Industrial engineers celebrate department successes at annual banquet

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Alumni, faculty, staff, students and their families gathered on Friday, April 6, to celebrate the achievements of the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial Engineering (IME) at its annual banquet. 

Held at the Atherton Hotel, a number of awards were presented at the event that was co-hosted by the Penn State chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).

The first award of the night was the Wilbur L. and Judy Meier Award in IME. Samantha Cugini, co-corporate chair of the IISE, was named the recipient for her outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship that have positively influenced students, and have contributed to the prestige of the College of Engineering and the University. 

Tanner Weaver, president of the IISE, was given the Philip Seville Outstanding Community Service Award in recognition of his outstanding commitment and contributions to community service programs.

Schreyer Honors College member Emily Leight was named the recipient of the Jackie Livella/IISE Award for Service to IME for her leadership, dedication, commitment and personal contributions to the department. 

The final undergraduate student award of the night went to Kristen Meihofer, also a member of the Schreyer Honors College, who was named the 2018 Alpha Pi Mu Outstanding Senior. Voted on by the IME faculty, this award recognizes a graduating senior within the top 10 percent of the class who has most closely exemplified the characteristics of scholastic achievement, integrity, leadership and character. 

Ning Liu, a doctoral student in the Marcus department, was presented with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for showing extraordinary dedication and passion to teaching and his students. 

Charles Purdum, assistant teaching professor, walked away with his first Outstanding Faculty Award at Penn State for his extraordinary dedication and passion to his students and teaching.

The Outstanding Staff/Technician Award went to Pamela Wertz, the Marcus department’s communications strategist. The award recognizes a staff member who has provided exceptional service on behalf of the department and exhibits professionalism, initiative, leadership, self-improvement and volunteerism. 

The final award of the night was the Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award, which is presented annually by the Penn State Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Society (PSIMES). This year’s recipient was Rodolfo C. Portillo Bollat, who works for Amazon overseeing customer service for the Americas. Based out of Seattle, Portillo Bollat also leads expansion efforts for the company in Canada, Mexico and Brazil. He graduated with his master’s degree in industrial engineering from Penn State in 2008, and dual doctoral degrees in industrial engineering and operations research in 2009. PSIMES President Terri Green presented the award to Portillo Bollat, who was joined at the ceremony by his wife and three children.

Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Chair and Department Head Janis Terpenny provided opening remarks at the ceremony while Susan Purdum, a 1980 graduate of the industrial engineering program at Penn State who is now a senior instructor of supply chain and information systems in the Smeal College of Business, served as the keynote speaker. 

A photo album with images from the event can be found on Flickr.

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Last Updated April 10, 2018