Kevin Shmaltz, 2001 Recipient
Engineering professor Kevin Schmaltz received Lake Superior State University's Distinguished Teaching Award during annual commencement ceremonies on May 5 at Taffy Abel Arena.
Schmaltz, a native of New Jersey who began teaching at LSSU in 1997, was selected by a committee of former recipients of the award and 12 graduating seniors with the highest grade point averages in their class. Recipients of the award are nominated by LSSU students and employees.
"He is not only an excellent teacher, he is known for his dedication and service to students," said Don McCrimmon, LSSU executive vice president and provost. "He has mastered the ability to explain often complex material and complicated concepts. He is widely respected. Those who nominated him included traditional students, older students, student athletes and his colleagues."
Schmaltz's students noted that he strives to be well prepared for class and works to improve his teaching skills. They applauded him for his availability to his students and co-workers.
His fellow faculty members noted that Schmaltz loves new ideas and responds to challenges of leadership with a team-oriented approach.
The four-year professor has made a distinct impression since arriving at LSSU from Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering. He quickly became chair of the department of mechanical engineering and has served as coordinator of the department's Introduction to Engineering and Senior Projects courses. He has worked to continually improve the mechanical engineering curriculum and the assessment process for engineering.
In accepting the award, Schmaltz thanked his colleagues and especially his wife Pam, an adjunct faculty member in the LSSU College of Engineering and Mathematics and faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers student group.
"I'm really only the second-best teacher in my family," he said.
This isn't the first time Schmaltz has been singled out for his excellence in teaching. In April 2000, he received the Michigan Association of Governing Boards award for teaching at a ceremony in Lansing.
Besides his CMU doctorate, Schmaltz holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and a master's degree, also in mechanical engineering, from Tulane University. Prior to coming to LSSU, Schmaltz worked for eight years at Shell Offshore Inc., New Orleans, as a production engineer, surveillance engineer and senior facilities engineer, and for FMC Corp. and Leeds and Northrup Consulting, both in Pittsburgh.
Also during Saturday's commencement ceremonies, in which more than 700 students received degrees, Richard Barch of Ann Arbor was presented with an honorary doctorate, Sault native Tracy Haller West was honored with the Paul Ripley Young Alumna Award, and student Maja Pusara of Sarajevo, Bosnia addressed her graduating class.