ESD Student of Year

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June 19, 2015

Zoltowski '15 is ESD Outstanding Student Engineer of the Year  

Among David Zoltowski's many honors, in April he received the President's Award at MSU's 2015 Academic Excellence Gala.

It’s been a big couple of years for David Zoltowski, who graduated in May with an electrical engineering degree from the Michigan State University College of Engineering. 

He heads to the University of Cambridge this fall as one of 14 American students nationwide to be awarded a Churchill Scholarship, where he will pursue a master of philosophy in information engineering.

Zoltowski adds a new accolade on June 24 when the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) presents him with the 2015 Outstanding Student Engineer of the Year Award. He will share the honor with LaMyra Stevenson, a student at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. The Outstanding Student Engineer of the Year award is given each year for outstanding achievement by an undergraduate student who has distinguished himself or herself in the engineering and science community. 

The recognition will be presented at ESD’s annual awards evening that brings together engineering, design, and construction professionals in Southeast Michigan. The ESD event is at the Detroit Institute of Arts, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a reception in DIA’s Kresge Court.

Also that night, ESD will bestow its highest honor, the Horace H. Rackham Humanitarian Award, on longtime ESD leader Roy Link. Link is chairman and CEO of Plymouth-based Link Engineering Co. He is a two-time MSU graduate, receiving a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1967 and an MBA in 1968.

David Zoltowski

Zoltowski graduated this spring with a perfect 4.0 grade point average in electrical engineering as a member of the Honors College, and as captain of the MSU Varsity Swimming and Diving team.

In June, he was named to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-America At-Large Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). 

In April, he was the recipient of the President's Award at MSU’s 2015 Academic Excellence Gala. The President's Award, the night's most prestigious honor, recognizes the male and female athletes who are graduating seniors with the highest cumulative GPA and who have exhausted their athletic eligibility in the 2014-15 school year. He was also honored April 17 when the MSU Board of Trustees recognized 36 students with Board of Trustees’ Awards for having the highest scholastic average at the close of their last semester.

Some of his other MSU honors are: 

2014-15: Second-Team Academic All-American … Churchill Scholar winner … President’s Award winner … Rhodes Scholar finalist … Big Ten Distinguished Scholar … Academic All-Big Ten honoree … Graduated with a perfect 4.0 G.P.A. … Recorded a 15:54.62 finish in the 1650 freestyle at the Northwestern TYR Invitational … Swam a 1:57.92 in the 200 butterfly at the Northwestern TYR Invitational … Finished 40th at the Big Ten Championships in the 400 IM 3:59.96 … Took 48th in the 500 freestyle at the Big Ten Championships with a time of 4:37.68 … Clocked in a 9:36.94 finish in the 1000 freestyle vs. Iowa. 

2013-14: Goldwater Scholarship ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar ... 2013-14 Academic All-Big Ten honoree ... Posted a 1:54.11 in the 200 butterfly and 4:04.37 in the 400 individual medley at the Big Ten Championships ... Swam a third-place 4:11.67 in the 400 individual medley at Michigan ... Placed third in the 400 individual medley (4:14.74) at Notre Dame. 

A fraternal triplet, Zoltowski is inspired to advance knowledge of the brain in order to better understand his brother’s autism, which he explains in this August 2014 video of his Spartan story: 

He was a research assistant to Professor Selin Aviyente in the Communications and Signal Processing Lab, a member of MSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and an Honors Times Two mentor. 

A native of West Lafayette, Ind., he is the son of two Purdue University engineering professors.

For more on the ESD awards gala, visit:

David Zoltowski worked with Selin Aviyente in the Communications and Signal Processing Lab, where he explored his interest in advancing knowledge on the brain to better understand his brother's autism.  

Portions of this story are courtesy of Spartan Athletics.