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.

Ramakrishna Mukkamala, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has demonstrated exemplary dedication to undergraduate and graduate education throughout his tenure. His lectures are highly interactive, and he injects his personality into his lectures, providing content and context that thoroughly engages his students. Student evaluations testify to his effectiveness. Among them: “Hard class, but Dr. Mukkamala made it very understandable.” “Excellent Professor. Knew the material really well and wanted to see students succeed.” He often talked about life beyond MSU, with the specific goals of helping prepare students for the future and motivating them to strive to make a professional difference. His office hours have been particularly popular in recent semesters. As one student noted, “Most helpful office hours of any professor I’ve had at MSU.” Last spring, to accommodate the large number of students taking advantage of his office hours, he needed to hold them in a classroom. His SIRS evaluations are consistently among the best in the department. In the words of a former student: “Dr. Mukkamala was one of the best, if not the best ECE professor I’ve had here at MSU.”

Electrical and Computer Engineering