Arseven award

Outstanding graduate students
honored by women in science

Two exceptional Texas A&M University graduate students received the Susan M. Arseven "Make-A-Difference" Memorial Award Feb. 21, 2004 at the annual Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) conference, hosted by the College of Science's Educational Outreach and Women's Programs.

The winners of the 2004 awards were Sudha Arlikatti, an urban and regional science Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and Jennifer McCaskill, who is pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology. Each received a plaque, a clock and a $1,000 cash prize.

Arlikatti’s research interests include environmental hazard management with an emphasis on coastal areas, hazard planning policies and gender issues in disaster mitigation, all fields she plans to utilize after completing her degree and returning to her native country, India. She was nominated by Walter Gillis Peacock, professor and interim head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

McCaskill is focusing her research on the archaeological conservation of waterlogged rope, in particular, the rope recovered from the ship “La Belle,” which was wrecked off the Texas coast in 1686. She was nominated by Lori Wright, associate professor of anthropology. According to Wright, the conservation of waterlogged archaeological materials is a complicated process because of the need to remove salts that would later crystallize and damage fine organic structures.

The award is named for Susan M. Arseven, a 1975 Texas A&M graduate whose career in computer science carried her to the top information-technology position at a Fortune 500 company and paved the way for women and their success in business. It was endowed by her husband, Ersen Arseven ‘74, and is offered not only to recognize excellence in research but also to help alleviate financial burdens the students have experienced.

“Dr. Susan Arseven is an outstanding role model and example of perseverance and success in a highly competitive business sector,” said Nancy Magnussen, director of Educational Outreach and Women's Programs in the College of Science. “Her memory is well-served by these two outstanding women who are excelling in their academic careers, despite some obstacles that have been thrown in their academic paths.”

WISE is a network of female faculty, staff and students that helps women overcome the unique hurdles they face as they build scientific and technical careers. WISE provides support and career training, and organizes the annual conference to address issues that too often keep women from reaching the top in science and technology fields.

The annual WISE conference is sponsored by Ersen Arseven, the Colleges of Science, Veterinary Medicine and Geosciences; the Department of Biomedical Engineering; the local chapter of the American Chemical Society; Elizabeth Watson; Verizon; Samsung Austin Semiconductor; Hewlett-Packard, EFW, Inc.; Klotz Associates, Inc.; and Heat Transfer Research, Inc.

For more information regarding the WISE conference or award guidelines, visit the WISE Web site at

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