Dean's Newsletter December 2016
MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
As we wrap up the semester and head out for winter break I wanted to take a moment to wish you season’s greetings and provide an update on college news. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to give the commencement address to our fall graduates. One of the main messages that I tried to convey to our new alumni is the importance of staying connected to the university. As I said in my address, I am continually impressed by the level of engagement our engineering alumni have with the college, whether through financial contributions that support our scholarships, by donating equipment to improve our labs, mentoring our students, or willingness to help our students with internships. I am very proud to be part of a college and university whose alumni care deeply about the continued success of our institution. At this time of year, in particular, I make it a priority to recognize the generosity of our alumni and friends, and dedication of our faculty and staff because we cannot continue to provide the next generation of engineers with an exceptional education without you.
Time and time again our students have proven they are among the best and the brightest — this semester has been no exception. Their recent accomplishments are impressive. Several of our students received awards for their academic excellence and service to the university while others received funding for innovative research ideas to design creative solutions to common problems. As part of our new Grand Challenge Scholars program six students were awarded funding at our new Grand Challenges Pitch Event to pursue hands-on work on topics ranging from reverse engineering the brain to developing sustainable energy. Others have received recognition and funding to work on entrepreneurial projects from harvesting radio frequency signals as a source of energy to developing utility pole technology that reduces utility grid storm damage. Our students impress me with not only their fundamental understanding of engineering principles but their ability to apply those principles to real-world problems.
Earlier this fall the university held its first Giving Day, and supporters of the College of Engineering responded. We were very fortunate to raise $38,492 from 258 gifts in a 36 hour period-- the most of any of the university's colleges. Giving Day is only one of many examples of how our alumni and friends provide for our students week after week. As I said in my commencement address, like the African saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” it also takes the Vandal Family to educate a student. Thank you for your generous support.
From all of us in the College of Engineering, we wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year.
Larry A. Stauffer
Dean, College of Engineering
P.S. — As many of you already know the Vandal football team will be playing in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl game on Dec. 22. If you are planning on attending the game come by the Engineering table at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Fan Fest in front of the Allen Noble Hall of Fame building to get your Vandal Bowl swag and a free U of I Engineering beanie (while supplies last). We will have an engineering cheering section filled with alumni, students, faculty and future students. Come by and say hello. We’ll be in Section 109 Rows E, F, and G.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
A special thank you to the following companies, foundations and individuals for their recent and continued gifts to the College of Engineering. Their gifts help support our scholarships, programs, competition teams and research.
- Bombardier Recreational Products — Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team
- Lochsa Engineering — Civil engineering education
- Percussionaire — Computational modeling research
- Micron Foundation — Grand Challenges Scholars
- Carl Hansen Foundation — Engineering Scholarships
- The Devlieg Foundation — DeVlieg Scholars and Ecohydraulics research
- Burt Berlin — Scholarship Endowment
- Joy D. Irving — Graduate Student Endowment
- Lyle H. and Sharon K. Parks — Scholarship Endowment
- Thornton H. Waite — Scholarship Endowment
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