Valparaiso University College of Engineering students, faculty, staff and friends came together on Feb. 21 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 Mark A. Heckler and Provost Mark R. Schwehn.

This year’s winner of the student organization video contest was the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers with their spoof of the movie “Inception.”

Videos were also presented by the student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.

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. Meyer is the current President of the student chapter of ASME and a member of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). As a member of EWB, Meyer has traveled to Tanzania to help a local community implement a canal to eliminate water erosion. Upon graduation, Meyer plans to pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering at either the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or the University of Wisconsin.

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Meyer. “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, Ind., received the Edgar J. Luecke Z* award for exhibiting exemplary leadership in the college and in the broader venues of Valparaiso University. Chase is also a member of EWB through which he has participated in the Tanzania canal project. Upon graduation, he is going to work for Caterpillar, Inc.

Additional award winners were Eric Wiggins, Steve Szalaijko, Erika Walden, and Brie Lawson. Wiggins won the D.J. Angus Scientech Most Improved Student Award. 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. 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 toward either a multidisciplinary degree or a degree with a minor. Lawson won the Hesse Outstanding Freshmen Award for her academic performance, leadership, and service activities during the first semester.

In addition to the awards, 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.

About Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a School of Law and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Education Division. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness, and dedication to serving others.

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