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New Rossin Fellows a diverse lot

Their ranks include a football linebacker, a rugby player, a member of the crew team, and a three-point specialist on the women’s basketball squad.

Several pianists, a violinist, a swing dancer, two actors and a trapeze artist have been admitted into the society. Two other members have started their own companies, one is an aspiring writer, and one teaches karate in his free time.

About the only thing the university’s 43 new Rossin Junior Fellows share in common is that they are undergraduate students majoring in engineering.

The fellows, who were honored recently at a reception in the lobby of Packard Laboratory, will serve as mentors to next year’s freshman engineering class and as ambassadors to high school students who are considering enrolling in Lehigh’s engineering program.

In so doing, says S. David Wu, engineering dean, the students will exemplify the spirit of the late Peter C. Rossin, a member of Lehigh’s Class of 1948, who gave a $25 million gift to the engineering college in 1998.

“The Rossin Junior Fellow Program was inspired by Peter Rossin, his remarkable career, and his generosity and loyalty to Lehigh,” says Wu.

“As junior fellows, you will use yourselves as examples of the endless possibilities offered by an engineering education,” Wu told the students at the reception, most of whom are completing their sophomore and junior years.

“You will show prospective students and new engineering students that it is possible to follow a tough engineering curriculum while minoring in business, taking part in a theatre production, playing in the orchestra or building a Formula SAE race car.

“You will show them that it is possible to major in materials science and engineering and do a minor in entrepreneurship, to take part in a research project and also enter an MAV [micro-aerial vehicle] competition in Korea.”

The new fellows, Wu says, will give campus tours to prospective students, take new students on field trips, and organize other educational activities.

The largest gift ever made to Lehigh

The event was attended by Ada Rossin, Peter Rossin’s widow, and the couple’s daughter, Joan Rossin Stephans, as well as Gregory Farrington, Lehigh president, and Mohamed S. El-Aasser, university provost and former engineering dean.

Peter Rossin earned a B.S. in metallurgical engineering (now materials science and engineering) from Lehigh in 1948. After completing a master’s degree in engineering from Yale, he held management positions at several metals companies before he started his own company, Dynamet Inc., in 1967. The company, which found new uses for titanium-alloy products in the aerospace, chemical, medical, and petroleum industries, grew to 425 employees at five sites before it was sold to Carpenter Technology Corp. in 1997.

In 1998, Rossin established a $25-million endowment for Lehigh’s engineering college, which was renamed the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. The gift was the largest ever made to Lehigh.

“The person you are named for is the best role model you could think of,” El-Aasser told the new fellows.

“Pete Rossin was genuinely interested in Lehigh University and in making sure our students get the best education possible, not only to succeed in engineering but also to become true citizens of the U.S. and of the world.

“He shared with everyone he met his passion for Lehigh. His generosity has allowed us to accelerate the growth of many of our new interdisciplinary programs and to recruit many outstanding new faculty at the senior and junior level.”

Mrs. Rossin and her daughter both received special editions of the first-ever Rossin Junior Fellow recognition pin.

The new fellows, who also received pins, were introduced by their department chairs and program directors, who briefly described each student’s curricular and extracurricular accomplishments.

The new fellows, listed by department or academic program, are:

Bioengineering: E. David Bell ’06, David Bozym ’08, Cassandra Mifkovich ’08, Vince Sica ’06 and Rachel Stewart ’08.

Chemical engineering: Justin Irick ’07, James Landon ’06, Alisa Vasilenko ’06, Luna Xu ’07* and Kimberly Zubris ’07.

Civil and environmental engineering: Anthony Battistini ’07, Gemma Kite ’07, Nicholas Paumier ’07, Tanya Wulf ’07 and Jason Zimpfer ’07.

Computer science and engineering: Kristen Gardner ’06, Brendan Melville ’07, Timothy Morea ’07, Douglas Paul ’07 and Andrew Plummer ’07.

Electrical and computer engineering: Peter Amendola ‘06, Matthew Chabalko ’06 and Kirstin Rhoads ’07.

Industrial and systems engineering: Lauren Chrencik ’07, Ian Douglass ’07, Sara Ellis ’07, Drew Garrabrant ’07, Emily Jarina ’06 and Ipek Ozkanoglu ’07.

Integrated business and engineering: Diana Chaleff ’06, Pelin Seyhan ’07, Luna Xu ’07*, Matthew Lenza ’06 and Eric Pukszyn ’06.

Materials science and engineering: Regina Du ’07, Brian Gerard ’07, Elaine Murray ’06, James Neilson ’06 and Shane Tanaka ’07.

Mechanical engineering and mechanics: Jessica Browne ’06, Thomas Gilronan ’06, Brian Kaplun ’06, Adam Mack ’06 and Jonathan Marmillo ’07.

* double major

--Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005

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