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Gwendolyn Boyd Honored with ASME Fitzroy Medal at ASME Foundation Gala Event

Gwendolyn Boyd Honored with ASME Fitzroy Medal at ASME Foundation Gala Event

Pictured above, left to right, are Master of Ceremonies Mo Rocca, Maryland’s Lt. Governor Aruna Miller, ASME Fitzroy Medal recipient Gwendolyn Boyd, ASME President Karen Ohland, and ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile.

The engineering community recently honored Gwendolyn E. Boyd, former president of Alabama State University and retired engineer at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, for her outstanding service to the engineering profession with the presentation of the Fitzroy Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at an ASME Foundation gala event held Thursday evening, April 27, in Washington.

“Dr. Boyd exemplifies the highest standards in engineering achievement,” says ASME Executive Director/CEO Tom Costabile. “Her extraordinary advocacy for increased diversity and inclusion in technical fields is reshaping the future of engineering.”

The Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal, established in 2011, recognizes pioneering contributions to the frontiers of engineering that have led to a breakthrough in existing technology, or to new applications or new areas of engineering endeavor. Boyd is a renowned mechanical engineer and a widely respected advocate of STEM education. During her more than three decades at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, she was a leader in the development and operation of critical national security systems. She served on and later chaired the University’s Diversity Leadership Council. After leaving JHUAPL, she was named the first woman president of Alabama State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Boyd was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as a trustee of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 2009. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State University with a major in mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. She received a fellowship and was the first African American female to earn a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University. She holds both M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Howard University.

Pictured above, left to right, are: ASME Director of Engineering Sustainable Development Iana Aranda, Keith Roe, former president of ASME, current chair of the philanthropy committee, and event sponsor, and 2020 ASME ISHOW USA winner and ReNuble Co-founder Tinia Pina.

The award presentation was the centerpiece of the ASME Foundation’s “Reinventing the Future” event which drew more than 240 attendees to the historic Willard InterContinental hotel on April 27. Mo Rocca, an Emmy-winning correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” and host of “Innovation Nation” on CBS, served as master of ceremonies, introducing Costabile, ASME Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Viola, and a lineup of special guest speakers including:

  • Reverend Michele Hagans, who earned a master’s degree in engineering from Howard University, delivered an invocation to start off the evening
  • Maryland’s Lt. Governor Aruna Miller, who previously worked as a transportation engineer for local governments in California, Virginia, and Hawaii, spoke about how she “fell in love with engineering”
  • Calvin Mackie, Ph.D., founder and president of STEM NOLA, which since 2013 has engaged more than 75,000 students – mostly under-served students of color – in hands-on STEM project-based learning
  • 2020 ASME ISHOW USA winner Tinia Pina, who co-founded ReNuble, an agricultural technology company whose patent-pending nutrient delivery system creates cost-effective fertilizers that enable soilless farms to produce certified-organic food.
Pictured above, left to right, are: ASME Foundation Board of Directors Member and Morgan State University Dean of Engineering Oscar Barton, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., ASME Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Viola, 2021 ASME Engineering for Change Fellow Sahar Shamsi, Calvin Mackie, Ph.D., founder and president of STEM NOLA, and his son Miles Mackie, Howard University student.

Attendees also included current and prospective donors to The ASME Foundation’s Campaign for Next Generation Engineers, ASME’s five-year, $50 million capital campaign to support its philanthropic work. The Foundation funds ASME’s array of high-impact programs in education, workforce development, and innovation support aimed at increasing equity in the engineering profession and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Event sponsors included campaign champions ComEd and Autodesk, sponsors Ansys, Aronsoncare, MedStar Health, National Renewable Energy Lab, PSM, and Keith and Brownie Roe, and donors to the Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd Endowed Scholarship Fund for Equity in Engineering.

“We believe equity in engineering is a moral imperative. We also know that diversity drives innovation. Equity and sustainability are connected in profound ways,” says Viola. “Through support for the ASME Foundation, we’re working to open doors to both. Together, we are advancing a diverse and equitable engineering community, inspired, and equipped to innovate a sustainable future for everyone.”