Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 University of Utah College of Engineering Teaching and Staff Awards, honoring the outstanding work of faculty and staff in the college in the last year. These outstanding recipients represent the dedicated people who make up the college.

The awards were announced during the annual fall faculty meeting Friday, Aug. 19, presided over by Dean Richard B. Brown.

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


COE Outstanding Teacher

Jacob Hochhalter (Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering)

“What struck me most about Dr. Hochhalter as an instructor was his willingness to listen to students’ feedback throughout the year. He didn’t wait for the survey at the end of the year, but rather checked in every week or so to make sure his students were on the same page with course content.”


COE Outstanding TA

Shaun McKellar (Teaching Assistant, Electrical & Computer Engineering)

“Shaun was an incredibly supportive TA for multiple courses. He was dedicated to the students he was helping and always went out of his way to make sure students understood the course content.”


COE Outstanding Staff

Emily Howsley (Academic Advising Coordinator, College of Engineering)

“If the Committee is looking to find a person who is the embodiment of all the characteristics outlined in the call for nominations, ‘exceptional service to students, faculty and staff, innovative approaches towards greater efficiency and effectiveness, and high morale and positive attitude,’ Emily Howsley is the clear choice to receive this award.”

Kirstin Schmutz (Accountant, Mechanical Engineering)

“Her lively personality and excellent communication skills enable her to put everyone at ease when they came into the office. She knows all of our students and many others who have come through the front doors over the years and does a great job remembering everyone’s name. She will do anything in her power to make our faculty, staff, and students successful.”


COE Outstanding Service

Mike Scarpulla (Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering)

“He was selected for the award this year in large part because of his exceptional service after the flood of the Merrill Engineering Building last August. Mike was in the building from the very beginning, and provided leadership, management and communication, which helped mitigate the damage to both his own labs and those of other research groups. One of his faculty colleagues called his service through this event heroic. He continued to work long hours through the recovery, helping to protect and secure equipment, and advising both the ServPro disaster cleanup crew and his faculty colleagues.