2014-2015 FPE Undergraduate Awards

Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) students were among the award recipients at the 2014-2015 A. James Clark School of Engineering Undergraduate Honors and Awards Ceremony, held April 14. The event recognizes students from all departments who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, research, and contributions to their departments or fields.

This year, the awards and their recipients were:

Chair’s Award

The Department of Fire Protection Engineering Chair’s Award is presented to the department student(s) who has made the most significant contribution during the year.

Awarded to Nathaniel May and Raquel Hakes.

Outside of the classroom senior Nathaniel May is a Clark School Ambassador, where he gets to share his love of engineering with kids and prospective students. He is also a volunteer firefighter/EMT at Branchville VFCO in College Park. He believes that his volunteering is a great way to give back to the community he considers his home. He also volunteers at the station back in his hometown in Damascus, Maryland. After graduating in December 2015, he plans to continue on to graduate school, pursuing a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering.

Senior Raquel Hakes is currently pursuing both her Bachelors and Masters degrees. She is a member of the Gemstone Honors Program, for which she helps lead several classes as a teaching assistant. She is a Clark School Ambassador and has been a teaching assistant for the Heat and Mass Transfer course. Through the RISE Leadership Academy, Raquel has helped develop a high school design competition that allows young women interested in engineering to work with university students over the course of a semester.

Outstanding Senior in Fire Protection Engineering

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers Outstanding Senior Award, sponsored by the society’s Chesapeake Chapter, is presented to the department senior with the highest GPA. 


The A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean’s Award

The A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean’s Award is presented to a senior for scholastic excellence and demonstrated outstanding service and leadership to the Clark School.

Awarded to Catherine Hamel.

Senior Catherine Hamel has a GPA of 3.93. She is a Clark School Ambassador, the president of the Salamander Fire Protection Engineering Honorary Society, and is part of the RISE Leadership Academy. Catherine is currently the teaching assistant for the Fire Assessment Methods and Laboratory, and has served as a teaching fellow for two other Clark School courses. She helped create and implement a design competition at her all-women high school, Elizabeth Seton High School, which partners UMD’s fire protection program with Seton’s LEAD engineering program.

The Robert J. Taylor Academic Achievement Award

The Salamander Honor Society presents the Robert J. Taylor Academic Achievement Award to the department junior with the highest GPA.

Awarded to Nick Schraffenberger

Junior Nick Schraffenberger says majoring in FPE has afforded him many opportunities during his three years at Maryland. FPE has introduced him to a tight knit community of students and dedicated professors, allowing him to pursue relevant research conducted solely by students and guiding him toward a dream internship in New York City this past summer. He would like to express his gratitude toward the department and program for making it all possible. Beyond the classroom, he a peer mentor for CARE to Stop Violence, an advocacy group dedicated to curbing sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking on our campus.

The Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering Service Award

The Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering Service Award is presented for dedicated service to the CMSE and the University community, and commitment to promoting diversity in engineering.

Awarded to Ingrid Turcios

Junior Ingrid Turcios has worked for the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering as a program coordinator for the ESTEEM Research Mentoring Program and the Summer Engineering Research (SER)-Quest. She has also had the opportunity to assistant a graduate student in his research at the Fire Testing Evaluation Center (FireTEC). Currently, Ingrid is the Community Service Chair for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In May 2014, she received her citation for College Park Scholars in Public Leadership.

The Department of Fire Protection Engineering is also pleased to announce an additional award not presented at this year’s ceremony:

Outstanding Sophomore in Fire Protection Engineering

Awarded to Casey Beall.

Sophomore Casey Beall is a member of the University Honors Program and the FLEXUS Women in Engineering Program. This year she was a SEEDS mentor for incoming freshman engineering students. She is very involved in volunteering at Women In Engineering events, such as Girl Scout Engineering Saturday, and also enjoys volunteering at department recruiting events. She is working on several FPE research projects, including the department's Sophomore Research Project and another funded by a SEEDS fellowship. She is also a member of the university's student chapter of the SFPE and the Treasurer of UMD's Classical Dance Ensemble.

Congratulations to all of these exceptional students!

Published April 20, 2015