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Chemical engineering staff member wins award for second consecutive year

For the second consecutive year, a staff member from the Department of Chemical Engineering received a staff award at the college’s Missouri Honor Awards banquet.

Jennifer Keyzer-Andre, chemical engineering’s administrative associate, manages daily fiscal operations and supports the chair, faculty, staff and students in a variety of ways.

Keyzer-Andre has worked for the department since 2010 prior to working as the graduate program coordinator for the Department of Civil Engineering, a position she held for five years.

“When I look at past recipients, they were the people I looked up to, my mentors,” she said. “To be in that same grouping is very humbling.”

Keyzer-Andre, her husband, James, and their daughter, Jocelyn, live in Columbia. Rita Preckshot, a chemical engineering office support staff person won one of the 2011 staff awards.

The annual student awards also were presented at the March 16 banquet. Junior Yue Hu of Pudong New District, Shanghai; senior Laura Musick, of Marshall, Mo.; master’s student Tristan Freiling, of St. Louis; and doctoral student Kevin Zurick, of St. Louis were named as this year’s recipients from chemical engineering.

Yue Hu came to MU as a participant of the Coordinated Undergraduate Degree Program in January 2010. She said she chose chemical engineering because it was a challenge.

“The spirit of competing and teamwork in chemical engineering attracts me,” she said.

Hu expects to graduate in December 2011, and plans to attend graduate school after.

Musick said she wanted to come to MU because it was close to home, and after hearing of the experiences from students already in engineering, she knew she would receive a quality education. She said she considers her award significant because of the recognition from the faculty, especially because of the faculty members’ help and encouragement.

After graduating this May, Musick will begin a full-time position at Black and Veatch near Kansas City.

“It will be a bittersweet moment as I am excited to be starting a new chapter in my life, bit I’m also aware of the big changes ahead,” she said.

Freiling earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Mizzou in 2008. He is currently a graduate research assistant with Professor Patrick Pinhero working on binary immiscible metal systems. He will attend medical school after graduation.

He said the award is an honor because the engineering faculty awards it.

“It feels good to have your hard work inside and outside of the classroom recognized by a group of people that I have a great deal of respect for,” he said.

Zurick earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. He is also working as a graduate research assistant with Assistant Professor Matthew Bernards and a teaching assistant in the Unit Operations lab, which is taught by Assistant Professor Sheila Baker.

His current research involves protein detection with non-fouling surfaces. He plans on continuing research after graduation, which he expects in either December 2013 or May 2014.

Faculty members of the department select students for the awards. Staff awards are chosen from nominations submitted college-wide and chosen by an appointed committee.

Missouri Honor Awards annually honor some of the College of Engineering’s most distinguished alumni, and the college uses the event to recognize the achievements of faculty, staff and junior and senior undergraduate and graduate students.



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