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American Indian Science & Engineering Society Announces 2009 Professional of the Year Award Winners

 

AISES is embarking on the sixth year of presenting the AISES Professional of the Year Awards.  Throughout history Native Americans have made significant contributions to this country in the science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.   Today, AISES is continuing this tradition by increasing the number of American Indians and Alaskan Natives in the STEM fields.   As part of fulfilling this mission, AISES is delighted to announce the recipients of the sixth annual AISES Professional Awards for American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The awards are presented to science, engineering and technical professionals in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments as leaders, innovators and role models. The 2009 AISES Professional Award recipients are:


Kimberley Oldham 
2009 Professional of the Year Award
  
Kimberley Oldham is from the Muscogee Nation.  She is an Operations Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District.  In her position, she oversees the daily operation of John Day and Willow Creek dams along the Columbia River.  This is a multipurpose project which includes hydropower, navigation, fish and wildlife, and recreation missions.  She has her M.S. in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.  She has long been an advocate for Native Americans as she was the Tribal Liaison for the Kansas City District early in her career and has been a part of AISES since college.

 
Olav Kjono
2009 Executive Excellence Award 
 
Olav Kjono is currently a Program Manager for Lockheed Martin in the area of development of Radiant Mercury, an information and imagery sanitization, transliteration, and Cross Domain Transfer Solution System.  He was also certified as a project manager, systems engineer, and production quality manager in the Navy prior to retiring in 2001.  He received his M.S. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Olav is from the Mohawk tribe in Kahnawake and is married to the former Alice Welsh.  They have two children, Sandra and Eric, who are both professionals in the field of engineering. 

Richard Harper, Ph.D.

2009 Technical Excellence Award
 
Dr. Harper is a Research Staff Member for IBM Research in the field of Computer Systems.  He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Computer Systems Technology/Aerospace Engineering.  He also holds a M.S. in Physics and Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University.  His current focus is to conceive of and bring to the market a variety of advanced technologies in the areas of virtualization, high availability, problem prediction and problem determination, workload management, and systems management.  Dr. Harper is Mississippi Choctaw and is married to Ruth Harper.  They have one son, Michael.
AISES is happy to provide contact information for Professional of the Year Award winner for interviews, upon request. 
 
The 2009 Professional of the Year Awards will be presented at the 31st AISES Annual National Conference.  The Difference is You is the theme of this year's National Conference to be held on October 29-31, 2009 in Portland, OR.   Each year, our conference attracts attendees from the extensive AISES membership network which includes over 2,500 active members, 13,000 alumni, 1012 Sequoyah (lifetime) Fellows, 170 College Chapters, and 200 K-12 Affiliated Schools.  In all, members from over 200 Native Nations are represented within AISES. This is the largest American Indian National Conference, where hundreds of corporations, federal agencies and universities meet Indian students and professionals eager to learn about career opportunities.  The 3-day event includes a Career Fair, research presentations, dynamic nationally recognized speakers, panel discussions, and workshops for students, teachers and professionals. The event is capped with a traditional dinner and cultural event where all attendees come together in celebration.  
 
AISES is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to substantially increase the representation of American Indian and Alaskan Natives in engineering, science and other related technology disciplines. 
 
Visit the AISES website: www.aises.org. Press packets will be available on-site.  For information about the AISES National Conference, please contact Cristy Davies atcristy@aises.org or (505)765-1052 x 108. 




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