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Merit Awards 2017
Since 2008, Merit has given awards recognizing individuals and organizations that have shown leadership in networking and information technology, engaged in community building, and shown strong involvement in the Merit community. This year’s Merit Awards were presented at the annual Merit Member Conference on Wednesday, May 17 in Dearborn, MI.

ERIC AUPPERLE INNOVATION AWARD
Merit’s Eric Aupperle Innovation Award recognizes organizations and individuals that enhance their work by using networking or other technologies in novel ways.
J. Alex Halderman, University of Michigan
Alex’s innovative work with Let’s Encrypt; a https certificate authority, ZMap; an internet scanning tool and Tap Dance; an effort to combat internet censorship, as well as and his research on securing voting systems, makes him the ideal recipient for this award in 2017.
“Merit has a long history of supporting innovative networking research that stretches back to the very founding of the internet.” — Quote from J. Alex Halderman

COMMUNITY BUILDING AWARD
Merit’s Award for Community Building recognizes organizations and individuals that build communities to help enhance networking, technology and collaboration.

The important work of Genesee ISD has greatly benefited the people of Flint. They used their fiber footprint to connect others in their community, turning dreams into reality and making internet applications accessible tothousands of students and community members.
Genesee Intermediate School District

“Over the past several years, Genesee Intermediate School District and Merit have worked together on expanding partnerships with local government, non-profits and charter schools, in order to provide collaborative educational services and affordable high-speed fiber access. One of the many success stories includes the recent opportunity through partnership with US Ignite for Mott Middle College students to connect over Internet-2 to the University of Southern California, in order to remotely control an electron microscope as a part of their science curriculum. Without high-speed fiber connectivity, partnership with higher-education and Merit’s engineers working behind the scenes to facilitate th
e complex logistics of this connection, this would have never been possible.” — Collective Quote from Genesee ISD

MERITORIOUS AWARD
The Meritorious Service Award recognizes individuals who have shown long-term dedication to Merit’s mission through their support and involvement.

Fawn Callen, now retired, has been a great supporter of Merit for many years, contributing her efforts to the Merit Member Conference, MJTS and many other events. Fawn has always been a great reference and a positive influence on the Merit Community.
Genesee Intermediate School District
“Remember the line ‘go to your happy place’? That’s is what Merit is to me, My Happy Place. Every person I’ve ever worked with at Merit has been welcoming and easy to work with. The Merit community is family!”— Quote from Fawn Callen