SAN FRANCISCO Belle Wei, dean of the College of Engineering at San Jose State University (SJSU), has been named Educator of the Year in the 2007 EE Times Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards competition. Michael Callahan, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, is Student of Year for 2007.
Wei and Callahan will be honored April 3 at the third ACE Awards Gala at the San Jose Fairmont.
The EE Times ACE Awards celebrate creators of technology who demonstrate leadership and innovation in the global industry and shape the world we live in. The Educator the Year award recognizes an individual who brings leadership, creativity and inspiration to students in an engineering or science curriculum at a college or secondary school. The Student of the Year award recognizes a student whose discipline, hard work and academic success are considered hallmarks for other engineering or science students.
"Through their commitment to education and technology, Dr. Wei and Mr. Callahan are literally transforming the world todayfrom improving the quality of undergraduate education to developing a life-changing technology for disabled people. Their accomplishments illustrate what it means to be truly innovative," said Brian Fuller, editor in chief of EE Times.
As dean of the College of Engineering at SJSU, Wei has spearheaded a long-term transformation of the college, focusing on the globalization and global competitiveness of the engineering profession, creating academia-industry partnerships and recruiting underrepresented demographic groups. Thanks in part to her work, in 2006 the College of Engineering vaulted from 16th place to 12th place for engineering programs that award BS and MS degrees, as reported in U.S. News and World Report.
"Engineering education today is more than teaching students superior engineering knowledge and skills. We must inspire them to use their knowledge and skills in an innovative way to solve compelling societal problems. I like to refer to it as a holistic approach to teaching and learning," Wei said. "I am deeply honored to receive this award and to have the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, alumni and industry friends to positively impact our students."
Callahan, while a graduate student, developed an innovative technology to translate neurological signals into speech. Callahan also co-founded Ambient, a company to commercialize the technology for use by disabled people.
"I am honored to be recognized as Student of the Year by EE Times. I attribute this achievement to all of those who have helped me along the way, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to help people in need," said Callahan. "I share this award with all the educators who have helped guide me, as well as my fellow students, who have helped me realize my vision of improving the lives of the disabled."
The 2006 winners of Educator and Student of the Year were, respectively, Geoffrey C. Orsak of Southern Methodist University's School of Engineering and Adam Sidman of Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, who is now a freshman at Harvard University.
The EE Times ACE Awards are part of CMP Technology's Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley, the largest electronic systems design event in North America.