2017 Withrow Teaching Excellence Award


March 17, 2017

Eleven receive top honors during 27th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon 

It was a celebration of teaching, scholarship, and service when members of the Michigan State University College of Engineering convened in the University Club on Thursday, March 16, at the 27th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon. 

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted award winners and about 100 guests from the college during the annual spring ceremony.Eleven from the college received top honors March 16. Awards were presented (l to r), top row: Bradley Marks, Nathan Mellott, Anthony Ingle; middle row: Joshua Nahum, Ramakrishna Mukkamala, Peter Lillehoj, Geoffrey Recktenwald; front row: Kyle Foster, Jennifer Keddle, Gilbert Baladi, and Joyce Chai.

The Withrow Endowed Teacher/Scholar/Service Award Program was established by the Withrow family to recognize faculty of the MSU College of Engineering who have demonstrated excellence in instructional and scholarly activities and rendered distinguished service to the university and the student body. Jack Withrow earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU in 1954 and an MBA in 1971. He retired as executive vice president at Chrysler Corp. in 1988, and then served as president and chief operating officer at Lectron Products Inc., from 1989 to 1995. He received the MSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1984. Dottie Withrow earned a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy and elementary education from MSU in 1955 and a master’s degree in teaching from Oakland University. She was a special education teacher in West Bloomfield Schools for many years and published a children’s book that promotes responsible pet care and a second book that teaches children about opera.

Bradley Marks, a professor in the Departments of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Food Science and Human Nutrition, is recognized for his dedication and effort both in and outside of the classroom. Students note his ability to make difficult problems easy and fun to solve, and appreciate class time that is interactive and engaging, using interesting “real life” examples and limited lecturing. Marks conducts annual ABET accreditation efforts and successfully leads the highly demanding re-accreditation process on the six-year cycle. He is a major contributor to the growth of MSU’s biosystems engineering program through his leadership in recruiting, curriculum development, program coordination, and employer interactions. His efforts are often praised for helping students build and launch their professional careers. Alumni are unanimous in recognizing his significant contribution to preparing them for their careers. Possibly one student best summarizes the feelings in stating, “Most engaging professor I have ever had. I attribute this to his raw passion and enthusiasm for not only the subject matter, but teaching itself.”

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering