Craig M. Berge Dean David W. Hahn is taking the annual College of Engineering employee awards to a new level. A celebration on April 20 honored several faculty and staff members for excellent work in service, teaching and research. They were nominated by colleagues – and in some cases, students – and selected by a representative committee.
Working with the faculty and staff advisory committees to select the award categories and criteria, Hahn expanded the appreciation luncheon into a formal, comprehensive annual awards event. Recipients received one-time cash awards, totaling $12,500.
“I wanted to bring more well-deserved recognition to individuals – both faculty and staff – and honor how all departments and units are contributing to the college’s strategic growth and accomplishments,” he said. “It’s a way to say ‘thank you’ and build the college team and our camaraderie. And, it’s a fitting end to the academic year.”
With a welcome back event in the fall, the college now has two celebratory events for employees as annual bookends.
Since 2001, one college-level staff honor – the William P. Cosart Award – has recognized exemplary service annually. That tradition continued this year, with Dean Emeritus Cosart joining Kriss Pope, assistant dean of finance and administration, to present the award to Mia Schnaible. The dedicated administrative associate, who has worked for the college for 32 years, was lauded for her positivity and enthusiasm. Nominators mentioned Schnaible’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of colleagues, students and even guests visiting the College of Engineering.
Hahn added three awards to honor leadership to a team or in the college overall, innovation and problem-solving, and caring support of students through advising and mentorship.
- Leadership: Kelly Ratliff, associate director, strategic recruitment and outreach
- Innovation: Matthew Mokler, research specialist, senior
- Outstanding Advisor/Mentor: Diana Wilson, senior academic advisor
Four types of faculty awards are now part of the annual program. They celebrate outstanding contributions in teaching, advising and research.
As Jim Baygents, associate dean of academic affairs, announced the Teacher of the Year awards, he said, “Engineering professors have a special burden to present difficult material, and these two awardees do an outstanding job.”
- Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor: Armin Sorooshian, professor, chemical and environmental engineering
- Teacher of the Year (1 – Tenure/Tenure-Track): Afrooz Jalilzadeh, asistant professor, systems and industrial engineering
- Teacher of the Year (2 – Career-Track): Dean Papajohn, professor of practice, civil and architectural engineering and mechanics
- Researcher of the Year: Erin Ratcliff, assistant professor, materials science and engineering
- Dean’s Award for Outstanding Early Career Faculty: Tsu-Te ‘Judith’ Su, assistant professor, biomedical engineering and Wyant College of Optical Sciences
The Wildcat Engineering Student Society Recognition of Excellence Award will be presented each year to one engineering student group. This year’s recognition went to the University of Arizona chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Heather Moore, the college’s career engagement coordinator, presented the award.
The UA boasts one of the club’s top-performing chapters in the nation and serves as a benchmark for the 205-member organization, she said.
More to Come
Additionally, a college-wide award will be given next year for efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
The following university-wide achievements were recognized:
- 2020-2021 Regents Professor: Marwan Krunz, Kenneth Von Behren Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Innovative Program Award from Student Success and Retention Innovation: Noel Hennessey, director, and ENGAGED Program
- The Gerald J. Swanson Prize for Teaching Excellence: Dean Papajohn
Hahn and Pope closed the program by thanking those who celebrated service anniversaries ranging from 10 years to nearly a half century in 2021 or 2022. Hermann Fasel, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, marked 40 years with the college this year, and Barry Ganapol, also a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, celebrated a 45-year anniversary in 2021.
“These employees collectively represent over a millennium of service to the College of Engineering,” Hahn said.