Engineering faculty member to speak at winter commencement


Dr. Andrew P. Nichols, who last spring received the Dr. Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award for the 2014-2015 academic year, will be the keynote speaker at winter commencement Saturday, Dec. 12.

Commencement gets underway at 11 a.m. at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in downtown Huntington.

The Hedrick award recognizes a full-time, tenured faculty member who has a minimum of seven years teaching experience at Marshall and a record of outstanding classroom teaching, scholarship, research and creative activities.

“What an honor to have the opportunity to speak to this class of Marshall graduates,” Nichols said. “I hope my message will provide encouragement and inspiration as they start the next chapter of their lives.”

Nichols, a native of Point Pleasant, also received the Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award for the 2014-2015 academic year. He was the senior recipient for Sciences and Technology.

He has been teaching engineering at Marshall since August 2007. He also is program director with the Nick J. Rahall II Appalachian Transportation Institute’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Area, a position he has held since arriving at Marshall.

Nichols earned his bachelor of science in civil engineering degree in May 2000 from West Virginia University; his master of science in civil engineering degree in December 2001 from Purdue University; and his doctorate in civil engineering in May 2004, also from Purdue.

He is both an applied researcher and a consultant in the area of transportation engineering. He has conducted traffic signal design, traffic data collection, traffic safety studies, and traffic-related research for various projects in South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland.

Nichols says his teaching philosophy is “to deliver course content and create assignments in a way that leads to student engagement and students learning. That environment tends to involve hands-on activities, real-world examples and classroom discussions to promote critical thought,” he said.

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Photo: Dr. Andrew P. Nichols, right, poses with Interim President Gary White as Nichols receives the Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award last spring. He also was given the Dr. Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award.