Rose-Hulman Recognizes Faculty, Staff for Dedication & Service

Saturday, May 27, 2023
Award winners pose for a photo.

Student Affairs staff recognized at this year’s Pre-Commencement Awards Ceremony were Kristen Merchant and Kyle Rhodes, Excellence in Service; Leanne Myers, Shining Star; and Kathy Kassissieh, Make A Difference awards.

Faculty and staff members have been recognized by the Board of Trustees and administration for helping students have success on campus, in the classroom and in finding postgraduate career opportunities.

This year’s Pre-Commencement Awards event also recognized several faculty and staff members for their longtime service, along with achieving academic tenure status and collaborating with others to make the college a better place to work and learn.

“This past academic year has been a really positive one, especially when you consider all the disruptions we have collectively faced since the start of the pandemic in early 2020,” noted President Robert A. Coons during the ceremony. “We have been able to restore many of our traditions, events and other in-person experiences that we had missed in recent years. It is due in large part to the efforts of each of you in helping us actually thrive during this unparalleled time in our lives.” 

The Excellence in Service Award was presented to Kristen Merchant, associate director of student activities and the Mussallem Union, and Kyle Rhodes, business process analyst with the Office of Student Affairs, for developing and implementing of Campus Groups. The web-based system has provided students with better access to and knowledge about campus events and activities, while allowing student organizations to streamline their operations and services.

Meanwhile, Leanne Myers, associate director of residence life, received the Shining Star award for dedication to students, strong leadership, and notable positive contributions to the quality of campus life within her first five years of service. She supports residence and Greek life, spearheads community engagement efforts, encourages student activity programming, and provides behavioral intervention as a member of the Rose Cares team. 

Kathy Kassissieh, associate director of career services and employer relations, earned the Make A Difference award for being an “Unsung Hero” to students, alumni, employers and their recruiters during the past 17 years, according to Coons. She has helped the Office of Career Services earn a No. 1 national ranking for internship opportunities while being No. 3 for career services from student surveys conducted for the Princeton Review’s annual Best Colleges guide. Kassissieh continuously strives to establish new relationships with employers and graduate schools across the country, helping Rose-Hulman’s graduating classes have a nearly 100% placement rate within six months of Commencement.

The Dr. John T. Ying Excellence Award for Student-Faculty Collaboration was given to Azad Siahmakoun, PhD, professor of physics and optical engineering, and Fredrick Flynn, a fourth-year electrical and computer engineering student.

Recognized as Outstanding Academic Advisors were Sriram Mohan, PhD, professor of computer science and software engineering, and Amir Danesh-Yazdi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Length of service awards were presented to faculty and staff members Dale Long and Mark Yoder, 35 years; Sudipa Kirtley and Niusha Rostamkolai, 30 years; Kevin Lanke, Wendy Newport, Lisa Norton, Atanas Serbezov, Rick Stamper, Kevin Sutterer, Maarij Syed, and Charles Walls, 25 years; and Stephen Chenoweth, Larry Cole, Mark Crosby, James Hoffman, Kristen Kauffman, Scott Keller, Samuel Martland, and Shannon Tieken, 20 years.

Five faculty received Red Tam honors for achieving full professor status, with tenure standing. Joining 82 current faculty in receiving his recognition were David Henthorn, PhD, and Adam Nolte, PhD, professors of chemical engineering; Leanne Holder, PhD, professor of mathematics; and Sean Moseley, PhD, and Richard Onyancha, PhD, professors of mechanical engineering.