S&T faculty and students receive University of Missouri System awards

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On June 11, 2010

Four of six awards presented by the University of Missouri System during its annual awards ceremony were presented to faculty and students from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The ceremony, held June 10 at the Reynolds Alumni Center in Columbia, Mo., was hosted by University of Missouri Board of Curators and UM System President Gary Forsee and his wife, Sherry.

Missouri S&T’s awards include:

Presidential Award for Research and Creativity, presented to Dr. Richard K. Brow, Curators’ Professor of materials science and engineering at Missouri S&T. The award recognizes a faculty member with a sustained record of national and international quality research or creativity.

For more than 20 years, Brow has been one of the leading glass scientists in the world, particularly in phosphate glass, which is useful for nuclear waste disposal, laser glasses and sealants. He has produced numerous publications on this topic and has more than $3.8 million in research expenditures to his credit through 2009.

The first American recipient of the Gottardi Prize from the International Commission on Glass, Brow also received an award from R&D Magazine for the development of a sealing glass that was named one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of 1996.

Said one nominator: “One of the best things about Professor Brow is that he doesn’t wear his many achievements on his sleeve. He is a humble person who quietly goes about doing world-class research, enabling the success of many students, visiting professors and faculty. Through his efforts, our university is known the world over for excellence in glass science and engineering.”

Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, presented to Dr. Frances “Dee” Haemmerlie Montgomery, Curators’ Teaching Professor of psychology at Missouri S&T. The award recognizes a faculty member for long-term contributions to teaching.

During her 32-year career, Montgomery has received some of the highest possible teaching awards, including 10 Outstanding Teaching, eight Faculty Excellence Awards, the AMOCO Outstanding Teaching Award and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Outside the classroom, Montgomery initiated the national psychology honorary society at Missouri S&T and is working with campus administrators to enhance student retention and foster success on campus.

A student of Montgomery’s wrote: “As a woman just starting out in this field, having a woman like Dee to look up to has been invaluable. There has never been a time when I needed advice that she didn’t have the time for me or for anyone else. A frequent sight after any one of her classes is a crowd of students surrounding her, each vying for her attention, and Dee in the middle with her patient smile, giving each student his or her own time to speak.”

Student Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, presented to Michael Orlando Jr., Colby Hall and R.J. Miller. The award honors students at one of the University of Missouri’s four campuses who have shown entrepreneurial talent.

Michael Orlando, Jr., Colby Hall and R.J. Miller earned bachelor’s degrees from Missouri S&T in 2009 and have founded Interdisciplinary Design Collaborative LLC., which draws on the talents of Missouri S&T students to address specific business opportunities. Such opportunities have included developing algorithms for energy sensor technologies, high-definition video production and creating the iPhone app BarCodeScan, which allows customers to enter a product’s barcode on their phone to receive further information about the product.

Their company has employed more than 40 Missouri S&T students and has drawn recognition from campus leaders and state and national legislators.

“As undergraduates, Michael, RJ and Colby have hit a grand slam with their business,” wrote S&T Chancellor John F. Carney III. “They saw the weak job market and took action … When I see what IDC is doing, I see the exuberance of youth embracing today’s technologies and applying their knowledge in a way that will create true wealth while sharing the opportunity with others.”

C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award, presented to Dr. Curtis Elmore, associate professor of geological sciences and engineering at Missouri S&T. The award recognizes a faculty member who personifies the creativity, vision and leadership exhibited by the late Dr. C. Brice Ratchford, who served as president of the University of Missouri System and dean of cooperative extension.

Elmore is being recognized for marrying his teaching role with international educational activities that put students at the forefront of developing clean water supplies in remote areas of Central and South America.

Beyond the technical aspects of these international visits, Elmore has created educational programs for children and adults in these villages to combat the superstitions and traditions that limit clean water use. He also continues to promote engineering among female students and initiated a summer camp for junior and senior girls focused on renewable resources and water purity.

A student who travelled with Elmore on an international visit said, “It was one of the best educational experiences of my life … His program truly helps students understand how the abilities gained through education can be used to make a profound impact on the world in which they live. I, along with countless other students, owe him a debt of gratitude for helping me to find my true calling in life.”

Other awards presented during the ceremony include the Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which was presented to Dr. Peter Sutovsky, associate professor of animal sciences at the University of Missouri Columbia, and the Curators’ Award for Scholarly Excellence, which was presented to Dr. Steve Weinberg, professor of journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and author of “A Journalism of Humanity, A Candid History of the World’s First Journalist School.”

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