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Outside view of Engineering Systems Building.

Orlando Ayala Hernandez Wins ASEE Award

By Sherry DiBari

Orlando Ayala Hernandez, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, was honored with the Outstanding Teacher Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) - Southeastern Section.

The award honors faculty who have "demonstrated exceptional contributions to engineering or engineering technology education through outstanding classroom performance."

Last week, Ayala Hernandez was presented with a certificate and a $1,000 cash prize during the ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Conference.

Vukica Jovanovic, chair of the Department of Engineering Technology, wrote in Ayala Hernandez's nomination letter, "Dr. Ayala tirelessly meets with students taking his classes, leading them to develop their engineering identity and technical but also soft skills that are highly sought after by engineering employers. His door is always open for students to engage in discussions about problem-based learning and the way that formulate mathematical equations and approach problem solving with the integration of industry driven standards and real-life applications, not only in textbook-like problems."

Ayala Hernandez acknowledged that the award can be attributed to his father. "He was a university faculty. He was one of my professors! The best one I had!" he said. "He taught me well and he made me what I am today as a teacher and, alongside my mom, as the person who wants to help his community."

Ayala Hernandez feels that working at ODU gives faculty the opportunity to change the lives of many students. "In other more established academic institutions, you help get the students to the next step in their life, but here at ODU we really impact the lives of our students and their families," he said.

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