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2008 News in Brief



At awards dinner, department congratulates seniors, who in turn honor technical instructor Rudolph

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By Denise Brehm
Civil & Environmental Engineering

At Wednesday night’s CEE awards dinner, the department presented the 23 graduating seniors with diploma frames signed by department head Professor Patrick Jaillet and associate department head Professor Ole Madsen. In turn, the seniors presented technical instructor Stephen Rudolph with cufflinks shaped like a saw and hammer as an expression of their appreciation for his help and mentoring during their three years in the department.

Other recipients of untraditional awards included the undergraduate members of the MIT Steel Bridge Team, whose hard work was recognized by the department with a gift of Swiss army knives.

Jaillet congratulated senior lecturer George Kocur, recipient of the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award; Madsen, who was presented MIT’s inaugural Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising at the Institute’s Awards Convocation earlier this month; and senior Quinn Vollmert of Sioux Falls, S.D., who was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Vollmert is captain of the Steel Bridge Team.

Jaillet presented Madsen with the department’s Maseeh Award for excellence in teaching, and graduate student Jose Alberto Ortega with the Maseeh Award for excellence as a teaching assistant for his work in 1.050 Engineering Mechanics I. Ortega is a civil engineering Ph.D. student from Cuenca, Ecuador.

Graduate student Todd Radford, a teaching assistant in the sophomore engineering design class, won the Trond Kaalstad (Class of 1957) Award for leadership and significant contribution to the well being of the CEE community. Radford, a civil engineering Ph.D. student, is from Fredericton, N.B., Canada.

Gwendolyn Johnson received the Steinberg Prize for outstanding undergraduate academic achievement and demonstrable interest in construction management. Johnson, a senior majoring in civil engineering, is from Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Leo (Class of 1924) and Mary Grossman Award went to senior David Baumgartner for his academic achievement and interest in transportation. Baumgartner is from Aitkin, Minn.

M.Eng. student Sanusi Dantata won the Tucker-Voss Award for showing promise in the field of building construction. Dantata is from Kano, Nigeria.

The Richard Lee Russel Award for an outstanding undergraduate who plans to continue study in graduate school went to senior Kristen Burrall, an environmental engineering major from Elk Grove, Calif., who plans to stay with CEE next year to earn the M.Eng.

Other Institute student honors bestowed in 2007-08 include two juniors who were named Burchard Scholars: Samuel Hollander of Great Neck, N.Y., and Allison St. Vincent of Bristol, R.I.

The department’s chapter of the civil engineering honor society, Chi Epsilon, inducted seven new members: seniors Katherine Jarrell, Tamara Sheldon and Alia Whitney-Johnson, and juniors Lauren Biscombe, Alexandra Konings, St. Vincent and Patricia Tcaciuc.

Graduate student Loai Na ’amani received the Graduate Student Award from the MIT Arab Students Organization at its banquet this spring, and graduate student Tak Bun Denvid Lau was recipient of the fall 2007 Marvin E. Goody Award.

Senior Alice Tao presented Technical Instructor Steve Rudolph with a gift on behalf of the Class of 2008.

PHOTOS/Laura Wulf

Professor Ole Madsen received the Maseeh Award for excellence in teaching. Standing with him is senior Gwen Johnson, who received the Steinberg Prize for academic excellence.

Department head Professor Patrick Jaillet congratulates graduate student Jose Alberto Ortega on winning the Maseeh Award for excellence as a teaching assistant.

M.Eng. student Sanusi Dantata receives the Tucker-Voss Award from Professor Jerome Connor.

Sophomore Samantha Fox (shown), the incoming president of CEESA, thanks outgoing president Shannon O’Connell, who graduates this year.