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The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has recognized Isabella T. Sanders of Georgia Tech for her impact on the Society as well as the engineering community with the SWE Outstanding Collegiate Member award. Sanders will accept the award at SWE’s annual conference, WE20, which will be held virtually from November 3-14, 2020.
The SWE Outstanding Collegiate Member award recognizes Sanders for her outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community, and her campus. She was specifically selected for serving as an impeccable role model for academic diligence and research skill, strong engagement in community service, and dedication to increasing membership in GradSWE, worldwide.
Sanders is a Ph.D. student in supply chain engineering in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and an MBA student in the Scheller College of Business. She previously received a B.S. in Mathematics from MIT, and an M.S. in operations research and M.S. in geographic information science and technology from Georgia Tech. Sanders is a graduate research assistant in the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute working under Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair and Professor Benoit Montreuil in the Physical Internet Center.
Sanders’ research focuses on fresh and cold supply chains, studying the logistics of perishables, such as food and flowers. Specifically, she works on hyperconnected deployment and logistics of local food supply chains, incorporating both the variability of supply and the market demand. For her research, Sanders has been recognized as the recipient of the 2020 Richardson-Applebaum Outstanding Graduate Research on Food Distribution and Marketing Award and first place in multiple poster competitions.
Sanders has been driven to empower women in STEM. She served as president of the Undergraduate Society of Women in Mathematics at MIT from 2014-16, where she worked to improve inclusion within the department. In graduate school, she helped rebuild the Georgia Tech GradSWE group after a period of inactivity and served as the leader from 2017-2019. She advocated increased communication and collaboration between the undergraduate and graduate students within the section. Her efforts led to GT GradSWE’s receiving two Mission Awards at the SWE annual conference and individual recognition as Outstanding Graduate Student at Georgia Tech’s Women of Distinction Awards in 2019. Currently, Sanders serves as Society-level GradSWE graduate programming coordinator, organizing content for graduate students at SWE conferences. She is dedicated to increasing the presence and participation of grad students in SWE across the globe.
In addition to SWE, Sanders serves the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) as 2020-21 society student president of the Operational Excellence Division. In this role, she mentors students and helps plan the annual conference.
The award also recognizes her continuing dedication to SWE’s mission — striving to highlight the impact and importance of women in engineering across the globe, leading by example, and demonstrating that a career in engineering can be a fulfilling, rewarding pursuit for women of any background.
“The men and women recognized have lived and learned through significant contributions to the engineering community, and they continue to lead in their careers and personal lives,” said Cindy Hoover, president of SWE. “They are leaders paving the way to empower and inspire future women engineers across the globe.”