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Colby Norwood and Jody Ozdarski Win Dean’s Staff Awards

Norwood and Ozdarski

Norwood and Ozdarski

The College of Engineering has selected Colby Norwood of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department as the winner of the 2022 Dean’s Outstanding Service Award and Jody Ozdarski of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department as the recipient of the 2022 Dean’s Outstanding Student Support Award.

The purpose of the Dean’s Outstanding Service Award is to recognize and reward outstanding service by a staff member to a department and/or to the College of Engineering.

As the winner of this award, Norwood is a technical specialist in the MIE Innovation Shop, providing invaluable design and implementation insights to students completing MIE senior design projects and supporting MIE student teams such as the Super Mileage Vehicle Team.

Norwood played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by assisting MIE faculty in the design and production of face shields. His initial work led to UMass subsequently creating over 100,000 face shields and providing them to about 60 local health-service organizations.

Norwood also has been active in promoting laboratory safety for students by producing a series of videos that demonstrate the safe operation of shop equipment.

Nominators highlighted Norwood's willingness to assist in two courses for an extended time when a colleague became unavailable. One of his nominators summarized his contributions perfectly: “Colby’s positive attitude, self-motivation, and initiative characterize an ideal member of our college’s community who greatly benefits our students' experiences.”

The purpose of the Dean’s Outstanding Student Support Award is to recognize a staff member for significant contributions that enrich the student experience and/or have a positive impact on student development in the College of Engineering.

The winner of this award, Ozdarski, serves as the academic advisor and director of alumni affairs in the CEE department. 

Ozdarski goes above and beyond her job description to enhance the well-being and opportunities of students in engineering. Her nominators stressed the critical role she plays in student advising at both undergraduate and graduate levels and how she gets to know most students individually. For example, she personally checks each student's record to ensure that he or she meets all graduation requirements.

Every semester Ozdarski also spends countless hours organizing and preparing materials for the CEE pre-registration advising night.

Ozdarski also organizes the bi-annual CEE Career Fair, an event that has mushroomed in popularity in recent years. This year's event featured participation by 48 companies and 150 students.

Ozdarski’s positive impact on students in CEE is tremendous. As one nominator noted, “We often describe Jodi as the single most important person in our department that all our students should know.”