November 6, 2018
Engineers Alliance for the Arts is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2018 Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented at the November SEAONC meeting, which was held at the headquarters of SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association. The winner, Karen Vogt-Wilcox, has been volunteering with EAA to teach the Student Impact Project for over a decade. As one of EAA’s longest serving volunteers, Karen brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the classroom and to her Volunteer Team. For the last two years, Karen has been the Lead instructor at Pinole Valley High School and prior to that, she was the Lead at De Anza High School in Richmond. She also spent several years on the El Cerrito High School Team. Being the Lead at a new school can be challenging, but Karen tackles this job with enthusiasm and makes the experience for students, teachers and other volunteers positive and rewarding. She also has a keen eye for program improvements, helps with volunteer recruiting and contributes to the success of the annual Bridge Showcase & Awards Event. Karen is an engineer at the Oakland Office of Simpson, Gumphetz & Heger and lives in Lafayette. We send our most sincere congratulations and thanks to Karen for being a valuable member of EAA’s Student Impact Project!


November 2018
Each year, Engineers Alliance for the Arts is proud to honor individual teachers and volunteers that have made a difference in our Student Impact Project. These recipients are presented with an award and receive recognition at the fall SEAONC meeting. We applaud and congratulate all past winners of the awards.

EAA Teacher of the Year

2017: Joseph Alter

2016: Daniel Pasker

2015: Keith Carames

2014: —

2013: Gigi Torres

2012: Linda O’Connor

2011: Karen Melander

William S. Kaplan Volunteer of the Year

2018: Karen Vogt-Wilcox

2017: Charlotte Wong

2016: Dave Miller

2015: Patrick Murren

2014: Clifton Neff

2013: Tayrn Williams

2012: Derrick Lind

2011: Will Kotterman and Laura Whitehurst

William S. Kaplan Volunteer Award
For over a decade, William “Bill” Kaplan volunteered with the Student Impact Project. A retired structural engineer, Bill brought his many years of experience into the classroom and shared his enthusiasm with each and every student. His intelligence and genuine wit made the program exciting and engaging for everyone. Additionally, Bill helped recruit many volunteers to help EAA grow and expand to other schools. This positive spirit embodies the philosophy of our organization, and we are proud to honor a volunteer each year in Bill’s name.

At the 2017 SEAONC Meeting, his widow, Margaret Kaplan, shared stories of Bill’s experience with EAA, photos from her personal archives, and letters Bill received from students.

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2017 William Kaplan Volunteer of the Year recipient, Charlotte Wong, with Margaret Kaplan.

LetterLetter from students to Bill Kaplan expressing gratitude and appreciation.

November 14, 2017
Joseph Alter was given the Teacher of the Year Award. Joseph teaches at the San Francisco Hilltop High School and has completed two years with our program. He has been an innovator in making this program available and interesting to his students. Joseph secured funding to purchase engineering and construction-based children’s books for his students and their children to further interest in the field. Joseph’s enthusiasm for the program has lead to significant efforts and improvement by his students, even with the challenge of English as a second language. Each year, his students have won multiple honors at the Bridge Showcase and Awards Event. Joseph’s passion and enthusiasm for EAA’s programs and his students make him an excellent role model.

Charlotte Wong was given the William Kaplan Volunteer of the Year Award. Charlotte has worked with EAA for over five years and has been the Lead Instructor at Oakland School for the Arts. Her class won the top honor at the 2017 Awards Event — Best in Show. She has navigated through multiple personal changes at OSA and has been the cohesive component of the SIP through the years. She is a role model to the young students in the classroom as well as the instructors on her team. Additionally, she always lends a hand at the Awards Event, suggests improvements for our curriculum, and is a constant supporter of the program. This year, she has even recruited a new school to participate in our program. Charlotte is an engineer at Degenkolb and lives in Berkeley.

Please join us in congratulating Joseph and Charlotte!

“This program gives students a glimpse into a world they otherwise would not have a chance to see.”

Joseph Alter

Joseph Alter receives his Teacher of the Year Award from Vice Presidents of the Student Impact Project, Patrick Murren and Ariel Creagh.

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November 1, 2016
Volunteer Dave Miller of Degenkolb and Teacher Daniel Pasker from NEA Community Learning Center receive their Awards from Student Impact Project Vice President Patrick Murren at the annual SEAONC meeting.

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November 3, 2015
Patrick Murren and Keith Carames receive their Volunteer and Teach of the Year Awards at the SEAONC meeting, presented by Jax Kneppers, President of EAA along with Laura Whitehurst and Will Kotterman, VP’s of the Student Impact Project.

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Teacher of the Year Keith Carames talks about the importance of EAA in the lives of his students.

May 16, 2014: EAA Program making headlines after fantastic Final Event!


November 5, 2013: Tuesday Dinner meeting hosted by the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California.

EAA showed a video highlight of our Student Impact Program and also presented awards to Darrick Hom for his 3 years as Program Director, Taryn Williams for the William Kaplan Volunteer of the Year Award, and Gigi Torres for the Teacher of the Year Award. Big thanks to SEAONC for their continued support every year, and to all our sponsors who help make this program happen!

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EAA’s display of competition bridges at the Golden Gate 75th Anniversary event.

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Young At Art Event

Engineers Alliance for the Arts participated in the San Francisco Unified School District’s 2012 Young at Art festival; an 8 day celebration of student creativity in visual, literary, media and performing arts hosted by the world renowned de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. For the past 26 years this unique San Francisco event, (formerly San Francisco Youth Arts Festival), has been a point of destination for families, teachers, artists and community members from San Francisco and beyond.

Many pieces of artwork in of this year’s festival were centered around the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge theme. Bridges created as part of Engineers Alliance for the Arts were central to the display at the de Young Museum during the festival. Congratulations to all of the students, teachers and volunteers that participated in EAA’s Student impact Project and helped make these extraordinary bridges that were on display.

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2012 EAA Awards Night: November 13, 2012

EAA held their second annual Awards night, hosted by the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC). Award recipients included:

  • Linda O’Connor, Teacher of the Year Award
  • Derrick Lind, William Kaplan volunteer of the year Award
  • Jax Kneppers and Associates, Sponsor Appreciation Award
  • Rutherford and Chekene, Sponsor Appreciation Award
  • Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Sponsor Appreciation Award
  • SEAONC, Sponsor Appreciation Award
  • Computers & Structures, Inc., Sponsor Appreciation Award
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