Weekly Memo

Sept. 8, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    At our annual reception at Oak Hill Country Club last week we had an opportunity to recognize two outstanding members of the Hajim School family.

     Rick Waugh, recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, has chaired the Department of Biomedical Engineering since its creation in 2000, overseeing its growth to a projected 450 undergraduate and graduate students this fall. His research lab is one of the leading facilities for investigating red blood cell mechanical properties and the stability of biological membranes. Rick is also a great resource for our students, supervising senior design teams, mentoring undergraduates in our Xerox research engineering fellows program, and advising 20 to 25 of the department's undergraduates each year. In other words, Rick does a lot of things incredibly well for our school and our university. Above all, Rick understands the importance of letting the talented people around him do what they do best, without a lot of micromanaging!

     Per Adamson, recipient of our Outstanding Staff Award, is director of the teaching labs at The Institute of Optics. They consist of 17 laboratory rooms and a fully equipped darkroom on Wilmot’s fifth floor. Just keeping them running would be a big job. But Per is no mere custodian. When the Institute hosted its first Photon Camp for high school students, Per worked with others to develop more than 15 separate lab activities to introduce the students to academic and career opportunities in Optics. Whenever a prospective student shows up, Per gladly provides a one-on-one tour. Time and again, Per has gone the extra mile to make the Institute, the Hajim School and our University ever better!

    You can read more about their contributions online.

     It was gratifying to hear President Joel Seligman's words of appreciation and support for all we've accomplished at the Hajim School. That's a tribute to all of our students, staff, faculty, friends and alumni. Congratulations to all of you!

     Congratulations as well to:

      Robert Boyd, Professor of Optics and of Physics, who is recipient of the 2014 IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award “for contributions to nonlinear optics, including room temperature slow light and the nonlinear optics of composite materials.” Robert will receive the award at the IEEE Photonics Conference in San Diego next month.

      Julie Bentley, Associate Professor of Optics, who has been elected a director of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for a three-year term.

     A team of Biomedical Engineering students for taking second place at the BMES Coulter College training program, which focuses on translation of biomedical innovations. Nineteen student design teams, guided by faculty and clinical experts, participated in this year’s program, including over 200 students, faculty, and clinical collaborators. BME team members Namita Sarraf, Ling Yang, Rachel Niu, Stephanie Rigot, Nuley Seo, and Benjamin Dengler, led by Professor Scott Seidman, developed a concept for a device to monitor a condition called autonomic dysreflexia, which is a potentially fatal syndrome that is common in people with spinal cord injuries. This is the second year in a row that one of our Biomedical Engineering teams has placed well at Coulter.

     Here’s an opportunity for our faculty to learn about applying research-based, best-practice teaching strategies in the classroom by taking part in a webinar and discussion with Susan Ambrose, co-author of How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. Participants will view a pre-recorded webinar by Ambrose discussing the key ideas in her book, then join colleagues from the College in a discussion with Ambrose about how to apply them.
You can choose from two different discussion times: at 2:30 p.m. this Wednesday or at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 17, both in Schlegel 309. RSVP to jennifer.hadingham@rochester.edu.

     As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean