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NMSU Alumni Group Recognizes Civil Engineering Faculty Contributions for Teaching, Research and Service

  • By COE Media
  • Feb 24, 2022

Three faculty members of the Department of Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University received awards recognizing their contributions to the teaching, research, or service missions of the department. The awards were presented by the Academy of Civil, Agricultural and Geological Engineering (ACAGE) at NMSU, a select body of members who support the department.

The awards were presented at the Annual ACAGE Banquet held during the 2021 Homecoming week. Each of the three faculty awards included a plaque and $1,000.

Paola Bandini, Wells-Hatch professor, received the award for excellence in teaching. She was nominated by students who wrote in the nomination, “I have never seen a professor so enthusiastic for student success as Dr. Bandini. Dr. Bandini constantly is putting her students’ needs before her needs. She is an excellent teacher and role model for anyone in the field of engineering.”

Ehsan Dehghan Niri, assistant professor, received the award for excellence in research. Since joining the NMSU faculty four years ago, Dehghan Niri has been awarded $4,76M as principal investigator and $1,6M as co-principal investigator of research grants and contracts and has published nine peer-reviewed journal articles. He also received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

Salim Bawazir, associate professor, received the award for excellence in service. The award committee received multiple nominations in support of Bawazir from former students and colleagues. The award criteria focus was on service to student organizations and the professional and NMSU communities. Bawazir was nominated by students. “What I have always admired of Dr. Bawazir is how he encourages his students and others to be part of the professional community for them to gain experience.”

“ACAGE had traditionally awarded scholarships to outstanding students. This is the first year that ACAGE presents faculty awards,” said Civil Engineering Department Head David Jauregui, “With this initiative, ACAGE continues to show its support for the Department of Civil Engineering. ACAGE members are mostly alumni, who want to reward excellence among faculty in New Mexico State University’s Department of Civil Engineering.” Jauregui said, “I sincerely thank the ACAGE Award Committee members for their time and effort in selecting the faculty awardees.”

“I think we can speak for our fellow ACAGE members, when we say that we are extremely grateful for our time at NMSU and the opportunities and preparation that the civil engineering program has given us,” said Sarah Garduno and Jonah Ruybalid, ACAGE Award Committee Co-Chairs, “As members of ACAGE, one of our objectives is to assist the Civil Engineering Department with its mission and we felt that faculty contributions to teaching, service and research are critical to the program’s success and deserve recognition. ACAGE looks forward to our continued partnership with the department to provide for a strong community of students, faculty and alumni helping each other to achieve their goals.”

The ACAGE faculty and student awards will continue to be given on an annual basis thanks to the generous donations and fundraising efforts of ACAGE members.