To put it mildly, April has been a good month for Eoin King, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and acoustics in the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA). A week after the birth of his first child, he won the University’s 2016 Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize, which recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarly or creative activity, and service. The prize includes an award of $10,000 to further enhancement of an existing scholarly project, a new investigation, and/or support of the awardee's professional development goals.
The University presents the award to the unsuspecting winner in a manner similar to Publishers Clearinghouse presentations. King and his senior students were working in the acoustics lab on Wednesday, April 11, when Provost Sharon Vasquez came in unannounced to deliver the news. King beamed as Vasquez handed him red and white balloons and made the announcement. His surprised students burst into applause.“This is a big deal,” Vasquez told the class. “The donor, Belle K. Ribicoff, wanted us to honor a faculty member who exemplifies a teaching scholar…it is someone who not only is excellent in the classroom and supportive of students in and out of the classroom, but also takes their scholarship and research seriously and pulls as many students into that as possible.”
For example, King guided two students through an environmental noise study on the High Line in New York City last year. Their research was published in an academic journal, they presented at an international conference, and received positive press coverage. King also set students up with a Fulbright Scholar to conduct research that resulted in publication and he was the faculty advisor for students who organized the University’s first TEDx in fall 2015.
When asked what the honor means to him, King, who clearly understands the importance of mentoring, thanked his own mentor, Professor Bob Celmer, program director of the Acoustical Engineering and Music program in CETA and The Hartt School. And of course, he wanted to mention his growing family.
“This has been a crazy week that has given my wife and me many reasons to celebrate,” he said. “We just welcomed our first child, a beautiful baby girl named Eavan Julia King. What a week!”