Withrow Teaching Excellence Award


March 24, 2015 

The 25th anniversary of the Engineering Awards Luncheon celebrated teachers, scholars and service on March 19 at the University Club of Michigan State University. 

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomed all of the guests and congratulated the winners of some of the college’s most prestigious awards.

Withrow Teaching Excellence Awards honor faculty teaching, advising and mentoring skills. One faculty member is selected from each academic unit, based primarily on nominations from students.  

Thomas Bieler (missing from group photo)

Thomas Bieler, a professor of materials science and engineering, is an inspiring educator that is devoted to student learning. It is demonstrated in his availability to students outside of the classroom and how he incorporates real world examples to help students grasp the material. He was previously recognized with the Withrow Distinguished Scholar - Junior Award for distinguished scholarship in the college. Student comments shared a theme - Bieler’s teaching style was inspirational, relevant, and challenged them to think differently. As one student notes, “Dr. Bieler proved to be one of the best teachers I have had in my life. He is incredibly efficient and competent in communication of ideas, but above all else, inspired me (and my classmates, I know for certain) to think about things in a fascinating and unconventional way.” Time and again students mentioned how his course pack and real world examples allowed them to grasp the material. Students deeply appreciated his open door policy and his commitment to their success outside of the classroom. “Dr. Bieler is very knowledgeable of the material and creates a very timely course that still challenges and educates students. Creating his own textbook of notes made available to students helps create an even better learning environment. He is always open to visits from students or very responsive to emails whether they are topics of course material o professional career development.” 

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science