1998 Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teaching Recipient

Professor Leonard D. Albano

Professor Leonard D. Albano has devoted himself to the goal of educating the students of WPI in the subject of structural engineering, an area of fundamental importance to the field of civil engineering. Professor Albano encourages students to learn in all aspects of their college years, which carries over into their professional lives. Alumni members of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) recall how his advice given as the Chapter Advisor has been extremely valuable in the corporate world.

The phrase "the best teacher I have had" personifies Professor Albano's ability in the classroom. Students and colleagues alike have remarked upon his impressive knowledge and depth of understanding of the material he presents. He challenges students to extend their capabilities and goes out of his way to give extra help to all who need it. Rather than forming a student-teacher relationship, he attempts a friend-friend relationship by treating his students as equals and students remark that they can always find his door open. It appears that he takes personal responsibility for the successes and failures of students. If a student does not understand a concept, Professor Albano makes it a point to find an alternative way to present the material, which might make it easier for the student to understand.

A current student and advisee remembers how much extra effort Professor Albano puts into his teaching. "On a day that a large project was due, many students throughout the day were asking questions. He was happy to field questions all day and then he took a quick outing for supper. When he came back, he taught a three-hour grad class until nine at night. At this time, my group was hard at work on a project in the civil lounge. He came in at 9:30 PM and talked to us and helped answer many questions until 10:00 PM. This was fourteen hours after he started his day at WPI."

Professor Albano's superb teaching skills are recognized by the entire Civil Engineering Department. A faculty nominator wrote, "Albano is fully prepared. He knows what he is talking about. Most importantly, he has the full attention of the class. He keeps their interest. He is adept at keying in on difficulties students are having. He has an insight into having them rise to the topic, pique their imagination, and respond. The difficult, but very important courses he teaches exceptionally well. Students retain what he teaches them." Other colleagues say, "he is a model teacher, a team player who will give up ego to reach a team goal."

Professor Albano's commitment to WPI students extends well beyond the bounds of the classroom. His contributions to ASCE have increased its activities as an organization and are well recognized by students and alumni alike. His advising talents, however, are not limited to student organizations, but also extend to the extremely large number of projects he advises. Students "flock to him for an advisor" and as one colleague puts it, "he is really in his element with projects." Such accolades have won him the Advisor of the Year award from Tau Beta Pi.

A student gratefully remembers how Professor Albano helped her to schedule an MQP during a term that she was away on co-op and how he went out of his way to ensure that she was recognized by the Chi Epsilon Honor Society. It is well known that Professor Albano takes an active interest in his students' careers and one student puts it, "I have never met a professor who cares more about the students".

For his tireless dedication to the lives and learning of his students and to the Civil Engineering Department, for his excellence in teaching and advising, for his concern for his students' success, we proudly present the 1998 Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teaching to Professor Leonard D. Albano.

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Last modified: November 26, 2007 16:05:19