Faculty and staff were awarded for their extraordinary service at MSOE during the 2024 Appreciation Dinner on May 2. The annual awards recognize those who exemplify the values and beliefs of the university’s founding family.

Dr. Kseniya Fuhrman, professor and vice chairperson of the Mathematics 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 Fuhrman as someone who takes the time to explain material well and is a very personable professor; cares so much about her students; makes sure every single student understands the concept and keeps lectures engaging to the point where students look forward to days when they have her class. They also said she is a very talented teacher and can make even the most complicated topics incredibly easy to understand; she sets students up for success and connects to them on a personal level; she is amazing all around. She comes to class with a smile on her face and eager to show students exactly why she loves what she does; she mastered the art of creating a classroom community in which her students not only feel comfortable to ask and answer questions, but to laugh alongside them and their fellow students; her class is always rupturing in laughter and joy.

Jerry Cleveland, custodian III in the Custodial Department, 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.

On their ballots, faculty and staff described Cleveland as positive, kind and caring; he never seems to have a bad day; he loves what he does, and it is infectious. They also said he has a positive and comforting presence which he always displays to staff, students and visitors; he is completely dedicated to his job as well as loyal. He is what everybody should strive to be: kind, comforting, hardworking and most importantly, a role model for a human being; he has to be the kindest and most dedicated human being I have ever met in what I am sure can feel like an invisible and thankless position. He aims to please and ensures he is providing quality service in his daily tasks, while taking the time to interact with his colleagues and students, and assisting everyone however he can; he can ALWAYS be counted on to assist his co-workers and management team; he is sincere as far as the eye can see.