SDM ’12 Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan Receives Award for Leadership, Innovation, Systems Thinking

Elizabeth Cilley SoutherlanJuan Esteban MonteroAlvaro Madero By Lois Slavin, SDM Communications Director
March 26, 2013

On March 14, 2013, the SDM community convened for the presentation of the 2012 MIT SDM Award for Leadership, Innovation, and Systems Thinking.

The award, created by the SDM staff in 2010, honors a first year SDM student who demonstrates the highest level of:

  • strategic, sustainable contributions to fellow SDM students and the broader SDM and MIT communities;
  • superior skills in leadership, innovation, and systems thinking; and
  • effective collaboration with SDM staff, fellow students, and alums.

All nominees and the winner are selected by the SDM staff. In addition to Southerlan, this year’s nominees included Juan Esteban Montero and Alvaro Madero.

Southerlan was acknowledged for her numerous contributions to her cohort, the SDM program and the MIT community at-large. Among them are:

  • serving as logistics director for the MIT Career Fair where she helped increase SDM’s visibility in industry by positioning SDM students as front-runners for moderators of company and industry information panels;
  • working as an executive board member of Women in SDM (WiSDM), and collaborating closely with colleagues to put together the WiSDM symposium portion of the annual SDM conference;
  • organizing, as SDM social chair, several sponsored events for students only and with their families; and
  • working with SDM’s Marketing and Alumni Relations Coordinator Melissa Parrillo and Industry Co-director Joan Rubin to understand the program’s target demographics, gauge SDM’s presence by industry and geography, and confer on next steps.

Southerlan received a $1,000 check as part of her award.

Nominee Alvaro Madero was specifically cited for, among other contributions, co-chairing the 2013 SDM Tech Trek and serving as the SDM Industrial Relations Committee’s media chair. Nominee Juan Esteban Montero was recognized for founding the MIT Mining, Oil, and Gas Club which, in under one year, has over 150 members from the MIT student and faculty communities, as well as from industry and academic communities worldwide.

Elizabeth Cilley Southerlan

Juan Esteban Montero

Alvaro Madero