Celebrating The Engineers' Day

Valpo College of Engineering Celebrates The Engineers' Day at Banquet


Outstanding Senior Award
ASME Video

Dean Olejniczak presenting Melissa Meyer with
the Eastmond Outstanding Senior Award

Armand Gagne, Jesse Fosheim, and Jacob Igney
in ASME video

On February 21st, Valparaiso University College of Engineering students, faculty, staff and friends came together to celebrate The Engineers' Day (a.k.a. Tired Engineers' Day).  The celebration took place at the annual banquet in the Harre Union and was organized by Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Honored guests at this year’s banquet were Valparaiso University President Heckler and Provost Schwehn.

This year’s The Engineers' Day (TED) banquet began with a welcome from the master of ceremony and Tau Beta Pi chapter President, Matt LaRue, and was followed by a welcome from President Heckler. 

After dinner, videos from the student organizations were presented.  This year’s winner of the student organization video contest was the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)  with their spoof on the movie Inception.  The students in the video had the goal of inserting a message into the mind of Dean Olejniczak.  The message: you cannot leave the College of Engineering at the end of your term.

Videos were also presented by the student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  ASCE presented a Jeopardy quiz show where students addressed questions in such categories  as “Name that Professor” and “Engineering Dating”.  IEEE spoofed the show Avatar: the Last Airbender  by presenting Avatar: the Last Computer Engineer.  Finally, SWE’s video was a take on The Wizard of Oz where the characters were searching for the Wizard (Dean Olejniczak) so they could receive a calculator, a heart, a brain, and courage.

Intermingled with the video presentations was the door prize drawing where students won a variety of prizes ranging from Valpo stickers to coffee mugs to tickets to the John Hancock Observatory in downtown Chicago.

The final event of the evening was the presentation  of student awards by Dean Olejniczak.  The Eastmond Outstanding Senior Award was presented  to Melissa Meyer, a senior mechanical engineering student.  This award is based not only on academic performance but also service to the College of Engineering.  Melissa is the current President of the student chapter of ASME and a member of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).  As a member of EWB, Melissa has traveled to Tanzania to help a local community implement a canal to eliminate water erosion.  Upon graduation, Melissa plans to pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering at either the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or the University of Wisconsin.

Upon receiving the award Melissa said, “I am honored to receive this award.  The opportunity to participate in ASME and EWB has allowed me to get involved outside of the classroom and supplement my engineering coursework with many excellent learning experiences.”

James Chase, a senior double major in mechanical and electrical engineering from Fort Wayne, Indiana,  received the Edgar J. Luecke  Z* award for exhibiting exemplary leadership in the college and in the broader venues of Valparaiso University.  James is also a member of EWB through which he has participated in the Tanzania canal project.  Upon graduation, James is going to work for Caterpillar, Inc.

Upon receiving the award James said, "I’m honored to receive the Edgar J. Luecke Z* award and I’m appreciative of all the opportunities at Valpo that allowed me to achieve this award."

Additional award winners were Eric Wiggins, Steve Szalaijko, Erika Walden, and Brie Lawson.  Eric Wiggins won the D.J. Angus Scientech Most Improved Student Award.  Steve Szalaijko  won the College of Engineering Alumni Power Engineering Scholarship which was established to encourage engineering students to study in the area of power engineering.  Erika Walden won the Dr. and Mrs. Ronald G. Schultz Endowed Scholarship which is granted to a College of Engineering student who has achieved excellent academic standing within the college while working towards either a multi-disciplinary degree or a degree with a minor.  Finally, Brie Lawson won the Hesse Outstanding Freshmen Award for her academic performance, leadership, and service activities during the first semester.
Outstanding Freshman Award

Dean Olejniczak presenting Brie Lawson with
the Hesse Outstanding Freshmen Award


In addition to the awards, Dean Olejniczak announced that Vincent Killion, Jordan Piaskowy, and Kyle Zobeck were nominated for the Valparaiso Alumni Association Distinguished Student Award.  One graduating student from each of the Valparaiso University colleges is selected for this award which will be announced in early May.

The evening ended with a standing ovation for Dean Olejniczak who will be finishing his term in June of 2012.