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Morgan State University has issued a press release congratulating Oscar Barton, Jr., dean of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., School of Engineering, for winning the Edwin F. Church Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

This prestigious award recognizes Barton’s contributions to mechanical engineering education, and he is the first African American to receive this distinction in its 52-year history.

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The award also highlights Morgan State’s commitment to excellence in mechanical engineering education and its reputation as a leading producer of Black graduates with engineering degrees nationwide.

Established in 1972, the Edwin F. Church Medal is presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service in enhancing the value, importance, and appeal of mechanical engineering education.

Barton’s recognition is a result of his exceptional leadership at Morgan State University, where he has spearheaded strategic growth, fostered collaboration among faculty, staff, and students, managed multiple research centers, and advanced academic and research programs to prepare students for future industries.

ASME is committed to diversifying and cultivating tomorrow’s engineering professionals, and as part of this effort, they are establishing the Dr. Oscar Barton, Jr. Endowed Scholarship, which will focus on underrepresented male students pursuing engineering degrees at Morgan.

“Having this scholarship established through the ASME Foundation for underrepresented male community college students seeking to complete the BS engineering degree is one more example of their commitment to investing resources where needed. It will further strengthen partnerships between 2-year institutions and the Mitchell School of Engineering at Morgan State,” said Barton.

Before joining Morgan, Barton was a professor and founding chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University. He spent 22 years at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he focused on developing closed-form solutions for complex systems and analyzing dynamic responses of composite structures, resulting in over 60 published articles.

Barton received the College-level Promotion of Education Award at the 2009 BEYA STEM Conference. In 2014, Dr. Barton was elected to the Career Communications Group (CCG) Hall of Fame.

Barton will be honored at the upcoming ASME Foundation event, “Reinventing the Future: Diversity Driving Innovation,” for his distinguished service advancing mechanical engineering education and his extraordinary advocacy for diversity in engineering.

Scheduled for March 21, 2024, the fundraiser benefits the ASME Foundation’s breakthrough initiatives in engineering education, early-career resources, and sustainable innovations, bringing together visionary STEM leaders and advocates progressing toward equity in engineering.

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