Alumni Honored With Awards
Nicole (Frisbee) Gailey was recently honored as one of seven Penn State Alumni Achievement Award recipients. The award recognizes alumni 35 years of age and younger for outstanding professional accomplishments.
Gailey, a 2010 Mechanical Engineering graduate, is the director of R&D and Innovation PMO Americas for Trivium Packaging, focusing on the next generation of metal packaging solutions. She and her team are charged with discovering, evaluating, and designing new technologies, materials, and graphics that may lead to new products, improvements to existing products, and product differentiation.
Gailey was the keynote speaker at the School of Engineering’s Richard J. Fasenmyer Engineering Design Conference in 2022. She also is actively involved in Behrend’s K-12 Youth Education Outreach efforts. A standout soccer player at Behrend, she was inducted into the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
Joseph Snyder was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in the fall of 2022. The lifelong title of Alumni Fellow is the highest award given by the Penn State Alumni Association.
Snyder graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Penn State Behrend in 1997. In 2002, he founded Process and Data Automation, growing it from a three-person operation to a premier control systems integration and data services company with nearly fifty employees—80 percent of whom are Behrend alumni. The company is now a member of the Krones Group, a $4 billion global beverage and liquid food packaging company headquartered in Germany.
In 2015, Snyder relocated Process and Data Automation to Knowledge Park at Penn State Behrend, enabling the company to offer internship opportunities to Behrend students who want global experience. He is a member of the School of Engineering’s advisory board and the Electrical Engineering Technology Industry Advancement Committee.
Mary (Good) Lawrence was recently chosen to receive the Behrend Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Established in 2021, the award recognizes an alumnus/alumna of Behrend who has made significant contributions to their chosen profession, their community, and Behrend, in turn enhancing the prestige of the college.
Lawrence, who started her career at NASA in 2002, is deputy manager of the International Space Station Vehicle Office at Johnson Space Center, overseeing engineering, logistics, and program management to ensure the safety of the space station’s seven astronauts as they live and work 200 miles above the Earth. She previously served as one of thirty NASA flight directors responsible for managing operations for all human spaceflight programs. In 2018, she received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for her role as lead flight director for the 54th expedition to the space station.
Lawrence earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Behrend in 2001. She and her husband, Andrew, live in League City, Texas, with their two children.
AMIC Home to New (to Behrend) Tradition
In 1996, the West Philadelphia Bronze Company cast a 2,097-pound replica of the Liberty Bell to mark the 100th anniversary of the American Foundry Society. The replica now hangs in the lobby of Penn State Behrend’s Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center, which houses labs and classrooms for the School of Engineering’s Industrial Engineering program.
“We’re proud of our ties to the region’s foundries and metal-casting industries,” said Dr. Paul Lynch, an associate professor of industrial engineering. “We appreciate everything the bell represents, both as a symbol of America and as a reminder of the importance of industry throughout our nation’s history.”
For years, the replica bell was on display at the Leonhard Building at University Park. It moved to Behrend when its original home was renovated. At University Park, graduates of the Industrial Engineering program—including Lynch—rang the bell when they completed their degrees. That tradition will continue at Behrend, he said.
Pavers on Sale
If you’ve ever wanted to leave a legacy at Penn State Behrend, now is the time! Paver stones at the Mary Behrend Monument are anniversary-priced at $75. Find a link to purchase at behrend.psu. edu/monument.
75th Anniversary Info
Keep up with all the activities and events planned to celebrate our big anniversary year at behrend.psu.edu/75.
Faculty & Staff News
The School of Engineering welcomed four faculty members: Dr. Ahmed Elnakib, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; Dr. Zhengran He, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering technology; Dr. Issah Ibrahim, assistant teaching professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Jie Zhao, assistant professor of computer science and software engineering.
Brad Johnson, lecturer in plastics engineering technology, was recognized as a 2023 Honored Service Member by the Society of Plastics Engineers. Dr. Chetan Nikhare, professor of mechanical engineering, was conferred as an American Society of Mechanical Engineering Fellow. Dr. Ihab Ragai, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, was elected a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Scientific Association for Material Forming and also the 2023-2024 president-elect of the North American Manufacturing Research Institution.
Dr. Omar Ashour, associate professor of industrial engineering, and his collaborators at Penn State and Carnegie Mellon, were awarded $850,000 by the National Science Foundation for their proposal, Adaptable Game-based, Interactive Learning Environments for STEM Education. Dr. Chen Cao, assistant professor of computer science and software engineering, was awarded $151,000 by the National Science Foundation for his proposal, Understanding and Enhancing Unsafe Rust Code in Resource-constrained Systems.
Faculty & Staff Awards
For 2022-23 The following were recognized with School of Engineering Awards: Dr. Abdallah Abdallah, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, Excellence in Teaching; Dr. Chetan Nikhare, professor of mechanical engineering, Excellence in Research; Dr. Charlotte Marr de Vries, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Excellence in Service; Dr. David Beevers, assistant teaching professor of mechanical engineering, Excellence in Advising; Melanie Ford, associate teaching professor of computer science and software engineering, Excellence in Outreach; and Kelly Kemmet, administrative support assistant, Staff Excellence.
Rhoades Named Vice Chancellor
Dr. Alicyn Rhoades, professor of plastics engineering technology and polymer engineering and science, was appointed vice chancellor and associate dean for research and graduate studies on July 1.
The School of Engineering lost a legend when Jon Meckley, associate professor emeritus of engineering in plastics engineering technology, died at his home on April 1. He was 63.
Meckley had a long history with Behrend, first as a student and then as a faculty member, before retiring in 2022. He earned both an associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and bachelor’s degrees in MET and Plastics Engineering Technology from Behrend, before earning a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.
For more than two decades, Meckley organized and led international trips for PLET majors to many countries. He was hardworking but also fun-loving. As much as he enjoyed a good practical joke, he was serious about student success, leaving an indelible mark on scores of PLET students he helped guide to success.
Erie Hall Now Open
Penn State Behrend’s new Erie Hall, the culmination of more than a decade of planning and preparation and eighteen months of construction, opened this spring. The $28.2 million project was funded in part by Behrend students, who contributed nearly 40 percent of the project cost, with funds from the Student Initiated Fee.
The 52,700-square-foot building features a three-court gymnasium, fitness and aerobics rooms, locker rooms, training facilities, and coaches’ offices for the college’s NCAA Division III baseball, softball, tennis, cross country, track and field, and wrestling teams. Erie Hall also is the new home of the college’s Personal Counseling offices, bringing mental and physical health and wellness programs together under one roof.