By Joe Barbaree
ATHENS, Ohio (May 14, 2012) – Alumni of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology were honored Friday evening for their numerous life achievements in engineering.
Ohio University President Roderick McDavis and Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin inducted four alumni into the Russ College’s Academy of Distinguished Graduates, which recognizes the career accomplishments and life achievements of renowned graduates. It is the highest honor that the college can bestow on its alumni.
“These individuals, in addition to contributing very significantly to their chosen professions and to their business endeavors, have devoted large amounts of the time and talents to the Russ College,” said Irwin. “In each and every case, the Russ College would be diminished without their thoughtful dedication throughout many decades.”
Inductees into the academy included Wai-Kai Chen, BSEE ’60, MS ‘61; James Edwards, BSCHE ’70; Jack Myslenski, BSIT ’73; and Randall Sadowski, BSME ’65, MS 67.
Chen, who finished both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the Russ College, has since worked at several institutions as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, including Purdue University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Ohio University, where he was recognized as a distinguished professor.
“The 18 years at OHIO were the happiest period of my life,” said Chen, who holds an Ohio University Alumni Medal of Merit for Distinguished Achievement in Engineering Education. “Over the years, I saw Ohio University in general and the College of Engineering and Technology in particular grow in size and stature to become a truly national university, a great achievement that we are all very proud of.”
Jim Edwards’s career spanned decades in government and private engineering sectors. He spent 38 years at Columbus Burgess and Niple, where he managed industrial, structural, mechanical, electrical engineering and architectural groups – becoming an owner for 22 years and serving as a managing partner for two terms.
Edwards led the firm’s design for Ohio University’s Academic & Research Center, which is the Russ College’s primary learning facility.
“In the spring of 1967, I stood on the Richland Avenue bridge and watched with great joy as my calculus book arced gracefully into the Hocking River,” recalled Edwards, a member of the Russ College’s board of visitors. “I never could have imagined that 42 years later, I would be standing in that same riverbed bringing a building to life.”
Myslenski began his career at Parker Hannifin Corporation after graduating from Ohio University, leading to executive vice president of marketing, sales and operations support after 35 years with the company.
In November 2011, Parker Hannifin and Ohio University dedicated a new Stocker Center motion and controls student training lab in his honor.
“My career is filled with many wonderful memories, including being named a general manager only 10 years out of school and responsibilities that took me to almost everywhere in the world,” said Myslenski, also a member of the Russ College’s board of visitors.
Sadowski, a product manager for scheduling and data-tracking applications at Rockwell Automation, also served as director for university relations, chief applications officer and vice president of consulting services and user education at Systems Modeling Corporation.
The former faculty member at Purdue University and at the University of Massachusetts said he recalls his great professors from his time at Ohio University.
“Not only did Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert Williams guide me through my master’s program, but he convinced me to go on for my Ph.D., which started me on my career. I am forever indebted,” he said.