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Awards and Honors

Lunardi and Welton receive 2022 Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Awards

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Leda Lunardi and Steven S. Welton were recognized with the 2022 Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award from the College of Engineering (COE) for their outstanding commitment to ensuring students are academically and personally supported.

The award recognizes the efforts of faculty members in routinely giving their time and effort to advising, counseling and mentoring individual students and student groups, while commemorating the memory of George H. Blessis, a faculty member whose interest in undergraduate education and advising serves as an example today.

Awardees are selected by the COE Teaching and Advising Awards Committee from nominations provided by College’s departments. They are each awarded $1,000, a certificate and a permanent plaque with the recipient’s name displayed by the College.

Leda Lunardi

As a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Lunardi encourages students to engage in research, while equally inspired and invigorated by the potential of her students.

Leda Lunardi
Leda Lunardi

“I have seen many students who do not know their potential and only discover it when they get involved in a technical project,” Lunardi said. “We, as teachers and instructors, must give students opportunities to fulfill their aptitudes.”

For 18 years, engaging students through coursework and research has been at the heart of Lunardi’s work.

Lunardi teaches undergraduate coursework in microelectronics where she introduces students to signals, circuits and systems. While ensuring her students in the classroom are successful, she also advises more than 50 students on their academic and professional journeys each year.

Outside of the classroom and office, Lunardi is recognized for involving ECE students in research through advertising and recruitment. As the chair of the ECE Undergraduate Research Committee, she actively recruits student applicants and helps to prepare application packages for review and ranking, and assists in matching them with faculty mentors.

“Her record for making exciting university-level research programs available for undergraduate students has been remarkably successful,” said Dan Stancil, Alcoa Distinguished Professor and head of ECE.

“The amount of time and consideration Professor Lunardi gives to current students and previous students like me (eight years after graduation) is testament to her quality as an advisor and a person,” added a former student.

Steven S. Welton

Since joining the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) as a teaching professor in 2014, Welton has shown a strong commitment to his students in always encouraging them to pursue their goals and dreams.

Steven Welton
Steven S. Welton

For eight years, Welton has taught coursework in statics and steel design, and guided students during the senior capstone course in structures. He is also responsible for advising around 22 undergraduate students each year, as well as NC State’s chapters of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Chi Epsilon, an American civil engineering honor society.

Through coursework and advising, students felt that they had constant support in navigating their professional paths.

“I know I could never settle for anything less than the loftiest goal without seeing myself sitting across a desk from Mr. Welton and him telling me all the simple ways I could push further and go on to achieve so much more… I can speak for all of us when I say that without his selfless dedication, we would not be the engineers we are today,” said a student.

Welton attributes his advising and mentorship style to interactions with George H. Blessis in 1983, when he was beginning his journey in earning his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from NC State.

“Based upon his actions that day, I knew with certainty that I wanted to obtain my degree at NC State and learn in the welcoming environment shaped by such supportive and encouraging individuals,” Welton said. “Now, as I am provided the high honor to interact with visitors and students as a representative of NC State and as a member of the CCEE faculty, I strive to uphold the example set by Dr. Blessis.”