Honored by President Obama for her work
Demetra Evangelou is one of the Greek scientists to have won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). In fact, President Obama himself was the one to honor her with that award in 2011. The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. This award is given annually since 1996, under the presidence of Bill Clinton, with a specific process: the White House receives recommendations from participating agencies, and evaluates them, in order to find the scientists who made a breaktrhough with their research. U.S. Citizenship and national or permanent residence in the USA are the prerequisites so as to be eligible for the award. The original goal for the creation of the award was for the US government to create a program that would honor and support the achievements of young professionals who start their independent research career in the fields of science and technology.
Professor Evangelou has research and policy experience in educational research and policies that lead to the advancements of technological and scientific literacy. She is credited with introducing the concept of “Developmental Engineering”, a new area of research and education that explores engineering and human development. Evangelou is recognized for “outstanding research into how early experiences can lead children to pursue engineering later in life and for working with teachers from diverse schools to develop new teaching materials and methods that can help students become innovative and more technologically literate”.
Demetra Evangelou has served on the faculty of Aristotle University and the University of Thessaly, and also the University of Thrace. She holds a Ph.D in Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a Master of Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and a B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois. She is also a member of several scientific and professional societies, including the Sigma Xi Science Honor Society. She is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, American Educational Research Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the European Early Childhood Research Association. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious NSF CAREER Award.
“Engineers are the ones who can brigde an idea, a thought with the material world, the natural world, and by doing so, by creating and realizing this idea, and by giving it to the human civilization, they change the way we think”, says Demetra Evangelou after the recognition of her work.