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UGA Engineering celebrates distinguished students, faculty and staff

The University of Georgia College of Engineering honored outstanding students, faculty and staff during the College’s 2016 Celebration of Excellence on April 30.

The College presented academic awards to students in each undergraduate degree program, highlighted the work of top graduate students and recognized faculty for exceptional instruction and research during the ceremony at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center. A photo gallery of the event is available here.

“This is a night to celebrate our success and to thank those who have made it possible,” said Donald J. Leo, dean of the UGA College of Engineering.

The Award for Excellence in Research was presented to Jenna Jambeck. Jambeck, an associate professor, led a team of world-renowned researchers studying the global input of mismanaged plastic waste into the ocean. The work, published in the journal Science, provided a new an important perspective on the issue of marine debris. This year, she was named an advisor to the United Nations on the issue.

Stephan Durham received the Award for Excellence in Instruction. Durham, an associate professor and coordinator of the College’s civil engineering program, was recognized for his contributions to engineering education through curriculum development and creative experiential learning and professional development opportunities for students.

Mark Eiteman was named Distinguished Faculty Scholar in recognition of his sustained excellence in scholarship. Eiteman, a professor, has been a member of the UGA faculty for 25 years and is widely recognized as a leading researcher in the field of metabolic engineering and fermentation. Eiteman holds several patents and plays a prominent role in organizations such as the Institute for Biological Engineering.

The Staff Award for Excellence was presented to Jarrod Buffington, the College’s administrative financial director. Buffington has worked at UGA for 17 years and has been associated with the engineering program for 12 of those years. The Staff Award of Excellence honors a staff member who has demonstrated a strong work ethic, commitment to service and exceptional job performance.

Other awards presented during the event include faculty awards for the top undergraduate student in each of the College's academic departments, as well as college-wide student awards:

  • Service Awards: Abby Caballero & Casey Jay Johnson
  • Research Award: Scotty Smith
  • Athletics Award: Kaitlyn Ruff
  • Agricultural Engineering: Richard “Trey” Dozier
  • Biochemical Engineering: Ryan Droese
  • Biological Engineering: Mitchell Lynn
  • Civil Engineering: Katelyn Stallings
  • Computer Systems: Engineering Michael Lastinger
  • Environmental Engineeering: Haley Daniel & Lindsey Brooke Spreen
  • Mechanical Engineering: Timothy Keller
  • Caswell Student Challenge: Kevin Metz, spring 2015 & Erik Petersen, fall 2015
  • UGA Presidential Scholar in Engineering: Bryan Grommersch

The College also presented several award to outstanding graduate students:

  • Teaching Assistant Award: Chris Herring
  • Brahm P. Verma Award for Academic and Leadership Excellence: Narendran Sekar
  • Honorable Mentions, Verma Award: Jia Ge and Kamalakanta Sahoo

In addition, the College honored faculty and staff for milestones in their years of service: Forrest Bridges, Dr. Caner Kazanci, Clodagh Phair-Miller, Dr. Bingqian Xu and Dr. Mike Yoder (10 years); Melissa Garber (15 years); Ryan Adolphson and Dr. Mark Eiteman (25 years); Dr. Sidney Thompson and Dr. William Tollner (35 years).

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