STEM students, faculty receive college accolades - The University of Tulsa
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STEM students, faculty receive college accolades

The University of Tulsa’s College of Engineering & Natural Sciences (aka Engineering & Computer Science) recently honored 148 students for achieving a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher during the 54th annual Honors & Awards Ceremony. More than 250 students, faculty and guests attended the event in the TU Student Union.

The Second Annual Pelton Endowed Award for Outstanding Senior Project of 2023 was among the student accolades. First place went to the team from Computer Science/Computer Simulation & Gaming, which consisted of Adam Tang, Andrew Nguyen, Ryan Circelli, Betzaida Ortiz-Rivas, Noah Hall, and Thomas Nguyen for their project “VR Sci-Fi Co-op: Breach Protocol.” The team was awarded $1,000 for their project. Second place winners for the team from Mechanical Engineering were Georgia Hilburn, Eddie Liechti, Kayley Cassaday, Jack Oxley, Kirsten Erickson, Caroline Port, Michael Lester, and Bethany Wilson for their project “Magnetic ATtachment Tool (MATT).” This team received a $250 prize. This competition is sponsored by an endowment made possible by Joseph N. Pelton (BS ’65, physics and history).

Faculty teaching and research awards were also recognized, with Megan Herrington, president of Tau Beta Pi presenting the Teaching Excellence Award to Will LePage, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Dustin Donnell, applied assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was presented with the Kermit E. Brown Award for Teaching Excellence. This honor is based on student-driven nominations.

The Zelimir Schmidt Awards for Outstanding Research in the college were expanded this year to include an Early Career award along with a New Directions award. The historical Schmidt award went to Nagu Daraboina, associate professor of chemical engineering. Mahdi Khodayar, assistant professor of computer science, was awarded the Early Career award honor. The New Directions award for outstanding research went to Akhtar Ali, professor of biological sciences.

This was the last awards ceremony for the College of Engineering & Natural Sciences. ENS departments have been reorganized beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. The new college names are now Engineering & Computer Science and Health & Natural Sciences.