ODK 2011 Senior of the Year Award Goes To Pitt Honors College Student David Gau

Issue Date: 
May 1, 2011

University of Pittsburgh senior David Gau, majoring in bioengineering, mathematics, and economics, has been named the 2011 Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Senior of the Year.

Gau is graduating today from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, School of Arts and Sciences, and Honors College.

ODK, founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., is an honorary society that recognizes students who maintain a high standard of leadership in collegiate activities. The award is given to students who possess and exhibit outstanding leadership qualities in service to the University.

As a student, Gau was involved in numerous leadership activities, including the founding of the Pitt Association for Leadership and Success, a leadership development organization that works to improve the University in sustainability, technology, residence life, and campus life. He also served as president of the engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi and president pro-tempore of the Student Government Board.

Gau’s many honors include the Golden Panther Award, given by Pitt’s Office of Student Affairs to a student highly involved in campus activities; the George and Stella Seewald Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship given annually to a student serving as a Pitt ambassador through Pitt Pathfinders; and the Wellington C. Carl Pittsburgh Foundation Scholarship, presented by Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering for excellent academic standing.

Gau also has participated in teaching and research opportunities while at Pitt. He has served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for General Chemistry, General Chemistry 2, Triogonometric Functions, and Algebra. As an undergraduate researcher in Pitt’s Center for Biotechnology, he has researched cell migration, with a concentration in breast cancer cell migration.

Gau has traveled to Vietnam to visit a variety of engineering firms—including civil, biological, and computer— to better understand how globalization affects individual companies and the problems they face as they expand abroad. He also traveled to China to learn how Chinese engineering operations compare to U.S. engineering companies.

Following graduation, Gau plans to travel to Australia for a year to continue his research on breast cancer.

The ODK award was announced at Pitt’s 35th annual Honors Convocation in February.