College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Alliant Energy honors three CoE students

Three graduating seniors from Iowa State’s College of Engineering recently received 2012 Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis Jr. Achievement Awards. They were among a group of four students who were honored April 12 with the award and a concurrent scholarship .

The four awardees were:

  • Bieu Y. Ieong, senior in mechanical engineering at Iowa State
  • Sonia Jose, senior in mechanical engineering at Iowa State
  • Neila N. Seda, senior in civil engineering at Iowa State
  • Jostten K. Sackitey, senior in finance and economics at the University of Iowa.

The award, created to honor former Alliant Energy President Erroll B. Davis Jr., recognizes achievement, leadership, and service of graduating seniors in business or engineering at Iowa’s Regent Institutions.

The students were both surprised and excited when they received word of their selection. Each also has their own reasons as to why the award means so much to them.

Jose, initially “shocked” over her selection, was filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude and happiness.

“This honor and scholarship serves as a great reminder to me that hard work does pay off and that we do have an tremendous impact on those around us,” Ieong said.

“To me, this award means a lot of hope for future multicultural students in the sciences and engineering, letting them know their efforts have not been in vain and they should give their all for their degree, their community, and for advancing their education,” expressed Seda.

The scholarship that accompanies the award will help the students pay off loans and expenses accrued over their academic careers. Seda said a good portion of her scholarship will go toward her graduate studies.

The 2012 Diversity Catalyst Award and Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis Jr. Achievement Awards reception provided the following biographies about the Iowa State awardees:


Bieu Y. Ieong—Academic excellence, international focus, and mentoring are all important to Bieu Ieong. Graduating in May 2012, he has excelled academically, earning a 3.99 GPA, and has consistently been recognized on the Dean’s list for being in the top 2% of his class.

Ieong has taken a personal avenue to leadership, serving as a mentor to Ames High School students, to students new to Iowa State as a Destination Iowa State leader, to the first-year University Honors Program as a Freshman Honors Seminar leader, and to ethnic and racial minority students on campus as an International Friendship Connection leader. He also served as treasurer of Tau Beta Pi and been a member of the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Advisory Council.

He has interned twice with Deere & Company, once in Waterloo and once in Moline, Illinois. During his junior year, leong studied abroad at the National University of Singapore, where he represented Iowa State and the College of Engineering at the Student Global Leadership Conference in Singapore and also volunteered in a vocational school and orphanage in Beijing.

After graduation, Ieong will be a payloads engineer for Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington, with a goal of being able to use his engineering background internationally in the future.

Sonia Jose—Sonia Jose will graduate this May with a degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. In addition to excelling academically in a difficult curriculum, she has been a leader in both engineering and community service student organizations. She has been involved with the ISU Solar Car Team and served as a treasurer for the Iowa State Lunabotics Team. Sonia has also been an active member of Habitat for Humanity since her sophomore year, holding the position of fundraising chair during her senior year.

Realizing that engineering is a global profession, she studied at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan during the fall of her junior year. She immersed herself in the culture, living with a host family and improving her Japanese language skills.

Jose pursued experiential education opportunities to enhance her academics and understanding of engineering. She had engineering internships at Black & Veatch and Walt Disney World, and was also a research assistant in the Virtual Reality Applications Center on the ISU Campus. After graduation, Jose will begin her career in an engineering position with ABB Inc., a power and automation company. She intends to stay active with Habitat for Humanity.

Neila Seda – Neila Seda, who will graduate May 2012 in civil engineering with an environmental emphasis, has a passion for making safe drinking water plentiful for everyone. To pursue her passion for research in this area, Seda will pursue a Ph.D.

While at Iowa State, Seda has been active in research and leadership. She completed undergraduate research experiences at Iowa State and Carnegie Mellon University. Seda also served as a mentor and role model for the Women in Science and Engineering learning community. She has been actively involved in the Society of Hispanic and Professional Engineers and Mexican-American Engineers and Scientists, serving as secretary and then president of the student organizations. Simultaneously, she served as vice-president of the Puerto Rican Student Association. The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs recognized her with a “Student Change Agent” award for her campus leadership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *