The Mary E. and Richard E. Marburger Fund For Excellence in Achievement Awards for 2014 were presented April 24 at a reception hosted by President Virinder Moudgil and Provost Maria Vaz in the Buell Management Building at Lawrence Technological University. The recipients for 2014 are:
• Staff Person of the Year: Gretchen Weiner, reference librarian and head of reference services.
• Faculty Member of the Year: Assistant Professor Selin Arslan of the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering.
• Administrator of the Year: Jane Rohrback, director of the Office of Admissions.
• Champion of Institutional Excellence and Pre-eminence: Professor David Bindschadler, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
The annual Marburger awards come with a $1,000 stipend from a fund started with donations on the occasion of Marburger’s retirement as LTU’s president in 1993. The president emeritus continues to fund the awards and also volunteer his time to the University on an almost daily basis. He attended the awards presentation with his son, Dennis, and his daughter, Kathryn Charles, both LTU graduates.
Weiner joined the staff of LTU’s library in 1999. Library Director Gary Cocozzoli said many faculty have praised her impact on their research and her presentations to students. She has also worked with faculty and staff to introduce new online products and services, including the new library system that has greatly enhanced the students’ research experience.
“Gretchen Weiner has been instrumental in promoting the library to students and faculty both in the classroom and in one-on-one encounters,” Vaz said. “She is tireless in helping students to discover the resources they need for their classes while teaching them the information literacy skills they will need to succeed in life.”
Since 2004, in her role as reference librarian she has worked closely with College of Management students, especially the doctoral students. “Gretchen has provided 10 outstanding DBA orientation programs for 10 DBA cohorts,” said Associate Professor Jackie Stavros. “In recent years, she has taken the time to develop Lib Guides for our students. And, many students specifically make appointments to visit with Gretchen for one-on-one research coaching.”
Anne Adamus of LTU’s Office of Marketing and Public Affairs describes Weiner as “extremely diligent, caring, and an engaged employee. She always goes the extra mile to help you and she does it with such kindness and concern! She is also very organized and hard-working.”
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Weiner earned two degrees and taught school for seven years in Canada before moving to the United States. She earned a master’s degree in library science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Rohrback came to Lawrence Tech in 1994 as an admissions counselor and served as assistant director before becoming the director. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in training and development from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
She is a past President of the Advocates for Latino Student Advancement in the Michigan Education Association (ALSAME).
She developed LTU’s territory management system for student recruitment. She developed the concept for the regional counselor positions as well as the recruitment strategy that is employed out of state. She has restructured the scholarship awards to make LTU more competitive with both in-state and out-of-state universities.
Rohrback has written two chapters in professional admissions journals that are widely used by admissions offices across the country. One chapter is entitled “A Professional Development Ladder to Success,” and the other chapter deals with developing rising stars in the admissions field.
“Jane is a quiet leader and has a lot of integrity and continues to produce at high levels for the University. She is a very dedicated employee and works tirelessly to increase our future student enrollment every year,” Vaz said.
A member of the Admissions staff noted, “She treats everyone like family. No matter what time of day, she’ll always make time for you.”
Arslan is a native of Turkey who earned her PhD from Columbia University in New York City. Since joining the LTU faculty in 2010 she has consistently received outstanding evaluations from her students. She is known for excellent lectures that are made more engaging by a bit of humor.
She advises doctoral and master’s students, conducts research, and serves as program director of the mechanical engineering master’s degree program. Recently she helped revitalize the LTU student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Arslan has also made a significant contribution to the Industry Sponsored Projects (ISP) initiative, having undertaken three projects. One of the projects was sponsored by Toyota for two semesters.
As a junior faculty member, Arslan already has a very impressive track record of publishing nine peer-refereed papers, two of which are journal papers. She has presented at the ASME IMECE 2012 Congress and Exposition and the SAE World Congress 2013.
One student said, “Dr. Arslan was amazing at making things easy to understand while still being very comprehensive. She was extremely knowledgeable in her field, and was always able to answer any question that I or the class had. … She is very friendly and approachable and makes class enjoyable with her teaching style.”
Bindschadler embodies LTU’s emphasis on theory and practice. After earning an undergradate degree at the Ohio State University and his master’s and PhD degrees in mathematics at Indiana University, he taught at Wayne State for nine years. Then he worked for 13 years at EDS (Electronic Data Systems) where he developed software for GM’s CAD/CAM graphics systems and what is now PLM Software.
He joined LTU in 1999 as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS). His experience and expertise were essential in the development of programs in robotics and embedded software engineering within LTU’s College of Engineering. He also played a role in the design of the game art curriculum in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design. The concentration in game software development in the undergraduate computer science program would not exist had it not been for his leadership and expertise.
He has been a supporter and promoter of Robofest and ARISE and has been instrumental in the success and growth of these and other robotics programs led by Professor CJ Chung.
In addition to his extensive mentoring of students in both math and computer science, his personal passion for student learning has led him to frequently take uniquely challenged students “under his wing.”
“Dr. Bindschadler’s vision, wisdom, insights, and leadership skills have been critical in moving the MCS department and the College of Arts and Sciences on the path towards preeminence,” Vaz said.