Faculty, Staff Recognized at Annual Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The College of Engineering Annual recognition ceremony was held Thursday, May 15.

David Rethwisch, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, was awarded this year’s Faculty Excellence Award for Service in recognition of his involvement with STEM initiatives.  Rethwisch is the University of Iowa Affiliate Director for Project Lead the Way, and has overseen the growth of the program from 10 high schools in 2005 to the current level of 133 high schools and 86 middle schools.  He actively collaborates with community colleges across the state, including a new educational venture between the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. 

This year’s Faculty Excellence Award for Research goes to George Constantinescu, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and associate faculty researcher at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering.  Constantinescu is a global leader in the field of computational fluid mechanics, most notably for his work on the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model.  He is co-author of Large Eddy Simulation in Hydraulics, published this year.  In 2013 the International Association for Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research recognized him with the Arthur Ippen Award.  The international award is presented bi-annually to hydraulic researchers under the age of 45. 

James Buchholz, assistant professor of received the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching, in recognition of his dedication to teaching excellence and his commitment to improve students’ academic experience.  Students admire his adaptability in the classroom and his ability to determine their needs.  He updates and adjusts lesson plans in order to find the best way to present material.  He values feedback from his students and implements their suggestions. 

Three staff members were recognized at the annual awards ceremony on May 15. 

Radoslaw “Radek” Goska, design engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering received the Staff Excellence Award for Research.  His nomination letter described him as the soft-spoken, “unsung hero of the Iowa Flood Center. 

His dedication is proven in the long hours spent in the lab performing research and supporting students and staff as needed.  Witold Krajewski, director of the IFC, describes Goska and an “essential – and perhaps irreplaceable—team member.”

The Staff Excellence Award for Service went to Megan Allen, registrar, in recognition of her volunteer work in the Highland Community School District.  She has served as a member of the school board.  Since 2010, Allen has been the director of Camp Highland, a summer camp for school-aged children.  She organizes field trips, crafts and other activities.  To keep the cost of attendance low, she seeks out sponsors and holds fund raising events to off-set costs. 

The Mary Sheedy Staff Excellence Award was presented to Cathy Kern, secretary in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  Kern works with graduate students in the department from application submission through commencement.  She is committed to recruiting and retaining minority students and has on several occasions persuaded undecided applicants that Iowa is the place to get a graduate education, and once they arrive, she provides the support needed for their success. 

The following staff members celebrated five years of service to the College:

Kandace Munson, April Tippett, Melanie Laverman, Mathew Cover, Christine Jehle, Honghai Zhang, Ben Faga, Natalie Potter, Zhaoyuan Wang and Nathan Young.

Recognition of 10 years of service went to Jenny Simpson, Shawn Allen, Andreas Wahle, Megan Allen, Kelli Delfosse, and Rebecca Whitaker.

Diana Harris, Wendy Brentner, Mary Bender and Richard Hardin were recognized for 15 years of service.

Teresa Gaffey has been with the College for 20 years.