2016 Withrow Teaching Excellence Award


March 18, 2016

Ten receive top honors during 2016 Engineering Awards Luncheon 

Members of the Michigan State University College of Engineering gathered in the University Club March 17 to celebrate accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service at the 26th Engineering Awards Luncheon. 

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted more than 100 guests, along with the winners of the prestigious awards during the annual spring ceremony.

The College of Engineering handed out some of its most prestigious recognitions on March 17 during the annual Engineering Awards lunch. Honored were (from left) Alison Cupples, Truman Surbrook, Nikki Shook, Richard Lunt, Rebecca Anthony, Prem Chahal, Charles Ofria, Judith Cordes, Daina Briedis, and Charles Owen.

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.

Recipients of the 2016 Withrow Teaching Excellence Awards are:  

Truman Surbrook, a professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, is recognized as one of the top teachers in the BAE program by current students and alumni alike. At the core of his teaching is his respect for students and his sincere interest in ensuring they have absorbed the material and knowledge tools he is attempting to instill in them. Alumni comments note: “Truman truly wants every one of his students to excel in the future, and will do what it takes to aid in the process”; “Dr. Surbrook was truly passionate about his subject and tried to bring it to life”; and “He would always go above and beyond his duties to ensure that every student had been given all the tools they need to succeed.” 

One current senior student said: “Dr. Surbrook is incredibly dedicated to teaching and his passion for helping students learn has no end. He is tireless in his work for the students and after all of the years of teaching he has never stopped trying to improve his course’s content, teaching style, or course activities. He takes time to genuinely connect with all his students and make them feel supported.” 

Read more on the award winners. (.pdf)

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering