Rensselaer President Is Named Black Engineer of the Year: First Woman To Win Top Award

February 5, 2001

Baltimore, Md. — Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, ushers in the new millennium of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference by becoming the first woman to win the top award. The selection was announced today by Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG), producers of the 15th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference.

The Conference is being held February 8-10, 2001 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Jackson’s selection was announced by Tyrone D. Taborn, chairman and CEO of Career Communications Group, Inc., publishers of US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, who said, “Dr. Jackson is a distinguished theoretical physicist with a long string of ’firsts’ to her credit. She is the first woman to win the prestigious Black Engineer of the Year Award; the first African American on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the first to head that agency; and the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. at MIT in any discipline, among other achievements.

”The gender gap in technical fields is abysmal,“ Taborn says. ”Women have never received more than 18 percent of the engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S. in any year. And the ethnic divide in engineering is worse: only 3,000 to 4,000 African Americans annually out of 64,000-plus graduates.

“It is our hope that Dr. Jackson’s achievements will shine a spotlight on this problem and also serve as a beacon to guide other talented women into the field.”

Dr. Jackson tops the list of over two dozen African Americans receiving recognition at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference. The awards will be presented during special ceremonies on Saturday, February 10, at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, beginning at 8:00 p.m. The Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference is sponsored by USBE & Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. It is one of the most comprehensive career and professional development events for African-American executives, professionals, and college and high school students. Over 7,000 are expected to attend the Conference and take part in the various workshops and networking events and the Career Fair this year.

CCG, founded in 1981, is today one of Baltimore’s largest minority-owned companies. CCG publishes USBE & Information Technology magazine and its sister publication, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology. In addition, the company produces syndicated educational programming and nationally recognized engineering and information technology conferences.

For more information, contact Career Communications Group, 729 East Pratt Street, Suite 504, Baltimore, MD 21202. Call 410-244-7101, or visit the company’s Web site at Conference information also can be obtained on the Internet at

Outside Contact:
Eric Addison
Black Engineer.Com
Ph: (410) 244-7101 x133(410)
Fax: 752-1837

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