Photos by Jonathan Adams
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The Nicholas Dinos Professorship in Chemical and Biomecular Engineering was officially awarded Saturday.
About 40 people gathered to congratulate Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Darin Ridgway, of Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, as he became Nicholas Dinos Professor for 2013-2018.
More than 80 alumni and friends contributed to establish the professorship in the name of Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering Nicholas Dinos, whose reputation for teaching excellence was built over nearly four decades.
“Nick was the heart of the department, and it’s an honor to have your name attached to him,” Ridgway said. “It makes you feel good, but it makes you feel uncomfortable. It is an honor to be awarded this, and I’m very humbled to have it.”
Friends and colleagues shared stories, memories and sentiments about both men for everyone to hear.
Alumnus and Russ College Board of Visitors member Jim Edwards told the attendees about the process of calling people to ask for help to establish the professorship.
“After the first couple of calls there was an obvious pattern,” he explained. “The person said, ‘Wait a minute. I have a Nick story’. And you had to allot 15 minutes because everyone had a story. It was remarkable.”
According to Edwards, he, fellow board member Debbie Burke, BSCHE '85, and John Baginski, BSCHE '70, coordinated an effort to establish the professorship with help from another board member, Hank Waters, BSCH '83.
Dinos said he is pleased and honored to have a professorship in his name.
“If I had been given a chance to choose someone from the faculty for this particular award, I would have picked Darin because he’s very student oriented,” Dinos said. “He’s by nature an affable, outward going person who looks after the students and dreams up ideas for them to do. Also, he’s smart. You don’t want to try and pull wool over his eyes.”
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Chair Valerie Young, who worked with Dinos for a couple of years, agrees with the choice.
“I don’t know how I could be department chair without Darin,” she said. “When I’m losing it, he’ll come into my office, and he settles me down. And he cares about the students. He doesn’t baby them. He expects a lot of them. I thank goodness every day for Darin.”