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The Region 5 Community Connector

Newsletter Promoting activities, information, and news to the membership

July 2024

    Membership Contacts:

Hunter J Boudreaux – East Area Chair

Prasenjit Shil– North Area Chair

Joe Redfield– South Area Chair

Faye Kann– West Area Chair

R5 EXCOM Roster can be viewed here: https://rosters.ieee.org/home.html

    R5 Director’s Corner

 Dear IEEE Region 5 Members, As we turn the corner into the second half of 2024, I’d like to take a minute to highlight the great work our volunteers have done. At the June board series, hosted in Toronto CA, we learned that two of our sections and their partners won two awards at the global level. The Southwest Research Institute received the “Friend of Member and Geographical Activities (MGA) Award” through Region 5 – Lone Star Section”For long and outstanding support of IEEE through paid volunteer time, membership subsidies, direct financial support, and in-kind contributions” And the IEEE Member and Geographic Activities Board also selected the Ozark Section (Northwest Arkansas, Region 5) for the 2024 MGA Outstanding Small Section Award, based on 2023 activities. “For successful efforts in fulfilling the educational and scientific goals of IEEE for the benefit of the public by maintaining, enhancing, and supporting the Student Branches, Technical Chapters, and Affinity Groups within their geographic boundaries.” Congratulations to our volunteers for these fantastic recognition of their hard work. Further, many of our sections were highlighted at the IEEE-USA and IEEE board meetings for their work and involvement in IEEE-USA Congressional Visits Day and in the IEEE-USA Innovation Workforce and Research Conference (IWRC).   Finally, we are VERY excited to have signed our MOU for hosting the MOVE truck in Region 5!  The truck is being hosted by the Ft. Worth section, and was just deployed to help with the recovery efforts of the New Mexico wildfires.  We really appreciate the support of our volunteers in this humanitarian support activity. As always, thank you all for being part of our IEEE community, and doing your part to advance technology for humanity. PS – REMINDER! If you are interested in serving in volunteer leadership in IEEE-USA or MGA – the call for volunteers is open!    https://ieeeusa.org/volunteers/elections/bod-nominations/ 


 Matt Francis, PhD  IEEE Director, Region 5

    R5 2024 Committee 

2024 Audit Committee
  1. Treasurer: William L WylieBillwylie@ieee.org
  2. Audit Committee Chair, 4th Year: Silke Spiesshoefer (East) Silke_Spiesshoefer@ieee.org
  3. Audit Committee, 3rd Year: Ernest X Njouondo (South) njouondo@ieee.org
  4. Audit Committee, 2nd Year: Patterson, Tristan Hunter (West) tristanpatterson10@hotmail.com
  5. Audit Committee, 1st Year: Bett, Italo (North) Italo.bett@ieee.org

IEEE Galveston Bay Section Member Honored by Rice University

Dr. Sabia Abidi, a senior IEEE member of the Region 5 Galveston Bay Section, has been awarded the prestigious ‘George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching’ by Rice University. 

Pictured: Dr. Sabia Abidi (CENTER) with Rice University President Dr. Reginald DesRoches (LEFT) and Dr. Amy Dittmar, Provost, (RIGHT) after receiving the award at the ceremony.

The award announcement by Dr. Carissa Zimmerman, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, congratulates Abidi, an assistant professor at Rice University, with the statement, “This recognition of your outstanding contributions to teaching at Rice is both a wonderful compliment and an acknowledgment of your dedication to your students. Unsurpassed teaching is a central part of our university’s mission, and I deeply appreciate your contributions to helping Rice achieve this lofty goal.” 

Rice University is one of the leading universities in the USA and the award honored Abidi’s dedicated and innovative methodology in teaching. 

Abidi is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. degree recipient in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She had post-doc work both at NYU and MIT, and has a dozen publications and five patents to her credit. She serves the IEEE section as the chair of Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group as well as the vice chair of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) chapter. 

Galveston Bay Section congratulates Dr. Abidi for her distinguished award.

IEEE-USA Innovation, Workforce, and Research Conference (IWRC)

Thank you to the organizers of the IEEE-USA Innovation, Workforce, and Research Conference (IWRC) in Sioux Falls, SD, for hosting an engaging, insightful event! We appreciated connecting with current and potential partners throughout the Dakotas and look forward to future collaborations.

The event included an evening reception followed by a day-long workshop, bringing together stakeholders from academia, government, and industry to bridge the gap between research and commercially viable products. Experts from the region and across the country discussed research grants, technology transfer programs, start-up funding, intellectual property, and a host of other topics related to inspiring and empowering true innovation in the Dakotas and the Midwest.

A special thank you to Faye Kann, Melissa Carl, Russell Harrison, and Matt Francis for helping to make our outreach in North Dakota and South Dakota possible. Also, congratulations to Faye on receiving the IEEE-USA Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award!

IEEE Houston Section & National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) host Houston Professional SP 2024 Fresh Start Program

Houston Section host the Mars Space Colony STEM Event with NSBE Houston Professionals. The event had more than 20 high school students with more than 325 participants.

For more details please visit


IEEE Region 5 – El Paso’s Section along El Paso Community College’s Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity and the Education Pathway National Center (EPNC) hosted the distinguished two-day Binational Border Cybersecurity Summit at the Valle Verde Campus in El Paso Texas from May 16 to 17, 2024.

The goal of the summit was to bring cybersecurity leaders to the El Paso region, i.e., El Paso Texas, Las Cruces New Mexico, and Cd. Juarez Mexico, and from around the globe and identify credentials valuable within the region that can enhance cybersecurity opportunities, addressing the needs of regional educational institutions, industries, and private sector partners.

The summit commenced with featured speakers from El Paso ISD, Ysleta ISD, and Socorro ISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Departments, who discussed the regional growth of CTE. Other notable speakers included representatives from Microsoft, the Artificial Intelligence Center of Cd. Juarez, UTEP, New Mexico State, EPCC, Borderplex Alliance, U.S. Army, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The importance of industry and academic partnerships are essential in the cybersecurity community, since these span from large to small Independent School Districts (ISDs), and with nearly 40 Early College High Schools and Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), they are pushing the envelope of Career Technical Education (CTE). The summit plays a significant role in this progress with local universities, businesses, and industries.

This year, EPCC was especially excited to highlight contributions from RING (Regions Investing in the Next Generation). RING, an innovative online cybersecurity course designed for high school students, focuses on providing rich, engaging content for those without access to existing cybersecurity programs. Their mission is to educate and mentor students on their journey toward a cybersecurity career, emphasizing ethics and pride in their work. RING represents a vital step forward, crafting tools that will empower the next wave of cybersecurity professionals. Jennifer Marden, Research Scientist / RING Training, provided a demonstration for the RING curriculum to ISDs leaders.

The Education Pathway National Center (EPNC) acts as the national resource and coordinator for education pathways leading to cybersecurity careers. Furthermore, the EPNC leverages and focuses on the implementation of the RING initiative and collaborates to support faculty development initiatives. Directors Jiri Jirik and Dr. Kristine Christensen played a crucial role in bringing this opportunity to Region V, particularly within the El Paso Section. 

More information about the conference’s agenda can be found at:  https://sites.google.com/view/bordercybersummit

Congratulations 2024, IEEE Region 5 Award winners!

Outstanding Small Section (<500): The Ozark Section

Outstanding Large Student Branch (>50): University of Texas at Dallas

Outstanding Large Company (>500): The Boeing Company of Oklahoma City

Jim Leonard Outstanding Member: Eugene Freeman

Outstanding Engineering Educator: Chunjiang (CJ) Qian

Outstanding Student: Matt Rao, University of North Texas

John Meredith Lifetime Achievement: Diane Bowen Collier

Outstanding Young Professional: Evan Glover

Outstanding Individual Achievement: Mark Hunter, Eric Meier, Art Depoian II, Alan Washburn

Director’s Awards:

For Hosting the AMA Series in 2023: Joe Redfield

For Hosting the 2023 RazorHack Challenge: Fortinet

For Hosting Over 40 Events in 2023: IEEE Local Group – Elkins Electronics Robotics Club

For Hosting the Region 5 Fall Executive Committee Meeting: The Lone Star Section and Southwest Research Institute For Hosting the Region 5 Winter Executive Committee

Director Emeritus Awards: Bob Becnel, John Reiner, Francis Grosz

   Community Outreach

IEEE MOVE Truck Deployed to NM fires

Region 3 members, Grayson Randall and Bill Guzek, flew to Region 5 to pick up the MOVE-1 truck in Dallas, Texas on June 22nd, and headed to Roswell, New Mexico in Region 6 where they will get their assignments from the Red Cross to assist the victims of the South Fork & Salt Fires.  As of June 24th, two deaths have been reported as a result of the blazes and approximately 1,400 structures have been destroyed. Residents will begin returning to Ruidoso Monday, June 24. Re-entry will be for local full-time residents only, and they are being asked to return with a week’s worth of food and water as local grocery stores remain closed. Residents are likely to return to homes still lacking electricity, gas, and water. 

You can receive updates on the deployment on Facebook

Want to help? IEEE MOVE Community Outreach program is made possible through the generosity of members and philanthropic partners. MOVE does not get yearly funding and in order for MOVE to continue our efforts to assist at disasters, it is necessary for us to raise funds.

Donate: MOVE is funded by donations like yours. Your support is greatly appreciated.  Please consider a donation today to assist your fellow IEEE Volunteers as they respond to the needs of those in need. Any amount helps, but we suggest a monthly donation of $14 for the 14,000 structures that were destroyed. Donate Now

Volunteer: The MOVE program is always looking for IEEE volunteers of all grades who have a deep passion for humanitarian work and the expertise, wisdom and time to commit in support of the program. Volunteer Form

Thank you for your support of IEEE-USA MOVE!

Matt Francis IEEE R5 Director / Gerry Ourada Region 5 MOVE Coordinator

    Membership Development

Have you renewed your IEEE membership for 2024?

It is easy to forget and easy to put off.  If you haven’t renewed your IEEE membership, or don’t know if you have, go to your IEEE account NOW.  Go to www.ieee.org, Sign in, select your name, and then select Membership and Subscription Information OR call 800 678-4333.  As a note, although Life Members have no dues, you do need to confirm your membership annually.

OR just renew now to avoid loss of any of your IEEE benefits at www.ieee.org/renew .

If you have already renewed, thank you for being part of the IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association. We have a lot planned for you in 2024

IEEE Member Benefits

Have you looked at all the benefits you receive as an IEEE member?

IEEE has specific benefits tailored to your specific carrier phase.  Are you taking advantage of all that IEEE has to offer for you?  If you’re like me, you probably know of a few benefits and are taking advantage of them but are possibly missing out on others.

The latest IEEE member Benefits Bulletin is available.  Go to:

IEEE Member Benefits for the latest on

  • authoring through IEEE Collabratech,
  • member discounts on insurance, UPS shipping, computer purchases, and Wiley-IEEE Press,
  • Continuing educational opportunities through online learning and eBbooks.  IEEE members have access to over 380 eBooks at no charge.  See the current offering at https://www.ieee.org/publications/books/ebookclassics.html

Did you know about IEEE – IEEE Collabratec

IEEE has created an online tool to assist IEEE Members AND non-members in career development.

The IEEE Collabratec™ online community offers a suite of productivity tools and is available to technology professionals around the world with exclusive features for IEEE members. Plus sign up is free to everyone.

IEEE Collabratec™ can help you:

  • Connect with global technology professionals by location and
  • Access robust networking, collaboration, and authoring tools dedicated to technology professionals
  • Establish a professional identity to showcase key accomplishments

Go to Collabratec NOW

You do NOT have to be an IEEE member to join IEEE Collabratech.

For more information, please contact: Ian MacMillan / Region 5 Membership Development Chair / i.d.macmillan@ieee.org

    R5 Conferences, Webinars and Professional Activities

IEEE Region 5 Women in Engineering Upcoming Speakers
Anita Rao – From Software Engineer to US Senate Policy Advisor on Emerging Technologies
Monday, August 5th at 7pm CDT (8pm EDT, 6pm MDT) 
Anita currently supports the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Emerging Technology Division as an Emerging Tech Policy Writer, tracking new tech and its impact to government agencies. Previously, she was a TechCongress Fellow in the U.S. Senate working on AI, privacy, and telecom issues, and prior to that worked as a 5G software engineer at Qualcomm . She has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and an MS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

From ChatGPT to 5G communications, technology permeates all aspects of modern life. Given the rapid pace of innovation, it’s increasingly difficult for governments — the regulators — and technologists — the developers — to be aligned in building safe and trustworthy technology for citizens. In this session, follow Anita Rao’s career journey from software engineering to advising in the U.S. Senate, learning about key tech issues plaguing policymakers and ways to effectively bridge the gap between tech and government along the way.
Registration Link: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/425677

Hayley Spears – Transitioning from Chemical Plants to NASA via STEM Educational Outreach
Thursday, August 29th at 7pm CDT (8pm EDT, 6pm MDT) 
Hayley is a Safety and Mission Assurance Engineer at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Hayley received a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in 2015. She started her career in the natural gas and chemical industries before switching to aerospace. When not at work, Hayley serves as a STEM Outreach volunteer for Space Design Competitions with Industry Simulation Education. Hayley lives in Houston and has a husband Adam, daughter Sasha, and two dogs, Doggo and Sui. Hayley likes to SCUBA dive, cook/bake, and sleep as much as possible with a baby at home.
Hayley will talk about her career path from the chemical plant to NASA and lessons learned along the way, as well as the role STEM outreach has played in her life as a student and a volunteer.
Registration Link: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/425680

Moriah Bisewski – Moving from Electrical Engineering into Patent Law
Friday, September 27th at noon CDT (1pm EDT, 11am MDT)

Moriah holds a BS of Electrical Engineering (’17) from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctor (JD) (’24) from the University of Houston Law Center.
She is an active Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) member and has previously served as vice-chair of the IEEE Houston Section, among other volunteer roles with IEEE. She regularly presents to non-profit groups about intellectual property and mentors young engineers in their early careers. These efforts, among others, were celebrated when she was awarded the 2018 IEEE Region 5 Outstanding Young Professional award.
Moriah’s community involvement continued through law school. While at UHLC, she volunteered as a student attorney in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC), as president of the Intellectual Property Student Organization (IPSO), and as co-host of the UH STEMinist podcast. These efforts, among others, were celebrated when she was awarded a 2024 State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property (IP) Section Diversity Scholarship Award.
Moriah Bisewski is a patent agent at Fletcher Yoder Intellectual Property Law Firm, with seven years of -experience in helping engineers protect their ideas with patents. After years of getting negative feedback from engineers about others’ presentations, she decided it was time for a disruption in what is typically presented in a patent law presentation. Today, she helps professionals contextualize patent prosecution through presenting examples of pitfalls and best practices from her experience in the industry to better understand whether they should “do-it-yourself.” This and other interesting information to be covered during her presentation should help audience members with building conversational skills around patents within the larger space of intellectual property rights.
Registration Link: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/425682

Upcoming additions:

Thursday, September 12th at 7pm CDT
Courtney Wright – (topic in discussion)
Courtney is a mechanical engineer who moved into Systems Engineering and now works as a Project Manager for INCOSE (the Systems Engineering version of IEEE who also manages professional certifications) heading the certification, academic equivalency, and training programs. Her path to engineering and experiences during her career have been challenging, including having and caring for micro-preemie twins.

Tuesday, October 1st  at 7pm CDT
Rachel Bayes – Building and managing a small woman-owned business
Rachel is founder and CEO of Illuminate Video, specializing in making B2B safety videos. She is also an engineering student, initially studying Mechanical Engineering Technology, but shifting into Engineering Management due to the growth in her business. She’ll talk about starting her business, becoming designated a WOSB, and the challenge of running a business while trying to earn an engineering degree.Reached out but have not connect to schedule talk:

Point of Contact michelle krueger mpatrick@ieee.org

Region 5 Upcoming Conference List Now Available

Have you ever wondered what IEEE technical conferences are coming to your local vicinity? Have you ever wanted to get engaged as a volunteer with an IEEE technical conference in your local vicinity? Well, we now may have an easy way for you to find the answer. The Region 5 website now has a page listing upcoming conferences across Region 5. It also provides links to the conference websites where you can get further information about the conference and contact information if you are interested in getting involved with the conference organizing committee or work as a volunteer during the conference. The conferences being held within the Region 5 geographical area are listed at https://r5.ieee.org/upcoming/. There is also a link on the page to a downloadable Excel file listing the conferences that you can access and filter and sort to your heart’s content.

    R5 Sections and Formation Date
Section Date
1 Arkansas River Valley June 20, 1994
2 Arkansas April 23, 1947
3 Baton Rouge February 5, 1955
4 Beaumont June 27, 1945
5 Central Texas May 23, 1930
6 Corpus Christi October 25, 1951
7 Dallas March 18, 1928
8 Denver May 18, 1915
9 El Paso March 7, 1940
10 Fort Worth January 5, 1956
11 Galveston Bay January 1, 1980
12 High Plains February 13, 2010
13 Houston August 7, 1928
14 Kansas City April 4, 1916
15 Lafayette November 11, 1970
16 Lone Star November 23, 2019
17 New Orleans December 8, 1933
18 Oklahoma City February 16, 1922
19 Ozark April 20, 1966
20 Panhandle June 12, 1947
21 Pikes Peak May 22, 1978
22 Saint Louis January 14, 1903
23 Shreveport January 14, 1903
24 South Plains May 4, 1955
25 Southwest Missouri February 14, 2009
26 Tulsa October 1, 1937
27 Wichita September 16, 1937

    IEEE USA News

Set sail with IEEE-USA to Alaska – 9-16 September 2024!

After the tremendous success of the inaugural 2023 Cruise, IEEE-USA is thrilled to announce we’ll be setting sail for a second time 9-16 September 2024. This time guests can expect to enjoy brisk, clean air and breathtaking scenery alongside the incredible line-up of speakers and networking opportunities while journeying to the Alaskan Frontier!

IEEE-USA will be hosting a 7-night Alaska Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas. We will disembark from Seattle, WA, with stops at four beautiful ports along the way and two days at sea. Plus, if you’ve never seen the Northern Lights, this may well be your chance as we are cruising during “Aurora Season”.

With stops in Alaskan towns Sitka, Skagway and Juneau, guests can get a front-row seat to snow-capped mountains and awe-inspiring glaciers, while also taking in the history, cuisine, indigenous culture, and wildlife that this region has to offer. The last stop will be in Victoria, British Columbia – Conde Nast’s #1 City in the World – one last chance to collect memories of whistling orcas, treasured totems, maritime sights and histories.

Book your stateroom now: https://cruise.ieeeusa.org

For more information please contact: Leah Laird IEEE-USA Sr Marketing & Communications Specialist P: 202.785.0017 x8328

Wanted:  Licensed volunteers to help with IEEE-USA and Region 5 Pilot for a PE Refresher

Region 5 is going to pilot a PE Refresher Pilot for IEEE-USA .  We have the opportunity to design and implement an exciting new and promising pilot for a program that IEEE-USA (Career and Professional Development ) and the MGA YP Committee are jointly creating.

As part of the pilot, a few subjects will be introduced to members that sign up.  These subjects are, tentatively, DC/AC Circuit Analysis, Mathematics, Ethics, Economics and Power.  At this time, we have an open call for an instructor in these areas to help with preparing a 2 hour webex on one of the preferred topics by creating some summary material and problems on the topic.  The instructor will present the material on one evening and then be available to answer questions on the problems.  We are looking to recruit the team in September and start enrolling in October.  I will have an informational session in mid September with those that respond to this call.  Instructors should not be concurrently supporting NCEES on any exam writing efforts.  Instructors should be licensed within the US.

In addition we would be looking for a project manager that is passionate about licensing to help manage the project and expand it beyond the pilot.

This is a pilot, so the purpose is to fine tune the program and collect feedback.  The informational session will help clarify format a little bit more.  However you may call me at 314-941-7641 or email at bob.becnel@ieee.org.

IEEE-USA MOVE Program is looking for qualified volunteers!

The IEEE-USA MOVE program is looking for qualified volunteers who not only have a deep passion for humanitarian work but also the expertise, wisdom and time to commit in support of our program. As we are in an expansion phase in region 5, we are primarily seeking candidates for crew members and drivers. There are also committee positions available which do not require extensive travel.  Many of these can be done from home.  You do not have to live near a truck to help!

We’d love to learn about your passions, skills, interests, and volunteer time to explore how we can work together to find a good fit for you in our program. If interested, please visit  MOVE-SIGNUP  to complete our MOVE volunteer form.

If you are at all interested, please contact me.  If you are interested, take a look at the MOVE web site, click on “volunteer” and enter your information. Or, contact Gerry Ourada, gourada@ieee.org for assistance or questions.


   MGA News 


    Frequent Links

The Full ExCom Roster can be viewed here: https://rosters.ieee.org/home.html
IEEE Region 5 https://r5.ieee.org/

The Newsletter is sent to all current members in Region 5

Newsletter Editor: Ademola Peter Adejokun