Congratulations to mechanical engineering Director of Undergraduate Studies Debra Mascaro, who is one of this year’s recipients of the University of Utah’s Beacons of Excellence Awards, given to a person or program that achieves “transformative educational experiences” for students.

Mascaro, who is also an associate professor (lecturer), will be honored during a luncheon on Oct. 29. The award was introduced in 2012 through a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Division of Student Affairs.

She received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., and a doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include organic electronics and optoelectronics, microfabrication, and stretchable electronics.

“Debbie is a fantastic instructor that makes the teaching of her undergraduate class her highest priority,” said University of Utah mechanical engineering chair Bruce Gale. “She spends countless hours working to improve the class and readily responded when the class moved online. Her efforts to make the class as valuable online as it was in person were impressive and made for a seamless and effective transition. She is highly deserving of this award.”

This year’s other recipients include: Juan Rios, Administrative Assistant, Student Success and Empowerment; Megan Randall, Career Coach, Career & Professional Development Center; College of Social & Behavioral Science Student Success Center; Fine Arts Fees (FAF) Grants program; Refugees Exploring the Foundations of Undergraduate Education in Science (REFUGES) Bridge program; and the University of Utah School of Medicine Office of Health, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.