Faculty, Staff Members Recognized for Excellence in Teaching, Research

Thursday, June 02, 2016
RHIT Commencement 2016 Matthew Boutell 11079

Matt Boutell, associate professor of computer science and software engineering, is the 2016 winner of the Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award

Passion, approachability, and a tireless work ethic are characteristics that students and colleagues use to describe Matt Boutell, associate professor of computer science and software engineering. He is director of the institute's Imaging Systems Laboratory, providing advanced educational experiences for undergraduate students. He also played a key role in establishing the institute's multidisciplinary robotics minor, now supports senior-year design projects in robotics, and advises students in the popular robotics program.

A member of the Rose-Hulman faculty since 2005, Boutell is a former high school computer science teacher who took his teaching passions to the college classroom in hopes of making a better impact on tomorrow's computer scientists and programmers. He spent a portion of 2012 teaching computer science classes at Cooperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia.

"Matt has a tireless dedication to make sure that the courses he teaches, like those covering android application development, reflect current state-of-the-art practices," says Jameel Ahmed, interim dean of faculty.

The Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award recognizes professors who have demonstrated outstanding abilities as a teacher, through attention and dedication to students, both in and out of the classroom. Students nominated more than 68 percent of eligible faculty members for this year's award.

Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar Award

RHIT Commencement 2016 Ross Weatherman

Chemistry and biochemistry professor Ross Weatherman is the winner of the Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar Award.

Ross Weatherman, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has joined colleagues and several Rose-Hulman undergraduate students in focusing research on developing new compounds to treat breast cancer. Development of synthetic derivatives of tamoxifen, a drug with undesirable side effects, has shown promise in pre-clinical studies.

Weatherman, a member of the Rose-Hulman faculty since 2009, was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. The value of his research has been recognized with grants totaling $2 million from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army. He has also developed strong collaborations with the Indiana University School of Medicine and has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed research publications.

"Professor Weatherman is an outstanding example of what it means to engage in a career of scholarship and life-long learning," says Don Ings, chairman of Rose-Hulman's Board of Trustees.

Weatherman graduated with high academic honors in chemistry from Wabash College and earned his doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin.

The Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar Award recognizes faculty members who represent the highest standards of academic scholarship and who serve the campus community as a role model for professional development. A list of past award recipients can be found here.

President's Outstanding Service Award

RHIT Commencement 2016 Devasher

Michael DeVasher, assistant vice president for enrollment management, received the President's Outstanding Service Award.

Michael DeVasher, assistant vice president for enrollment management, was recognized for his leadership role in helping with student retention, and developing students' interests in engineering design and environmentally responsible engineering. He has used his mathematics skills to develop financial aid-awarding algorithms that have helped more effectively meet student and institute goals.

DeVasher co-founded the Home for Environmentally Responsible Engineering, a living-learning community for freshman who are interested in learning how engineers and scientists can impact the world. He also is helping lead in the development of the new Office of Student Success and the engineering design academic program. He has helped the Office of Admissions host campus visitation day programs, has been staff representative to the Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees, and been an advisor for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. His wife, Rebecca, is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

"Mike has shown tremendous energy, creativity, and commitment to his work, always going well beyond his job description," notes President Jim Conwell. "The outstanding educational experience we offer at Rose-Hulman truly is a team effort. Our talented faculty is supported by a remarkably hardworking and dedicated staff whose care and commitment to our students is apparent every day."

Shining Star & Make a Difference Awards

RHIT Commencement 2016 Lisa Knott Shining Star Award 17594

Lisa Knott secretary of the Department of Biology and Biomedical Engineering received the Shining Star Award.

RHIT Commencement 2016 Peggy Allen 17590

Peggy Allen custodian in the Hulman Memorial Student Union received the Shining Star Award.

Honored during this year's Commencement Dinner for their dedication and support to Rose-Hulman were Lisa Knott, secretary of the Department of Biology and Biomedical Engineering, receiving the Shining Star Award and Peggy Allen, custodian in the Hulman Memorial Student Union, as the first recipient of the Make a Difference Award.

The Shining Star Award recognizes a staff member with a minimum of one year but less than five years of continuous service who demonstrates an outstanding level of excellence and knowledge in their job performance. The award winner also has demonstrated exemplary leadership within their department and has contributed to improving the quality of life within the institute.

Meanwhile, the Make a Difference Award honors a staff member with at least five years of continuous service who is considered one of Rose-Hulman's "Unsung Heroes" by making a difference in the lives of others throughout the year. The person makes a positive impact on the campus community; performs special acts of kindness or service for students, parents, visitors, or employees; and demonstrates sincere cooperation, a positive attitude, and exceptional willingness to assist others.