The genius of generosity.

Real stories of how donors made a difference.

Be part of the genius at ECE ILLINOIS.

Lisa Hackett

Linda Su-Nan Chang Sah Doctoral Fellowship

Lisa Hackett believes that optical biosensors are the key to more accurate cancer detection and diagnosis. As a PhD candidate, she is developing nanoplasmonic devices that detect cancer biomarkers with a higher level of sensitivity than traditional tools.

Thanks to the Linda Su-Nan Chang Sah Doctoral Fellowship, Lisa can explore new areas of research, focusing on physics instead of funding.

“It’s been a huge gift for me. When you have a fellowship, there is definitely a sense of relief and a sense of freedom,” she said. “It has allowed me to pursue projects that have a higher risk and higher reward.”

Lisa's success comes from hard work, creativity, and the support of the community of women engineers at Illinois. “They have helped me grow into the researcher I want to be.”


Siddhanth Munukutla

John Bardeen Undergraduate Award and Graduate Fellowship

When Siddhanth Munukutla came to ECE ILLINOIS from Singapore as an undergraduate, he knew the importance of finding his niche. He found it in student organizations, holding leadership positions with PURE (Promoting Undergraduate Research in Engineering) and Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Alpha Chapter. As a graduate student, he is still dedicated to building a strong ECE ILLINOIS community. As the Graduate Vice-Chair of the ECE Student Advancement Committee, he is an ambassador for the department. He plans and organizes events throughout the year that benefit graduate students.

He is equally passionate about his research. Under the mentorship of Professor Joseph Lyding, Siddhanth explores the use of carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons in semiconducting devices. “As we reach the performance limits with existing materials, we are going to have to replace it with potential new materials,” he said. His research focuses on these new materials, searching for the future backbone of electronic devices.

Unsurprisingly, Siddhanth is keenly aware of the legacy of two-time Nobel Prize winner Professor John Bardeen. Winning both the John Bardeen Undergraduate Award and Graduate Fellowship allowed Siddhanth to pursue his research interests. He is thankful for the awards and the opportunity to work with the most “intelligent, passionate, and hardworking researchers in the field.”


Brittany Joy

Donald R. and Arline D. Jeschke Scholarship

Attending ECE ILLINOIS has made electrical engineering major Brittany Joy both a researcher and a champion for young women and STEM.

“I am fascinated by microelectronic and photonic science and engineering, a hybrid of electronics and solid-state physics,” she said. Financial support from the Jeschke Scholarship has allowed her the time to conduct research with Associate Professor John Dallesasse.

“I’ve gained invaluable knowledge and experience,” she said. “I’m also getting a head start on the characterization of microelectronic devices, which will put me ahead in classes I intend to take in coming years.”

The Jeschkes’ support also allowed her to spend her second summer involved in Engineering at Illinois GAMES Camps. These encourage female high-school students to learn more about STEM offerings on campus.

Joy is a counselor for the Girls Learning Electrical Engineering Camp and assists with the Department of Computer Science’s robotics camp. Joy has also served the Society of Women Engineers’ Outreach Committee, planning exhibits for Engineering Open House.

“I love being able to help teach high school girls about science and ECE,” Joy said. “It's really cool to see girls interested in the field at such a young age. I love helping them grow and learn and sharing my experiences with them to help them know more about ECE.”

Donors fund ECE Building

Thank you to the donors who made the ECE Building a reality. Watch ECE students, faculty, and staff describe how the building has changed their lives. Learn more about THE BUILDING CAMPAIGN FOR ECE ILLINOIS or make a donation in support of the project.

Contact Us

Heather Vazquez

Senior Director of Advancement
1060 ECE Building
(217) 333-2517

Allison Winter

Associate Director of Advancement
1062 ECE Building
(217) 244-8307