It is my pleasure to award Dr. Eric Maslen with the 2016 All Together One Award. Dr. Maslen came to us here at JMU in 2010. He serves as the academic unit head in the department of Integrated Science and Technology, also known as ISAT. In this position, Dr. Maslen oversees four undergraduate programs—ISAT, Geographic Sciences, Intelligence Analysis, and Biotechnology—and two graduate programs—Environmental Management and ISAT. In addition to his administrative duties as unit head of the department, Dr. Maslen also acts as a professor.
Dr. Maslen has a long history of a dedication to learning. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia, and he has been a professor ever since. As a professor here at JMU, Dr. Maslen strives to share his knowledge with his students. Kirstin Sowden notes that "He worked tirelessly to take complex concepts and make them accessible, and wouldn't rest until each of his students felt confident. Eric typifies JMU's roots in teaching with his commitment to students." In addition to a commitment to teaching, Dr. Maslen also continues his dedication to learning in his own discipline through research. His research interests are in the application of automatic control theory to mechanical systems for vibration reduction and stability. He has contributed significantly to the literature in his field, authoring 53 journal articles, two book chapters, and seven patents to name a few.
Since Dr. Maslen has been at JMU, he has become an integral part of our community. He is always working for the best for the students and the faculty. In the words of Dr. Bob Kolvoord, Dean of the college, "Throughout his time here, I've been struck by his tireless advocacy for students and faculty in his programs. Seemingly at all hours of the night and day, he's working to make the programs in ISAT the best that they can be and to support the activities of students and faculty...He has worked with donors to provide funding to support more student capstone projects. He's worked with the faculty to renew the academic programs in ISAT and to make sure there are administrators to promote sane and humane policies to facilitate learning, teaching, and scholarship; and he's done this without any concern for personal reward. Eric's reward is seeing the organization thrive and being successful—he is a community builder."
This is truly what makes an All Together One recipient spectacular—selflessness and a dedication to serving others. Dr. Maslen has touched many lives while at JMU. Kristin Sowden shared her story with me, and I'm going to share it with you today: "I first met Eric three years ago while working for Career and Academic Planning. As a first year professional, I was highly intimidated by faculty, especially those in a technical field. It was clear to me, even in our first meeting, that Eric was committed to partnering student affairs and academic affairs in the best interest of the students. While I spent much of my first year in observation mode, by my second year in CAP, I was ready to make some prolonged and systematic changes to the way career information was disseminated within his department. Eric was not only open to my new ideas and suggestions; he was supportive of them—and did everything he could to help me refine my process, and market to the department. Eric lent his social capital to me, which in turn helped create wildly successful career service changes, and a better experience for our students. I couldn't have done it without him. Last year, I applied to work directly for Eric...and simply put, it was one of the best career decisions I have ever made."
Dr. Maslen, through his dedication to learning, caring attitude, and efforts to bring the JMU community together, has impacted the JMU community greatly. Today, we recognize his accomplishments and contributions with the All Together One award. Please join me in celebrating Dr. Eric Maslen.