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Dayton Engineer

2019 School of Engineering Vision Award Winners Lead by Example

By Elizabeth Skelin, communication intern

The University of Dayton School of Engineering Vision Awards annually recognize faculty and staff who have made outstanding contributions to the School of Engineering. The 2019 award winners for innovation, community, engagement and service, and excellence honored four nominees that have gone above and beyond in their work.

Rebecca Blust, director of the Innovation Center, was recognized for innovation; she worked to foster experiential learning for engineering students. Her efforts helped secure the latest KEEN grant, launch the GEMnasium collaborative learning/teaching test lab and develop the Arcade Innovation Hub.

A nominator wrote that “her efforts have transformed engineering education at UD.” Blust’s commitment to students allows for learning that crosses boundaries, partnering with the Entrepreneurship Center and creating more well-rounded engineers.

The KEEN Program Coordinator, Heather Juhascik, has made exceptional efforts in community. This award acknowledges accomplishments in enhancing diversity and inclusion in the School of Engineering. Her service with the International Friendship Family has introduced international students to American culture, allowing them to feel more at home in Dayton. She also coordinates a caring circle and the welcoming team within the School.

Juhascik shared her gratitude as a recipient, noting, “I am extremely grateful to the UD School of Engineering faculty and staff for recognizing my efforts on enhancing our sense of community in the school and on campus.”

The award for engagement and service was presented to Kevin Hallinan for promoting the common good in the School of Engineering and our local community. Hallinan, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, works to promote the University’s Marianist values and model servant leadership. 

He has promoted sustainability within Montgomery County, supported the ETHOS program, and completed solar energy work for the Mission of Mary Farm and Twin Towers neighborhood, among other achievements. His support of these endeavors has encouraged community engagement and action and promoted the value of working for the common good in the School of Engineering.

Christopher Muratore, the recipient for excellence, has made contributions in scholarship. A nominator described Muratore as an “impactful and influential leader” for his efforts in researching and allowing multiple students to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

He stated, “The research accomplishments this award recognizes are the result of collaborative efforts with many students and colleagues.”

Through obtaining several patents, mentoring students through the Minority Leaders Program and completing research on molecular sensors, Muratore’s work establishes an example for outstanding scholarship and motivates graduate and undergraduate students to continue learning beyond their years at UD.

The Vision Awards has honored these four recipients, encouraging active engagement and work that supports the School of Engineering mission and values.

As Blust said, “This award is a conglomeration of work that has been done and work that we still need to do. We will continue to work in the spirit of cooperation to provide unique, innovative experiences.”

These members of our faculty and staff have shown us ways to further the School of Engineering’s mission, and our community continues to learn from their example and change the face of engineering at the University of Dayton.

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