Campus News

Seawell Award recipient fosters community among students and professionals

Stephan Durham, right, is pictured with students at the College of Engineering Capstone Design Showcase. (Submitted photo)

Stephan Durham, professor and assistant dean for student success and outreach in the College of Engineering, is the 2023 recipient of UGA’s Lee Anne Seawell Faculty Recognition Award.

Faculty who receive this honor, given annually by the Career Center, are selected via feedback from the Career Center’s annual Career Outcomes Survey. This year’s survey gave members of the Class of 2022 the opportunity to identify a faculty or staff member who had a positive influence on their career development. The nomination of 704 faculty members indicates the tremendous commitment of UGA faculty to students’ professional development.

Durham received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas’s College of Engineering. He arrived at UGA in 2012 to assist in developing the new undergraduate degree program in civil engineering. Now, he works to deliver professional development and student success opportunities to students throughout the college. His research and teaching interests include concrete materials, structural engineering and sustainability.

Durham says he owes much of his success to his students who exemplify a passion for the field of engineering.

“I am incredibly blessed to receive this award,” said Durham. “It is a product of the amazing students in the College of Engineering who work so hard to complete such challenging degrees. Knowing that I played a part in their educational and professional journey at UGA is rewarding and why I enjoy coming to work each day.”

As both an industry professional and educator, Durham places an emphasis on the importance of networking with his students. From demonstrating UGA resources across campus to providing his own experience and connections, Durham finds multiple ways to help students reach their professional goals.

“I tell my students that the engineering industry, while it may seem large, is a close-knit community of professionals,” Durham said. “Networking and creating a contact list while in college is very beneficial. You never know when one of those contacts will lead you to your next job.”

Durham’s commitment to the professional success of his students does not go unnoticed. Countless students have benefited from his dedication, whether it be finding professional roles or contacts to network with.

The late Lee Anne Seawell endowed this faculty recognition award, which has been presented annually since 2017. Seawell joined UGA in 1947 as one of the university’s first female administrators, and she worked in career services and student financial aid until her retirement in 1987.

“UGA is unique in its devotion to supporting students in their job search,” said Durham. “I am proud of any support I have been able to offer.”

For more information on the career outcomes of UGA’s Class of 2022, visit