Valparaiso University’s College of Engineering and Department of Athletics both have high expectations for its students and student-athletes, who have a long history of being recognized for their success. Continuing this tradition of excellence, Kyle Zobeck (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West H.S.), a senior mechanical engineering major and mathematics minor as well as a member of the men’s soccer program, has been selected as a Tau Beta Pi Laureate, the highest distinction for a senior engineering student in the United States.
“I am greatly honored to receive the Laureate designation,” Zobeck said. “I don’t think the enormity of the situation has fully hit me yet. It is a very exclusive group to be a part of, and I cannot thank my professors, classmates, and fellow Tau Beta Pi members enough for putting me in a position to even be considered for this honor.”
Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, selects up to five of the “best of the best” students from more than 325 U.S. colleges of engineering. Zobeck has the honor of being in a select group of 83 Laureates chosen since 1982. According to the Tau Beta Pi website, these Laureates are outstanding examples of the “spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges.”
“This is the second Laureate that Valpo has had in the last three years,” said Kraig Olejniczak, outgoing dean of the College of Engineering. “I want to express my appreciation and thanks to the Indiana Delta Chapter for choosing a wonderful Laureate candidate. This is the caliber of award that continues to raise the reputation of our College of Engineering and our University.”
Valpo’s most recent Laureate was Jackie Kondratko, who played soccer for the Crusader women’s program from 2006-2009.
“We are incredibly proud of Kyle who is a tremendous representative of the University,” said Mark LaBarbera, director of athletics. “We are also incredibly proud of the fact that both of these young people are student-athletes in our soccer programs. We appreciate the partnership that we have with the College of Engineering in bringing exceptional students to Valpo.”
Zobeck is grateful for the opportunities available at Valpo, and knows that the education and experiences he has had at Valpo will help him to prepare for the future.
“I believe that Valpo has made me a better, more well-rounded individual and has prepared me for life after graduation,” Zobeck said. “I have been given numerous opportunities to expand my horizons while at Valpo that otherwise never would have presented themselves.”
Zobeck pointed to the exceptional quality of the College of Engineering and the dedication of engineering professors to their students.
“Valpo’s engineering program is outstanding because of the professors’ availability and willingness to help students on an individual basis and because of the amount of hands-on learning,” Zobeck said.
After graduating this December, he plans to pursue a career in professional athletics.
The award will be presented to Zobeck at Tau Beta Pi’s 2012 convention, which will be held Sept. 27-29 in Lexington, Ky.