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2005 Mentor Award Recipient

2005 Award Recipients

AAAS Mentor Award


Karen Butler-Purry

This year’s recipient of the AAAS Mentor Award is Dr. Karen Butler-Purry. She is recognized for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in mentoring and securing funding to foster Ph.D. careers for underrepresented students in electrical engineering and computer sciences.

The AAAS Mentor Award, established in 1996, honors members of the Association who have mentored and guided significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups or who have impacted the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies in the sciences. This award is directed toward individuals in the early or mid-career stage who have mentored student for less than 25 years. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Karen Butler-Purry is professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Shell Oil Faculty Fellow, and assistant director of the Power Systems Automation Laboratory at Texas A&M University (TAMU). She was assistant dean for graduate programs for the College of Engineering from 2001-2004. In 2003, she co-founded KBP & Associates, Inc., an electrical engineering and construction firm. She holds a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Howard University.

Dr. Butler-Purry has been instrumental in mentoring students from underrepresented groups and for her leadership in promoting Ph.D. careers for students in electrical engineering and computer sciences. She has helped secure grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Sloan Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support these students.

Dr. Butler-Purry’s research interests focus on power distribution system automation; system modeling and real-time simulation for shipboard and hybrid vehicles; and large-scale and isolated power systems. She is the author of many publications and has made invited presentations in Nigeria and India. She is a member of several technical and education committees of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

She has led research and education projects totaling more than $2 million. Her numerous awards for research and teaching include an NSF Faculty Early Career Grant in 1996 and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1999. In addition, she was a TAMU Center for Teaching Excellence 1998 Montague Scholar and 2005 Faculty Associate, and a 2000 recipient of a TAMU College of Engineering BP Amoco Teaching Excellence Award.

She has been a volunteer consultant for Central Iberville Community Complex Inc., a youth educational community center in her hometown of Plaquemine, Louisiana, where she has been awarding scholarships to high school graduates since 1984.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.