Dr. Niezgoda Recognized As Exemplary Faculty

Sue Niezgoda
Sue L. Niezgoda, Ph.D., P.E.

Congratulations to Civil Engineering Associate Professor Sue Niezgoda, Ph.D., P.E., who has been recognized with a 2014 Gonzaga University Exemplary Faculty Award! She was nominated by Dr. Stephen Silliman, Dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and Dr. Paul Nowak, Department Chair of Civil Engineering. "Sue can regularly be seen working with her students in some of the most creative laboratory and course exercises we have witnessed in our nearly 50 years of combined teaching experience," write Drs. Silliman and Nowak in their letter of nomination.

Known affectionately as "Dr. Sue" by her students, Dr. Niezgoda began teaching at Gonzaga in 2011. She teaches numerous courses, including Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulic Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Stream Restoration, Applied Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling, Sustainable Systems and Design, and Senior Design. She also advises over 20 students each year and conducts research in engineering education, hydraulic engineering, soil erosion and sediment transport, river engineering stream restoration, and uncertainty and risk assessment for stream restoration.

In 2014, Dr. Niezgoda co-published a new academic study as lead author for the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. The article, "Defining a Stream Restoration Body of Knowledge as a Basis for National Certification," will result in more consistent and successful water restoration projects by reducing uncertainty and raising the standard of care in design.

Sue Niezgoda
Dr. Sue demonstrates erosion and water resources engineering for MESA middle school students in the hydrology lab.

Along with teaching, advising, and research, Dr. Niezgoda is an active contributor to University and School committees, including representing Civil Engineering in extensive strategic planning efforts. She also serves as advisor to the 30+ student chapter of ASCE, "with substantial plans to invigorate this student organization to national prominence," note Drs. Silliman and Nowak. Beyond Gonzaga, Dr. Niezgoda is a member of both the Board of Directors of River Restoration Northwest and the American Society of Engineering Education.

In response to receiving this award, Dr. Niezgoda says, "I am truly humbled and honored to have received this award. It was totally unexpected. I love my job, I feel it's my purpose in life. My students inspire me every day, and watching them grow into professionals and succeed in life is my ultimate reward. I love being a faculty member at Gonzaga, as I feel such strong support and encouragement to apply my passion for teaching to enhance the educational experience of the undergraduate student. When you have such strong support from all levels, it is easy to create an environment that engages, inspires, and motivates students to learn more. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Gonzaga community, and am truly appreciative of this recognition."

Student Appreciation for Dr. Niezgoda


Sue Niezgoda
Dr. Sue surveying stream data with two students on the North Fork of the Big Lost River near MacKay, Idaho.

"Dr. Sue is extremely dedicated to both her engineering career and her students. My life has been significantly changed because of her wealth of knowledge and her ability to convey it." - Jack Siemens

"Dr. Sue is a professor that everyone wishes to have at some point in their Gonzaga career. She is willing to help students with anything and everything, from homework to senior design projects to preparing to enter the workplace." - Dallas Dimock

"Dr. Sue is an extremely hard working teacher and mentor. All her students love her teaching style with Myth Buster Mondays and in-class experiments. As a senior design adviser, she pushed us to design our own solution to fix a real-life problem based on research and natural stream conditions. By expecting more of our group, we accomplished more than we thought we could. Thanks, Dr. Sue! You deserve to be recognized." - Jamie Gable