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Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: (217) 333-2300
Fax: (217) 244-7075

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Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

TIA - Robert William Pullen Foundation Scholarship

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) established this award in 2013, to recognize the career of Robert Pullen (BSEE í85) who served as president and CEO of Tellabs, the Illinois-based telecommunications company, and chairman and chairman emeritus of the TIA Board of Directors. Pullen died in 2012.

Pullen studied electrical engineering at ECE ILLINOIS, with an emphasis on physics. In addition to academics, he excelled at baseball and played four years as the starting shortstop for the Fighting Illini baseball team. Pullen joined Tellabs right out of college as an electrical engineer. He became its CEO in 2008 after working in development, sales, marketing, and services. His rare gift of intellect combined with charisma, competitiveness, organized and futuristic thinking, and integrity gave him the ability to move in and out of positions fluidly. He understood both the customers and the technology, and was able to communicate well with peers at any level. He put in place Tellabsí global sales organization.

Pullenís love and devotion to his company and the people in it mirrored that of his love for his own family. He is survived by his wife, Dawn, and two children, Brittany and Brendan. He also served as the chairman and chairman emeritus of the board for the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and was a former co-chair for SuperComm. In total, Pullen served on the TIA board for more than 12 years.

The TIA represents manufacturers and supplies of global communications networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite, and unified communications. Membersí products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. The TIA-Robert William Pullen Foundation Scholarship was made possible by the TIA Board of Directors and other supporting members.


TIAís intent with this scholarship is to support undergraduate ECE ILLINOIS students of good character who have strong academic merit and an interest in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.


The scholarship carries a stipend of $1,000. The recipient is recognized at the annual ECE Awards Banquet in April.

Year Recipients
2013-2014 Zhi Xu