April 11, 2013 | Article By Temple Ruff
The Tulane School of Science and Engineering was proud to hold its fifth annual Alumni Awards celebration on April 11th, in the Lavin-Bernick Center – 1834 Club on the university’s Uptown campus. Approximately one-hundred science and engineering alumni, guests, and faculty attended the event to honor the three distinguished science and engineering alumni, who were recognized for their immense and ongoing contributions to their fields of study, as well as the school.
Dr. Jeffrey Balsar (BS, Biomedical Engineering, ’84) received the Outstanding Alumnus award, recognizing his achievements in the medical and research arenas. Currently, Balser is Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, as well as Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs, which entails the management of all health-related programs at the university. In addition, he is nationally recognized as a leading expert and spokesperson on health system integration and finance, serving as chair of both the Association for Academic Health Centers (AAHC) Metrics Initiative and the AAMC Advisory Panel on Healthcare. Upon being recognized for his achievements, Balsar said that there is “no greater honor than to be honored by your school”, heralding SSE for creating an academic atmosphere of “warmth, collegiality, and caring about people.”
Richard Mayer (BS, Chemical Engineering, ’79) was awarded the Outstanding Service Alumnus honor, and was noted for his dedicated service to the school by Provost Michael Bernstein, Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs. Mayer is retired from his over thirty-year career in the Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol (EO/EG) business, during which he worked with both Union Carbide and The Dow Chemical Company. His breakthroughs have had significant impact on the improvement of EO/EG process technology, as he is co-inventor on one patent and several pending patent applications. Currently, he serves on SSE’s Board of Advisors and actively supports Houston’s Tulane Alumni organization. Mayer acknowledged the school for not only providing a first-class education, but also playing a vital role in reestablishing New Orleans’ legacy as an “entrepreneurship hub”.
Dr. Tamara Goldin (BS, Geology, ’03) received the Outstanding Young Alumna award for outstanding work in the fields of geoscience and planetary science. Following graduation from Tulane, she earned her PhD from the University of Arizona before pursuing opportunities overseas. Goldin spent a year in Bayreuth, Germany, as a visiting doctoral researcher at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut, and then completed postdoctoral research at the University of Vienna. Currently, she serves an associate editor of the prestigious Nature Geoscience, and lives in London, England.
Dean Nicholas Altiero noted that the Board of Advisors and alumni, such as those honored, are integral to the school’s success, providing both time and invaluable resources. It is a result of these efforts that SSE has found success in the “articulating and deploying of vision,” says Provost Bernstein, which are imperative to it being the “most innovative and distinctive school of its type.”
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