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2004 faculty and staff awards


Photo of Eric Hellstrom.
The Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching
Eric Hellstrom

Materials Science and Engineering

His colleagues describe Materials Science and Engineering Professor Eric Hellstrom's teaching as "exceptionally imaginative, inspiring, interactive and inclusive," and call him a mentor and positive influence both in the classroom and via informal interactions with students. "He is the kind of person that merely by being around him, you feel as though you can accomplish more than you believed," says a former student.

Shortly after it began, Hellstrom joined UW-Madison's Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment program, a time-consuming endeavor that helps committed faculty improve their teaching by understanding how students learn. As a result, he made a number of effective changes to all his courses to increase student participation and understanding. BIO

Photo of Ross Barmish.
The Byron Bird Award for Excellence in a Research Publication
B. R. Barmish

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor B. Ross Barmish works on problems which are often considered to be an engineering nightmare — problems which seemingly have no answers. More specifically, he creates tools for fixing the kinds of problems that arise when one is "stuck" with a bad model of a system. These models, which occur in science and engineering, have variables with tolerances which can be as high as 20 or 30 percent. With such highly uncertain models, designers have to engineer methods to control those systems. For example, in an airplane, many systems have to perform despite wide variations in factors such as temperature, pressure and wind speed. In other words, the systems have to be stable and robust over very large ranges of parameter variation.  BIO 

Photo of Kenneth W. Potter.
The Ragnar E. Onstad Service to Society Award
Kenneth W. Potter

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Ken Potter's dedication to the environment extends well beyond his laboratory and classroom walls.

Potter has maintained an active commitment to environmental issues for a number of years. His work has won him national recognition, including his appointment as the vice chairman of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences. The consortium, which includes more than 80 universities and is funded by the National Science Foundation, was founded in 2001 to foster study and research on hydrologic sciences. Potter served as the initial chairman of the consortium's board of directors. He also serves as a member of the advisory council to the Greater Everglades Restoration, one of the nation's largest wetlands and conservation restoration efforts. BIO

Photo of Thomas Murray.
The Bollinger Academic Staff Distinguished Achievement Award
Thomas J. Murray, Director Emeritus, Kurt F. Wendt Library

When there was a need on the College of Engineering campus, Tom Murray asked, "What can I do to help?" Under his direction, the college's Kurt F. Wendt Library has been a temporary home to the Engineering Career Services offices, a permanent site for Computer-Aided Engineering labs and classrooms and, most recently, a vibrant, collaborative student learning environment.

In an electronic era where the role of libraries is uncertain, Murray articulated a vision for Wendt Library that addressed the changing needs and expectations of today's library users. As a result, he and his staff developed state-of-the-art, user-centered, technology-based library services that influenced the entire university library system. BIO 

Photo of Jean Hoover.
Classified Staff Distinguished Achievement Award
Jean A. Hoover

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Remember those old mimeograph duplicating machines that churned out copies that smelled funny? Jean Hoover, a 30-year veteran of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering does.

In the three decades Hoover has worked as a classified staff employee, she's gone from the crude technology of those mimeograph machines to computers that can be programmed to print every which way. BIO