Students, faculty and alumni recognized at annual IME banquet


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Held specifically for students enrolled in the industrial engineering (IE) program, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) banquet was held on Friday, March 31. The annual event was hosted by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) student chapter at the Atherton Hotel.

Sponsored by Ingersoll-Rand, IE students and their families were invited to attend the event. Doug Uzarski, an operations excellence leader at Ingersoll Rand and a Penn State Behrend alumnus, was the keynote speaker for the night. Focusing on life after college, Uzarski spoke about his career and how to become a leader in industry.

A number of awards were presented throughout the night to honor students and faculty for their work and accomplishments throughout the year. Olivia Poppel, a senior and the current president of IISE, received the first award of the night.

Poppel was presented the Wilbur L. and Judy Meier Award in IME by Janis Terpenny, Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Chair and Head of the Marcus department. Terpenny praised Poppel for her work as the president of the IISE, saying that she has provided tremendous service to everyone in the department.

Several other students received honors at the event, including Kristen Meihofer, a Schreyer’s Scholar, who was the recipient of the Phillip Seville Outstanding Community Service Award.

“Kristen’s service is reflected through a variety of different commitments,” said junior Tanner Weaver, IISE merchandise chair.

Citing her participation in several campus service activities, including the annual “Out of the Darkness Walk” for suicide awareness and prevention, as well as Engineering Ambassadors, Weaver praised Meihofer for her generous donation of her time and resources to others.

The Jackie Livella/IISE Award for Service to the IME Department was awarded to Kylie Aplequist. Aplequist is the vice president of IISE and a member of Alpha Pi Mu, the industrial engineering honors society.

“Kylie is always incredibly selfless with her time and committed to doing the absolute best she can do,” Poppel said.

Undergraduate students were not the only ones receiving awards throughout the evening. The Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award was given to Shenli Pei, an industrial engineering graduate student.

“Shenli constantly goes above and beyond for students. Many would say that she is one of the best parts of taking I E 424,” students said when presenting Pei with the award.

Senior Lecturer Elena Joshi was also honored at the banquet. Presented with the Outstanding Faculty Award, Joshi was praised for being a favorite teacher among industrial engineering students. Students presenting Joshi with the award said she is known for having a great impact on her students, for whom she cares deeply.

The final award of the night was the Penn State Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Society (PSIMES) Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award. Presented to one outstanding industrial engineering graduate by PSIMES and the Marcus department, this award recognizes a graduate that has demonstrated significant promise in their career since graduating from the department.

This year’s GOLD Award was given to Abraham Mendoza. Mendoza received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering from Penn State in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Mendoza is currently the director of research at the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico. Prior to this role, he was a professor, then the head of the industrial engineering department and finally the dean of the school of engineering at the institution.

Unfortunately, Mendoza was not able to attend the banquet to accept his award, however he sent his thanks and appreciation, and asked that a few of his remarks be read aloud at the event. 

“I am eternally grateful to all those in this department,” Mendoza said. “I take the name of this great institution and great industrial engineering department wherever I go.”

The banquet concluded with the presentation of the 2017-18 IISE officers and closing remarks from both Terpenny and Poppel.

The IISE/IME Family Day took place on Saturday, April 1, during which students had the opportunity to bring their families to the Leonhard Building for facility tours, a panel discussion and a poster competition.  


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Carolyn Cushwa  

Kylie Aplequist and Olivia Poppel

Kylie Aplequist (left) accepts the Jackie Livella/IISE Award for Service to the IME Department from Olivia Poppel, president of the IISE chapter.

Elena Joshi and Jessica BruckerSenior Lecturer Elena Joshi accepts the Outstanding Faculty Award from Jessica Brucker, treasurer of the IISE chapter.


Home of the first established industrial engineering program in the world, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education, and outreach.

We are Innovators. We are Makers. We are Excellence in Engineering. We are Penn State IME.

The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

310 Leonhard Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-7601

FAX: 814-863-4745