By Zach Driver | October 9, 2020
The University of South Carolina College of Engineering and Computing is proud to announce that Ralph White, ’71, and Jamie Barton, ’12, have accepted the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus and Outstanding Young Alumnus awards respectively.
Each year, the CEC picks two alumni who have given back to their alma mater and who have achieved great things in their field. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both winners were given their award in a private ceremony instead of during the CEC Homecoming tailgate and BBQ.
“Despite all the challenges we are facing, the University of South Carolina and the CEC continue to make great strides both nationally and here in the Palmetto State,” said Hossein Haj-Hariri, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “This year’s award winners are perfect examples of the determination and patience that all of our students, faculty and staff have shown during these uncertain times.”
White currently serves as a professor with the chemical engineering department. The 1971 graduate is also a former chair of that department and was dean of the CEC from 2000 to 2005. White won the Olin Palladium Award from the Electrochemical Society in 2013, followed by the Henry B. Linford Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2018. His work includes more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, and he has graduated dozens of doctoral and graduate students.
“It truly is an honor,” said White. “I have been doing professor work for the past few years, and I was really fortunate to serve as dean for a while. I was able to start the LEGO League and the first robotics club, and I’d like to think that was really helpful for the state and for the students here.”
Barton currently works as an engineer with Dominion Energy and is a certified Project Management Professional. He has served as the chair of the CEC Young Alumni Board since its inception, overseeing the group’s efforts in mentoring students and providing programming for K-12 outreach. He said he was humbled to receive the award, and that it was a privilege to give back.
“When I was here at Carolina, there were a lot of things that I would have done differently if I had known,” said Barton. “I just wanted to provide a positive influence and maybe provide more opportunities for students.”
You can learn more about the 2020 alumni award winners on Friday, Oct. 16 at noon during a video presentation from Dean Haj-Hariri on the CEC social media channels.