Braden Lusk first came to Rolla in 1996 as a walk-on wide receiver from central Kansas who excelled at math and science in high school but admittedly “had no idea what an engineer was.” [Read more…]
Max Tohline came to Missouri S&T from Madeira, Ohio, in 2002 with a plan to study aerospace engineering. But an elective course in film caused his true passion to take flight.
O’Keefe, who is known for his friendliness and accessibility, will tell you he didn’t set the building’s tone — that he’s just trying to maintain what Bill James (professor emeritus of chemistry and a namesake of the building) created when he started the MRC back in 1964. James, who turned 90 in September, still has an office down the hall from O’Keefe’s.
But O’Keefe’s influence is undeniable. He’s been a popular professor at S&T since 1999, receiving several teaching awards along the way. He has a genuine concern for his students’ success, both in his department and in the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, where he serves as faculty advisor.
Rick Szevery, MetE’02, a senior engineer with ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, is grateful for O’Keefe’s mentorship.
“Dr. O’Keefe’s conversational teaching style and quirky sense of humor made his classes very enjoyable and memorable,” Szevery says. “He organized the course information in a way that made it easier to comprehend than in my other courses. And he was always positive and helpful. I really valued his advice and our conversations.”
O’Keefe was born and reared in Rolla, the son of the late Thomas J. O’Keefe, Curators’ Professor emeritus of metallurgical engineering. The younger O’Keefe took graduate courses while working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Allentown, Pa., and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while working for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Although he’s laid back, he’s no pushover and is honest with students. “Students don’t always appreciate or like what I have to say,” he says. “But sometimes it’s what they need to hear.”
Petra DeWitt, Hist’96, an assistant teaching professor in history and political science at Missouri S&T, received the 2012 Missouri History Book Award from the State Historical Society of Missouri in November for her book Degrees of Allegiance: Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri’s German-American Community During World War I. The book was published by Ohio University Press in April 2012.
When athletic trainers go through certification to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or use an automated external defibrillator (AED), they rarely think they will actually have to use that training in real life.
Common juncture • Melanie Mormile, Missouri S&T microbiologist
“I didn’t go to college expecting to teach,” says Ralph Flori, PetE’79, MS PetE’81 and PhD PetE’87. “I wanted to be an engineer. My passion growing up was working with tools, building and creating things, and taking things apart.” Flori took his interest in how things work, his experience working in his dad’s heating and air conditioning business, and came to UMR. Today he is assistant dean of engineering for pre-college and undergraduate programs for the UMR School of Engineering, providing statewide leadership for Project Lead the Way. He also continues to teach as an associate professor of interdisciplinary engineering.
- Vice provost for undergraduate and graduate studies
- Professor of chemistry
- Director of the UMR Institute for Environmental Excellence
- Former associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
- Former chair of chemistry
Unofficial UMR title: Champion of the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences program