WPI Honors Outstanding Faculty and Staff

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) recognized seven distinguished members of its academic community during the university’s annual Faculty Honors Convocation. The awards honored five WPI professors, a staff member, and a graduate student for outstanding research, teaching, and contributions to the WPI community.

William A. Baller, adjunct assistant professor in Department of Humanities and Arts and director of WPI’s Exploradreams program, received the Denise Nicoletti Trustees' Award for Service to the Community. The award is in recognition of passion and action in serving the needs of a community above and beyond the candidate’s regular job description. The award was created in memory of Denise Nicoletti, a faculty member in electrical and computer engineering from 1991 to 2002, whose passion for life and humanity touched many lives. The award is intended to keep her spirit alive in the WPI community. Baller has worked at WPI for 15 years and is a resident of Worcester, Mass.

Kathryn Fisler, assistant professor of computer science from Providence, R.I., received the Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award. This award recognizes innovation in undergraduate teaching in memory of the late Romeo L. Moruzzi, who came to teach at WPI in 1954 and, among other accomplishments, helped to establish the WPI Plan. Under the Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.

Nikolaos A. Gatsonis, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Aerospace Engineering Program, received the Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. This award is in recognition of his significant contributions and research in several aerospace areas including computational gas and plasma dynamics, spacecraft electric propulsion, and spacecraft/environment interactions. He resides in Newton, Mass.

Judith E. Miller received the Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is a WPI professor of biology and biotechnology, director of WPI’s Center for Educational Development, Technology and Assessment, and a resident of Acton, Mass. This award is in recognition of Miller’s innovative methods of educating and also for being a caring and dedicated advisor and colleague.

George D. Pins, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Ann Garvin, recently retired director of academic advising, received the Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Academic Advising. This award is in recognition of the important role that academic advisors play in guiding and mentoring students through stages of professional and personal development. Pins resides in Holden, Mass. Garvin resides in Oakham, Mass.

Tenzin Jampe Lama, a graduate student in electrical engineering, received the Teaching Assistant of the Year Award. Lama resides in Worcester, Mass.