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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Petr Receives Outstanding Adviser Award

Published on May 28th, 2013 by Michelle Ward

EECS Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies David Petr received the Gould Award for Outstanding Adviser at the School of Engineering Recognition Ceremony on May 18.

 EECS Distinguished Professor Victor Frost (left) and Professor David Petr take part in the School of Engineering (SoE) reception after the recognition ceremony. At the SoE ceremony, Dr. Petr received the Gould Award for Outstanding Adviser.
EECS Distinguished Professor Victor Frost (left) and Professor David Petr take part in the School of Engineering (SoE) reception after the recognition ceremony. At the SoE ceremony, Dr. Petr received the Gould Award for Outstanding Adviser.

Engineering Student Council president Zach Garber presented Dr. Petr with the award, which was chosen by engineering students. The honor comes with a $4,000 monetary award.  

Garber, an EECS junior, points to Dr. Petr’s dedication  to the success of his students in the classroom and beyond their time at KU.  In Introduction to Communication Systems (EECS 562) this spring, Garber was impressed by how quickly Dr. Petr learned every student’s name. For Garber, a highlight of 562 was the “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20” list, created by Tina Seelig of Stanford University. Dr. Petr includes examples from his own life and other items of interest to EECS students during weekly tips from his modified list.

“I’ve never had a professor do anything close to that before and it was great to hear from someone who had been in our shoes,” said Garber of the amended list. “He clearly puts forth a lot of effort in getting to know everyone on a personal level. It’s refreshing to have a professor show an interest in students beyond just tests and homework.”

EECS junior Seth Polsley nominated Dr. Petr for the Gould Award after working closely with him as a supplemental instructor for the New Student Seminar (EECS 101). Dr. Petr created EECS 101 to help students build connections with each other and EECS faculty, as well as to show them their vast career options.

Polsley says that Dr. Petr takes a genuine interest in his students’ lives. He adds that Dr. Petr’s consideration of students along with his incredible knowledge of EECS courses and degree programs, his understanding of and connections to industry, and his efforts to involve students in their field make him a truly outstanding advisor.

“In all of his work, there is a focused effort to ensure the very best for EECS students. His hard work in teaching, his excellence in advising, and his involvement with students outside of academic settings make him a good mentor for young engineers,” said Polsley.

Dr. Petr serves as the adviser for the KU chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), an engineering and computer science honor society.  He attends most meetings and events and even provides the equipment for the annual faculty/student volleyball game, adds Polsley.

Dr. Petr has received a number of teaching awards including KU’s prestigious W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the Sharp Teaching Professorship from the School of Engineering. He has twice won the Harry Talley Teaching Excellence Award, voted on by graduating EECS seniors.