Outstanding Chapter Award for Michigan’s IEEE-HKN Honor Society

It was another outstanding year for the EECS honor society, that works hard to serve while having fun

Block M with images from HKN Enlarge

The University of Michigan Beta Epsilon Chapter of IEEE-HKN was recognized with an Outstanding Chapter Award for the 2019-20 AY. This award is presented to IEEE-HKN Chapters nationwide in recognition of Chapter excellence, with special attention paid to activities that advance professional development, raise instructional and institutional standards, encourage scholarship and creativity, and provide a public service. The Beta Epsilon Chapter is a regular recipient of the award.

“I first joined the Beta Epsilon chapter of HKN in the Fall of 2018,” said James Worthington, “and it was doubtlessly the best decision I made during my time at the University of Michigan. Since then, HKN has provided me with opportunities to connect with the students who share the struggles of my major, and has introduced me to some of my closest friends.” Worthington is the current HKN president, and served as Recording Secretary during their award-winning year.

HKN Officers - Fall 2019 term Enlarge
HKN Officers: Fall term 2019

Membership in HKN is not purely honorary. While it takes outstanding scholarship to be invited to join HKN, members are expected to contribute their time to a wide variety of causes. They may decide to help tutor other students, participate in one of many service activities in the community, or help run the ever-popular dB Café. During 2019-20, they contributed about 1300 hours of service.

Their regular service activities include volunteering at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Sequoia Place (a retirement center), or restoration activities at Nichols Arboretum and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. They also sponsor Scouts Day, the EECS Professor of the Year contest, produce a monthly newsletter, and host a Women’s-Faculty Mixer, among other things.

HKN Officers Winter 2020 term Enlarge
HKN Officers: Winter term 2020

In return, they receive more than the honor of being an HKN member. They are invited to more than 50 social events for members, including bake-offs, game nights, karaoke, book clubs, bowling, ice skating, and the end-of-term banquet. They also get special access to industry recruiters as they arrange for visits from some of the hottest companies in tech.

The past year, the chapter has made a special effort to stay connected during the pandemic, such as offering virtual game nights and other events.

“Meeting new people is difficult even without the current limitations of online learning,” said Worthington, “but HKN provides a place for EECS students to make real connections.”