Dr. Joel Ducoste, professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE), has been announced as the recipient of this year’s George H. Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award, given by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University.
The award, given during the College’s spring faculty meeting, recognizes faculty members who consistently and willingly give their time and effort to advising, counseling and mentoring students and assisting student groups. It is also a continuing memorial to George H. Blessis, a faculty member whose interest in undergraduate education and advising serves as an example today.
Candidates are nominated by their department and are selected by the College of Engineering Teaching and Advising Awards Committee. The awardee receives $1,000, a certificate, and the recipient’s name is engraved on a permanent plaque displayed in Page Hall, the administrative building for the College of Engineering.
Ducsote has served as a faculty member at NC State for 20 years. He is known for not only being supportive, but also for being a mentor in and out of the classroom. He is regarded by many of his students as a highly knowledgeable instructor who has a clear desire to improve NC State through advising, mentoring, and encouraging students to reach their full potential.
His commitment and efforts to encourage underrepresented students to pursue STEM fields and graduate school are seen through his commitment to student interactions and volunteering. He has served as faculty representative at a recent African American Family Science and Engineering Day, which was attended by more than 300 African-American students and their families. He also has served on panels and lectured to students who participated in the research methods course as part of the Mathematics, Science, and Education Network (MSEN), which targets students from rural parts of North Carolina that are not typically afforded enrichment opportunities involving research and STEM.
He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Ducsote was unable to attend the meeting. CCEE department head Dr. Morton Barlaz accepted the award on his behalf.