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Hello my name is: Zsuzsa Balogh

A semi-regular chat with a Roadrunner you should probably know. And now you (sort of) will.

By Dan Vaccaro

May 9, 2017

Zsuzsa Balogh
Zsuzsa Balogh

If you’ve ever been on a committee at MSU Denver, then you’ve probably met Zsuzsa Balogh, Ph.D. She’s on all of them! Or at least it seems that way. But in case you haven’t, we sat down with the professor of civil engineering technology for a chat about her favorite classes, unusual hobbies and what has kept her here for almost two decades.

How long have you been teaching at MSU Denver?
I started in fall 2000, so 17 years. I can’t believe it’s been that long. (Laughs.)

What do you teach?
Civil and structural engineering. I am also the program coordinator for the CET program.

Favorite class to teach?
Timber Design is fun. But also, Structural Analysis. It is a tough one for students, but I get to see them work hard and succeed at it.

What has kept you here all these years?
The people I work with. And the students. They are a very unique population. We deal with more adults than in the typical four-year institution. It’s really nice to see them progress. Companies don’t want people who only have a degree and no experience. They want people that can actually do stuff. Our students are ready to be hired.

One really cool thing about your program that you wish more people knew?
We have very diverse students and faculty, as far as their backgrounds, but also their areas of expertise.

Speaking of a diverse faculty, where are you from originally?
I’m from Hungary. I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Budapest. And my Ph.D. is from Colorado State. That’s how I came to the U.S.

What’s something people might not know about you?
I love to cook. That’s one of my hobbies that takes me away from everything else.

What would you have been if not an educator?
Maybe a medical doctor. I like to fix things and bring pieces together. You see how that could work. (Laughs.)

Why should more students study civil and structural engineering?
Because our infrastructure is broken. There is so much work to do and students will definitely get jobs.

You seem like you’re involved in everything. Is that true or just perception?
I am and I want to be. I think it’s very important for faculty to be involved. It’s good to see things from different angles, from different perspectives. That’s why I’ve really enjoyed my work on shared governance. I’ve gotten to see the University in new ways. That’s what education is all about.

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