Lance Cavanaugh, Engineering, (515) 294-2416
Barbara Lograsso, Women in Science and Engineering, (515) 294-4317
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- A new endowed scholarship fund that will increase opportunities for women to pursue careers in science and engineering has been established at the Iowa State University Foundation in memory of Charles T. Wright Jr., of Roland.

Wright, an Iowa State professor of electrical and computer engineering, died in an automobile accident in March while returning from the University of Northern Iowa, where he had given a presentation. He is survived by his wife, Carol, who works at Iowa State; a son, Kenneth, East Bridgewater, Mass.; and a daughter, Kara, Chicago.

Contributions to the Charles Wright Memorial Scholarship can be sent to the ISU Foundation, 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014.

Administered by the Program for Women in Science and Engineering, the Wright scholarship will be awarded to sophomore or junior female students majoring in mathematics, physical or computer sciences, or engineering.

Wright joined Iowa State’s faculty after earning a Ph.D. degree in computer science in 1970. During his 30-year career at ISU, he gained national recognition for his work in advancing computer engineering education. Colleagues praised Wright's abilities as a mentor, and his commitment to encouraging students, particularly women, to study and pursue careers in science and engineering.

"Charlie Wright was very deeply committed to bringing more women students to engineering programs," said S.S. "Mani" Venkata, chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering. "He also did that at the high school and middle school levels."

"Charlie was a great friend of students and always first to volunteer as a mentor for the Women in Science and Engineering program," said Gurpur Prabhu, associate professor of computer science who worked with Wright on several projects. "This scholarship is a fitting tribute to his tireless efforts in teaching, mentoring, and recruiting women students."

"He was absolutely devoted to his students. He was an excellent teacher and really never passed up a chance to be with his students," said Larry Genalo, associate professor of materials science and engineering. Genalo worked with Wright on Synthesis, a national coalition to improve engineering education.

Wright also was an avid sports fan, and served as scorekeeper and public address announcer at Roland-Story High School athletic events.

Iowa State’s Program for Women in Science and Engineering was established in 1986 to increase the representation of women in science, engineering, and technology-related fields. Since the program began, the number of undergraduate women enrolled in science, engineering, and technology fields at Iowa State has increased more than 50 percent, and the number of female graduate students in these areas has increased by nearly 40 percent.


Iowa State homepage

University Relations, online@iastate.edu
Copyright © 1999-2000, Iowa State University, all rights reserved