Rose-Hulman Faculty, Staff Recognized as ‘Heroes’ During Challenging Year

Tuesday, June 01, 2021
Image shows sculpture of the self-made-man wearing a COVID-19 mask above the words Rose Heroes.

Rose-Hulman honored employees for extraordinary service to the institute at this year's Commencement Awards ceremony.

The Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees and administration recognized more than 100 faculty and staff as “Heroes” for their extraordinary efforts in helping the institute deal with the numerous ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic during the recently completed 2020-21 school year.

The honors were presented at this year’s Commencement Awards event, Thursday, May 27, in the fieldhouse of the Sports and Recreation Center. Rose-Hulman honored several faculty and staff members for their service to colleagues, students and alumni, along with achieving academic tenure status and collaborating with others to make the institute a better place to work and learn.

Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons stated, “I am very proud of how everyone in our community came together to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. Many stepped forward and accepted extra responsibilities to support our students, others volunteered as contact tracers or assisted in our vaccination efforts, and others helped us create the Rose Ready guidelines we adopted, and others simply tried hard to set a good example for their peers to follow.”

The first Hero Rose Award was presented to this group of faculty and staff.

“There are many heroes on our campus, but (these individuals) are the Hero Rose Award recipients. These individuals each played a critical role in our efforts this past year,” Coons said.

The Hero Rose Award recipients were Robin (RJ) Andrews, Jade Atzert, Lyndi Bahr, Bryan Baker, Jessica Becker, Carrie Bose, Ryan Brimberry, Bryan Bromstrup, Ben Brower, Hyung-Jung Chang, Tammy Coons, Keith Crawford, Chad Cress, Tracy Crosby, Tim Curley, Brian Dougherty, Justin Durand, Patty Eaton, Brenda Elliott, Matt English, Bernadette Ewen, Rick Davis, Amanda Fagg, Arthur Foulkes, Lori Frey, Jim Fry, Brooke Gillin, Will Greene, Kathy Hammett, Rene Hankins, Sean Harris, Matt Haviland, Katie Hoffman, Ella Ingram, Brenda Jacks, Austin Jewell, Kristen Kauffman, Scott Keller, Jennifer Kenzor, Jamee Kimball, Brooke Kochvar, Jason LaFary, Matt Lance, Ron Landsaw, Kevin Lanke, Alvin Lee, Eric Liobis, Kelli Lloyd, and Becky Lowe.

Also Deirdre Mahan, Jeff Malloy, LeEllen Martin, Kristen Merchant, Dawn Miller, Tom Mobley, William Mobley, Neil Morley, Jennifer Morris, Jared Mueller, Rayna Murphy, LeAnne Myers, TJ Neal, Austin Nicosin, Lorie Nicoson, Donna Norris, Tammy Olah, Pam Pahnke, Cory Pardieck, Amber Parkey, Kari Pell, Jon Prevo, Linda Price, Charlie Ricker, Kyle Rhodes, Debbie Robinson, Ralph Ross, Jeff Schoonover, Jill Shaffer, Jeremy Sheeder, Paul Shepherd, Amy Simonson, Alia Shuck, Christian Shuck, Dan Tryon, Paul Wafzig, Gary Waite, Chris Waters, Bob Watson, Ross Weatherman, Chad Weber, Majel Wells, Terry Wence, Corey White, Phil Whiteman, Lester Wiggins, Ryan Wilkinson, Chuck Wingerd, John Wolfe, and Seth Woodason.

Recognized as Superhero Rose Award recipients for their tireless efforts to help Rose-Hulman navigate a once-in-a-century health challenge were Andrea Baysinger, Ryan Brimberry, Jake Campbell, Megan Elliott, and Erik Hayes.

Also, members of the Office of Public Safety received the Excellence in Service Award for their efforts in helping the campus navigate many aspects of the pandemic. This included transporting students to quarantine and isolation locations off-campus, collecting weekly COVID-19 test kits for all students, faculty, and staff on campus, assisting with daily symptom monitoring, and serving as an important source of support and information for students and others.

“They were truly our first line of defense,” noted Board of Trustees chair Niles Noblitt in presenting the award.

Other special recognition went to assistant professor of physics and optical engineering Hossein Alisafaee and 2020 optical engineering alumna Audrey Brand with the Dr. John T. Ying Excellence Award for Student-Faculty Collaboration. The award recognized the collaborative work of students and faculty on undergraduate research, design projects, or other efforts that have a positive impact on local, national, and global communities.

Alisafaee has worked with 24 different students in directed study projects since 2018. One of those projects was with Brand to design a novel lightguide for automotive LED headlamps. This work was recognized with domestic and international design awards and culminated in a United States patent. Brand noted that Alisafaee’s mentorship rekindled her excitement for engineering and she is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in optics at the University of North Carolina.

The award was established in 2018 as a legacy of John Ying’s 32-year teaching legacy in the Department of Humanities Social Sciences and the Arts.

Patty Eaton, director of student accessibility services, received the Shining Star Award as a person who within their first five years of continuous service to Rose-Hulman has shown excellent job performance, strong leadership, and notable positive contributions to the quality of life on campus. Noblitt noted that Eaton has been a tireless advocate for students’ academic, physical and mental health needs, and is always inclusive and welcoming in her interactions with fellow staff members and our faculty.

“With a heart of gold, a strong work ethic, a welcoming smile, and a contagious enthusiasm, Patty Eaton has been a truly wonderful addition to the Rose-Hulman community,” Noblitt stated.

The Make a Difference Award was presented to facilities team member Carol Clampitt for her support to the campus community, positive attitude, and willingness to help others above and beyond normal job expectations.

“She is always there for her department and her colleagues, showing a true team spirit, a positive attitude, and a warm smile. We are truly fortunate to have her as a member of the Rose-Hulman community,” said Coons in presenting the honor.

Length of service awards were presented to Karen DeGrange, 30 years; Susan Butts, Timothy Chow, Sheryl Fulk, and Dan Morris, 25 years; and Kevin Christ, Brian W. Dougherty, Diane Evans, Dan Hamlin, Mark Herniter, Richard House, John Gardner, Josh Holden, Michelle Kirkpatrick, Merry Miller Moon, Teresa Morris, Brian Shearer, and Mario Simoni, 20 years.

Receiving Red Tam honors for achieving full professor status, with tenure standing, were Patrick Cunningham of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Rebecca Dyer and Jessica Livingston, Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts; Thomas James of the Department of Engineering Management; and Sriram Mohan of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering.