2016 Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service


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. 

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.

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 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.

Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service
The Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service is presented annually to a staff member in the College of Engineering to recognize exceptional and creative job performance and/or concerned and creative leadership.

Don Morelli, interim chair of chemical engineering and materials science, and Martin Hawley, former chair of the department, congratulate Nikki Shook for receiving the 2016 Gloria Stragier Award for Dedicated and Creative Service.

When the administrative assistant in charge of your ‘front office’ comes armed with an MBA, it’s no wonder that the unit operates as efficiently and effectively as the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CHEMS) does. Administrative assistant Nicole ‘Nikki’ Shook runs the business operation of the department and supervises a staff that performs

the important functions of research accounting, graduate and undergraduate program support, department budgeting and administration. She brings not only tremendous organizational skills, but also people skills and tremendous creativity to the department. 

She arrived at MSU as a student, earning bachelor’s degree in hospitality business in 2001, and an MBA in Integrative Management in 2006. Her professional career at Michigan State began in 2002, when she served as manager of the State Room restaurant inside the Kellogg Center. She joined CHEMS in 2008, where she continues to serve as an administrative assistant and supervisor. 

As former CHEMS Department Chair Martin Hawley noted: she is the “key person” in the department – stepping into roles such as “graduate secretary” when that position was vacant and ensuing that those activities continued without a hitch. She came up with creative solutions to address budget constraints for the department so that the research and teaching activities continued with few problems. 

Faculty members praise her invaluable work. Richard Lunt observed: “I have worked at Princeton, the University of Michigan, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and I can tell you without reservation that she rivals the best staff that I have met or worked with anywhere.” Patrick Walton added that her creativity, organizational and communication skills were central to the success of the annual CHEMS Research Forum showcasing research achievements of the department. 

Acting Chair Don Morelli reflected the sentiment of every endorsement, “I have never worked with anyone more dedicated, efficient, supportive, and knowledgeable than Nikki. She is the leader and guiding light of the entire CHEMS department support staff, and without her constant encouragement, support, and direction I am quite sure we as a department would not be able to function.”

Read more on the award winners. (.pdf)

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science