At the annual College of Engineering Fall Faculty & Staff Meeting held on August 19, 2011, several individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the College:

Erin Parker, Assistant Professor (Lecturer), School of Computing 2011 College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher.

Professor Parker joined the School of Computing in 2005 and right from the beginning her students have praised every aspect of their experience. She has taught 9 different courses, and has taught a total of 29 classes in all. Her teaching evaluations haver placed her in the top 15% consistently. As a leader in the ongoing development of our UG curriculum, Prof Parker has paid particular attention to reorganizing and refining the first year sequence of courses. She is the coordinator of the School’s educational outreach mission and has developed and led K-12 summer camps, traveled the state to visit high schools and Girl Scout meetings and has developed several programs specifically to interest women in computer science. The school’s UG enrollment has recently begun to recover due in no small part to her efforts.

A Student writes: “Erin never lets you down. She will email you to make sure you are on the right track, and to see if the class is going well for you. She is a really dedicated teacher and I succeeded in classes because of her.”

Adam Howell, Teaching Assistant, Mechanical Engineering 2011 College of Engineering Outstanding TA.

Adam has been a TA in the ME Department since 2009. He was instrumental in helping develop the SolidWorks labs for the new ME course sequence. He clarified and redesigned handouts or assignments that were problematic for the students. As a development TA for ME’s new lower devision course sequence, he developed pre-lab readings and videos and replaced step by step tutorials, all with the goal in mind of ensuring the students were really grounded in the basic skills by the end of the lab.

The following student comment expresses the feelings of many students that Adam TA’d: “Throughout the enntire semester, Adam Howell was a TA that we could count on for help. He was always smiliong, always had a good attitude, and put his best effort into everything he did. Adam also took great pride in his work, making sure that each student undestood the material.”

Ryan Okerlund, Lab Manager, Industrial Combustion and Gasification Research Facility. 2011 College of Engineering Outstanding Technical Staff.

For the past 17 years Ryan has worked with the combustion research group, now the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy. For the past 11 years he has been the lab manager of the large downtown industrial combustion and gasification research facility and is responsible for the daily operations of that facility, coordination labor, project schedules, and tracking of financial aspects of the operation. Many industrial clients work on collaborative projects with the institute.

An industry partner writes: “Throught Ryan’s technical prowess and abilities, the combustion laboratory at the University is world renowned as a premier location for both fundamental as well as applied research in teh energy field. …Ryan is exceptional in his careful planning, coordination, and completing of research and contract projects.”

Nathan Weston, Development Specialist, Electrical & Computer Engineering. 2011 College of Engineering Outstanding Technicakl Staff.

When Nathan was hired in 2008, it was clear that he had the right technical and creative skills for the job. He has redesigned the ECE Department web page, creating a site that is easy to navigate, informative, and simplifies many tasks that took significant time in the past. He has redesigned and writes the department newsletter. Nathan has helped improve the ability to communicate with prospective graduate students by creatingn social media capabilities through the web page and regulary holds Skype sessions with interested students to answer questions reading application prosess, degree possibilities and relevant research areas. It is very clear that Nathan’s dedication to his job is motivated by his desire to have the department succeed.

College Outreach team. 2011 College Outstanding Service

The Outreach Team in the College of Engineering is responsible for K-12 outreach, advising, enhancing retention and diversity and for managing value added programs. The four staff members of the outreach team have specific responsibilities, but they all embody teamwork. They work seamlessly on the various required tasks, picking up activities and responsibilities as needed. They are all highly self-motivated with the sole goal of improving the environment in the college for students, faculty, staff and the community at large. It will not be an exaggeration to state that the increased enrollment that we are observing in practically all of our diciplines is due to the systematic hard work of the College Outreach Team.

Dianne is the advising coordinator for the College and is a true leader of the departmental academic advisors. She is extremely knowledgeable about all of the requirements of all of the engineering disciplines and ensures a smooth interaction with the E-LEAP program. She has identified and has worked with several retention initatives.

Diedre has let the diversity programs for the College. She runs the yearly HiGear camp for the college. She has worked on outreach plans for those applying for NFS Career Awards and for IGERT grants. Lately, she is helping with processing large amounts of student data that is being made available by the central administration.

Ashley is a product of out Civil Engineering program She has helped streamline the administration of teaching evaluations while managine value added programs such as engineering honors, engineering gloor in residence halls, etc. She also handles the hnderds of petitions the College recieves every semester. Ashley pursued a degree in Educational Psychology and is now taking up a job of her choice as a school counselor. We ill miss her and wish her the very best.

Jeff came to us from University Recruitment. He was immediately effictive in helping us increase our presence in hundreds of schools state-wide. His efforts along with help from the team help us reach thousands of prospective students every year. Jeff is also pursuning a Ph.D. in Material Science and Engineering.