Alumni Awards

Fifteenth Annual College of Engineering Alumni Award Banquet

2018 distinguished alumni award winners

Eight distinguished alumni of the Michigan State University College of Engineering were honored Saturday, May 5, during the 2018 Alumni Awards Banquet at MSU’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. MSU Engineering will also recognize a teacher from Grosse Pointe North High School during the annual ceremony that recognizes those whose significant accomplishments reflect positively on MSU and the College of Engineering.The 2018 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Jianchang "JC" Mao, corporate vice president for artificial intelligence and research at Microsoft.


Dean Kempel and University Distinguished Professor Anil Jain presented the 2018 Claud R Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award to JC Mao.   The Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award

Receiving the 2018 Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award is Jianchang “JC” Mao. The award is the highest honor presented to an alumnus by the college. It recognizes professional accomplishment, volunteer service, and distinguished service to the college and the engineering profession.

Mao received a PhD from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) in 1994. Today, he is a corporate vice president, Artificial Intelligence and Research, at Microsoft. He leads a global team of engineers, scientists, product managers, marketplace operators and analysts, responsible for building technologies and products, and running a multi-billion-dollar advertising marketplace that powers Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and other syndication partners. 

Mao joined Microsoft in 2012, and today is responsible for defining Bing Advertising growth strategies, technical directions, product road maps, and operating cadence. In 2014, he was awarded the title of Distinguished Engineer, an honor conferred to less than 0.1 percent of Microsoft full-time employees. 

He has been actively involved in MSU community activities, including hosting alumni receptions, giving lectures on campus, serving on the CSE Strategic Partners Council, hiring interns and full-time employees from MSU, and contributing to MSU scholarship funds.

The Erickson Award is the highest honor conferred by the College of Engineering. First awarded to its namesake, Claud R. Erikson in 1982, the award is given to a graduate with at least 15 years’ professional experience who has attained the highest level of professional accomplishment; provided distinguished and meritorious service to the college and the engineering profession; and has engaged in voluntary service at the local, state, national and/or international level.

Seven other alumni received departmental honors and the Green Apple Teaching Award was presented:

  • Mitzi M. Montoya, the Sara Hart Kimball Dean of the College of Business at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, will receive the Applied Engineering Sciences (AES) Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Brad Borgman, of Seattle, WA, vice president of Engineering for the TWT Group, the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Prabhat Shukla, founder of Fluorotherm Polymers Inc., in New Jersey, will receive the Red Cedar Circle Award in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
  • James Susan, of Grand Rapids, MI, president of Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber (FTCH), Inc., the Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Tracy Camp, of Golden, CO, professor and head of the Department of Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colo., the Computer Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
  • Darius Adamczyk, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell in New York City, will receive the John D. Ryder Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Award.
  • Lisa Sparrow, of Chicago, IL, president and chief executive officer of Utilities, Inc., in Chicago, will receive the Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Green Apple Teaching AwardMSU student Ted Supal, a senior in chemical engineering presented Steven Kosmas the 2018 Green Apple Award.

The Green Apple Teaching Award was presented to Steven Kosmas, who has taught at Grosse Pointe North High School for 22 years. He has spent the past 16 years teaching chemistry, honors chemistry, AP chemistry, and organic chemistry. This award was established in 2006 to honor K-12 teachers who are inspiring students to study math, science, and engineering. MSU student Ted Supal, a senior in chemical engineering, nominated Kosmas.

Read more about the accomplishments of this year’s distinguished winners. (.pdf)

For more information about these awards or the College of Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet, please contact Kaleigh Jaeger-Hale, Assistant Director for Alumni Relations,

Alumni Awards Program Booklets

The following booklets will open in a new window as a PDF (.pdf).

Departmental Alumni Awards

Each year, the College of Engineering gives awards to distinguished alumni in each department who have brought honor to the college through their exceptional achievements, both professional and philanthropic. The awards are presented at a banquet each spring during commencement weekend.

Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award

The College of Engineering gives its highest honor, the Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award, to one alumnus or alumna each year. The awardee is recognized at the spring alumni awards banquet and again at the commencement ceremony, where he or she addresses the graduating students.

MSU Alumni Association Alumni Awards

Each year the MSU Alumni Association annually seeks and accepts nominations of alumni for the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Honorary Alumni Award, and the Alumni Service Award. These are the highest awards bestowed by the MSUAA and are presented to MSU graduates and friends who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service and have achieved the highest level of professional accomplishment, including special honors or recognition, and who demonstrate personal integrity and character.

Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award

Each year, the MSU Office of International Studies and Programs sponsors the International Awards Ceremony to bring together MSU faculty, staff, students, community volunteers, and others from the wider Michigan community to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions toward international understanding. One of these important awards is the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award, which recognizes international alumni who have brought especial credit to MSU through their professional achievements.