WORCESTER, Mass. – Sept. 22, 2008 – Charles "Chuck" A. Gammal III, a 2008 graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), was selected as the sole National Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Alton B. Zerby and Carl T. Koerner Outstanding Electrical or Computer Engineering Student of the Year in the United States for the 2007-2008 academic year. Gammal’s selection identifies him as the most outstanding electrical or computer engineering student in the nation. The award recognizes outstanding scholastic excellence and high moral character, coupled with demonstrated exemplary service to classmates, university, community, and country.
"I am honored to have received this award, and it makes me value more each day the education I received at WPI," said the 22-year-old Gammal of Westborough, who is pursuing an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management. "The intimate collaboration students have with faculty members in the classroom and during project research is a unique feature most undergraduates at other schools never have. I would not have won this award if it were not for the support of faculty and teaching assistants in WPI’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department."
Begun in 1965, the award has become a traditional means of providing recognition to deserving electrical and computer engineering students. As part of the honor, which was announced Sept. 8, Gammal, who double majored in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering, will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, a certificate, and a plaque. The award’s formal presentation will occur at the March 23, 2009 Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association/HKN Board meeting and awards banquet in New Orleans. The program is administered by the Los Angeles Area Alumni Chapter.
In his letter nominating Gammal for the award, Stephen J. Bitar, WPI’s professor of electrical and computer engineering and HKN faculty advisor, said, "I have come to admire Charles’s dedication to his studies, his commitment to community service, and his leadership ability. He has distinguished himself by earning an impeccable 4.0 GPA and receiving numerous campus awards for his academic achievement."
While an undergraduate student, Gammal served as president of WPI’s Student Government Association and received many academic honors and community service awards from the university. He is one of the founders of WPI’s Phi Kappa Theta chapter, which organized the university’s first American Cancer Society Relay for Life in 2007 and raised $55,000 for cancer research. Earlier this year, Gammal was named to the Second Team in USA Today’s 2008 All-USA College Academic Team program. Students awarded this recognition excel in scholarship and extend their intellectual abilities beyond the classroom to benefit society. His achievement was nationally noted on Feb. 14, when USA Today announced the winners in the newspaper. In 2007, he received national honors such as a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention and was named a Tau Beta Pi Scholar for high scholarship and campus leadership.
"Chuck Gammal is an outstanding student, and we are extremely proud of him," said Fred J. Looft, WPI’s professor and head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. "Clearly, the HKN award is continued recognition that the innovative WPI engineering programs are richly deserving of their national rankings and recognition."