IEEE Educational Activities Recognizes Top Educators

Awards also honor members of IEEE Eta Kappa Nu

15 January 2014

Eight individuals, one society, and a pair of organizations were honored for their outstanding initiatives in education by the IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) at a November ceremony in New Brunswick, N.J. EAB vice president Michael Lightner was master of ceremonies. John Orr, president of IEEE’s student honor society, Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), bestowed IEEE-HKN awards to five of its members.

Senior Member Gerald Peterson and the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) each received the IEEE Educational Activities/Standards Association (EA/SA) Standards Education Award. Peterson was recognized “for visionary development of e-learning modules on technical standards enhancing the knowledge and skills of students, academics, and engineering practitioners.” He co-chaired a group that developed the first Web-based training program to assist universities in teaching engineering students the importance of standards in engineering. CALCE, in College Park, Md., earned its award “for continued leadership in developing and promoting standards education in the field of reliability engineering.”

Two IEEE EAB Pre-University Educator Awards were given out. Israel Malinowitzer was recognized “for creating and promoting the development of high school career academies that prepare students for today’s technology-focused industries.” He is the coordinator and supervisor of the Career Academy programs for the East Islip School District, in Long Island, N.Y. These programs introduce high school students to business leaders, medical professionals, and engineers in hopes of giving them a taste of the global job market. In accepting the award, Malinowitzer noted that members of the IEEE Long Island Section involved with the academy are also helping expand the program elsewhere in New York State. “I believe [the program] will encourage more students to consider careers in engineering and to continue their post-secondary education,” he said.

Jerina Chunga was cited “for decades of passionate teaching experience and positive impact made on the lives of young children, inspiring them with creative thinking and instilling in them a strong sense of self-belief.” Founder of the technology department at Millennium College, in Limpopo, South Africa, Chunga also designed and helped build the school’s IT lab for more than 100 students. She also introduced the Inter-Active E-Beam Learning System, which can turn any flat surface into an interactive whiteboard for classroom purposes.

The IEEE EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Continuing Education went to Senior Member Sri Niwas Singh “for leadership in creating and delivering training in advanced power systems to practicing engineers, the academic community, and policy makers.” A professor in the department of electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, in Kanpur, he has written the popular text Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution and developed video lectures on power-system operation and control and on high-voltage, direct-current transmission systems.

Life Member Carol A. Richardson received the IEEE EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities for her “leadership in accreditation activities that create and enhance career opportunities for graduates of engineering technology programs.” She retired in 2009 from Rochester Institute of Technology, in New York, as chair of the department of electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering technology. There she designed the B.S. program in telecommunications engineering technology, in 1993, the first ABET-accredited program of its kind. ABET is the U.S. accrediting body for academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. As an IEEE ABET program evaluator, she has reviewed some 500 programs at 150 institutions. She has also been an ABET commissioner representing IEEE and served on the executive committee of ABET’s Engineering Technology Accreditation Committee.

For establishing CodeChix.org—which provides educational programs and mentoring for women computer programmers—IEEE Member Rupa Dachere received the IEEE EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Information Education. CodeChix organizes instructor-led hacking sessions, technical talks, and hands-on technical workshops for its more than 1500 members. Dachere dedicated her award to “all the women who need such a support system to pursue their technical and career dreams.”

Powsiri Klinkhachorn, a senior member, received the IEEE EAB Major Educational Innovation Award “for pioneering contributions to classroom education through the integration of multidisciplinary hands-on interactive activities and teaching tools.” Klinkhachorn is a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at West Virginia University, in Morgantown. He has brought hands-on robotics projects to his classroom and mentors preuniversity students in robotics competitions. His West Virginia students have competed in several NASA robotics competitions, often placing among the top five winners.

The IEEE EAB Vice President’s Recognition Award went to Member Gong Ke for “contributions to wireless communications and radio propagation, impact on university education in China, and involvement in the internationalization of higher-level education in science, technology and innovation.” Ke, president of Nankai University, in Tianjin, has over the years been involved in movements to reform teaching, improve the governance of universities, deepen scientific innovation, and strengthen cooperation among universities around the world.

The IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society earned the IEEE EAB Society/Council Professional Development Award for offering educational initiatives in instrumentation and measurement to meet the lifelong learning needs of its members.

The IEEE EAB Employer Professional Development Award went to Georgia Tech Research Institute. The applied R&D organization was recognized for its “support and encouragement of employee continuing education and its commitment to invest in their professional development benefiting both IEEE and its members.” GTRI was cited for its more than 200 career development and training courses, its tuition reimbursement program, its mentoring and job rotation programs, and its support of employees’ volunteer activities, including with IEEE.

IEEE-HKN AWARDS

The honor society’s highest membership classification, Eminent Member, went to IEEE Life Fellow Martin Cooper, IEEE Fellow Susan L. Graham, and IEEE Honorary Member N.R. Narayana Murthy.

The IEEE-HKN C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teacher Award went to IEEE Senior Member Sayan Mitra “for exemplary classroom teaching, outstanding dedication to students’ learning, including substantial personal engagement with both undergraduate and graduate students, and major innovations in computer engineering courses and laboratories.”

Mitra is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a research assistant professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory and the Information Trust Institute, in Urbana. In accepting the award, he encouraged others in the audience to get involved with their university’s curriculum development. “I am inspired by how much attention goes into designing curricula, which transforms not only the lives of thousands of the next generation’s engineers but also the whole world,” he said.

Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan received the IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Professional Award. An IEEE member, he was recognized for “inspiring leadership and exemplary seminal contribution in addressing global humanitarian challenges through technological innovations in electrical and computer engineering.” He has developed several early-screening systems for infants in rural India that detect developmental delays in about 30 minutes, and his Information System on Human and Health Services project involved a computing system in south India that tracks more than 1 million people with disabilities. In accepting his award, he thanked those in IEEE and others who gave him the “courage to dream and follow my heart and passion to help society with technological innovations.”

The deadline to nominate a colleague for a 2014 IEEE EAB award is 15 May.

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