Outstanding service to study abroad

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Maggie Blair-Ramsey, coordinator of the Engineering Study Abroad Program, congratulates John Foss along with Alex Diaz, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.April 1, 2014

The dedicated work of John F. Foss to create better world citizens has been recognized with the presentation of the 2014 MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Study Abroad to the long-time professor of mechanical engineering.

The prestigious university wide award recognizes Foss for his outstanding contributions to international understanding and to the global mission of Michigan State University.

The award was presented during the 24th Annual International Awards Ceremony, hosted by International Studies and Programs (ISP) at MSU in the Huntington Club in Spartan Stadium on March 26.

The ISP recognition honoring Foss reads:

“John Foss is the engine – and the heart – of one of MSU’s top study abroad programs. Because of his leadership, commitment, and dedication, the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) at Aachen, Germany, program continues to be one of the most popular in the Department of Mechanical Engineering 30 years after he helped establish it. It is also a model on which other study abroad programs in the College of Engineering have been built.

“John has taken a personal interest in all aspects of the program – from recruiting students and securing funding to helping cover their expenses, to establishing connections with researchers in Aachen. The ongoing support of his faculty colleagues – in their role as Cognizent Faculty for the student independent study projects – has been an essential part of this successful program.

“His research and teaching relationships with partners at Aachen’s RWTH contribute to the positive study abroad experience for MSU engineering students.

“The Aachen program offers students a life-changing academic international experience. They participate in state-of-the-art research projects in German research labs, engage with industrial partners, and learn the German language to help intensify their experience. At the core of the Aachen program are the independent study projects that students pursue in RWTH laboratories.

“Numerous testimonials from students attest to the program’s success, which they credit to their professor’s careful advising and planning. After completing their degrees, these students have the ability to contribute to the international marketplace in an enriching way that makes them better problem solvers, collaborators, and leaders in their industry.

“Over the past 50 years, John’s contributions to higher education and experiential learning at MSU are significant and lasting. Through his efforts, he has transformed the lives of many students, helping them become better engineers and better citizens of the world. It is fitting that John Foss be awarded this MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Study Abroad.”

John F. Foss
Foss has been a faculty member at MSU since 1964. His academic interests include analytical experimentation (determination of governing phenomena using flow field measurements), general fluid mechanics, turbulent shear flows, vorticity measurements, and automotive applications. He earned BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University.

An award-winning faculty member, other recent honors include being named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2013 for his outstanding contributions to physics.


 For his contributions to creating better world citizens, John Foss was presented with the 2014 MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Study Abroad.