WSU Ventures honors innovation university contributors

December 9, 2016

Wichita State University faculty, staff, students, partners and supports gathered for a joyous celebration of innovation in the Rhatigan Student Center last week for the second annual WSU Ventures Innovation Awards. 

 The event, which filled the Harvest Room with more than 120 attendees, was held to recognize the outstanding performance and achievement of individuals and projects that have advanced the university’s vision, mission and goals. It was emceed by Mark Torline, director of WSU Ventures and the Center for Entrepreneurship.

“It is apparent that Wichita State University is well on its way to fulfilling our vision of becoming an Innovation University,” said Torline. “We see evidence every day around the campus – evidence that extends well beyond all of the construction activity underway – that WSU faculty, staff and students are truly embracing the culture of innovation.”

The list of awardees is as follows. For photos and additional information about each award, download the awardees list.

  • Innovation Partner Award: Airbus – John O’Leary, vice president, Airbus Americas Engineering
  • Trailblazer: Madeline McCullough, senior lecturer of integrated marketing communication, Elliott School of Communication
  • First Dollar Award: Shocker Composites
  • Visionary Award: John Lovitt, Sam Bloomberg Visiting Engineer; Tony Vizzini, provost/senior vice president; Jeremy Patterson, Director, Institute of Interdisciplinary Creativity/Human Performance Laboratory
  • SBIR Award: Gary Stecklein, Gary Stecklein Engineering and Business Consulting
  • Shocker Innovation Corps Breakout Award: Johnna Crawford, graduate student
  • Shocker Innovation Corps Mentor Award: Douglas English, associate professor, chemistry, WSU; Nils Hakansson, assistant professor, biomedical engineering
  • Patent Award: Bill Groutas, WSU Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Gerardo Olivares, senior research scientist/director, Crash Dynamics Lab, National Institute for Aviation Research
  • Creative Works Award: Karen Countryman-Roswurm, assistant professor, School of Social Work; director, Center for Combatting Human Trafficking
  •  Ambassador Award: Ed Baker, associate professor/technical director, School of Performing Arts, WSU; Stacia Boden, associate general counsel, WSU; Alan Badgley, associate director, WSU Small Business Development Center
  • Catalyst Award: Engineering 101: WSU engineering educators Samantha Corcoran, Christopher Wyant, Tom McGuire
  • Pioneer Award: Gary Brooking, engineering educator
  • Newsmaker: Lawn Buddy LLC
  • Bright Future  Awards
    • Education: Adam Davies, graduate student
    • Business: Jocelyn Galicia, junior
    • Health Professions: WSU Graduate students Stephanie Bowman, Courtney Clark, Lauren Berry, Maggie Porter, Nealey Hoffman
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Rick Rangel, senior
    • Graduate: Arfath Mohammad, graduate student
    • Fine Arts: Hannah Hund, senior, engineering
    • Engineering: Ali Behfarnia, graduate student
    • Honors: Bridget Carroll, senior, fine arts
  • President’s Innovation Award: Michael Birzer, director, WSU School of Community Affairs

Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication, research and technology transfer, or 316-978-5597.