Alumni, Faculty & Staff Being Honored by Alumni Association

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Alumni awards information display in Mussallem Union

The Alumni Association annual recognizes alumni, faculty, staff and students for their career achievements, community service, and support to past and current students. This year’s ceremony is March 30 in the Mussallem Union.

The Rose-Hulman Alumni Association’s Alumni Awards ceremony will recognize a dozen alumni March 30 for their career successes, while honoring faculty and staff members along with a current student for supporting past and current students. The event will be conducted in the Lake Room of the Mussallem Union, starting at 3 p.m.

The following awards will be presented: Honor Alumni Award, for exceptional achievement throughout an alumnus’ lifetime; Career Achievement Award, for distinctive career success; Distinguished Young Alumni Award, for significant success within the first 10 years after graduation; and Collegian Rose Award, for alumni Rose-Hulman employees who have helped elevate the institute’s mission.

Also, Honorary Alumni Awards are presented to one faculty and one staff member for their commitment to Rose-Hulman, and a current student receives the Rachel M. Romas Student Alumni Association Award for meritorious service to the organization.

This year’s award recipients are:

Honor Alumni Award

Chris A. Mack (1982) has founded several high-tech ventures, and has received the SEMI Award for his efforts in lithography simulation and education in North America. He also earned the Fritz Zernike Award from the professional Society for Optics and Photonics Technology (SPIE) for microlithography achievements. Mack co-founded Fractilia, where he works as the Austin, Texas, company’s chief technical officer, after starting and leading FINLE Technologies, a developing leader in lithography simulation software. He is a Fellow of SPIE and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Mack earned bachelor’s degrees in physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and chemical engineering from Rose-Hulman, and added master’s and doctorate degrees.

Benjamin Studevent (1991) is teaching physics and history at a private high school in Louisville, Ky., after being a research associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and a lecturer on Assyriology at Harvard University. He has published several scholarly works, most notably his monograph on 145 cuneiform tablets that survived the terrorists attacks in America on Sept. 11, 2001. While earning his doctorate in Sumerian and Akkadian studies at Harvard, Studevent developed a course on the history and legacy of the City of Babylon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in applied optics from Rose-Hulman and a master’s degree in Hebrew Bible studies at Vanderbilt University.

John N. Voyles Jr. (1976) was vice president of transmission and generation services at Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) Energy Services from 2008 until his retirement in 2017. He had 41 years of experience in the electric utility industry and was LG&E’s first corporate director of environmental excellence. He also was on the board of directors for the Ohio Valley Electric Company and Electric Energy Inc., and was chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute’s research advisory committee. Voyles earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rose Hulman and later added management and leadership development skills from Emory University, University of Louisville, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Career Achievement Award

Charles S. Elmore (1991) is well known among chemistry researchers for developing a simple method to synthesize C-14 labeled carbon monoxide from C-14 labeled carbon dioxide. This process has enabled wide scale use of the radioactive gas to prepare C-14 labeled compounds. Professionally, he is completing his 15th year with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in Sweden after working for Merck and Co. and authoring more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, primarily involving the use of radioactivity in the pharmaceutical industry. Elmore is the European representative for the International Isotope Society. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Rose-Hulman and added a doctorate in organic chemistry from University of Illinois.

James S. Freudenberg (1978) has been an electrical engineering and computer science professor at University of Michigan for 35 years. He teaches popular courses in feedback control design and embedded control systems, and has a variety of research interests in these areas. Freudenberg has accentuated his teaching by serving as a consultant with General Dynamics’ land systems division and having a longstanding relationship with the Ford Motor Company. He earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from Rose-Hulman before completing master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering at University of Illinois.

Richard C. Haut (1974) founded Haut Energy Solutions and Technologies, a limited liability company based in Texas that addresses the environmental and societal aspects of oil and gas developments. He recently was elected president of non-profit Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America and has been the managing director of the Environmentally Friendly Drilling program for more than a decade. Haut has been widely recognized for his environmental efforts, receiving the prestigious International Health, Safety and Environment Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Natural Gas Innovator of the Year Award. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman before advancing to earn a master’s degree from University of Tennessee and a doctorate from Old Dominion University.

James P. Young (1977) is a recognized industry expert in radio frequency integrated circuits design, with his work in this technology leading to the first handheld GPS product that incorporated the first single-chip receiver. He also was a pioneer in developing RF CMOS technology. This paved the way for several high-volume production radios and components, including five generations of commercial GPS radios. Young has 23 patents for his discoveries, has published more than 25 academic conference papers and teaches a RF CMOS design course for professionals in this career field. His bachelor’s degree from Rose-Hulman came in electrical engineering.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award 

Ranjana Chandramouli (2014) has spent her young career as a process engineer with Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. She currently specializes in computer systems and validation processes at insulin manufacturing plants after monitoring and maintaining process equipment for reliable supply of quality medicine. She also has been a leader in the company’s Women’s Engineering Network, was named a STEP Ahead Emerging Leader by the Manufacturing Institute and has been recognized for her involvement in several community service projects. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Amanda (Mandie) E. Gehring (2008) is a team leader with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Physics Neutron Science and Technology Group, analyzing historical data from full-size nuclear tests. She also is the principal investigator of x-ray diagnostics fielded on sub-critical experiments in support of the U.S. government’s Stockpile Stewardship Program. Gehring joined the laboratory as a staff scientist in 2015. Since that time, she has earned two defense program awards of excellence and a large team distinguished performance award. She earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and physics from Rose-Hulman before completing a doctorate degree in nuclear chemistry from Michigan State University.

Garrett Koetter (2013) is a regional site supplier technical assistance engineer with Ford Motor Company, managing the quality and development of the company’s largest frame supplier. He excels in problem solving, project planning, mentoring and leadership. Koetter also is chairman of the board for TGJE Inc., which leads economic and social development discussions for the community of Borden, Ind. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Chris M. Wlezien (2010) has spent his young career designing a variety of products, including toys for McDonald’s Happy Meals, drones, miniature medical devices and 150-ton Caterpillar machines. He currently is an associate product design engineering director with Chicago-based McKinsey & Company. In his free time, Wlezien tinkers in his shop and recently was a finalist in the XPRIZE Water Abundance Challenge. As a student, he helped establish a national championship legacy for Rose-Hulman’s human-powered vehicle team. His relationship with the engineering challenge continues as a volunteer chief judge for global competitions. Wlezien earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Collegian Rose Award 

Richard E. Stamper (1985) is completing his 21st year in a variety of faculty and administrative positions at his alma mater. Besides being an award-winning professor of mechanical engineering and engineering management he has been interim vice president for academic affairs, dean of faculty and director of Rose-Hulman Ventures. Stamper’s non-academic career included work with Proctor & Gamble Company and General Electric Company, and forming a small company to develop medical devices. He also has served as an expert witness in patent and product liability disputes and is a registered patent agent for the U.S. Patent Trademark Office. Stamper was featured in the Princeton Review’s “Best 300 Professors” book, and earned the Dean’s Outstanding Teacher and Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar awards. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, added a master’s degree from Purdue University and a doctorate from University of Maryland.

Honorary Alumni Award 

Rebecca B. DeVasher is completing her 15th year as a chemistry and biochemistry professor on campus. She leads an active research program in green chemistry, which seeks to develop new methods and technologies that reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals. DeVasher’s also has been a faculty mentor to visiting high school seniors in Rose-Hulman’s Operation Catapult program and faculty adviser for the institute’s Unity student organization. She earned bachelor and doctorate degrees in chemistry from University of Alabama.

Dale H. Long is completing his 31st year of service at Rose-Hulman, currently being executive editor of the institute’s alumni magazine and director of media relations. He also serves as the primary writer of student and alumni stories, along with campus news on college’s website. The Echoes alumni magazine earned the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Pride of CASE V Gold Award for best alumni magazine among institutions in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. On campus, Long organized overnight stops for the Sunrayce USA solar car race in 1995 and 1997, and serves as the coordinator of the annual Bicycle Assembly Day activity, where students assemble more than 400 bikes for local children. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of Toledo.

Rachel M. Romas Student Alumni Association Award 

Madeline R. Wagner, a senior biomedical engineering major, has been a member of Rose-Hulman’s Student Alumni Association for four years and is currently serving as the organization’s president. The Delta Delta Delta chapter member also is vice president of the Panhellenic Association for campus sororities. Wagner is currently completing a senior-year capstone design project involves designing an inversion detection device for a former Rose-Hulman student. She is hoping for a post-graduation career in quality engineering for a medical device or orthopedic company.