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Dean’s welcome: Fall semester 2019

 | Aug 26, 2019
Dean Mei Wei Welcome

Dean’s welcome: Fall semester 2019

Aug 26, 2019

Dear Russ College community:

Welcome to fall semester 2019 at Ohio University! It’s a time of fresh starts and new beginnings for many in our community, including me. I’m thankful to be heading into my first semester as the new dean of the Russ College.

I joined the college in mid-July, with much already underway this summer. In May, we celebrated another record-breaking graduating class: 374 undergraduates and 22 doctoral students. We also learned that two students, Mahmoud Ramadan, a chemical and biomolecular engineering junior, and Ed Drabold, an environmental studies sophomore whose faculty advisor is Loehr Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Bayless, were named national 2019 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. This is the second year in a row that the Goldwater has recognized the Russ College!

We also announced an exciting charitable gift: former associate dean and faculty member Angie Bukley created an endowment to support Russ College student design-related student organizations and programs. See the “Summer in Review” story in this issue of E-news for a rundown of these stories and more, such as our mechanical engineering students landing third in a national design competition, recent civil engineering graduate Illona Hartman competing her cross-country run for cancer, and Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Amir Farnoud winning a national nanotech award.

Last week, I welcomed the OHIO Board of Trustees to our Russ Research Center in Beavercreek, Ohio. The center was gifted to the college by our namesakes Fritz and Dolores Russ, who built their company there. It’s home to high-tech firms and collaborations among our faculty, staff, and students with partners such as the U.S. Air Force. My vision is to develop the property into a technology park with strong industry affiliations. It will be a training center for workforce development, an incubator for start-up companies, a resource for industry’s technical needs, a bridge for Athens researchers and Dayton industry, and a powerhouse for regional economic development. This supports many of President Nellis’s strategic pathways and priorities for the University.

We’re also welcoming new faculty and staff, including two new Engineering Fundamentals instructors. Look for their meet and greets – and mine – in upcoming issues of E-news. We’ll pin our new class of Engineering Ambassadors next week. They’re here to listen to student comments, suggestions, and concerns.

Our Stocker Lecture Series begins on Sept. 9 with a lecture by one of the five 2019 National Academy of Engineering 2019 Russ Prize recipients: Julio Palmaz. Stay tuned for four more lectures throughout the year from these five engineers, physicians, and scientists who developed coronary angioplasty. It’s an honor to partner with the NAE to recognize bioengineering achievements that improve the human condition!

I look forward to working with you to create for good throughout this semester and year.


Mei Wei, Ph.D.
Dean and Moss Professor of Engineering Education