Rezaie Receives Awards from Bluegrass Alliance for Women

photo of Rezaie with award

Dr. Jaleh Rezaie’s impressive record of providing and promoting educational opportunities for women and girls has been recognized by the Bluegrass Alliance for Women.

Rezaie, associate dean of the Graduate School and interim director of the STEM-H Institute at Eastern Kentucky University, has received the Alliance’s 2013 Impact Award for Madison County as well as its Legacy Award. Fifteen women were nominated from eight Central Kentucky counties. A nominee from each county was presented with an Impact Award, and from those eight Rezaie was selected for the Legacy Award. The awards honor Central Kentucky women who are working at the grassroots level to improve the lives of women and girls in Central Kentucky.

The honoree’s commitment to girls and women dates to her time as the founding chair of EKU’s Department of Computer Science. Under her leadership, the Department began offering LEGO Robot Summer Day Camps in 2000, including a grant-funded summer day camp for girls in grades 7-9. This year, with the help of EKU extension agents and STEM-H Institute, camps will expand to include additional sites and serve more girls throughout the region.

In addition, Rezaie served as co-chair of Kentucky Women in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology and on the Education and Leadership Committee of the Governor’s Taskforce on the Economic Status of Kentucky’s Women, both in 2001-02. In 2003, she presented “Ways to Help Females Survive and Flourish in the Male-Dominated Sciences and Engineering Fields” at the prestigious Lilly Conference. In 2004, she was elected chair of the Bluegrass Region Education Committee, which was formed as a follow-up to the work of the Task Force on the Economic Status of Kentucky’s Women.

In 2007, Rezaie presented “Information Technology for Women in Developing Countries” and co-chaired a Birds of a Feather session at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference and began working as part of the leadership team of the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative, a National Science Foundation-funded initiative to interest and support young girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. More recently, she co-chaired the fourth annual Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative conference (the fifth annual event will be held at EKU in June).

A native of Iran, Rezaie also has given talks on “Women under the Veil” to promote greater cultural understanding between girls and women.

Rezaie also played a leading role when EKU partnered in January with Kentucky Educational Television and NASA to be one of six downlink sites nationally for a conversation between local middle school students and an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.  Approximately 200 students gifted and talented in science and/or mathematics (43 percent of the participants were female) came to the Richmond campus for a day-long event built around the downlink.

The Bluegrass Alliance for Women, established in 2005, is open to all individuals and organizations that are committed to improving the economic status of women in the region. Its mission is to create grassroots opportunities that empower women and girls in the areas of leadership, education, health and well-being, equity and economic sufficiency.

Published on March 26, 2013