A large crowd of 550 attended the recent 2012 Awards Banquet sponsored by the Davidson College of Engineering. However, numbers don’t tell this story – people do. The annual gala brings together the many committed faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and industry friends who support the college in so many ways.
A commitment to excellence
In her opening remarks, Dean Belle Wei emphasized the importance of this annual spring event. “It takes collaboration and partnership to build a nationally recognized college of engineering that is dedicated to educating the next generation of engineers who are technically excellent, socially responsible and globally informed,” she said.
“This evening, while we honor the accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we also want to honor our commitment to excellence in education – how well we prepare our students to shape a better future,” said Wei.
Dean Wei went on to discuss that inclusive excellence is key in educating students to shape a better future. “Inclusiveness means all people, from a variety of diverse backgrounds, especially those from traditionally underserved communities. It also includes a variety of domains of expertise because the challenges facing us today are too complex for us to limit ourselves to a single domain of knowledge.”
Wei cited the challenges to provide food, energy, and water for a growing population in an era of climate change and depleted natural resources as examples.
Futurist Paul Saffo
In his keynote address, world-renowned futurist Paul Saffo, known for his work exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change, continued the discussion on shaping a better future for our students. Saffo built upon his extensive experience in forecasting to provide further insight into how to approach the uncertainties and challenges we face. He emphasized that during these times of economic uncertainty, engineers are needed more than ever.
Saffo currently serves as managing director of foresight at Discern Analytics. He also teaches at Stanford University, and serves as a visiting scholar in the Stanford Media X research network.
Congratulations 2012 Awardees
The pivotal event of the evening focused the spotlight on 12 awardees, honored for their accomplishments and contributions. These individuals epitomize the high standard of excellence advanced by the college.
SJSU President Mohammed H. Qayoumi presented two outstanding alumni with the highest honor given by CoE – the 2012 Award of Distinction. Chia-Juch Chang, ’76 MS Civil Engineering, and Amarjit Gill, ’83 BS Electrical Engineering, were honored for their outstanding engineering careers and commitment to service. Both alumni awardees are outstanding role models for our students: Chang, a global leader, is chairman of China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest airline; Gill is co-founder and CEO of Maginatics, Inc., in the software systems industry, his fourth company.
Established in 1980, the Award of Distinction recognizes SJSU alumni who have achieved superior professional accomplishments while also demonstrating citizenship by their significant service to community and professional organizations.
Five outstanding faculty members were honored with awards for teaching excellence: Professors Xiao Su, Winncy Du, Richard Chung, Essam Marouf, and lecturer Dan Harkey. For service excellence, Molly Crowe, human resources specialist for CoE, received this year’s Onslow Rudolph Jr. Staff Excellence in Service Award.
Additionally, four students were honored for excellence in academic performance or service: Stephanie Fung, electrical engineering major; Manuel Ahumada, mechanical engineering; Miguel Rebollar, civil engineering; and David Kao, materials engineering master’s candidate.
The Davidson College of Engineering is grateful for the many people from industry who support the college and make the annual banquet possible. Thirty-three companies sponsored tables this year. Special thanks go to corporate sponsors at the platinum level – Brocade, Cisco, IBM, KLA Tencor and NXP, and silver sponsors – Lam Research, MIPS Technologies, Netgear and SEMI.
For speaker/awardee bios, sponsors, and more, download the 2012 Engineering Awards Banquet program (PDF).