IEEE-HKN Initiation on April 24
My IEEE involvement this week included an IEEE honor society initiation. Most IEEE members don’t realize it, but Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society, is now IEEE-HKN. The honor society, founded in 1904, officially became part of IEEE in 2011. The vast majority of IEEE-HKN members join as undergraduates in electrical or computer engineering who are in the upper 1/4 of their junior class or upper 1/5 of their senior class. A good way to recognize alumni and to strengthen ties with between students and the IEEE membership is for the chapter to induct these professionals into IEEE-HKN. There was no chapter at my own undergraduate institution, so I never had that opportunity back when I was a student. I was inducted later as a professional and am proud to be part of this organization.
There are very few IEEE members of the section who cold-call the student branches looking for ways to give support (although I can note some esteemed exceptions) but my experience is that a high proportion of section members will say yes to opportunities to involve themselves and support the students. One of my IEEE colleagues, Larry Hamerman, often points out that there are limits on everything EXCEPT how much the section can spend to support to students. IEEE-HKN can be a vehicle not just for recognition of good students but for recognition of members in a way that strengthens ties with the local section.