Southern Virginia STEM-H Education & Industry Achievement Awards 

The SOVA STEM-H Education & Industry Achievement awards provide a means to formally recognize those industry members, educators, and organizations that are leading the charge in creating and partnering on innovative educational opportunities.  If you are or know of a trailblazer working to encourage and inspire youth in Southern Virginia to pursue STEM-H fields in unique and engaging ways, you are encouraged to submit a nomination.

The STEM-H Education and Industry Achievement Awards will recognize four recipients in 2017.  The awards will be presented at the 5th Annual Southern Virginia STEM-H Summit on March 2, 2017.  All nominees will be recognized and the award recipients annuonced at the awards luncheon. For additional information regarding Rules & Eligilibitiy and the Four Award Categories please see the Rules & Eligibility section below.

2016 Award Recipients:(left to right) Dan Waters, STEM-H Educator of the Year; Angela Rigney & Justin Owen representing the Pittsylvania Career & Technical Center- Precision Machining Technology/Advanced Manufacturing as the recipient of the Innovative STEM-H Program of the Year; a student representative with the Martinsville/Henry County National Society of Black Engineers, Community Champion for STEM-H Edcuation; Charles Fraley representing Eastman Chemical Company and Donna Hicks representing Henry County Public Schools as the recipients of the Elite STEM-H Education & Industry Partnership Award



Rules and Eligibility

The nomination window is now closed; please consider a nomination for the 2018 Awards.

All nominated individuals/organizations/partnerships/programs must include activities that occurred between January 15, 2016 and January 15, 2017.

All nominated individuals/organizations/partnerships/programs must occur, work, or have locations in the Southern Virginia footprint of Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Mecklenburg, Patrick, or Pittsylvania Counties and Danville or Martinsville Cities.

The members of the Southside Higher Education Coalition: the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, New College Institute, and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center CANNOT apply for any of the STEM-H Education and Industry Achievement Awards as the primary nominee. Other organizations working with these entities may nominate programs on which the Southside Higher Education Coalition members are collaborators/partners; however, these organizations cannot be the PRIMARY nominee/nominator. Educators instructing at these locations (IALR, NCI, & SVHEC) CAN be nominated as STEM-H Educator of the Year.

An individual or organization may apply for more than one award if they meet the individual award criteria. A separate application must be submitted for each award for which they wish to be considered.

Previous nominees may submit applications/be nominated again; provided that they still meet all the award criteria. Previous award winners may not reapply/be nominated for the award category for which they received an award.

If you have questions regarding an individual’s or organization’s eligibility for any of the Southern Virginia STEM-H Education and Industry Achievement Awards please direct them to Jessie Vernon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please refer to the individual award descriptions below for details regarding each award.

Award Descriptions:

Community Champion for STEM-H Education:

Nominees for this award should be an individual, organization, or company that consistently promotes STEM-H education in Southern Virginia. They may lead independent programs, partner on activities or programs with schools or other institutions, participate in STEM-H related professional organizations, sponsor STEM-H events, etc. The Community Champion for STEM-H Education is an active player in promoting STEM-H education in southern Virginia.

STEM-H Educator of the Year:

Nominees for this award should be STEM-H educators (of any grade level, K-12 or post-secondary) using innovative, hands-on approaches to teaching STEM-H subjects. In addition to the recognition received by all award winners, the STEM-H Educator of the year will receive $500 for classroom equipment and/or professional development.

Innovative STEM-H Program of the Year:

Nominees for this award should be unique, impactful, formal or informal STEM-H programs introduced or under-going significant modification or improved outcomes between January 15, 2014 and January 15, 2015. Programs will be evaluated in part on the number of individuals impacted and the number of contact hours provided each participant.

Elite STEM-H Education & Industry Partnership Award:

Nominees for this award should be a school division, school, or individual educator AND a company or individual industry professional that have exemplified positive collaboration for improved student learning. This could include, but is not limited to: arranging industry tours for students, speaking as/having industry speakers in the classroom, collaborating on curriculum or after school programs, etc.



Are you a K-12 STEM-H educator? Are you an employer with a need for a STEM-skilled workforce? Please consider joining us for the 5th Annual SOVA STEM-H Summit, March 2, 2017. We'll be recognizing exemplary partnerships and efforts being made in STEM-H education in our region and providing educators and community & industry members an opportunity to discuss possible collaborations. 

(Community and/or industry attendee registration helps subsidize the cost for teacher attendees!)



The Southern Virginia STEM-H Education & Industry Achievement Awards will be presented on March 2. We will recognize all award nominees and announce the award recipients in four categories:

  • Community Champion for STEM-H Education
  • STEM-H Educator of the Year
  • Innovative STEM-H Program of the Year
  • Elite STEM-H Education & Industry Partnership Award

Please consider submitting a nomination.

Sponsors & Exhibitors

This event would be impossible without the generosity & support of our sponsors. Sponsorship donations allow us to offer this wonderful program to our regional students completely free of charge. Please consider showing your support of STEM-H education by becoming a sponsor of the 2017 Summit.

If your organization supports students or educators in STEM-H we hope you'll consider participating in this year's event as an Exhibitor. Exhibitors are welcome to exhibit for one or both days of the Summit and are highly encouraged to present.