Published: Oct. 11, 2021 By

Jeff Glusman head shotA mechanical engineering PhD candidate has become the first graduate student to win the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s prestigious John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Education Award.

Jeff Glusman was working as a Graduate Part-time Instructor during the nomination process for the teaching award. He taught Thermodynamics 1 in fall 2019 and co-taught the course with Professor Hope Michelsen in fall 2020.

The John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Education Award recognizes faculty in the college who have shown a unique commitment to students, demonstrated through innovations in education. The honor comes with a $2,500 award.

“Receiving this award reaffirms the decision I made in 2017 to pursue my PhD with the sole intention of becoming teaching faculty at a university after graduating,” said Glusman. “It is especially meaningful because student nominations were used to compare exceptional professors from across CEAS.”

One of his advisors, Professor Peter Hamlington, said the award is a fantastic testament to Glusman’s teaching abilities. Glusman previously served as the lead TA in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“When I found out that Jeff won this award, I was so happy to see his commitment to education recognized and rewarded,” said Hamlington. “At the same time, I wasn’t surprised. Jeff takes teaching extremely seriously and is always thinking about new and innovative ways to connect with students and clearly communicate engineering concepts.”

Hamlington added that Glusman is an incredible person to work with, describing the PhD candidate as “open-minded, inquisitive and always eager to help others.” Glusman's other co-advisor is Professor John Daily, who expressed similar pride in Glusman receiving the award.

"Jeff came to us with an expressed interest in teaching at the university level, and he has accomplished this even before receiving his PhD," said Daily. "He has been a delight to work with. I am proud of his accomplishments, both in teaching and research. I am sure he will have a very successful university career following his graduation."

Glusman credited the Thermodynamics 1 teaching team, Michelsen and TAs Charley Thomas and Kieran Fung, with helping him earn the award. Glusman said he could not have won the honor without their collaboration to best serve students during the fully remote instructional period.

“At the end of the day, I am just filled with immense joy that I had some lasting impact on a handful of students,” said Glusman.

Previous John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Education Award winners from the ME faculty include Michael Walker ('17), Jeffrey Knutsen (’14), Derek Reamon (’13), Daria Kotys-Schwartz (’11) and Lawrence Carlson (‘04).

The John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Education Award was made possible by an endowment established by John and Mercedes Peebles. John Peebles is a 1985 recipient of the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award and former chair of the college's Engineering Development Council.

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