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Russ College honors alumni, faculty and staff

ATHENS, Ohio (May 26, 2006) -- The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University recently honored four alumni as distinguished graduates and recognized faculty and staff for outstanding teaching, research and performance in 2005-06. The awardees were recognized April 28 at the college's annual awards celebration.

The alumni, R. Emmett Boyle, from St. Clairsville, Ohio; Joseph K. Jachinowski, from San Francisco; E. Louis Overstreet, from Las Vegas; and Connie J. Tobias, from Huntersville, N.C.; were inducted into the Russ College's Academy of Distinguished Graduates, which honors and celebrates the achievements and contributions of alumni to the field of engineering and technology. It is the highest honor the College can bestow on its graduates.

Boyle, who earned a master's degree in industrial systems engineering from Ohio University in 1970, began his career on the Gemini spacecraft project at McDonnell Aircraft Corp. He then joined Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Company before becoming president of Ormet Corporation in 1983. Boyle bought the company in 1986, and over the next 18 years as chairman and CEO, more than doubled the size of the company. Today, Boyle leads The Elmwood Group, a management advisory firm he formed. He has served as chair of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and also chaired the U.S. Chamber's Labor Relations Committee.

Jachinowski received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Ohio University in 1979. Early in his career, he co-founded – with former Ohio University professor Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer III – the company SEL, which is now a leading provider of protective relays. Later, he created Varian Medical Systems' most successful medical linear accelerator while at that company. In 1990, he became chairman, CEO, and president of IMPAC Medical Systems, which he co-founded. It is now the world's leading supplier of clinical and administrative information management systems for the field of cancer care. Jachinowski became executive vice president for product development after IMPAC was sold to Elekta AB, a Swedish medical device manufacturer.

Overstreet graduated from Ohio University in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He has been a licensed professional engineer in seven states and the District of Columbia. Currently CEO of Las Vegas' Urban Chamber of Commerce, his career has taken him from the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline to a multimillion-dollar energy company in Chicago. He has served on more than fifty boards and authored three books and more than 500 hundred editorial columns for three different newspapers.

Tobias, the first woman to be inducted into the Russ College Academy of Distinguished Graduates, received her associate's degree in applied science from Ohio University in 1977 and a bachelor's degree in aviation in 1978. In 1982, she completed studies toward a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering. She also has flown more than 60 different aircraft in her career, from a 1902 Wright Glider to heavy jets. Her varied positions have included flight instructor; aviation examiner; pilot for charter, corporate, freight, fire patrol, commuter, regional, and major airlines – and adjunct professor of aviation at Salem College. The first woman to successfully fly a 1903 Wright Flyer replica, she also ferried troops to and from the Middle East during the Iraq war. Tobias is currently a captain at U.S. Airways captain with more than 20,000 hours and more than 900 trans-Atlantic crossings.

The Russ College also honored faculty and staff for outstanding teaching, research, and service.

The Outstanding Administrative, Technical, and Classified Employee Awards recognize employees with outstanding results-based performance. Recipients for 2006 were: Wendy Weiser, development and scholarship coordinator; Stephanie Walker, administrative associate for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, classified award; and Bryan Jordan, assistant computer system administrator, technical award.

The Marvin E. and Ann D. White Awards were established by alumnus Marv White and his wife, Ann, in 1988. The White Research Award recognizes continued and sustained achievements in research, scholarship, and the creation of new knowledge in each department of the Russ College. Recipients for 2006 were: Gerardine Botte, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering; Shad Sargand, Russ professor in the Department of Civil Engineering; Frank van Graas, Russ professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Gary Weckman, associate professor in the Department of Industrial Manufacturing Systems Engineering; Pete Klein, associate professor in the Department of Industrial Technology; and Frank Kraft, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The White Teaching Award recognizes dedicated teaching and student advising in each department of the Russ College. Recipients for 2006 were: Deak Arch, assistant professor in the Department of Aviation; Darin Ridgway, associate professor and assistant chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering;  Teruhisa Masada, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering; David Juedes, associate professor and assistant chair in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Dusan Sormaz, associate professor in the Department of Industrial Manufacturing Systems Engineering; Timothy Sexton, professor in the Department of Industrial Technology; and David Bayless, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Awards were established by the alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife, Dolores, in 1981. The Russ Outstanding Research Paper Award recognizes research and scholarship excellence across the college by faculty who published papers in refereed journals. The 2006 recipient was Gerardine Botte for her paper "On the Use of Ammonia Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production."

The Russ Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teaching and advising across the college. Russ College students select the recipient. The 2006 recipient was James F. Fales, Loehr Professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Technology.

In addition, the Russ College advisory board and Robe Leadership Institute honored William Reeves with the Board of Visitors/Robe Leadership Institute Leadership/Service Award.

Reeves conceived and spearheaded the development and funding of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Vocational Center, which has received $3.5 million in funding to train vocational education teachers. He also worked with Athens Jaycees to obtain $5 million in government funding to support housing for senior citizens in Athens. He has served in leadership roles on Ohio University's faculty senate and also in various industrial technology professional organizations.

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills. The Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Strategic research areas include bioengineering, energy and the environment, and smart civil infrastructure. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/engineering.

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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