Congratulations to this year’s winners of the University of Utah College of Engineering Teaching and Staff Awards, given to those for outstanding work in the college this last year.

The awards were announced during Dean Richard B. Brown’s annual fall faculty meeting Friday, Aug. 21. We’re proud of all of the honorees!

Following is the list of recipients along with comments from colleagues and students who nominated them.

COE Outstanding Teacher

Michael Nigra (Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering)

“Professor Nigra’s passion for teaching is reflected in how he structures his class to ensure that his students are active participants and retain interest in the class and topics. He creates a friendly and comfortable learning environment. His passion for his research and the course subject is evident during lectures as is his noticeable excitement and well-timed wit which encourages students’ interest in the subject.”


COE Outstanding TA

Fatima Koohestan Mahalian (Graduate Student and Teaching Assistant, Electrical & Computer Engineering)

“Fatima has an incredibly gifted talent for teaching. She is very good at creating an active learning environment and helping all students engage. She has an innate ability to break down the complex topics of circuits to a fundamental level that is clearly explained and even more easily absorbed. Fatima is always professional, knowledgeable, prepared, friendly, and extremely helpful.”


COE Outstanding Staff

Christina Bushman (Administrative Program Coordinator, Chemical Engineering)

“Christina is simply phenomenal at all that she does. She is the hub for department activity, and is typically the default staff resource for most questions. She is a supremely dedicated and hard-working employee and sets a tone in the office environment of warmth and friendliness that is noticed and appreciated by all who enter.”

Katie Barnard (Academic Advising Coordinator, Mechanical Engineering)

“Katie goes above and beyond in her advising role by working to develop programs and activities that strongly benefit students. Katie’s interest in advising excellence has expanded well beyond her department and is now blessing the college and university.”


COE Outstanding Service

Steven Dean (IT Manager)

“Steve’s commitment to the college faced the ultimate test last March when the pandemic caused massive overnight disruption of our teaching, administration and daily interaction. In addition to maintaining the college’s computer labs and servers, Steve made innumerable house calls to install and upgrade equipment, answer questions, and troubleshoot connection problems. With his team in the CADE lab, Steve has provided round-the-clock support in a spirit of kindness and compassion.”