The McNeese State University College of Engineering and Engineering Technology Industrial Advisory Board has named the Faculty Excellence Award that it sponsors each year for a McNeese professor in honor of Dr. O. Carroll Karkalits, who served 34 years as the college’s first dean from 1972-2006.
Now, the O.C. Karkalits Faculty Excellence Award recipients will have their names and copper-based images permanently displayed on a mahogany wood display with raised panels on the wall outside the Dr. O. Carroll Karkalits Conference Room in Drew Hall. An unveiling ceremony recently took place with Karkalits and his wife, Barbara, McNeese administrators and faculty members, and IAB board members, who include several McNeese engineering graduates.
Karkalits, who turns 95 on May 31, told the group that “this is an honor.”
IAB presents this award to a full-time engineering or engineering technology faculty member from the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship or service, positively impacted students, colleagues and the McNeese community, and contributed to the goals and mission of the college. The award includes a $2,000 stipend and is presented during the annual Engineers Week banquet each February.
“A few years ago, the IAB decided to establish a faculty excellence award for McNeese professors,” said Robert Chandler, IAB chairman. “And since Dean Karkalits is the person who initiated the IAB in the early 1980s, it seemed only appropriate to change the name of this award to the O.C. Karkalits Faculty Excellence Award.”
Chandler said Dean Karkalits was well-known as an active recruiter for the McNeese College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. “I can remember that day he came to Sam Houston High School in 1979 to talk to our physics class about the college. The next time I saw him, I was a student enrolled in his college. I am sure there are many students over the years that could say the same thing.”
The board is currently comprised of representatives from 13 local industries that meet on the McNeese campus twice a year to provide support and assistance to the college from the business and industrial community. Current member companies include: Citgo, ConocoPhillips, Global Industries, Firestone Polymers, Lechtenberg Consulting, Polaris Engineering, PPG, ReCon Engineering Management, Sasol North America, Shell Global Industries, Trunkline LNG, Westlake Chemical Corp. and W.R. Grace.
“The primary goal of the IAB is to provide the departments in the college with an independent, critical assessment feedback on the curricula and facilities while promoting the needs, trends and challenges of industry,” according to Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, current dean of the college. “The IAB is vital to our program’s future.”