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Top Graduates, Faculty Honored

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Years of hard work and dedication to their studies have paid off for more than 300 members of the School of Engineering’s Class of 2010, who were honored May 16 at the school’s graduate recognition ceremony.

Brandon DeKosky, the outstanding senior in chemical engineering, was also the recipient of the Sammie and Carl Locke Award for the outstanding graduating senior in the School of Engineering for 2010. 

The other outstanding seniors are

— Austin Arnett, electrical engineering



— Thomas Boettcher, computer science
— Amy Erdbruegger, mechanical engineering
— Regan Gangel, civil engineering  
—John Hodgson, architectural engineering
— Majed Kanfar, petroleum engineering
— Ryan Kanoknukulchai, computer engineering
— Tim McClintock, engineering physics
— Daniel Zehr, aerospace engineering

In addition to commemorating the achievements of the graduating class, several outstanding faculty were lauded for their academic, research and service endeavors.

Michael Detamore, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, was selected by students as the Gould Award winner for Outstanding Educator. The award provides $4,000.


Detamore was recognized for his success in fostering discussion, critical thinking and participation from students in the classroom. His courses are focused and challenging — leading students to an in-depth understanding of topics — and encouraging students to collaborate and think critically on every homework assignment. He also helps students connect classroom material with real-world applications through unique demonstrations — like taking the class outside to see if a tank filled with water empties faster with a shorter or longer tube at the bottom.

Marylee Southard, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, was selected by students as the 2010 Gould Award winner for Outstanding Adviser. The award provides $4,000.

Southard is known for her remarkable dedication to students. In her role as a pre-med adviser, she provides critical assistance with medical school applications, MCAT preparations and ensuring students are on the right track in their engineering curriculum — all while being cheerful and supportive. Southard also provides students with useful guidance as they map out their futures.

Sarah Kieweg, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received the Miller Professional Development Award for Research. The award provides $4,000.

In her time at KU, Kieweg has secured nearly $2 million in funding from leading agencies. She is adept at collaborating with those outside her specific field, such as physicians, pharmaceutical chemists and chemical engineers, to create a dynamic community around her research. Among the main areas of her research are improving childbirth, overall women’s health and preventing HIV transmission, for which she received a five-year innovation grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Sara Wilson, associate professor in mechanical engineering, received the Miller Professional Development Award for Service. The award provides $4,000.

Wilson is a leader on the university, state and national levels in the area of responsible conduct of research and professional ethics. Wilson’s involvement in the National Academy of Engineers and several Federal Study Sections are indicative of her prominence in the field. She has earned a National Science Foundation grant as a subcontractor to develop the Responsible Conduct of Computational Modeling and Research. She also served as co-investigator for another NSF grant to provide research ethics training and to mentor fourth-grade teachers.

Perry Alexander, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was selected by a faculty committee to receive the 2010 John E. and Winifred E. Sharp Professorship. The award lasts three years and includes an annual personal award of $5,000 plus access to $5,000 annually for instructional development.

Alexander shows a remarkable dedication to his students, through personal interactions outside of lecturing and typical classroom assignments. His innovation in the classroom is exceptional, and he has developed labs that are used worldwide. Alexander also has a long history of publishing and presenting his engineering education work.



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Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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