Burdick named 2022 Outstanding Advisor by Tau Beta Pi

Published: August 24, 2022 Author: Chloe Musick

Monica Burdick, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was named the 2022 Outstanding Advisor by Tau Beta Pi (TBP), the oldest engineering honor society in the United States.  
 
“I'm humbled and grateful to have received this recognition. The OH Delta chapter members, my students in the classroom and research lab, and all mentees around the university have given me so much support and inspiration through the years. This award is really because of them,” Burdick said. 

Burdick has served as the chief advisor to Ohio University’s OH Delta Chapter of TBP since 2012. In her 10 years as the chapter’s chief advisor, she has fostered the growth of the organization so student members have an opportunity to grow as leaders in engineering.  

“Dr. Burdick’s dedicated service as the advisor of Tau Beta Pi has provided invaluable academic and personal mentorship for our students. Students and faculty alike have been supported by Dr. Burdick over the years, truly demonstrating why she is deserving of this distinguished recognition,” Maj Mirmirani, interim dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, said. 

As a member of TBP herself, Burdick has always recognized the value of this organization since her own initiation into the New York Kappa Chapter at the University of Rochester in 1996. In the 1997-98 school year, she served as the president of her chapter. In addition to her own membership, in recent years Burdick began serving as a volunteer reviewer for the TBP Scholarship Program. 

Beyond her continued mentorship in TBP, Burdick leads a biomedical engineering research group within the Russ College where she applies engineering principles to study how cancer cells move through the body. In this space, she shares her passion for mentoring students personally and professionally. 
 
“Dr. Burdick is probably the most helpful person at Ohio University. You can count on Dr. Burdick 10 out of 10 times to make sure you are on the right path. Any kind of advice you need, Dr. Burdick is there,” Dominic Riepenhoff, chemical engineering student and recipient of a TBP scholarship, said. 

As a professor, Burdick has mentored numerous Ph.D. and master’s students in addition to nearly 40 undergraduate researchers. She has collaborated with her students to teach them lab techniques, experiment planning, data analysis and research presenting. She has encouraged and guided her students to present their research at national meetings and co-author peer-reviewed publications. 

"Dr. Burdick clearly cares about the organization (TBP), the school and its students. She helps to make sure that everything is on time and organized. She is thoughtful and has great ideas on events and we would not be nearly as successful without her," Jason Sommer, mechanical engineering student and president of TBP’s Delta chapter, said. 
 
Her work as an enthusiastic and hands-on mentor has not gone unnoticed. In 2022, several of her past students nominated her for a mentoring award from the Women’s Initiative Committee for AIChE. She has previously been recognized with the 2014 Excellence in Education Award from the Ohio Magazine, 2016 and 2020 Ohio University Cutler Scholars Outstanding Mentor Award and for leading the OH Delta Chapter to receive a TBP Chapter Excellence Award for three consecutive years (2020-22). 

"Dr. Burdick’s mentorship means the world to me. [She] came into my life right as I was stepping into adulthood and figuring out what I wanted to do with my career. She trained me in most of the skills I use in my current role, and more importantly, exemplified how I strive to be as a professional. She is as passionate about her research as she is about her students. She showed me that I didn’t have to conform to stereotypes of what I thought an engineer had to be,” Nicole Sova, MSBE ‘18, BSCE ‘16, said. 

“Dr. Burdick is an amazing advocate for student success. She has done so much for students and Tau Beta Pi, and always encourages us to pursue opportunities no matter how daunting,” mechanical engineering student, Cassidy Serger added.