From a prestigious group of 17 professors who were honored with induction into the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers on April 4th, two inductees were from the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering! We were the only department to have two winners in the category of Outstanding Teachers. The Department extends congratulations to Dr. Casey Dietrich and Dr. Francis de los Reyes, III. The Teaching Awards are presented by The Office of Faculty Development and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award become members of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers for as long as they remain NC State faculty.
Dietrich joined the CCEE department in 2013 as an assistant professor to contribute to our teaching and research program in coastal engineering. He teaches the undergraduate course in Hydraulics, and he developed and teaches graduate courses in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Coastal Hydrodynamics, and Coastal Modeling. These graduate courses serve students from CCEE’s environmental, water resources and coastal engineering group, as well as students from the departments of Biological and Agricultural engineering, and Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Teaching students from a wide range of experiences and interests, Dietrich has incorporated dynamic, team-based methods in his courses. He believes that students learn best by doing, and encourages students to become active participants in the classroom. Using required reading to introduce students to course material, Dietrich uses class time to move toward incorporating the material into an activity or problem, which is addressed in teams. He prefers his class sessions to be more discussion oriented, and for students to experience the material in a supportive atmosphere.
De los Reyes joined the department in 2000. From assistant, to associate, to full professorship, his 18 years at NC State have been marked with numerous national and international awards for teaching, research, and service. He has previously been recognized at NC State as a Chancellor’s Faculty Scholar.
In de los Reyes’s courses, he creates an environment where students learn to be critical, independent thinkers with concern for addressing global and technical environmental engineering problems. He says he sees his students as future leaders, and strives to make sure they are globally aware. Using active and interactive learning, lab work, field trips and group projects, he presents problems and encourages students to discover solutions. He incorporates photographs and videos from his extensive research travel, and students are exposed to scenarios outside their comfort zone. He has developed several new undergraduate and graduate courses including one on Water and Sanitation for Developing Regions, which is an advanced, interdisciplinary course covering global issues in water supply and sanitation that affect billions of people in low and medium income countries. His passion and continuing research around these issues have led to international recognition. In 2015, NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson appointed him as the lead for the Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) Faculty Cluster. In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, de los Reyes has mentored and advised dozens of graduate and post-graduate scholars.