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Professor emeritus receives teaching award

Henry Brown, Jason Haynes and Mark Virkler

Henry Brown (left), an MU civil engineering research engineer, and MOVITE President Jason Haynes pose for a photo with Professor Emeritus Mark Virkler. Virkler received MOVITE’s 2015 Educator of the Year award.

Mark Virkler, professor emeritus of civil engineering, was awarded the Patrick T. McCoy Education Professional of the Year Award from the Missouri Valley Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (MOVITE). Fellow civil engineering faculty members Carlo Sun, Praveen Edara and Charlie Nemmers nominated him. He was presented with the award at the most recent MOVITE meeting.

“As an educator, Dr. Virkler has touched many people in his 37 years of teaching at MU,” Sun said. “It is only fitting that he was recognized before he retired.”

In his nomination letter, Sun highlighted Virkler’s efforts to grow MU’s transportation engineering focus. Several key MoDOT personnel are also alumni pupils of Virkler.

Virkler assisted with the department’s creation of an Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter in 2002, and as department chair, he continued to support the chapter through help with funding student conference participation and activities.

“I am greatly honored to have been nominated, much less to have received the award,” Virkler said. “It was a pleasure to see so many MU graduates at the meeting who are achieving so much in their careers. I am humbled to know that I served a small role on their paths toward their accomplishments.”

The award is presented annually to an individual in academia who has made a significant contribution to transportation engineering through his or her teaching, achievements in transportation engineering and service to MOVITE. Individuals are nominated, and a recipient is selected every August.