Byron Chen, PhD, professor in NJIT's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received the Excellence in Instruction by an Adjunct Professor Award on Sept. 15, 2010 at the NJIT University Convocation, an awards ceremony with a special welcoming ceremony for the freshman class. The event was held on Lubetkin Field at J. Malcolm Simon Stadium, on the NJIT campus. A reception for the award winners followed.
Traditionally, this event honors select NJIT faculty, staff, and students who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period. "We reward them not only for their achievement, but because their leadership serves as a testament to NJIT's commitment to excellence," said Ian Gatley, PhD, provost.
C. Stephen Cordes, managing director and member of the executive board of ING Clarion Partners, a leading investment advisory firm specializing in real estate, in New York City, delivered the keynote address. Cordes, who received NJIT's Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement last fall, graduated from NJIT in 1972 with a BS in industrial engineering. He heads the private equity real estate portfolio management group with assets under management of $23 billion. He holds a master's degree in public administration from Rutgers University and is chairman of the NJIT Albert Dorman Honors College Board of Visitors.
The citation read as follows:
As a member of the technical staff in the Department of Wireless Systems Engineering at Alcatel-Lucent, Byron Chen, as one colleague notes, is close to "the heartbeat of the wireless industry." The class in wireless networks that he has taught at NJIT since 2002 is informed by this ongoing research and development work. Over that time, Dr. Chen has proven a master at developing a pedagogy that creates a resonance between intellectual research and real-world challenges. He assigns group projects where each team must prepare questions for their classmates, and each individual must make a speech in class. He founded a hypothetical wireless communications company where students evaluated new technologies from the viewpoint of the service provider, including calculation of associated costs.
Dr. Chen is known for lectures that are comprehensive and comprehensible, assignments that are challenging and pertinent, and an interactive style that keeps students on their toes. Among students, he is revered as a caring and involved professor who is always available to them despite his busy outside commitments. As one recent graduate observes, "He not only taught students academic theories, but also showed us the elegant behavior that should be done by a real gentleman, a well-educated scholar."