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Collegiate Radio Amateur Wins Radio Club of America’s “Young Achiever Award”


Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, a 19-year-old student at Michigan’s Kettering University, has received the Radio Club of America’s “Young Achiever Award.” The RCA Young Achiever Award is presented to students of high school age or younger who have demonstrated excellence and creativity in wireless communications, and who have delivered a presentation at the annual RCA Technical Symposium. Receiving the award allowed her to attend the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) held in Orlando in early March.

“I was shocked to have received this award. I never dreamed I would be able to attend such a prestigious wireless event,” Willet said in an article for Kettering University News. “It was an honor be recognized by the Radio Club of America and to be presented this award. It was an eye-opening experience for me to be exposed to the field of wireless communications and to be introduced to the discussions taking place among first responders and the government regarding emergency situation preparedness.”

Willet, who is from Lawrenceville, Georgia, is the recipient of the ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Scholarship. At Kettering, she is pursuing a double major in mechanical engineering and engineering physics. She is president of her school’s recently revived Amateur Radio club, GMTE Amateur Radio & Electronics Club, K8HPS.

“As an Amateur Radio operator, I’ve mostly only experienced the hobby side of radio,” Willet said. “This conference allowed me to see a broad range of applications for radio and technology…. It was very energizing to attend all sorts of workshops and seminars, and learn how much our daily lives are touched by the field of wireless communications.”

This award is not Willet’s first recognition in the world of ham radio. Last spring, she was the keynote speaker at the 32nd annual DX Dinner®, held in conjunction with Hamvention®, where her topic was “Experiencing the Hobby of a Lifetime.” She also spoke at the 30th Hamvention Youth Forum in 2017 on “Plugging into Your Valuable Club Resources.” The previous summer, she was a member of the 2016 Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure (YDXA) trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba, and her article about this experience won a QST Cover Plaque Award. 



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