The Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award recognizes a graduate student whose innovative and sustained international research or public service abroad has had the greatest impact (or has the greatest potential impact) on the university, larger community or internationally.
Ann-Perry Witmer has followed a curious path through life, ultimately coming to engineering in midlife when she enrolled here at the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering after a successful career in newspapering. After graduating with honors in 2002, she became a practicing professional engineer in Wisconsin, designing water systems for communities throughout the Midwest. She also helped to create organizations that work directly with communities in Central America and the Caribbean to provide engineering assistance for disadvantaged communities in need of safe, sustainable drinking water. This global perspective informed her engineering approach domestically by incorporating a collaborative, holistic understanding of the client’s needs and expectations to produce a durable, sustainable infrastructure.
Ann now teaches freshman engineering electives as well as engineering service design courses at the university, and she is faculty advisor to Engineers Without Borders-UIUC and AWWA/WEF. Her service travels have taken her to Central America, Africa, Asia and South America, where she’s developed a deep understanding of the relationship between technical and social considerations that must be co-evaluated for communities in need. It also led her to pursue graduate studies in International Engineering Effectiveness, first through the Civil Engineering Department for her master’s degree and now through Agricultural and Biological Engineering for her PhD.
In addition to her engineering degree from the University of Illinois, Ann also holds degrees in journalism and art history magna cum laude from Boston University.
For a full list of award recipients, see: https://uofi.illinois.edu/blog/view/6758/467213
For information about the awards, see the Illinois International website: http://international.illinois.edu/global-impact/achievement/index.html