EcoCAR Honors Women in STEM

Each year, General Motors sponsors the EcoCAR Women in STEM Awards.  These awards honor women from across many STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines who are demonstrate outstanding technical excellence both within their university academic programs and most notably, through the EcoCAR program.

This year the judges were delighted to hear from 9 strong candidates from the EcoCAR teams.  The accomplishments each of these women demonstrated their highly developed technical skills, commitment to encouraging other women to pursue and succeed in STEM fields, and overall excitement for EcoCAR.

The General Motors Women in STEM Rookie award is named in honor of Lyn St. James, 1998 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, who partnered with AVTCs to create the Women in Engineering awards in Challenge X. The General Motors Women in STEM Rookie Award recognizes an outstanding female EcoCAR team member who is already contributing to the team, yet has the potential to do even more.  We give this award to recognize that potential and encourage the recipient to harness her passion, hone her skills, and become an even stronger leader.

This year’s General Motors Women in STEM Rookie Award recipient is Jerica Rattana from the University of Waterloo. Jerica believes that technology will make the world a better place and is passionate about renewable energy. The judges stated that “Jerica a strong advocate for freedom to pursue STEM. She believes that success in STEM does not have to be 50/50 ratio – women should be judged on merit. She spoke from her heart and shared inspiring stories about her passion in STEM.”

Jerica hopes to gain more hands-on experience and is looking forward to the arrival of the Blazer in Year 2 so she can get her hands dirty and contribute more to her team.

This year, there was a tie for the General Motors Women in STEM Award. This year’s recipients, Ashley Phan from the University of Alabama and Nikki Machado from Colorado State University, both had similar passions within and outside of EcoCAR. They took personal responsibility for their team’s outreach programs and continually went above and beyond what was asked of them. They each believe that leadership means mentoring, teaching and allowing others to succeed, often in lieu of their own success. They showed resilience to overcome barriers and challenges and kept pushing forward.

Both Ashley and Nikki have contributed to their EcoCAR Teams tremendously, one as the CAVs lead and another as CSMS Management Lead.These women see success in STEM and have been strong role models on their teams, both as females and leaders.

Congratulations to our Women in STEM recipients and to the following candidates who have demonstrated their passion for EcoCAR in both technical and outreach programs:

  • Morgan Cox from University of Alabama
  • Jackie Karl – Defrain from the Ohio State University
  • Jerica Rattana from University of Waterloo
  • Akshra Ramakrishnan from the Ohio State University
  • Ashley Phan from University of Alabama
  • Rose Weber from West Virginia University
  • Tyler Baker from Embry Riddle
  • Nikki Machado from Colorado State University
  • Livia Anderson from University of Washington