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Boeing Officially Presents Outstanding Educator Award To Clarkson Faculty

[A photo for newspaper use is available at]

On Friday, October 5, Robert Spitzer, vice president for university relations and technical affiliations at The Boeing Company, presented Clarkson University with the 2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award.boeingaward

Fifteen Clarkson faculty and staff were honored with the award for their role in the SPEED program (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design), which involves more than 200 students each year in engineering design team competitions such as Solar Vehicle Racing and FIRST Robotics.

Clarkson President Denny Brown accepted a plaque and a $50,000 check on behalf of the University, the SPEED program and the faculty advisers.

Spitzer praised the SPEED program for developing teamwork, business skills and interdisciplinary problem solving among students.

“You are to be congratulated,” said Spitzer. “In the SPEED program you’ve grouped a lot of the skills that professional societies and others endorse, and you’ve put it together in a comprehensive package.”

This type of team problem solving is the environment that graduates will find when they enter the workforce, explained Spitzer.

Clarkson mechanical engineering major Jonathan Ingraham, a member of the mini-Baja SPEED team, which builds and races an all-terrain vehicle, spoke to the audience about the value of the team experiences: “This is where we apply all the theory. This is everything we’re not taught in class. This is what puts us ahead of our peers.”

Recipients of the Boeing Outstanding Educator Award are Provost Tony Collins, SPEED Director Tina Yuille and professors Jim Carroll, Stefan Grimberg, Ron LaFleur, Maria Lopez, Levon Minnetyan, John Moosbrugger, Thomas Ortmeyer, Susan Powers, Eric Thacher, Ken Visser, David Wick, Steve Yurgartis and Amy Zander.

SPEED’s objective is to improve engineering education through team-based multidisciplinary projects. Students participate in numerous national engineering competitions ranging from aircraft design to environmental restoration, and from designing concrete canoes to solar-powered vehicles. The team competitions are open to all students, not just engineering majors. Not only must students design and build their projects, but also they must engage in fundraising, marketing, report writing and project presentation. The effort replicates the team-based work environment that most students will experience when they enter the work force.

Over the past four years, SPEED has received key financial support from Alcoa, Corning, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, General Motors, Goodyear, Procter & Gamble and Xerox.

The Boeing Outstanding Educator Award recognizes educators who have made exceptional contributions to improving undergraduate engineering education. It is presented for programs that effectively develop graduates with the desired attributes of an engineer, which include technical, leadership, business and communication skills. Competing faculty teams are evaluated on improvements they have made to the educational process that enhance the abilities of engineering students. Each individual or team provides evidence that their work has a long-term, pervasive impact on engineering education. They also must demonstrate the extent to which educational improvements have become institutionalized at their school.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Boeing Vice President for University Relations and Technical Affiliations Robert Spitzer presents Clarkson President Denny Brown with a $50,000 check for the 2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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