As we embrace change, welcome new faculty and staff members and say goodbye to beloved members of our College as they embark on new journeys in retirement, I am encouraged by the stories of the individuals who have been impacted by our College in the past and who continue to impact us every day.
Our alumni, our faculty and staff, and our current students set the example for what an institution of higher education can do for its state, its people and its country.
Take for instance the path forged by Michele Pauli Torres, an alumna who turned her military experience into a multimillion-dollar business that provides worldwide medical and facility architectural, engineering construction management and facility optimization services. Or Sandra Gentile who wasn’t deterred by all of the interview slots being full for a position at Texaco, instead researching the name of the person conducting the interviews and suggested they talk over lunch. Her demonstration of creativity and ambition landed her a career with the company.
And it doesn’t stop there, our researchers are continuing to write our legacy by seeking ways to reduce the use of fresh water by power plants to secure safe and affordable water for citizens in the U.S., preparing students to help meet the demand for cybersecurity roles across the nation, and are inventing new ways to extend the life of our infrastructure.
Our students are making their own mark by pushing boundaries and leading the College forward. The robotic drilling team took another first place finish in NASA’s Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge, the team’s second top finish in three years. Other students are receiving prestigious fellowships and accolades around every corner.
Our faculty, students and alumni of the Statler College are creating opportunities for people to thrive and excel. Tackling the most pressing problems facing West Virginia and the world is not an easy feat, but each success story becomes a source of endless inspiration.
As you turn the pages of this issue of Engineering West Virginia, I hope you find inspiration and pride in the achievements of our College. It is an exciting time to serve as dean of the College and the future looks to be even more exciting.
Interim Dean of the Statler College
Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and Astronomy