The Arkansas Alumni Association Declares 2013 Alumni Awards a Success


The Arkansas Alumni Association honored 11 University of Arkansas alumni and faculty during the 69th annual Alumni Awards Celebration on October 11th, presented by Fidelity Investments.

Although the Alumni Association has presented awards each year since 1944, this year marked the first time the event was moved to the Fayetteville Town Center. The new venue allowed for a bigger event that included more than 300 guests, live music by the Claudia Burson Trio and a silent auction that raised $3,500 for the Arkansas Alumni Association Scholarship Program.

Included among those recognized were; two Industrial Engineering Faculty, Dr. Manuel D. Rossetti and Dr. Russell D. Meller.

 Dr. Manuel D. Rossetti, a professor of industrial engineering and associate department head, received the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award. The award recognizes, rewards, and encourages the superior faculty members whose ability, personality, and methods are responsible for the highest success in teaching and the inspiration of their students. The program is not designed to be a popularity contest, yet the individuals distinguished by it are intended to be those who have the respect and even the affection of their students. Such teachers must be able to stimulate and lead students to their best efforts. Their total influence should be constructive and inspiring - not only in relation to the subject matter taught, but in their attitudes and their general thinking.

Rossetti joined the University of Arkansas faculty in August 1999, after completing his doctorate in industrial and systems engineering at the Ohio State University. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, and is an internationally known researcher in the field of industrial engineering.

Rossetti’s peers and colleagues recognize him for his achievements in teaching courses in computer simulation, inventory control, probability and statistics, database design, and transportation and logistics. He has been named outstanding teacher by the industrial engineering department three times, was voted best teacher by undergraduate students twice, received the John L. Imhoff College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award in 2011 and was elected a fellow for the Institute of Industrial Engineering in 2012.His primary research and teaching interests include the design, analysis and optimization of logistics, manufacturing, health care and transportation systems using computer simulation and operations research techniques. Rossetti said his mission is to be “a world-class scholar who promotes innovative teaching and research within an environment that values learning, hard work, intellectual curiosity and collaborative research.” Rossetti works to develop new methods and techniques in the field of industrial engineering and identifies and solves problems within the fields of logistics, manufacturing and health care. He has served as an investigator on 47 projects totaling $4,536,444 in grant funding, sole investigator for 19 projects totaling $984,709, and the primary investigator for 40 projects totaling $3,160,223. He has also authored and co-authored 37 research reports.

 Dr. Russell D. Meller, received the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award for Research. This award recognizes, rewards, and encourages the faculty members who are basically teachers but whose research efforts are particularly successful and outstanding.

Dr. Meller holds the James M. Hefley and Marie G. Hefley Professor of Logistics and Entrepreneurship and has been a professor in the department of industrial engineering since 2005. Meller focuses his research interests in facility logistics, logistics system design, operations research applications in production and health care and forest systems. He serves as the director of the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution at the University of Arkansas.

Meller completed his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1992. In 1995, with the support of a National Science Foundation Career Award, he developed optimal solutions to problems involving 15 departments within a facility. His leadership with the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution has been recognized nationally and internationally. Meller has led this multi-university industry/university cooperative research center to receive a third, five-year term of support, ensuring that the center will operate through 2017.

Meller has proven he is dedicated to seeing his students excel in the field. His students value his high standards and hard work ethic. He is the recipient of the “Backbreaker” Award, a student-elected award given to a faculty member who is both demanding and highly respected. He has received many research awards, as well as awards for his teaching.

Release date: 11/26/2013