Lawrence Tech’s Gerhart named Michigan Professor of the Year: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named Andrew Gerhart of Lawrence Technological University the 2010 Michigan Professor of the Year. He was selected from hundreds of top professors in the United States in the annual competition that is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. Two preliminary panels of judges selected 100 finalists in the competition for the national professor of the year awards in four categories. The top candidate from each state was selected as professor of the year for that state. This year, there are 38 state winners. An associate professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering, Gerhart has taught at Lawrence Tech since 2002. A remarkably active teacher and researcher, he has been nationally recognized for papers and presentations about improving the educational process, and has written undergraduate textbook problems and web-based tutorials for national publishers. He holds three degrees, all in mechanical engineering, including a BS from the University of Evansville, an MS from the University of Wyoming, and PhD from the University of New Mexico. He studied fluid dynamics for four years at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. Gerhart coordinates 12 courses in the College of Engineering and has developed eight new courses. He established a new minor in Aeronautical Engineering and two certificate programs in Energy and Environmental Management and Aeronautical Engineering. Thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and aeronautics are among the subjects he teaches. He is the faculty advisor for the SAE Aero Design team that has twice finished in the top 10 in the national competition sponsored by SAE International. He also chairs Lawrence Tech’s Leadership Curriculum and Implementation Committee. Earlier this year, Gerhart received Lawrence Tech’s Henry B. and Barbara J. Horldt Excellence in Teaching Award. In June, he won the Engineering Society of Detroit Outstanding Council Leadership Award from the Young Engineers Council. Gerhart has said that a professor should be approachable, personable, and accessible. He makes a point of speaking to students before, after, and between classes about things they are interested in, “even if way off the topic of school studies. It is important to gain the trust of the student, because I set expectations high, but reachable. I have found that if students trust that the expectations are reachable, they will rise to the challenge that they are given.” He stresses the importance of giving students regular feedback on their progress, and urges professors to elicit feedback from students in order to improve future courses. Professors also should continually take advantage conferences, teaching seminars, and workshops that focus on improving student learning and incorporate new proven methods in their classroom presentation. Gerhart served as advisor for a Detroit-to-Pittsburgh canoe expedition that commemorated the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War. He helped students from a variety of disciplines learn about history, culture, ecology, logistical planning, teamwork, leadership, physical fitness, fund raising, and even engineering as they designed and built a modernized replica of an 18th century fur traders canoe. It won a national design award. After two years of planning, the students and advisors paddled for 56 days and 500 miles while giving 26 presentations and seminars along the route to the public and school children. 

EMU’s Young, Motschall receive public relations society’s top award: Pamela Young, a director of communications for Eastern Michigan University, has received the Public Relations Society of America’s Detroit Hall of Fame Award for her longstanding contributions to the profession, the society and the community. The award is the highest form of recognition the Detroit chapter bestows. Young was honored recently at the organization’s annual meeting. Young, a Redford resident who has worked at Eastern Michigan since 1997, came to the University from the Detroit Medical Center and Hutzel Hospital, where she served as public affairs coordinator for 15 years. Young, a past president of PRSA-Detroit, serves as co-chair of the Senior Council for the PRSA Detroit Chapter, and has mentored numerous public relations students at Eastern. Young’s contributions to the metro Detroit community include service on Detroit Receiving Hospital’s Community Advisory Board, and on the University of Detroit Mercy’s Alumni Board for Arts & Education. Her many interests include quilting, skiing, fencing, Civil War reenacting and historical reading. The Detroit PRSA chapter also posthumously honored Melissa Motschall, an Eastern Michigan professor of public relations who died in January after a long illness. Motschall received the Detroit Hall of Fame Award for her work on behalf of students and the public relations profession. Like Young, Motschall had received the chapter’s Robert Hefty Distinguished Service Award. She served on PRSA-Detroit’s board of directors from 2001 to 2007 and as adviser to the Eleanor Wright Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America at EMU.

UM Named Sustainable Public Institution of the Year: The University of Michigan was named the first ever recipient of the Sustainable Public Institution of the Year award by the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum  in recognition of the university’s overall sustainability efforts on the Ann Arbor campus. The forum focused its award criteria not only on programs related to energy, water and waste efficiencies, but it also rewarded those organizations who promote the social, economic and ecological benefit of sustainability to the community. A total of 10 categories were evaluated from award applications. As an organization, the business forum supports business leaders in Southeast Michigan that are intent on creating long-term and sustainable value for stakeholders in the region. Through its triple bottom line approach to sustainability — which includes the social, economic and ecological benefits to the community — the business forum serves as an information resource for sustainable business practices. Founded in 2004, SMSBF shares information on such issues as cost models and policy changes related to sustainable business practices. Pepin noted that because sustainability is a complex and rapidly changing issue, keeping abreast of relevant topics requires ongoing sharing of best practices and constant communication with member companies. For more information on U-M sustainability programs, visit

16 Women Students To Be Honored At Kettering: Sixteen students will be honored Saturday, Nov. 20, at the 14th Annual Woman of the Year Recognition Banquet, a program of the Clara Elizabeth Davidson Women’s Resource Center at Kettering University in Flint. Elizabeth Marie Santos, of Sanford, Fla., is A-Section Woman of the Year. An industrial engineering major, her co-op employer is the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Kettering University. Victoria Hills, of Flint, Mich., is B-Section Woman of the Year. She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering in a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree program.  Her co-op employer is Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances in New Bern, N.C. To see photos and read more about their many accomplishments, visit

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