LITE-ing the way

Apr 29, 2010

Kettering University's pre-college program Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) has been recognized with the 2010 WEPAN Award for helping to advance women in engineering.

The Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) program at Kettering University received the 2010 WEPAN Women in Engineering Initiative Award for advancing women in engineering and creating an environment where women and girls are welcomed and appreciated in the field of engineering.

The Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) awards honor individuals, programs and corporations for accomplishments that support the mission of WEPAN. Award recipients are chosen by a panel of leaders in engineering education, industry, past award winners and WEPAN board members.

Deborah Stewart, interim director of Student Life and LITE Program director, and Betsy Homsher, associate dean of Student Affairs, accepted the award April 14 at a joint conference of WEPAN and the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) in Baltimore, Md.

“This national recognition identifies LITE as 2009’s pre-eminent Women in Engineering Initiative, a distinction awarded to only two other organizations: IBM and the University of Houston,” Homsher said.

“Our achievement reflects the hard work and dedication of Kettering staff and faculty in the past eight years,” she continued.  “Special thanks are due Debbie Stewart, for her incalculable contributions to LITE, faculty members including Dr. Patrick Atkinson, Dr. Theresa Atkinson, Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari, Dr. Terri Lynch-Caris, Dr. Stacy Seeley and Dr. Ali Zand. Since we introduced the program, they have created an exhilarating learning environment in which young women pursue their passion for science and math.”

“LITE was the brainchild of Dr.Laura Sullivan, who conceived the program in 2001 and whose vision for the program has sustained us all these years,” Homsher added.

Since 2002 LITE has introduced more than 300 high school girls to career opportunities in engineering. Nearly 100 of these girls have matriculated at Kettering University, according to Homsher. 

LITE is a two-week residential program created by Kettering University to introduce 11th grade girls to the field of engineering and what engineers do. Participants learn how engineers improve people’s lives by applying math, science and technology to human problems. Program classes and labs are taught by Kettering faculty in subjects including : biomechanics, engineering for a sustainable society, vehicle collision analysis and occupant protection, and biochemistry.

More information about the LITE program at Kettering University.

Contact: Dawn Hibbard