Christopher James Ruffin, academic advisor for Georgia Tech’s Interdisciplinary BioEngineering Graduate Program, passed away on July 20, 2013.
Chris was known as the easygoing and super friendly champion of the program. His spirit, like the program, was interdisciplinary and through the years he reached out across school, department, college and even university lines to make the program a success. There is no faculty or staff member that the graduate students would more closely associate with the program than Ruffin, as he was the student’s and faculty’s initial point of contact for anything regarding the program.
“Chris was the go-to person throughout the last 4 years that I have known him,” said Timothy Kassis, a current graduate student from mechanical engineering who is in the program. “My interactions with him from day one of the program gave me a quick sense of belonging and an inner satisfaction of calling the BioE community family.”
Ruffin began at Georgia Tech in 1994 and started working in the bio-community in April 2001 in the Biomedical Engineering department. Since that time he worked tirelessly to make sure that the BioEngineering Graduate students and faculty were taken care of.
“I don't think I've worked with another person who had the combination and depth of kindness and energy that Chris did,” said Rob Butera, professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and former program director. “No task was too big or too small - he got them all done, professionally and with a smile.”
“Chris was a wonderful person and an outstanding advocate for students and faculty in our program,” Andrés García, current director of the program stated. “He brought exceptional professionalism and work ethic while at the same time bringing a personal and caring perspective.”