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Outstanding Graduates



Eric Rohr (R)


As a student in class, faculty were impressed with Eric's intelligence, communication skills, and positive influence. He was always prepared, listened intently, and asked relevant questions. Eric developed a solid academic reputation with faculty and peers in multiple departments. In preparing his thesis, Eric did so with a characteristic level of focus and intensity; developing a proposal in near record time and completed data collection in a week. His thesis topic was on the perceived benefits of Critical Chain Project Management in resource and time efficiencies of U.S. Army construction projects. Instructors at the U.S. Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCOE) in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri have expressed interest in Mr. Rohr’s study for the Army Engineer Association Magazine and as part of an ongoing analysis of Army construction projects.

Eric demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarly performance and leadership. We are impressed with his knowledge, personal qualities, and active participation in the program. While working towards the master’s degree, Eric maintained a perfect 4.0 overall grade point average in both the MS Engineering Technology Management and WKU Reserve Officers' Training Core (ROTC) programs. On assignments, he consistently performed above expectations. Program faculty have commented on his ability to accomplish a great deal of work in a short time period.

As a ROTC Cadet, Eric served as Student Battalion Commander of the Hilltopper Battalion Cadre where he developed physical and military training programs. He also volunteers for the WKU ROTC Hilltopper Challenge, The United Way, and the Kentucky/Tennessee Regional JROTC Drill Championships. The Military Science and Leadership Department recognized Eric as the Gen. George C. Marshall Outstanding Student and the Col. Sidney Carpenter ROTC Scholarship. In addition, he is their nominee for the Hilltopper Battalion Distinguished Graduate Award. Eric graduated with honors and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, where he will serve the U.S. in Army Military Intelligence.


Farshid Alavi

Farshid Alavi (L)

Before coming to WKU, Farshid received his BS degree in chemistry and worked as a system auditor and consultant for almost a decade. After earning an MD from the University of Tehran in 1995, Farshid worked as a family doctor in the Middle East. During his medical practice, he focused on the treatment of patients with carcinoma, because he had lost his father to colon cancer.  Starting a family, he moved to United State so he could raise his children in a culture of tolerance and peace. Pursuing an interdisciplinary skill, and also in order to better equip himself in the technical sciences, he came to the WKU's MSETM program.

Farshid distinguished himself as a graduate student, completing his coursework with an overall 4.0 GPA. His graduate thesis, titled Optimization of Process Parameters in Micro Electrical Discharge Machining of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy based on Full Factorial Design, was an outstanding application of ANOVA and MANOVA on a micro-manufacturing application. This research is significant for several reasons. First, the research provided different models to predict optimal machining time, tool wear, and surface roughness based on the process parameters. Second, this research identified the optimal values and process parameters at micro-machining level where measurements of less than one-millionth a meter are not uncommon. Third, the results of this research will have many applications in micro-manufacturing companies with regard to productivity, surface integrity, and biocompatibility. This means it can be easily translated to devices that can be used inside the human body to fight disease and illness. Farshid also collaborated with faculty on several scholarly publications and presented at the Student Research Conference where he won the Best Presentation Award in his section. He also served as a teaching assistant for the department.

In his spare time, Farshid enjoys time with his family and works to keep himself in shape through light jogging and climbing. He also has an interest in environmental issues and animal rescue. Farshid continues to serve his relatives and friends who seek medical advice or referrals. He says it helps him continue to stay current in medical issues, diagnoses, and treatments.


Bright Adu

Bright Adu (R)

Bright Adu graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a BSc. Civil Engineering (First Class Honors) in 2011 and worked with a construction company for two years before pursuing a Master’s degree in Engineering Technology Management in 2013. He completed his coursework with a 4.0 overall GPA. His thesis, titled Characterizing Water as Gap Fill for Double Glazing Units was an experimental design constructed with grant funds over the course of a year's timeframe and produced information that will be most useful to the construction industry in the coming years. Bright had a number of scholarly presentations during his time in the program including the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) annual conference and the WKU Student Research Conference where he won the Best Poster Award in his section. Bright also served as a graduate assistant with distinction helping faculty with research projects and laboratories. With the skills and knowledge acquired at WKU, he plans to enter the construction industry after graduation and later enroll in a Ph.D. program. 


 Andy Austin

Andrew Austin (R)

Andrew Austin distinguished himself while at WKU. As a graduate student in the Master of Science Engineering Technology Management (MSETM) program, he completed all coursework with an overall 4.0 GPA. This is not the first time he has done this. He graduated summa cum laude with a GPA of 4.0 in his undergraduate program as well and was the outstanding student in Advanced Manufacturing. His graduate thesis, titled Process Capability in a Computer Integrated Manufacturing Cell was an outstanding application of Six Sigma principles in the Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics laboratory on campus. The results of this study will have profound implications on automated processes, measuring devices, and computer numerical control. The research showed that if compound variation of multiple processes can be controlled, overall process capability can be improved; something that was previously perceived as theoretically impossible. These findings have generated significant interest from manufacturers, tool designers, and equipment vendors. Future graduate students will appreciate his scholarly contribution as an example of excellent work. Andy also has a number of scholarly activities to his credit, including a poster and presentations at the last two Student Research Conferences and the 2013 Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). He is an ATMAE Certified Manufacturing Specialist. Andy was a graduate assistant for the Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences Department and has been an Ogden College Scholar since 2009.

One might consider all these academic accomplishments impressive until you learn that he also received the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2013 for his extensive community involvement. Andy has been active in WKU Habitat for Humanity since 2009 where he served as their construction coordinator and worked alongside Warren County Habitat for Humanity. In addition, he has provided service and community outreach for the St. Thomas Aquinas Center; performed mission work for World Youth Day in Brazil; been head of the service committee of the Hilltoppers for Life, and, since 2013, worked for Meals, Inc. on Saturdays preparing meals for the homebound.

Andy's Kentucky heritage traces back eight generations. Both his mother and father work in the Daviess County Public School System and several of his family members are WKU alumni. Faculty describe him as humble, articulate, well-informed, prepared, self-motivated, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and insightful, with a true love for helping others. Andy honors his commitments, demonstrates servant leadership, and personal integrity. He truly epitomizes the quiet qualities of a technical managerial professional. Overall, Andy is one of the best, most conscientious, and intelligent students we have encountered in our collective faculty experience.

Andy's immediate future plans are to join the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a religious order that devotes their life to helping the poor, running homeless shelters, soup kitchens, youth programs, and other forms of community outreach. Andy stated, "I have not been accepted yet, so my future still has a lot of uncertainty, but that is the path that I am currently pursuing." We wish him all the best in his life journey and know that he will be successful in whatever he does.


Sumbul Khan

Sumbul Khan (R)

Sumbul Khan completed the Master of Science Engineering Technology Management (MSETM) program in December 2013 with an overall 4.0 GPA. Her graduate thesis, Improvement of Pedagogical Laboratory Based Learning: Multimedia Enhanced Instructional Methods demonstrated the feasibility of using enhanced multimedia for advanced manufacturing instruction and distance learning. This work represented a comprehensive analysis of the various methods available to educators who teach experiential laboratory-based courses. Sumbul also collaborated frequently with faculty on several scholarly publications and she presented at two Student Research Conferences and the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) in 2013. In 2012, she was selected for Lois G. and F. Dugan Montgomery Scholarship. Sumbul served as a graduate assistant for the Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences Department where she was an indispensable resource for grants, publications, and literature reviews.

Sumbul kept busy in the summers working as an intern at WKU WATERS Lab as a lab analyst in 2012 and at Berry Plastics as a Product Development Engineer in 2013. She has volunteered with the National Geographic Society and worked for congressional members in Washington, D.C. Sumbul enjoys traveling to new places, taking road trips, trying new ethnic cuisines, and watching movies.

Sumbul comes from a Pakistani family of doctors, engineers, and professionals with strong traditional values. They all attended her graduation and they support each other in their efforts. Sumbul has attended schools in Virginia, Florida, and the United Arab Emirates. She is an excellent example of a multi-national scholar. The faculty describe Sumbul as conscientious, organized, responsible, straightforward, dedicated, and levelheaded. In addition, Sumbul is a unique problem solver who is self-motivated and consistently exceeds expectations. Her level of performance was impressive to the point where some faculty regarded her more as a colleague than as a student. In the span of 18 months, Sumbul was able to re-energize the graduate faculty and significantly improve the faculty's research productivity through her efforts. The faculty consider her to be one of the fastest learning and most intelligent students we have had the pleasure to work with.

Although one of Sumbul's goals is to eventually a PhD, she has decided to make Kentucky her home and recently accepted a job with at Berry Plastics in Franklin, Kentucky as a Quality Engineer. Her duties are to ensure their products and processes meet quality standards and support continuous improvement. Sumbul said, "I have a keen interest in conducting research and getting involved in hands-on projects that allow me to apply and build upon the knowledge and skills I have acquired during my coursework at WKU." She certainly possesses the right balance of technical, managerial, and personal skills and will be successful in whatever endeavor she chooses.


Joleen Byerline

MariEtta "Joleen" Byerline (R)

Joleen Byerline was enrolled in the Master of Science in Engineering Technology Management degree, the Graduate Leadership Certificate program, and the Graduate Certificate in Organizational Communication program. She earned a 4.0 GPA in all three programs.  As a graduate assistant , Joleen assisted with research, managed department projects, and instructed sections of AMS-262 Construction Methods and Materials Lab. She is an ATMAE Certified Technology Manager, a member of Epsilon Pi Tau, an honors society for technology professionals, and the vice-president of the local ATMAE students chapter. Joleen represented WKU as one of four finalists in the 2012 ATMAE National Graduate Research Competition.  In addition, Joleen is a member of the WKU International Club and Medallion Honor Society.

Faculty members described Joleen as a leader and self-starter with a good work ethic and outstanding problem solving and communication skills. She consistently exceeds faculty expectations As an teacher she engaged students in meaningful projects and encouraged classroom participation.

A former long-haul truck driver, Joleen has lived in Grayson County Kentucky since the age of 13 and enjoys traveling, camping, gardening, and comedy movies in her infrequent spare time.

Joleen plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Technology Management with a specialization in Industrial Training and Development. Her goal is to become a university professor and researcher. 


Brittney Perry at OCSE Awards

Brittney Perry (L)

While at WKU, Brittney demonstrated the capability to adapt, learn, and overcome adversity with grace and determination. Brittney balances the duties of a graduate teaching assistant, collegiate athlete, and student.  As a graduate assistant, she has been instrumental in student outreach and recruiting as the President of the Association for Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) student chapter and as a student representative. She also designed, created, and edited numerous information and recruiting videos for the master's degree program. As a graduate teaching assistant, she worked closely with faculty to learn the course content and laboratory equipment for the Introduction to Technology course and received good student evaluations even though her undergraduate degree was in a non-related major. As a student athlete, Brittney was captain of WKU's softball team in the 2010-2011 season and an Academic All-American receiving recognition at the annual leadership banquet.

As a graduate student, she overcame adversity early in the degree program and become an positive example of determination to other students in the department. She listens carefully to the suggestions of faculty and incorporates good judgment on the tasks assigned. She interacts well with her peers and is willing to ask for help if needed.

Brittney has presented at the ATMAE National Conference and was nominated for the medallion honor society. She is also active in campus organizations including the Fellowship for Christian Athletes, Black Graduate Student Association, Habitat for Humanity, Sister to Sister Mentor Program, and M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan.

Brittney is from Zachary, Louisiana and is the youngest of three siblings. Her next goal is to achieve her doctorate in Technology Management with a specialization in Human Resource Development and Industrial Training. 


wray award

Landon Wray (L)

Landon Wray distinguished himself in the MSTM program at Western Kentucky University; completing all coursework in 24 months with an overall GPA of 4.00. His Graduate Project on abrasive waterjet machining is groundbreaking in that it explores an aspect of the manufacturing technology not previously explored. A portion of this research was presented at the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) Conference on October 28, 2010. That same year, he was elected co-president of the Association’s first WKU student chapter.

As a Graduate Assistant, Landon was instrumental in organizing and maintaining the manufacturing processes and the materials testing laboratories. His assistance and rapport with undergraduates exemplified the professional nature of the discipline and inspired students to continue their education. In addition, he held a part-time work during his graduate and undergraduate education, successfully balancing work, school, and family.

Landon attended WKU as a freshman and received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, in Industrial Sciences, excelling in all areas of study. In 2009, he was selected as the Outstanding Student in Manufacturing Management. Simultaneously, he was active in WKU athletics as a member of the Cheerleading Squad.

Landon is active in the Baptist College Ministry (BCM) on campus and is also a member of the Crossland Community Church Praise Band. In his spare time, he works fixing automobiles and volunteers for the Bowling Green Humane Society.

Faculty describe Landon as articulate, well-informed, prepared, knowledgeable, thoughtful, insightful, and a critical thinker. Landon holds himself to a high standard and honors his commitments. He exhibits good relationship building qualities. Regarding his personal character, he is honest, truthful, and amicable.


Sarah Namara

Sarah Namara

Sarah Namara distinguished herself in the MSTM program as a top scholar, completing all coursework in 18 months with an overall GPA of 3.90. Her thesis, Do Companies Value Maintaining ISO 9000 Certification?, was an outstanding case study of 41 US companies first certified in 2000 and showed that companies do value certification, but only because it is a customer requirement; not necessarily to improve quality. Future MSTM students will appreciate her scholarly thesis as an example of excellent work. During this time, Sarah also worked as a Graduate Assistant for the department, performing excellent research that was the basis for the development of the Kentucky Technology Consortium, whose goal is to establish a seamless course articulation for technology management graduate students in Kentucky.

Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Electrical Technical Teacher Education at Kyambogo University in Kampala, Uganda. Even though she is still developing her English language skills and has only been in the U.S. since September 2007, she gave three peer-reviewed presentations at two conferences of the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering and two presentations at the WKU Student Research Conference for the last two years with submitted manuscripts for publication. She maintained active membership in the American Society for Quality and attended the local chapter meetings on campus. In addition, Sarah has distinguished herself as an athlete of distinction, receiving awards for her performance in WKU Track & Field and Cross-Country.

In her spare time, she volunteers as a counselor at the Barefoot Republic, a summer camp for youth of diverse cultures and facilitates artistic, athletic, and team activities. In this program, she helps youth understand that no matter their backgrounds, they are all equal and have the potential to be successful in life. Sarah comes from a family of 10 and has seven brothers, all of whom still live in Uganda. Besides running, which is her passion, Sarah enjoys attending academic conferences/workshops, listening to music, making new friends, traveling, and helping others.

Graduate faculty who had Sarah in classes or who served on her thesis committee describe her as well-prepared, self-motivated, knowledgeable, thoughtful, collaborative, and participative. Sarah performs to a high standard and honors her commitments. Sarah, while unassuming, has strong leadership abilities. Sarah’s personal character is honest, kind, and professional. Overall, she is characterized as patient, considerate, and well-grounded .


Josh Ferriell

Josh Ferriell (L)

Josh is a military veteran who joined the Air Force in 1999 and received an honorable discharge in 2005. As a Staff Sergeant, he received a Commendation Medal and Achievement Medal. He was also selected as an outstanding performer during a Joint Nuclear Surety Inspection in 2002 at Whiteman Air Force Base. After his government service, Josh received his Applied Science Associates Degree in in Electrical Technology at Bowling Green Technical College (KCTCS) and was on the Dean's List.

Josh completed the WKU Veterans Upward Bound Program before attending WKU and completed his B.S. in Technology Management in 2009 with a 3.38 GPA. Josh was voted the Operations Manager for the inaugural 2009 Senior Research Class utilizing the equipment in the Mitch McConnell Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Laboratory. He also received the Outstanding Senior Award in Technology Management the same year. In addition, Josh played for WKU Rugby from 2007-2010 and was president of the team. Currently he serves as their assistant coach.

As a graduate student, Josh was awarded a graduate assistantship with the AMS Department where he assisted faculty and supervised students using computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) equipment. Josh helped establish the WKU Student Chapter for the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) and is currently the Co-President, along with Landon Wray. Josh holds a 3.4 GPA in the graduate program, which he hopes to improve.

Josh is a Bowling Green, Kentucky native and a Bowling Green High graduate. He has 4 siblings (1 older sister and 3 younger brothers) and his father has worked at WKU for over 40 years. His sister teaches part time in Women's Studies at WKU.

Faculty characterize Josh as self-motivated, easy-going, and an emerging leader. Faculty who have has Josh in classes describe him as a solid thinker, excellent problem-solver, and one who desires to learn. Josh has made great progress in improving his written and oral communication skills this year.


mattingly award

Travis Mattingly (C)

Travis Mattingly distinguished himself in the MSTM program at Western Kentucky University; completing all coursework in 18 months with an overall GPA of 3.90. His Graduate Project, titled Research and Development of Customer Oriented Project Guidelines, was an outstanding application of the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide (2004) to the design of a customer-based project management system at LINAK US, Inc., a Louisville-based design and manufacturing firm of electric linear actuator systems. This effort connected project management theory with actual practices in the work place and allowed managers to tailor their project strategies to serve customer needs while maintaining a degree of standardization and efficiency. His project, originally developed as a pilot application of a project management system, is being reviewed as the standard for all future projects. There is also the possibility that the parent company in Denmark will be interested in the system as the model for project management worldwide.

Travis completed Project Management Certification at KCTCS and the Project Management Professional (PMP) Prep Course through Villanova University. Because of his outstanding performance, LINAK US authorized full PMP certification at the prestigious Project Management Institute (PMI). His contributions at LINAK US were recognized in 2008 when he received the Company Value Award for Continuous Improvement and Project Management, and the Job Satisfaction and Helpfulness Award. Travis has great potential for accomplishment and promotion in project management and applications engineering. His current company contributions have already resulted in significant efficiencies and increased communication. Future MSTM students will appreciate his scholarly Graduate Project as an example of excellent work.

Travis received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, in Applied Technology from WKU and excelled in all areas of study. Has active scholarship as a Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society member. In his spare time, he continues to support and manage activities on his families’ Kentucky farming operation of 40 years.

Graduate faculty describe him as articulate, well-informed, prepared, self-motivated, knowledgeable, thoughtful, insightful, and participative. Travis holds himself to a high standard and honors his commitments. He exhibited leadership abilities that were unequaled by his peers. Regarding his personal character, he epitomized the leadership qualities one would expect of a technology manager: honesty, a humane perspective, and professionalism. Overall, he characterized as having a great deal of personal integrity and truthfulness.


Paul Mooney

Paul Mooney

Paul was the first graduate of the Master of Science in Technology Management at WKU. He was a standout student who was always ready to accept the challenges of a leadership position. His attitude, efforts, and commitment were the best. While here, Paul received recognition from Ogden College of Science and Engineering as the Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year for the program. He left a lasting and positive impression.

According to the graduate faculty, it was a privilege to work with Paul on his graduate project. Paul consistently demonstrated a high level of scholarly performance and greatly influenced other graduate students through his stellar example. All who came into contact with him were impressed with his knowledge, leadership qualities, and active participation. Paul was also employed as a graduate assistant in the development of a grant proposal to the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. While working towards his degree, Paul maintained a 4.0 GPA in addition to maintaining a busy schedule and full-time work responsibilities. His commitment to academic excellence was evident in the quality and depth at which he completed his studies.

Paul is currently employed as the Compliance Manager for Research and Sponsored Programs at WKU. Paul’s qualifications in business, combined with his years of industrial practice provide him with a depth of experience. Furthermore, Paul’s skills in research, attention to detail and people, make him an excellent technical manager.


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 Last Modified 10/22/18