New England Choice Awards Nomination Categories
1. ACADEMIA & INNOVATION
This award recognizes an individual working in a University setting or a leader in R&D in a corporation or research institute who has done pioneering/groundbreaking work in his/her field. The breadth and depth of impact they have had in their field will be key criteria. Prestigious awards in the field should also be considered. The alternative to an Academic in research is a senior leader in the administration of a major school or university that is well-known at a top level. Their leadership has helped transform this organization through ground-breaking initiatives or raised the profile of the Indian American community that will make a major impact in the coming years.
Past winners include: Vijay Kumar (Education/MIT), Anantha Chandrasekaran (edX/MIT), Subir Sachdev (Physics, Harvard), Kuzzhikulail Abraham (Li-ion battery) and Madhu Sudan (CS, Harvard)
2. ART & CULTURE or ARTIST OF THE YEAR
This award recognizes an individual or an organization. If it is an individual, it is given to that individual for protecting, nurturing, or growing their art form and achieving local, national, or international recognition in the process. Prestigious prior awards in the field (e.g., Grammy nomination) will be considered. If it is an organization, it is given to an organization in the New England area whose primary focus is to promote art and culture. A key criterion for this award is the impact the organization has had. Years of operation number of individuals attending/graduating should be considered.
Past winners include: Jothi Raghavan (Bharatnatyam), Sandeep Das (Grammy/Tabla), Annette Philip (Berklee), Roger Brown (Berklee), LearnQuest (Classical Music), and SETU (Drama)
3. BUSINESS OR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
This award recognizes an individual who has had an impact in building or leading a major organization or has been a pioneering entrepreneur. The award looks at the impact created, not just the size of the organization created or the market valuation of the company.
Past winners include: Amar Sawhney (Medtech), Zenobia Moochala (Care), Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot), Udit Batra (Merck/Waters), and Aman Narang (Toast)
4. COMMUNITY SERVICE
This award recognizes an individual for their years of service provided to one or more organizations to impact not only the Indian American Community but the greater New England community. While the focus is service in the New England area, consistent community service in India should also be factored in.
Past winners include: Puran Dang (Various), Girish Mehta (ICC), Vasant Jinwala (Shishu Bharti/Spices), Subu Kota (Various), and Seshi Sompuram (Shishu Bharti)
5. NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
This award recognizes an organization addressing the needs of one or more communities in New England. The key criteria for this award are the impact of the organization – the number of people or depth of impact on individual people. Large organizations catering solely to causes based outside the U.S. can be considered but will be secondary to organizations focusing on New England or the wider USA.
Past winners include: Saheliyan, Gurjar, TIE Boston, Indian Circle for Caring and IAGB.
6. RISING STAR AWARD
This award recognizes an individual under 30 years of age as of August 1, 2023, for their career trajectory and accomplishments in any field that have achieved national or international recognition. Rather than focusing on academic achievement, this award will place more weight on young adults whose impact on society and a chosen field is significant, considering their age.
Past winners include: Gautam Narula (Social Justice), Sonika Vaid (Singer), Miriam George (Social Justice), Ritu Raman (Research), and Shriya Srinivasan (Research)