sealPurdue News

October 21, 2002

Appointment and Promotions, Campus Activities, Faculty and Staff Honors

Appointments and promotions:
– Howard Sypher has been named the new head of the Department of Communication. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1979 and most recently served as professor and department head for communication studies at Virginia Polytech University. Sypher previously spent seven years as chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, where he also served as associate dean for the School of Business. Sypher's areas of interest are social cognition and communication, as well as the impact of new communication technologies. He has co-edited four books and published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters on these topics.

• Campus activities:
– The next Conversations About Teaching lecture is "Freshman Seminars: First Aid in the First Year," at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (10/23) in the Purdue Memorial Union's West Faculty Lounge. Conversations About Teaching is part of the Focus on Teaching lecture series. The instructors, Dennis Minchella, professor of biological sciences; Cher Yazvac, academic counselor in the School of Science; and Rex Fodrea, director of counseling in biological sciences; will lead a discussion about their discipline-based, first-year seminar course. The course helps incoming students make the transition to Purdue and assists them in succeeding academically in biology. For more information, call (765) 494-0608, or visit the web site.

• Faculty and staff honors:
– Klod Kokini, an assistant dean of engineering and a professor of mechanical engineering, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The fellow grade is conferred upon a member with at least 10 years of active engineering practice who has made significant contributions to the field. The 125,000-member society is a worldwide organization focusing on technical, educational and research issues.

– Shimon Nof, a professor of industrial engineering, is one of four winners of the 2002 Joseph F. Engelberger Award, the robotics industry's most prestigious honor. The awards are issued by the Robotic Industries Association. Nof won the award for his contributions to education. Nof – an expert in computer-aided manufacturing and robotics –has pioneered the use of computerized simulators for education and training in robotic manufacturing, which have been used by more than 400 universities and companies around the world. He is director of Purdue's PRISM, a laboratory and center that focuses on improving production robots and software for manufacturing applications. The Engelberger Awards were presented Oct. 9 during the International Symposium on Robotics in Stockholm, Sweden. Each award winner received a $4,000 honorarium and commemorative medallion.

– Two Purdue University Department of Aviation Technology faculty members have been honored for their contributions to aviation education and the University Aviation Association. Thomas Q. Carney, head of the Department of Aviation Technology, received the William A. Wheatley Award. The Wheatley Award, sponsored by United Airlines, is presented annually to a professional educator who has made outstanding contributions to aerospace education for more than 10 years. Carney has taught in Purdue's aviation technology department since 1972. He has more than 34 years of experience and 9,500 flight hours as a pilot. He is the author or co-author of more than 85 publications, presentations and panel sessions. He is a member of the University Aviation Association Board of Trustees and editor of the association's Collegiate Aviation Review. John P. Young, associate professor of aviation technology, received the Frank E. Sorenson Award. The award is sponsored by the University of Nebraska and presented annually to a professional educator who has made substantial contributions to the field of aviation research and scholarship. Young has served on the Purdue faculty for more than 20 years. With professional interest in human factors and crew resource management, airline operations and procedures, and transport aircraft systems training, Young has co-authored three test preparation books and authored numerous articles and presentations. Additionally, he has participated in several funding research projects. He has been affiliated with the University Aviation Association for 15 years and served as a board of trustees member and secretary, as well as chair of the association's Flight Education Committee.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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