White, Kofinas, and Chung Honored at Commencement

Faculty and staff from the Fischell Department of Bioengineering were honored at the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering Commencement Ceremony on December 22, 2013 in the Reckard Armory on campus.

Director of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Tracy Chung received this year’s Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Outstanding Service Award for Staff.  Dr. Chung has worked for the Clark School since 2006, previously serving the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department before joining the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. The committee noted her outstanding service to the Clark School and to the greater University of Maryland community. Dr. Chung received enthusiastic support for this award from faculty, staff, and students she has supervised. She has efficiently served a rapidly growing bioengineering undergraduate program as well as an expanding graduate program. She has taken a leadership role in recruiting students and faculty at the Biomedical Engineering Society conference, routinely mentors her counterparts in other departments, and is always striving to improve the processes in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Chung earned her B.A. degree from Tufts University, M.A. degree from American University, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland. 

Assistant Professor Dr. Ian White was  the recipient of the E. Robert Kent Outstanding Teaching Award for Junior Faculty.  The committee recognized Dr. White’s innovations in education, his ratings and reviews in both undergraduate and graduate classes, as well as his work with local high schools introducing students to mathematics and engineering applications through the BIOE 100 Introductory Mathematics for Engineering course. He mentored teams of high school teachers over the summer months to prepare them to teach BIOE 100 in their local high schools. Dr. White has previously received the 2012 Fischell Department of Bioengineering Teaching Excellence Award. He is recognized by his students as a great mentor and for his ability to explain even the most complex topics in a clear and straightforward manner. He is currently developing biosensing tools for the study of disease at the molecular level. His goal is to integrate photonic technologies into lab-on-a-chip platforms for high-throughput, low-cost biomolecular analysis. 

Associate Dean and Professor Dr. Peter Kofinas was the recipient of this year’s Faculty Service Award.  Dr. Kofinas has served as a Keystone Professor in the Clark School and a member of the ENGAGED Faculty. He received his bachelors and masters degrees in chemical engineering, and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, all from MIT. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 1999 and also received the Clark School’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching award in the same year. A process developed in Dr. Kofinas' laboratory to create polymer-based magnetic nanocomposites was selected as the University of Maryland’s Physical Science Invention of the Year in 2002, and his polymer-based dialysis system won the Life Sciences Invention of the Year in 2008. His blood filtering technology was also licensed by Link Plus BioTech, Inc.  The committee selected Dr. Kofinas based upon his excellent mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students and his significant service on the Provost’s Academic Planning and Advisory Committee for the campus. 

Published January 6, 2014