January 12, 2015

Nominations being accepted for Nicoletti Award for Service to Community

In 2003 the WPI Trustees, in honor of the late Professor Denise Nicoletti, established the Denise Nicoletti Trustees’ Award for Service to Community. The award is presented annually to a WPI staff member or faculty member who exemplifies the spirit of service to community which Professor Nicoletti so superbly exemplified in her life and her career. The award consists of an engraved plaque and a cash stipend of $1,500.

The Selection Committee is soliciting nominations for this award for Academic Year 2014–15. Any faculty or staff member with a minimum of one year of full-time or part-time service (who has not previously won the award) is eligible to be nominated for the award.

Denise Anne Wawrzynski Nicoletti was born in Yakima, Washington. As a disc jockey for a college radio station, she developed an interest in sound that led her into an electrical engineering program at George Washington University. She received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

This award honors the memory of Denise Nicoletti, whose passion for life and humanity touched many lives, and is intended to keep her spirit of service alive in the WPI community.

Nicoletti joined WPI in 1991 as the first tenure-track female faculty member in the history of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a recognized authority on ultrasonics, nondestructive testing, scaling and fractal properties, the assessment of student learning, and the promotion of science and engineering to under-represented groups. In 1997 Denise, together with Professor Chrys Demetry of the ME Department, created Camp Reach at WPI, a widely acclaimed summer program that introduces seventh grade girls to the excitement of engineering and science. In 1998, she created WECE (Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering) organization to support and inspire WPI’s female ECE students.


1. Candidates will be judged based on demonstrated passion and action in serving the needs of a community and genuine care for the enrichment of life for others. Service to WPI and other communities will be valued equally.

2. The service being evaluated for this award must go above and beyond the candidate’s regular job description.

3. If there is no outstanding candidate in a given year, the award will not be made.

4. A maximum of one award may be made each year.


Candidates will be determined by an open nomination process. Anyone inside or outside WPI may submit nominations. Nominations must include the following:

1. Name of nominee.

2. Name and contact information of the nominator (self-nominations are acceptable).

3. The capacity in which the nominator has known the nominee, and the length of time.

4. Description of the nominee’s eligibility for the award (at least 1 to 2 written paragraphs). Please provide whatever information would be helpful to the committee.

5. Names and contact information of others who would be familiar with the candidate’s qualifications.

Nominators are encouraged to submit additional letters of support to help the Committee better assess the nominees.

Nominations are due no later than Feb. 1, 2015, and should be sent via email, campus mail, or U.S. mail to Deb Graves, Provost’s Office, djgraves@wpi.edu.

Please consider making a nomination as a way of recognizing the outstanding contributions to community made on a regular basis by so many of our staff and faculty while honoring Denise and her commitment to the community.

The selection Committee members are Chrys Demetry, chair, Sarah Olson, Joe Beck, Eric Chojnowski, Tina DeVries, Orland Lamce, and Jessica Rosewitz.