Thursday, June 20, 2013

Financial Aid: The Basics

To qualify, complete the FAFSA form by February 15th for the fall. ( There is no deadline on the form.  It is supposedly "first come first serve" - as though there is enough to go around.  The truth however, is that the "good money" is usually gone by March.)

The number one cause for delay is completion of the parents' tax return which must be attached.  Most Americans do their taxes in April - the month they're due.  This is too late for the FAFSA application. (Parents can estimate the taxes for the FAFSA application - but copies of the actual tax forms must eventually be turned in and corrected later - more red tape.) It pays to get everything in by February.

Triple check the form to be sure nothing is missing.  If there is the slightest program, the process is slowed down and sometimes the form is returned to you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shani Allison, EE '01, Earns Distinguished Alumni Award


On May 31, 2013, Ms. Shani Allison became the youngest recipient of the highest award that is given by Penn State to an individual, the Distinguished Alumni Award. She graduated from Penn State in 2001 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and is the first African American women in engineering to receive this prestigious award.

The Penn State Board of Trustees initiated the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1951 for the purpose of recognizing and saluting the achievements of our most outstanding alumni.  The honour is presented annually to Penn State alumni whose “personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of our alma mater.”

Shani came to Penn State from Pittsburgh, PA to attend the Pre-First Year in Engineering and Science Program (PreF) in the summer of 1997. During Shani's four years as an undergraduate she was a Bunton-Waller Fellow, Jackie Robinson Scholar, NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering) Scholar, and recipient of the President’s Freshman Award.

The Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) and the Women in Engineering Program (WEP), were vital to Shani's success while she attended Penn State and she has been giving back in so many ways since graduating. She has served on the Dean's Engineering Diversity Advisory Board since 2002, and even served for 2 years as chair. She has been a design judge, distinguished career participate, panelist and leadership member for the Women in Engineering Program Orientation (WEPO) and a panelist for the Multicultural Engineering Program Orientation (MEPO). In March 2013, Shani was awarded the Engineering Diversity Award in recognition of her years of leadership and mentoring to MEP and WEP students, inspiring them to become world-class engineers.

Shani's generous giving goes beyond Penn State. She currently serves at the National
Taylor Mitchan, Cavon Cormack, Naeem Holman, Shani Allison,
Avery Williams, Khalil de Guzman, Brianna Hammond
Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)- Detroit Alumni Extension liaison to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and chair of the SWE Detroit girls' engineering exploration workshop. Shani also works closely with the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) and won their "Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year" award in 2011 as well as their "Distinguished Service Award" in 2010.

Shani's leadership and service is an inspiration to all women and multicultural students wishing to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). She is currently employed as a project management analyst for Ford Motor Company and is a lifetime member of Penn State's Alumni Association. Shani has accomplished so much since graduating 12 years ago and we look forward to all the great things that will come.

Congratulations Shani from your MEP and WEP family, we can't express just how proud we are of you. Thank you for all you have done for our office, Penn State and engineering!