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Kobza Gives Back Through Alpha Pi Mu Leadership Position

Professor John Kobza thought he would just take a seat in the back of the room and watch when he drove down to Kennesaw State in Georgia. In his role as regional vice president for Alpha Pi Mu, Kobza helped KSU start a chapter two years ago and was invited to the official ceremony.

“I was a little surprised how appreciative they were of me being there. They asked me to take a role in the ceremony,” Kobza said. “They were very happy to be recognized and it was fun to participate and make a couple of connections with the students there.”

Kobza is one of many ISE faculty members holding leadership positions in academia and service organizations.Headshot of John Kobza

Alpha Pi Mu is an industrial engineering honor society that was established in 1949 at Georgia Tech University. The mission of Alpha Pi Mu is to confer recognition upon industrial engineering students who have shown exceptional academic interests and abilities in the field.

Alpha Pi Mu attained full membership in the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) in 1959. It is the only nationally accepted industrial engineering honor society due to its association with ACHS. There are 68 active chapters of the society, including one at UT, and more than 38,000 members.

Kobza was invited to join Alpha Pi Mu once he began studying industrial engineering as a PhD student at Virginia Tech in 1989. Four years ago, he was elected as vice president of Region III, which includes universities in Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

Kobza provides reports on the region’s chapter, helps with budgeting, and is on the scholarship committee. Alpha Pi Mu recently recommended 11 scholarships for students.

“The duties aren’t that onerous and it’s a way to give back to the profession and hopefully try to encourage other chapters to get involved,” Kobza said. “It’s great to be a part of recognizing the achievement of students who are doing good things.”

Kobza hopes to stay involved with Alpha Pi Mu for at least a few more years. He is on the planning committee for the honor society’s 75th anniversary celebration. It will allow him to meet even more colleagues from across the country and network while representing UT.

“It helps keep us on the radar,” Kobza said. “They are able to know we are still in the game and doing stuff. So, if anything every comes up, they know John is over at the University of Tennessee and may be able to help with a question, such as if they are in the process of hiring one of our graduates for a faculty position. They can rely on me to help.”


Rhiannon Potkey (865-974-0683,