MHTA Celebrates STEM Students and Educators at the 2017 Tekne Awards

November 1, 2017

Minnesota High Tech Association’s commitment to STEM growth continues with scholarship and Tekne Lifetime Achievement awards

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 1, 2017 – By 2020, Minnesota will need an estimated 155,000 additional STEM professionals. As opportunities in this sector continue to grow, the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recognizes the importance of strong STEM education programs throughout the state. To celebrate the development of this sector, MHTA honors 18 outstanding students and two individuals who are adding to the success of STEM education in Minnesota.

MHTA has awarded $600,000 to 150 students pursuing undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines since 2007. The scholarships are supported by both the MHTA Foundation and various Minnesota technology organizations to encourage the growth of STEM professionals in Minnesota.

MHTA also presents Tekne Lifetime Achievement Awards to individuals who have made lasting contributions to technology innovation in Minnesota. This year’s recipients highlight the importance of mentorship and guidance in STEM education. At the 2017 Tekne Awards on November 15, MHTA will award 2017 Tekne Lifetime Achievement Awards to Dr. Bhabani Misra, associate dean at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, and Steven L. Crouch, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering.

Dr. Bhabani Misra has been instrumental in the transformation of cutting-edge programs that have produced more than 4,000 master’s degree students in the software engineering, data science, information technology and software management fields. He is also deeply engaged with his Strategic Advisory Board consisting of CIO’s, CTO’s and VP’s from the most well-known companies in the region.

Prior to his current role, Professor Crouch served as dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering. Over the years, Crouch has showcased the importance of research-based education. His research focuses on numerical modeling of problems in solid mechanics using boundary integral equation methods. He developed a special numerical method called the displacement discontinuity method, a widely used tool for solving problems ranging from crack propagation in elastic solids to the design of underground mining excavations.

“STEM education is a major contributor to the success of Minnesota’s innovation economy,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and CEO of MHTA. “We are pleased to recognize these well-deserving individuals with Tekne Lifetime Achievement Awards for their phenomenal impact in the STEM disciplines.”

Recipients of the 2017 MHTA Foundation scholarships include: Martha Beyene of Eagan; Caylin Crawford of Hugo; Ilhan Dahir of Eden Prairie; Mbathio Diagne of Dakar, Senegal; Grace Harmon of Spring Grove; Colleen Hutchinson of Winnipeg; Elizabeth Juarez Diaz of Fridley; Biniam Lemma of St. Paul; Gianna Madison of Minneapolis; Pablo Mello de Silva of São Paulo, Brazil; Sommer Meyer of Eagan; Phuong Nguyen of Lamdong, Vietnam; Vikram Puram of Edina; Hattie Scott of Foley; Lucy Sukar of Prior Lake; Amanda Tenhoff of Eagan; Divendra Timaul of Minneapolis; Jordan Zunker of Grand Marais.

The 2017 Tekne Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and outstanding STEM students will be recognized at MHTA’s annual Tekne Awards, which will be held on Nov. 15 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The 18th annual Tekne Awards program will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a VIP registration and reception, followed by general registration at 5 p.m. and dinner at 5:45 p.m. The awards ceremony will commence at 7 p.m., with a post-event reception at 8:30 p.m.

For additional information or to register for the 2017 Tekne Awards program, visit or contact Ted Modrich at 952-230-4538 or

About Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)

MHTA is an innovation and technology association united in fueling Minnesota’s prosperity. We help bring together the people of Minnesota’s science and technology ecosystem and lead the charge in directing science and technology issues to Minnesota’s state capitol. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota’s entire science and technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size − involved in virtually every aspect of science and technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota. Find out more online at or follow MHTA on Twitter at

bridge media | nike air zoom tw 2009 brown and gold