Chemical Engineering's Gephardt honored twice

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This academic year has been exceptional for Dr. Zenaida Otero Gephardt. The Rowan University associate professor of chemical engineering from Wilmington, Del., recently received not one but two honors. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers named Gephardt as a Delaware Valley Section recipient of the 2011 Institute Volunteer Award. Gephardt also was recently elected vice president for Accreditation Activities of the non-profit organization Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions.

This academic year has been exceptional for Dr. Zenaida Otero Gephardt. The Rowan University associate professor of chemical engineering from Wilmington, Del., recently received not one but two honors. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers named Gephardt as a Delaware Valley Section recipient of the 2011 Institute Volunteer Award. Gephardt also was recently elected vice president for Accreditation Activities of the non-profit organization Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions.

“It has been a pleasure to work with some of the most committed people in the profession. It means a great deal to me to be recognized by people for whom I have such great respect and admiration,” said Gephardt. 

Gephardt earned her B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1977. She went on to study chemical engineering at the University of Delaware in Newark, where she earned her M.S. in 1979 and her Ph.D. in 1983.

Gephardt has been part of the Rowan University (then Glassboro State College) community since 1985, when she taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Mathematics. She has since served as assistant professor of mathematics, director of engineering and assistant dean of engineering before securing her current post in 1997.

Elsewhere, Gephardt has been a research engineer in the Engineering Technology Laboratory at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in Wilmington, DE, and a lecturer and research associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She served as visiting professor at the Universidad de La Serena in La Serena, Chile, during summer 2003 and January 2006.

Gephardt has participated in a number of engineering societies, most notably as an editorial board member for Formación Universitaria of the Centro de Información Tecnológica in La Serena, a reviewer for American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal and chair of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers – Delaware Valley Section. Her past awards have included the 1993 Excellence in Scholarship Award from the Hispanic Association of Higher Education of New Jersey, the Isco Leading Researcher Award in 1994, and the 2007 Best Paper award in the international division from the American Society for Engineering Education. She was the 2009 recipient of the Lindback Excellence in Teaching Award at Rowan. Gephardt has been active in the community, serving on the boards of directors of the YWCA and Girls Inc. of Delaware. She is the immediate past board president of Girls Inc. of Delaware.

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