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Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, email@example.com, (612) 626-7959 MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (7/22/2010) –- University of Minnesota mechanical engineering student Stephanie N. Zastrow is one of only five students nationally named as a 2010 Laureate by Tau Beta Pi, the world’s largest engineering society. Zastrow is the first University of Minnesota student to receive this award since its inception in 1982.
The annual laureate program is Tau Beta Pi’s highest honor recognizing gifted engineering students who have excelled in areas beyond their technical majors. 2010 award winners will receive a $2,500 cash award and a commemorative plaque at Tau Beta Pi's annual convention on Oct. 9.
Zastrow, a rising senior in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering, was cited for her achievements in athletics. She is an accomplished figure skater who has competed for 14 years in regional and national competitions and has more than 100 medals. She is a five-time Minnesota state champion, two-time alternate to nationals, and an international medalist. At age 15, she became only the 25th person in the world to pass the Ice Skating Institute's level 10 freestyle test.
“I am very honored to receive this award and be recognized for both my athletic and engineering accomplishments,” Zastrow said. “Skating has been a part of my life since I was 5 years old. It’s taught me organization and time management, as well as how to set goals. I’ve been able to use all of these skills to further my engineering education and career.”
In addition to skating, Zastrow spends many hours volunteering at local skating rinks and coaching younger skaters. She also volunteers as a judge at test sessions and competitions, tutors younger skaters in English and calculus, and serves as a mentor and role model. Zastrow is a member of the U.S. Figure Skating collegiate committee.
Zastrow is a student in the University of Minnesota Honors Program and serves as a student ambassador. Her research with mechanical engineering professor Will Durfee has included developing a computer program to create a virtual reality simulator for human dentistry.
Zastrow, who will be president of the Minnesota Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi in 2010-11, recently served as the chapter's project coordinator. In that role, she planned the Kits 4 Kids annual fundraiser to buy engineering-related toys for donation to Toys 4 Tots during the holiday season. She is also active in Pi Tau Sigma and the Society of Women Engineers. Zastrow plans to graduate in May 2011.
Tau Beta Pi has initiated 516,000 members since it was founded in 1885. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tau Beta Pi has 236 active collegiate chapters and 18 active alumnus chapters throughout the country. For more information, visit www.tbp.org.
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (7/22/2010) –- University of Minnesota mechanical engineering student Stephanie N. Zastrow is one of only five students nationally named as a 2010 Laureate by Tau Beta Pi, the world’s largest engineering society. Zastrow is the first University of Minnesota student to receive this award since its inception in 1982.