March 01, 2005
Engineering college honors faculty, students
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Engineering honored its own during its annual award banquet on Feb. 23 in the SIUC Student Center.
Beth A. Hinchee, a 1995 mechanical engineering graduate who now works as a product manager in environmental technologies at Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria gave the keynote address, which focused on the need for continuous learning.
Five students received $200 awards for outstanding academic achievement, based on grade-point averages and leadership abilities, while college-wide awards of $1,200 went to three faculty members for outstanding teaching and research. Individual departments also recognized their top teachers.
Here's a closer look at the student winners.
• Stephanie M. DeRuntz, a senior in mechanical engineering and energy processes, received the Outstanding Senior Award for excellence in scholarship, character, responsibility and contributions to the college. President of the Society of Women Engineers student chapter and corresponding secretary of Tau Beta Pi, she also belongs to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Saluki Volunteer Corps, the honor societies Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International, and is an SIUC Honors Program student. DeRuntz is the daughter of Michael J. and Mary T. DeRuntz of Naples, Fla. (1220 Wildwood Lakes Blvd.).
• Amanda K. Kiser and Christopher D. Kiser, siblings and seniors in civil engineering (with Christopher Kiser majoring in mining engineering as well), shared the Herman J. Stoever Award, presented to the college's senior with the highest grade-point average. Each earned a 4.0.
Amanda Kiser serves as student chapter secretary for the Society of Women Engineers, belongs to the American Society of Civil Engineers, is a member of the honor societies Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Beta Phi, Golden Key International and Phi Theta Kappa, and is an SIUC Honors Program student.
Christopher Kiser serves as vice president for the student chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, is a member of the Engineering Student Council and of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Beta Phi and Golden Key International honor societies. He also belongs to the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers.
The Kisers are the children of Murphysboro residents Ronald I. and Clara L. Kiser (1723 Stave Mill Road).
• Jodi L. Kostecki, a junior in civil and environmental engineering, received the David Eddingfield Memorial Scholarship, which honors academic excellence in female engineering students. She belongs to the Engineering Student Council and serves as its representative in the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She also is a member of the honor societies Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Kostecki is the daughter of Nashville residents Raymond J. and Yvette M. Kostecki (1460 County Highway 17).
• Gabriel C. Smith, a senior in industrial technology, received the E. Leon Dunning Award, given annually to the senior in that department with the highest grade-point average. Smith earned a 4.0. He serves as president of the student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as secretary for the student chapter of the American Society for Quality and is a member of the Engineering Student Council. He also belongs to the honor society Gamma Beta Phi. Smith is the son of Murphysboro residents Billy G. and Monica M. Smith (59 Cinnamon Lane).
As for faculty honorees, J. Kent Hsiao, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, won the Thomas B. Jefferson Award as the college's outstanding teacher. Sanjeev Kumar, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, won the Juh Wah Chen Award for the outstanding faculty research paper and was named his department's outstanding teacher. Ajay M. Mahajan, professor of mechanical engineering and energy processes, won the Kenneth E. Templemeyer Award for outstanding research as well as departmental recognition for teaching.
Other departmental teaching awards went to Shirshak Dhali, professor of electrical and computer engineering; E. Bane Kroeger, assistant professor of mining and mineral resources; and Tomas Velasco, associate professor of technology.
Shaping high-quality undergraduate programs and recognizing faculty excellence are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.