Faculty and staff were awarded for their outstanding service at MSOE. The awards recipients were announced by Dr. Eric Baumgartner, executive vice president of academics, at the virtual Academic Town Hall on Oct. 2, 2020. The annual awards recognize those who exemplify the values and beliefs of the university’s founding family.

Dr. Anne Alexander, associate professor in the Physics and Chemistry Department, received the Oscar Werwath Distinguished Teacher Award. The award was established by the university in 1967 to recognize excellence in teaching. All nominees for this award must have a minimum of seven years of full-time service to MSOE. Students choose the award winner through two rounds of voting. On their ballots, students described Alexander as someone who shows excitement in class for whatever she is teaching and inspires students with her enthusiasm; cares for students by making time for whoever is struggling to help them understand the topics; and is a ray of sunshine and knowledge.   

DeAnna Leitzke, director of the CREATE Institute, received the Johanna Seelhorst Werwath Distinguished Staff Award. This award is given annually to the employee who is considered to possess those attributes of excellence of character, outstanding ability, a high order of integrity, loyalty and dedication to duty and a sincere willingness to cooperate with others in maintaining the highest standards of staff performance and service to students, Regents, faculty, other staff members, and the public. All nominees must have seven or more years of full-time service as a staff member. Officers of the university are not eligible for this award nor are previous award winners. The award recipient is voted on by MSOE faculty and staff. Leitzke was described as kind, approachable, knowledgeable, and has a zest for learning and life. They also said Leitzke has gone above and beyond to support employees outside of her department and provides an inclusive atmosphere to learn, grow and share thoughts. Plus, she does it all with a smile!

Dr. Faisal Shaikh, professor and biomolecular engineering program director in the Physics and Chemistry Department, received the Karl O. Werwath Research Award. Karl O. Werwath was an innovator in engineering education and the application of technology, and believed that teaching effectiveness was enhanced through applied research and consulting. He felt that MSOE should make an effort to contribute to the advancement of technical knowledge for the benefit of business and industry for the good of the community and the nation. This award was initiated to recognize the vision of Karl O. Werwath and the contribution of MSOE faculty and staff who have fostered the advancement of applied scientific knowledge. The award recipient is chosen based on criteria including his or her contribution to engineering, scientific research, consulting, the engineering profession and scholarship, promoting research at MSOE, patentable concepts and publications. Shaikh was nominated for this award by MSOE faculty and staff members, alumni, Regents and Corporation members. Those who nominated Shaikh said he is deserving of the award because he provides a link between industrial and real-world projects and academic projects. He also scientifically supports industry to solve the issues that he experiences in his production processes.