The Department of Materials Science and Engineering each year presents the following awards during the spring semester:
Outstanding Safety Award
Recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student who has gone above-and-beyond the high- standards set by the department. Awarded to: Anthony DeCeanne Jr.
"Anthony is the best type of leader—one who leads by his own example. He takes a proactive, values-based approach to safety, which fosters a culture of safety for the entire group. He also actively communicates with all the graduate and undergraduate students using the lab and makes sure that everyone understands proper safety procedures and follows best practices. He’s been a key safety leader in the Penn State Glass Lab for the past four years."
Dr. David Green Materials Faculty Service Award
Established to enrich the Department of Materials Science and Engineering by recognizing a faculty member who has performed outstanding service work and provide support to faculty to further their contributions in teaching, research, and public service in MatSE.
Awarded to: Professor Venkatraman Gopalan
Professor Gopalan has rejuvenated the Awards Committee within MatSE and has gone above-and-beyond to ensure that his colleagues receive recognition for their accomplishments. His efforts have been rewarded with a noticeable increase in the number of awards received by MatSE faculty over the last few years. Thank you, Dr. Gopalan, for your many contributions to MatSE.
MatSE Faculty Member of the Year Award
Recognizes a faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, research, advising or outreach. Nominations for this award are sent to the student advisory committee and the students choose the recipient. Awarded to:Professor Amy Robinson
One nominator wrote: “I have taken two classes with This Faculty member, and she has been a wonderful teacher … I have never seen my knowledge increase in a topic by so much. She is always enthusiastic as she teaches and provides students with loads of valuable information without making them feel overwhelmed. Her teaching style consists of writing important points on the board, while simultaneously projecting valuable graphs on the screen and explaining each point/graph/chart with us. In this way, she caters to all kinds of students, regardless of whether they learn better with visual or auditory cues. Her students perform well not because her exams are easy or she curves grades, but because they are prepared with extensive metals knowledge thanks to her teaching.”
Another nominator wrote: “… is a great professor. She does not simply lecture to a class. She engages with her students and goes above-and-beyond to encourage their learning and growth. Her methods of teaching are grounded by her unwavering commitment to her students. Personally, she has always rewarded my curiosity and answered my questions no matter how silly they were. She also was one of the main driving forces for me to go to graduate school when she told me that my curiosity is something that will take me far.”
Another nominator wrote: “She stands out in my mind as an excellent teacher, advisor, and role model. I always looked forward to her lectures because each of her classes is an opportunity to advance my knowledge of metallurgy in a practical way. Her teaching style is centric, direct, and well organized. Whenever I had questions, she was sure to give me an incredibly thorough response. She has a great understanding of what it is like to be a student, is empathetic to our concerns, and encourages us to grow as young people and engineers.”
MatSE Staff Member of the Year Award
Recognizes a staff member that exhibits at least one of the following: excellent job skills, knowledge of departmental goals, ability to motivate others, creative problem-solving skills, takes a leadership role, dependable and efficient, professional demeanor, positive attitude, enthusiastic and dedicated in carrying out duties, cooperative and courteous interaction with others, good supervisory skills. Awarded to: Corynn Taylor
Taylor began her Penn State career in MatSE and instantly made a positive impact. She received multiple nominations for this award.
One nominator wrote: “For me personally, there is a distinct feel to our MatSE department and community as compared to any other place on campus: it feels like home! She is one of those people who has a lot to do with making MatSE feel homey.”
Another wrote: “I have courtesy appointments in two other departments. I have been in MRI for the past 22 years, where I have never experienced the welcoming and caring touch from anyone that compares with what Corynn provides”.
MatSE Alumna of the Year Award
Awarded to: Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Ph.D.
The success of any department or university can be measured by the contribution the alumni make to the world. Our alumna of the year’s has definitely played a role in the success of our department and Penn State.
Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Ph.D. began her career at Penn State as an undergraduate student—very much like many of you in the audience. She continued at Penn State to receive her Master of Science and her doctorate all in Ceramic Science. She could have gone anywhere and done almost anything, but she chose to stay at Penn State and build her career here.
She has been described by one of her peers as the “cream of the crop” in the field of materials science. Another peer said, “She is simply amazing at what she does, she is one of a kind in her field”.
One of her students said, “She is by far the best teacher I have ever had. She pushes me to be better.”
Her list of well-deserved awards and accolades is impressive, but I think this is one of her most cherished accomplishments, finishing the book she started writing with Robert E. Newhman titled Materials Engineering Bonding. Structure, and Structure Property Relationships, published in 2017.
It is inspiring and encouraging to see all her accomplishments with her career up to this point. Trolier-McKinstry, is making an impact on students, Penn State, and Material Science as a whole.