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Every year at SAS Global Forum we honor educators and students for exemplary uses of SAS in teaching, learning and research. Unfortunately, this year’s live event in Washington, DC was cancelled and turned into our first ever virtual SAS Global Forum. While we are disappointed that the honorees did not get the pleasure of attending, networking and showcasing their brilliance live, we do want to recognize them.


So, please join us in congratulating the winners of the 2020 SAS Global Forum Academic Awards.

The Distinguished SAS Educator Award recognizes an educator who has made significant contributions to advancing analytics education and preparing students for careers in analytics and data science. This year, Steven Myers from The University of Akron received this award for his work supporting students and incorporating analytics in the classroom and beyond. Myers has been teaching for over four decades and considers himself an “evangelist” for data science.   


A new award, the Emerging SAS Educator Award, honors an educator who has shown exemplary progress in advancing analytics education and creating new analytics and data science talent. Leila Halawi from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University integrates analytics into instruction and prepares her students to enter the workforce by staying up to date with industry needs.  


Building on a history of support for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), SAS developed a new travel award for HBCU Educators to acknowledge their work in the analytics world. Award recipients were selected based on their contributions and interest in expanding analytics education at their institution. Three recipients were selected to receive this award:


Anthony Troy Adams, Kentucky State University

Burcu Adivar, Fayetteville State University

Jason Black, Florida A&M University.  


The SAS Global Forum Student Symposium competition is an opportunity for teams of postsecondary students and a faculty advisor to showcase their skills and compete with other teams in the application of SAS Analytics in big data. Chosen from among eight team presentations, the winning team from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, applied machine learning techniques to National Science Foundation data to recommend similar proposal abstracts to aid the merit review process for proposals. This year’s Student Symposium teams were:


Twin Cities Outliers                 University of St. Thomas         (WINNER)


Students: Himanshu Gamit, Jacob Noble           

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Manjeet Rege        


Back to the SAS                       Oklahoma State University     


Students: Aravind Dhanabal, Mason Kopasz, Alexander Lindsay

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Venu Gopal Lolla


Beauties and the Bee-st          Kennesaw State University    


Students: Rachel Bishop, Damarkus Green, Karin Kolb

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sherry Ni   


Data Jockeys                           Oklahoma State University     


Students: Mounica Mandapati, Nitesh Maruthi, Venkat Ram Reddy, Ashlesha Sampathi

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Venu Gopal Lolla


Mining Minds                           Oklahoma State University     


Students: Venkateshwarlu Konduri, Sarada Padathula, Asish Pamu, Sravani Sigadam

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Venu Gopal Lolla


PROC REGulating this Debt    University of North Carolina Wilmington           


Students: Kayla Barrier, Katherine Floyd, Carl Palombaro

Faculty Advisor: Dr. James Blum


SASsy Coders                         Oklahoma State University     


Students: Neil Belford, Jordan Humes, Manasi Murde, Bruce Rehburg

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Venu Gopal Lolla


SASsy Seahawks                     University of North Carolina Wilmington           


Students: Emma Delehanty, Victoria Mullin, Austin Willoughby

Faculty Advisor: Dr. James Blum           


Other SAS Global Forum academic award winners include:


Fifteen educators from US and international post-secondary institutions were awarded Faculty Scholarships to support their continued work in analytics education. 


Alice Etim                     Winston Salem State University

Dennis  Fried                 Rutgers School of Public Health

Jose Mendoza              Sacred Heart University

Sollie Millard                 University of Pretoria

Michael Naraine             Deakin University

Jose Noguera               Southern University and A&M College

Collins Okafor               North Carolina A&T State University

Alan Olinsky                  Bryant University

Yazan Roumani             Oakland University

Saleem Shaik                North Dakota State University

Tih Koon Tan                University of the District of Columbia

Krista Varanyak             University of Virginia

Anthony Williams           De Montfort University


Fourteen Student Ambassadors were selected in recognition of students using SAS software to benefit their fields of study.  


Sadikshya Basnet                     Oakland University

Rachel Baxter                           Grand Valley State University

Rachael Becker                         Southern Methodist University

Sreejita Biswas                          Oklahoma State University

Maria Gandarilla Ocampo          Washington University in St. Louis

Diana Gonzalez                        Arizona State University

Sidney Hann                             Grand Valley State University

Stefanie Kairs                           National University

Navjot Kaur                               Oklahoma State University

Nandini Rakala                          Florida Institute of Technology

Stefan Stoyanov                        University of Surrey

Anna Tsutsui                             Osaka University

Alyssa Venn                              Kennesaw State University

Katelyn Ware                            Grand Valley State University


In addition, twelve individuals from outside the United States received the International Professional Award for expanding analytics education.  Also, fourteen professionals, who have never attended SAS Global Forum and have used SAS for less than five years, submitted compelling applications that garnered them the New SAS Professional Award. 


Check out today's press release for more info, and congratulations to the honorees! /news/press-releases/2020/june/education-awards-sgf20.html  

Quartz | Level 8
Congratulations to all!



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