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Russ College honors alumni, faculty and staff at annual awards celebration

Bennett Leckrone | Apr 29, 2019
2019 Spring Awards

Russ College honors alumni, faculty and staff at annual awards celebration

Bennett Leckrone | Apr 29, 2019

The Russ College of Engineering and Technology’s Academy of Distinguished Graduates gained a new inductee on Fri., April 26, at the college’s annual spring awards celebration, where faculty and staff were recognized for research, teaching and performance.

President M. Duane Nellis and Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin inducted Brig. Gen. Mark Arnold, BSISE ‘82, into the academy for his professional and personal accomplishments, which include serving in several industry leadership roles and serving the U.S. Army for 37 years.

"My connection to Ohio University and the Russ College began with the positive relationships I had with several faculty while I was a student, and it continues because the Russ College faculty and staff continue to sincerely care about their students' success,” Arnold said.

Arnold served three combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was also the assistant chief of staff of U.S. Army Special Forces Command, a brigade commander, and the commanding general of the 100th Division. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, along with many other top honors, for his service.

In addition to rising to the top ranks of the military, Arnold had a long and successful career in the corporate world. He led a global business unit of Lubrizol, a Fortune 500 company, and eventually became the CEO of GSE Lining Technology, a company that he helped to grow and achieve record profits. He retired from GSE to dedicate his full time to his military service, and was awarded Ohio University’s 2007 Medal of Merit for his achievements in business.

Arnold has also given back to Ohio University, previously chairing the Russ College Board of Visitors and recently donating $2 million to support the Russ College’s “create for good” mission.

The Russ College White Awards, established by Marvin White, BSCE ’47, and his late wife Ann, recognize faculty in each department for outstanding research and teaching.

White Research Award recipients for 2019 were Deak Arch, associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Aviation; Darin Ridgway, associate professor and assistant chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Munir Nazzal, associate professor of civil engineering; Chris Bartone, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Jesus Pagan, assistant professor of engineering technology and management; Gursel Suer, professor of industrial and systems engineering; and Toufiq Reza, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

“Research is intellectually stimulating, and one of the challenging and exciting components of the academic life. I also believe this contributes to the quality of teaching by including recent and relevant developments in classes,” said Suer. “I’d like to thank the many talented, dedicated and hard-working graduate students and several colleagues who helped me produce successful results and contribute to the industrial and systems engineering field all these years.”   

White Teaching Awards recipients for 2019 were Deak Arch, associate professor of aviation; Sumit Sharma, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Issam Khoury, assistant professor of civil engineering; Daniel Allwine, lecturer of electrical engineering and computer science; Neil Littell, assistant professor of engineering technology and management; Tao Yuan, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering; and Jay Wilhelm, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

The program also included the 17th awarding of the Outstanding Technical, Administrative and Classified Employee Awards, which are decided by Russ College faculty and staff. The Technical Award was given to Alexis Barxias, research lab assistant in the Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology; the Classified Award was given to Becky Andrews, administrative specialist and department coordinator in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and the Administrative Award was given to Dean Pidcock, director of professional experiences in the Dean’s Office.

“It’s nice to be recognized for my work with the career development of our students and meeting the hiring needs of our ever-increasing number of employer partners,” Pidcock said.

The Russ Awards, established by Fritz J. Russ, BSEE ’42, HON ’75, and his wife, Dolores, honored the top research paper and outstanding teaching across the college.

Tingyue Gu, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, received the Russ Research Award for his many years of research on biocorrosion.

“We questioned the validity of the long-standing theory that hydrogen sulfide causes biocorrosion of carbon steel by sulfate reducing bacteria,” Gu said. “It was difficult to debunk it. We tried for several years. Finally, we came up with a clever experimental design, and we nailed it.”

Arch received the Russ Teaching Award.

“I can think of no greater honor for me as an educator than to be recognized by the students I serve,” said Arch, who received three total awards at the event. “It was even more humbling to hear later from my students just how much they thought of my leadership, guidance and mentorship. Words cannot express the gratitude I felt in hearing my ability to connect with students at such a level.”

Tom Chambers, lecturer of engineering and technology management, received the Group II Teaching Award.

Colleen Carow contributed to this story.