The Marcia Katz Scholarship Award

The Knoxville Association of Women Executives (KAWE) annually awards the Marcia Katz Scholarship to a woman scholar of promise who shows an interest in continuing her education and in developing as a professional in a field of her choice. Marcia Katz was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Tennessee. To honor her contributions in nuclear engineering research, teaching, and public service, KAWE has named and awarded this scholarship in her honor since 1990.

Scholarship recipients receive a cash award. See the Applications button below for current information on how to apply.

Eligibility is limited to women who

    • Have completed at least one semester at a 4-year accredited college
    • Are currently enrolled to take classes as an undergraduate
    • Are available for an interview if requested
    • Provide an official copy of a current college transcript
    • Provide contact information for two references
    • Are not an immediate family member of a KAWE member
    • Meet the deadline for receipt of applications
About Marcia Katz

Dr. E. Marcia Katz was an active KAWE member and the first woman to earn a mechanical engineering degree from UT (1975). After working for a national lab near Paris, France, Katz became the first female faculty member at the UT College of Engineering, where she taught, conducted research, and retired in 1985 as an associate professor of nuclear engineering. In 1985, she worked for Senator Jim Sasser, Washington DC, and returned in 1995 as a White House fellow advising the Clinton Administration on scientific and technological matters. Her recognition in 1978-79 as the Lily Fellow for Improving Undergraduate Teaching initiated a long list of honors and achievements, inspiring the KAWE scholarship, which we award in her name. Click HERE to read a tribute from Emma Bea Stallings, who read this tribute at Dr. Katz’ life celebration held by KAWE members in Knoxville. Click HERE to read a tribute from Thomas W. Broadhead, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Undergraduate Academic Advancement, UTK, a friend and colleague of Dr. Katz. Click HERE to read her obit.

Laura Turner, Winner of the 2023 KAWE Marcia Katz Scholarship

This year’s KAWE scholarship competition saw the most entries since its creation. In this highly competitive situation, the scholarship committee studied and discussed entries in great depth before making the difficult decision to select Laura Turner as our 2023 winner.

In such a competitive situation, Laura stood out as someone pursuing three professional tracts to ensure a full and successful professional life: chemical engineering, an MBA, and medicine. Laura has carried a GPA of 4.00/4.00 in Chemical Engineering with a Biomolecular concentration at the University of Tennessee. She expects to graduate in May 2024. She plans to continue working in the Nuclear Programs Engineering of TVA to earn enough money to apply to med school, picking up a business degree along the way.

She has aspired to be a doctor since grade school and has volunteered as a nurse’s assistant, a note-taker for students with disabilities, and a meal service volunteer for the elderly among other related positions. Her involvement in campus activities—social, academic, and athletic—has been extensive. Her list of awards and accomplishments is long and varied.

Were Dr. Marcia Katz able to answer Laura’s question, she would want to know how she overcame moments in college and her professional life in which she might have felt undervalued for being a woman. We would all like to hear that answer!

Committee Chair Stacy Palado introduced Laura Turner at the September 2023 luncheon.

The 2023 Scholarship Committee: from left to right,  Rose Conway-Cox, Stacy Palado, Bing Cao, Laura Turner (scholarship awardee), Alexia Georghiou, Mary Knepper