Fairfield U. Student, Professor Finalists For Women Of Innovation Awards

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Fairfield University student Katherine Pitz, left, and Amalia Rusu, an associate professor, have been named finalists for the Women of Innovation Awards.
Fairfield University student Katherine Pitz, left, and Amalia Rusu, an associate professor, have been named finalists for the Women of Innovation Awards. Photo Credit: Contributed by Fairfield University

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A member of the Fairfield University rowing team and a university professor have been named finalists for the Women of Innovation awards.

The unique program honors Connecticut’s outstanding women innovators, role models and leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Katherine Pitz, a junior from Lagrangeville, N.Y., and Amalia Rusu of Monroe, Conn., received nominations. Pitz was nominated in the College Innovation and Leadership category. Rusu was nominated in the Academic Innovation and Leadership category.

Pitz is majoring in mechanical engineering. She attended Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Rusu. who holds a doctoral degree, is an associated professor of software engineering.

The Women of Innovation program is presented by The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC), which is celebrating 10 years of inspiring women and girls to pursue careers in STEM. A winner in each of eight categories will be announced during an awards presentation on March 27 in Southington.

Pitz is studying the feeding habits of amia fish and their intriguing circular shaped mouths. She is working under assistant professor Shanon M. Reckinger, Fairfield's Clare Boothe Luce Professor. The experience has fueled Pitz's ambition to seek a doctorate in mechanical engineering and pursue a career in research.

Rusu has been named 2008 Frontiers in Education New Faculty Fellow, awarded by the National Academy of Engineering Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education. Her outreach projects include initiation or participation in school's Saturday Computing Education Academy for high school students; the Google CS4HS workshops for Connecticut secondary STEM teachers; General Electric Connecticut High School Computer Science Contest; and the Fairfield REU program in Math and Computational Science.

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