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Ohio State honors four at autumn commencement

COLUMBUS – Four individuals will be honored at The Ohio State University’s autumn 2010 commencement for their contributions to society and academics, and their dedication to the university. Ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. Sunday (12/12), at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Ohio State will present the honorary doctor of engineering degree to John Tinsley Oden, director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and the honorary doctor of business degree to Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to John Riedl, retired dean and director of Ohio State’s Mansfield campus; and William Wells, president and CEO of Davis & Son, Inc.

The commencement address will be delivered by David L. Tomasko, professor in the
William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and associate dean for undergraduate education and student services in The Ohio State University College of Engineering

J. Tinsley Oden, Doctor of Engineering

John Tinsley Oden is an associate vice president for research and director of the Institute for Computational Engineering (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering and the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Centennial Chair in Computer Systems.

He was founding director of the ICES, created in 2003 as an expansion of the Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, which he also directed for more than a decade. The institute supports broad interdisciplinary research and academic programs in computational engineering and sciences, involving four colleges and 17 academic departments within the university.

After receiving his PhD in engineering mechanics in 1962 from Oklahoma State University, Professor Oden held positions at the University of Alabama in Huntsville before joining the University of Texas at Austin as the Carol and Henry Groppe Professor of Engineering in 1979. He has worked extensively on the mathematical theory and implementation of numerical methods applied to problems in solid and fluid mechanics and nonlinear continuum mechanics. He is the author or editor of more than 500 scientific works, including 53 books, and has graduated 34 MS
students and 42 PhD students. The Institute for Scientific Information lists him as one of the most highly cited researchers in the world from 1981 to 1999 in refereed, peer-reviewed journals.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the National Academies of Engineering of Mexico and Brazil, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an editor of Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering and serves on the editorial boards of 28 scientific journals, as well as numerous organizational, scientific, and advisory
committees for international conferences and symposia.

His many honors for his research accomplishments include the title of Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Academiques from the French government, the Worcester Reed Warner Medal, Melvin R. Lohmann Medal, Theodore von Karman Medal, John von Neumann Medal, Newton-Gauss Medal, Stephen P. Timoshenko Medal, and the O.C. Zienkiewicz Medal.

He is an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of seven international scientific/technical societies.

Carl J. Schramm, Doctor of Business

Carl J. Schramm is recognized internationally as a leading authority on entrepreneurial innovation and economic growth. He is president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating new firms that grow the economy and expand human welfare.
Kauffman is the leading private U.S. funder of economic research related to growth and innovation.

His insight regarding the role of new high-growth firms in fueling economic expansion has been coined “Schramm’s Law.” He played a prominent role in the 2009 White House jobs summit and has served on two U.S. Department of Commerce innovation committees during the administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also serves on the Prime Minister of Singapore’s Research, Innovation, and Enterprise Council. He is credited with opening a new field of economic inquiry – expeditionary economics – which focuses on rebuilding economies in post-conflict nations.

Before joining the Kauffman Foundation, Dr. Schramm served as a professor of health finance and policy at The Johns Hopkins University, led the nation’s premier health care industry association, founded several companies that manage health care finance and information technologies, served as executive vice president of Fortis, and established his own merchant banking firm.

Dr. Schramm is a prolific writer whose commentary often runs in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. His two books, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism (with Robert Litan and William Baumol, now published in nine languages) and The Entrepreneurial
Imperative, are considered international classics in their field for their insights into economic growth.

Dr. Schramm is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Batten Fellow in the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He earned degrees in economics and law.

John O. Riedl, Distinguished Service Award

John O. Riedl is dean and director emeritus of The Ohio State University at Mansfield, having served in that position from 1987 to his retirement in 2003.

After earning his PhD in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, he joined the Ohio State mathematics faculty in 1966. He was named associate dean of the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences in 1974 and later served as acting dean for two years. During his tenure in the college, he became a leader in developing and teaching both an honors program in the mathematics as well as courses for teachers of mathematics.

In 1986 he was named special assistant to the provost to investigate issues that were troubling the Mansfield Campus. He drafted a mission statement and pattern of administration for the regional campus and was appointed its dean and director the following year. Under his leadership, the Mansfield Campus achieved a stable budget and completed a successful capital campaign, enabling the creation of new endowed scholarships, a faculty development endowment, a business program, and a new learning center. A new building on the Mansfield campus was named after him in 2006.

As the campus’ top administrator, he led the completion of a campus master plan, established new academic majors, partnered with the MedCentral College of Nursing in establishing a baccalaureate program, and developed an exchange of services agreement with 22 local schools, among numerous other achievements.

Professor Riedl continued teaching throughout his administrative career, concentrating on mathematics for teachers and using technology to enhance calculus teaching. He served on numerous university- wide committees, as coordinating dean for Ohio State’s regional campuses from 1988 to 2003, and as president of the Ohio Association of Regional Campuses from 1993 to 1994.

Following his retirement, he has remained actively involved with The Ohio State University Richland County Alumni Club and with an organization promoting college access, and he continues to teach mathematics at the Mansfield Campus.

William D. Wells, Distinguished Service Award

William D. Wells is president and CEO of Davis & Son, Inc., a Westerville-based company that
develops, builds, and maintains family houses and commercial properties. As a member of The Ohio State University Foundation Board and the Ross Heart Hospital Board, and as nephew of Dorothy M. Davis and steward of the Davis family legacy of wide-ranging support for the university, he is a strong and valued advocate for Ohio State.

Through his work with the Ross Heart Hospital Board, Mr. Wells has been a determined supporter of Ohio State’s Heart and Vascular Center, helping to strengthen heart health research through the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute. In addition, he is a longtime supporter of the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and of Stefanie’s Champions, serving with his wife, Jackie, as the first honorary co-chairs of the now 10-year-old cancer patient support event.

A love of athletics, especially baseball, inspired Mr. Wells and the Davis Foundation to play a leading role in building the university’s Bill Davis Stadium, one of the premier collegiate baseball facilities in the nation. Mr. and Mrs. Wells have also endowed two baseball scholarships for Ohio State student athletes and have funded the use of charter airplanes for the baseball program, allowing the athletes more study time and lessening the chance of missed classes. The family’s support extends to the Fisher College of Business, where the Davis Chair in the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship supports university-wide collaboration and involvement among students and faculty.

Mr. Wells’ community service includes membership on the boards of the Capital Area Humane Society; the Franklin Park Conservatory, where he was board president in 2007; and the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame (Ernie Godfrey Chapter), where he served as board president from 2008 to 2010.