University honors four for volunteerism, achievement

Posted: October 9, 2021

Four College of Engineering alumni and friends were honored by The Ohio State University this fall for their volunteerism and distinctive achievements. James and Patricia Dietz were recognized for their dedication and service to Ohio State, while David Emerling and Kunal Parikh received university alumni awards.

Dietzes receive top volunteerism award

Jim and Pat Dietz at the Longaberger Alumni House
Jim and Pat Dietz at the Longaberger Alumni House

James (Jim) and Patricia Dietz accepted the 2021 John B. Gerlach Sr. Development Volunteer Award, Ohio State’s highest award for volunteerism. It rewards those who show the greatest dedication and personal investment in university fundraising efforts.

The Dietzes have established an endowed scholarship that provides significant support for six to seven engineering students each year. They continue to mentor students even after graduation.

Four years ago, the Dietzes initiated a conversation with the College of Engineering to start a Triple Match Campaign, providing three-to-one matching funds to help encourage young alumni to contribute. They have led this effort every year since. Jim Dietz, a 1969 and 1970 graduate of Ohio State’s chemical engineering program, began volunteering with the university in 2008 and enjoys engaging with students in the classroom and offering advice.

“After sitting down with students, I have really learned the importance of listening to and talking with young people,” Jim said. “These experiences illustrate what a great community Ohio State is and what motivates Pat and me to be involved — the people: administration, faculty, alumni, friends and above all, the students.” [Read more]

David Emerling: Creating Buckeye bonds for life

Headshot of David Emerling
David Emerling

Those who know David Emerling ’81 say he has a superpower: recruiting alumni to join and lead the Alumni Club of Detroit. Over 40 years, he’s held every leadership role in the chapter, which earned The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s 2020 Club of the Year Award, and he’s brought hundreds of members into the club. This year he received the university’s Dan L. Heinlen Award for outstanding achievements in advancing the university through advocacy.

Emerling leads the way by raising thousands of dollars for Ohio State scholarships, recruiting students, creating a group for young alumni and spearheading events to raise money for Detroit residents in need.

He’s also an advocate for the benefits of getting involved with an alumni chapter.

“We have a lot of fun at our events, and the networking is phenomenal. Beyond that, a lot of people feel like the university got them to where they are today, and they want to give back by recruiting students or fundraising,” Emerling said. “But I think the real reason people get involved is that they like being with other Buckeyes. It’s a bond for life.”

After 29 years as an automotive engineer, Emerling came to Ohio State in 2008 as industry collaborations director for the Center for Automotive Research. He’s based in Detroit, combining his passion for work with his zeal for his alma mater. [Read a Q&A with David Emerling]

Kunal Parikh: Alleviating the suffering of others

Headshot of Kunal Parikh
Kunal Parikh

Kunal Parikh’s achievements since graduating from Ohio State in 2012 have been remarkable. He is a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, founder of the Global Institute for Vision Equity and co-founder of the Social Innovation Lab in Baltimore. An inventor, he has 10 patents issued or pending. In honor of his impressive accomplishments, Parikh received Ohio State’s 2021 William Oxley Thomson Award, which recognizes alumni age 35 or younger for distinctive achievement in a career, civic involvement or both.

In all pursuits, Parikh, 31, aims to create technologies and companies that improve the quality of life for people and to enable equity in health care.

“By experiencing and observing suffering, I was motivated to alleviate the suffering of others,” Parikh said. “Today, I’m driven by a desire for all living beings to be happy, and a sense of gratitude that I can spend my time being of service to others.” [Read a Q&A with Kunal Parikh]

Categories: AlumniAwards