Professor Gregory Rodin was named the recipient of the 2016 Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (ASE/EM) LUNAR Council Teaching Award. Along with the award, students also presented a $500 check to Rodin during the department’s Fall Festival event at the Anna Hiss Gym Courtyard on Friday, Oct. 14.
Members of LUNAR (Leadership, Undergraduate Networking and Recruitment) Council give the award to an ASE/EM faculty member annually in order to recognize the impact they have made on the students’ educational experience through superior teaching. The council is an ASE/EM student leadership organization that serves to represent all department student groups and organizations.
The LUNAR Council selects the professor based on the content of student responses and numerical ratings. Undergraduate students can provide feedback to LUNAR, thus actively participating in the growth and decision-making process within the department.
Before presenting the award to Rodin, who was unaware of the nomination, LUNAR Council representatives read some of the student nominations to attendees at this year's ASE/EM Fall Festival.
After his name was called out as winner of the award, surprised, a smiling Rodin approached the students and shook each one of their hands. He was grateful, he said with an unfaltering smile, to receive such an award.
Directing himself toward the crowd, he said, “Draw free body diagrams!”
Rodin said it was nice to receive such a recognition for something he has “been passionate about for thirty plus years.” Last semester, Rodin started teaching a statics class right before spring break after the course was in need of a professor.
“I did not think much about it – it was simply the right thing to do,” he said. “I am grateful to the students who went along for a ride and did extremely well as a class, and I am particularly grateful to those who nominated me.”
The undergraduate aerospace engineering students, who submitted their responses anonymously, highlighted Rodin’s dedication and the impact he left on their educational experience through his form of teaching. One respondent said Rodin was the first “tough” professor they had.
“[Statics] was challenging but he always engaged us in the learning process in lecture while keeping things lighthearted and funny,” the aerospace student said.
Many also recognized Dr. Rodin as “amazing” and “impressive” for taking on the challenge of teaching the statics class halfway the semester.
“He has done an amazing job. I have learned so much!” a respondent said.
“Being taught statics by Dr. Rodin in such a rigorous fashion prepared me for the rest of my degree,” another student said. “He provided me with the proper way to think through engineering problems.”