2017 Withrow Teaching Excellence Award


March 17, 2017

Eleven receive top honors during 27th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon 

It was a celebration of teaching, scholarship, and service when members of the Michigan State University College of Engineering convened in the University Club on Thursday, March 16, at the 27th Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon. 

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted award winners and about 100 guests from the college during the annual spring ceremony.Eleven from the college received top honors March 16. Awards were presented (l to r), top row: Bradley Marks, Nathan Mellott, Anthony Ingle; middle row: Joshua Nahum, Ramakrishna Mukkamala, Peter Lillehoj, Geoffrey Recktenwald; front row: Kyle Foster, Jennifer Keddle, Gilbert Baladi, and Joyce Chai.

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.

Nathan P. Mellott, a materials science and engineering teaching specialist within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, employs discovery-, discussion- and project-based learning in his classroom. His industrial experience lends itself to integration of practical, timely, and industry-relevant examples in his teaching. His passion for teaching, accessibility, and ability to relate were consistent threads in student comments. They note that he has demonstrated the ability to be “down-to-earth” and “approachable” while holding his students to “high academic standards.” Typical student comments include: “Dr. Mellott is exceptional, as he clearly explains concepts and will present the same information in different ways to reach as many students as possible. He is extremely patient and helpful with students who reach out to him,” and “Dr. Mellott is very good at preparing students for any field or research. He enjoys making sure that we learn course content. He is an asset to the department.”

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science