The BioInspired Institute does cutting-edge work in complex biological and material systems, but from its inception, leadership and faculty were committed to providing students and postdoctoral fellows with more than just technical training. “As faculty, we know that we educate…
LCS’s Dacheng Ren awarded Technology Educator of the Year by TACNY
Syracuse University’s Dacheng Ren, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS), has been named the 2010 College Technology Educator of the Year by the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY). Ren will be presented the award at the 12th annual Celebration of Technology awards banquet on Sept. 20 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Liverpool.
The College Technology Educator of the Year award is given to an educator who has made outstanding contributions in technology education at the college level. Ren, whose research focuses on biofilm engineering with both medical and environmental applications, has had his innovative work reported by both local and national media and has received numerous citations in scientific journals.
“Dr. Dacheng Ren has an exemplary record as an educator, as a researcher and as a citizen of Central New York. He had my highest recommendation to receive the honor of becoming the TACNY College Technology Educator of the Year,” says LCS Dean Laura J. Steinberg. Ren is committed to improving education in the University and local community, especially for underrepresented groups, and he considers this a vital part of his career. Ren has mentored 30 undergraduate and graduate students in research activities since joining LCS in January 2006. Five of his former undergraduate students are currently pursuing Ph.D. studies.
Ren is also enthusiastic about K-12 outreach through leading lab tours and providing summer research opportunities for students interested in pursuing an education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
“In addition to being an extremely visible researcher and excellent teacher in the classroom, Dr. Ren has also established successful collaborations with local companies to develop new technologies for future products, involved industrial specialists in college education and promoted career development and mentoring for industrial employees by providing opportunities for continuing education,” says Radhakrishna Sureshkumar, chair of LCS’s Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering.
Adam Smith, an engineer from Bristol-Myers Squibb Corp., worked in Ren’s group and received a master’s degree in 2008 from LCS. He was named that year as the college’s Outstanding Chemical Engineering Graduate Student. “Continuing my education under the guidance of Dr. Ren has increased my knowledge of key engineering concepts, my knowledge of current key industry standard practices, knowledge of new techniques and technologies, my ability to make informed business decisions, and my ability to integrate newer procedures and technology into the workplace,” Smith says. Inspired by this accomplishment, Smith is currently doing a part-time Ph.D. study in Ren’s group.
TACNY’s mission is to enhance and facilitate the development, growth and advancement of education, awareness and historical appreciation of technology within the Central New York Community. “Science, technology, engineering and math education is critical if the United States and Central New York are to continue to make significant contributions to advancement in those fields,” says TACNY President Howard R. Hollander. “Educators must provide a memorable classroom experience, as well as motivate more students to pursue STEM degrees and careers. The efforts of Dr. Dacheng Ren are to be commended, and are worthy of recognition by our organization.”
“It is a great honor and encouragement for me to continue and improve the work that I enjoy doing every day. Making my research and teaching connected to society is crucial,” says Ren. “I have been fortunate to work with excellent colleagues and students who have inspired me so much. I look forward to continuing my efforts in technology education for many years to come.”