Interim President, Engineering Smiles, & Outstanding Graduate

The Associated Press is reporting that Jan A. Puszynski, Ph.D. (SD A ’73), has been named as the interim president at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Dr. Puszynski will serve until a new president is named. Previous SD Mines president Heather Wilson submitted her resignation earlier this week as she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Air Force secretary.

According to the article, Dr. Puszynski has been vice president for research at SD Mines and joined the faculty in 1991 as a professor of chemical engineering. He also previously served, from 2000-2005, as the dean of the college of materials science and engineering at SD Mines.

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A large-scale charity project to create a mobile dental clinic for underserved communities in Nicaragua, Arizona, and California has been completed. Six students from Arizona State University (ASU) have worked on the project for four years and raised $80,000 through ASU’s Engineering Projects in Community Service program. The group is called Engineering Smiles and was recently profiled by The Arizona Republic. Read the article.

The final two team members are graduating this summer with master’s degrees in engineering. None of the students involved in the project study dentistry, but worked for countless hours to complete the humanitarian outreach project. Sara M. Mantlik, AZ B ’15, is the team’s project manager and will work at GE Healthcare after graduation. Jackie Janssen, AZ B 2016, is the team coordinator and graduated with a degree in bioengineering.

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Kevin R. Briggs, NV B 2017, has been selected as one of the Spring 2017 Outstanding UNLV graduates. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, it is a tradition for the president “to select and highlight exceptional students who embody the academic, research, and community impact of the graduating class.”

Briggs is graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. He participates in an outreach referral program to guide students away from dropping out of school. He was an intern at Southwest Gas, an undergraduate researcher, and will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. Click here to read more and for the full list of eight Outstanding Graduates.

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