March 2, 2022
Each year we ask our AEOP community to nominate outstanding alumni that went above and beyond in AEOP. We take this time to recognize the innovative thinkers, creative teachers and mentors, and those dedicated to giving back to their community. The AEOP Alumni Awards celebrate participants who embrace the AEOP mission and inspire those around them to use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to make our communities and our world a better place.
“Winning the AEOP Rising-Star award for STEM excellence motivated me to get involved in multiple research projects to help my community,” said Dhruv Pai, a 2021 award winner. “I became interested in understanding how medical devices are cleared for use in the United States. I built a natural language processing approach to build a map of the medical device predicate clearance system of the Food & Drug Administration. This self-mentored project was selected as a finalist for the Regeneron ISEF fair, with a solo author publication in a peer-reviewed journal-PLOS ONE.”
Winning the Rising-Star award gave Pai the confidence to continue on his STEM journey, inspiring him to explore how STEM can improve the lives of those around him and the world.
“After witnessing how the pandemic was impacting the world economies, I started conducting research with professors in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland to determine how machine learning approaches perform in predicting the impact of globally disruptive events, like pandemics,” explained Pai. “Simultaneously, after seeing how the pandemic exacerbated the mental health crisis in our country, I was inspired to pursue a research project focused on improving the targeting pipeline of potential patients that could benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation (a non-invasive electromagnetic) to treat major depression. I was even selected as the top 300 Regeneron STS scholar in 2022 for this project!”
“Winning the award has helped me define my academic and personal interests. It encouraged me to expand my knowledge and understanding of STEM fields outside of my classroom, and also allowed me to develop one-on-one connections with distinguished faculty in the fields,” concluded Pai.
Do you know any outstanding AEOP students, teachers, or mentors? Check out our award’s categories and submit your nomination:
- All-Star Award: The AEOP Alumni Association All-Star Award is given to an AEOP participant who has won multiple competitive AEOPs during or prior to 2022. Recipients of this award must have participated in competitive AEOPs (e.g., JSHS, JSS) and must have won more than one time. Wins at different levels (e.g., local, state, national) of the same competition in a single year do not count as multiple wins. However, wins at various levels of the same competition in different years ARE considered multiple wins.
- Community Service Award: The AEOP Alumni Association Community Service Award is given to an AEOP participant who has used their knowledge and experience in AEOP to give back to their community. Recipients of this award must have completed an AEOP during or prior to 2022 and demonstrated a significant effort to improve their community through their experience in AEOP. Nominations for this award must identify how the AEOP experience inspired this community service.
- Educator of the Year Award: The AEOP Alumni Association Educator of the Year Award is given to a teacher participant in AEOP (e.g., either as a participant in RESET, as a resource teacher for AEOP, or in another educator capacity) during or prior to 2022. Nominations for this award must demonstrate how AEOP impacted the nominee’s growth as a STEM teacher.
- Mentor of the Year Award: The AEOP Alumni Association Mentor of the Year Award is given to a mentor from one of the various apprenticeship programs within AEOP, during or prior to 2021. Nominations for this award must demonstrate how participating as a mentor impacted the nominee’s personal growth in STEM and how AEOP provided a unique learning opportunity for the apprentice.
- Renaissance Award: The AEOP Alumni Association Renaissance Award is given to an AEOP participant who has successfully completed two or more unique AEOP Programs during or prior to 2021. Recipients of this award must have completed two separate AEOPs (e.g., GEMs and JSHS). Participants are not eligible for this award if they participate in the same program more than once. Nominations must demonstrate how the nominee’s continuing experience in AEOP contributes to their growth in STEM.
- Rising-Star Award: The AEOP Alumni Association Rising Star Award is given to an AEOP participant who has completed their first year in AEOP as a student in 2021 or 2020. Nominations for this award must not have participated in an AEOP STEM program prior to 2020. Nominations must describe how their nominee’s first experience in AEOP impacted their growth in STEM.
AEOP 2022 Alumni Award Nominations are due May 1, 2022. Winners will be announced at the Award Show in July. Submit your nominations here.
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