives Early-Career Presidential Award

by The College of Education / Oct 11, 2011

Demetra C. Evangelou ’85 EdM/’90 PhD Education, assistant professor in the School of Engineering at Purdue University, has been named a Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of research careers. She is among 94 researchers who were named PECASE recipients.

Evangelou earned her doctorate and master’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from the University of Illinois.

The awards were announced in late September by the White House. Awardees were selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community services as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

“I am honored because the award recognizes not only my work, but also the need to better understand how children are influenced to pursue engineering careers,” Evangelou said. “Research in this area is going to help us address a global shortage of engineers and the lack of diversity in engineering fields.”

She is studying how engineering affects human development and how classroom environments influence children from 3 to 5 years old as they begin thinking about engineering.