UCO Professor Recognized With National Educator Award

Wei Chen, Ph.D.

May 4, 2012

Media Contact:  Tiffany Wilson, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, (405) 974-2121, twilson37@uco.edu

UCO PROFESSOR RECOGNIZED WITH NATIONAL EDUCATOR AWARD

Wei Chen, Ph.D., assistant dean of the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Mathematics and Science, has been named the International Society for Optics and Photonics’ (SPIE) 2012 Educator of the Year, honoring his role as an outstanding teacher and mentor.

The Educator Award is given annually to an SPIE instructor or educator in the field in recognition of his or her outstanding contributions to optics education.

Chen has gained international recognition for the development of laser immunotherapy for the treatment of late-stage, metastatic cancers.  He uses his laboratory research as an extension of his teaching, involving students from high school to the post-doctoral level in this life-saving cancer research.

SPIE recognized Chen for his efforts to teach students not only the textbook subjects, but also how to think about and approach real life problems.

“Dr. Chen inspires students to be lifelong learners, encourages students to participate in society, and promotes interdisciplinary learning in biomedical optics through research and laser cancer treatment,” the award reads.

Also an engineering and physics professor at Central, Chen was named U.S. Professor of the Year in 2008 by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

In 2011, Chen was awarded the Oklahoma Medal of Excellence for Excellence in Teaching. He is currently teaching abroad at National Yang Ming University in Taiwan as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.

For more information about Central, visit www.uco.edu.

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Editor's Note: Download art for publication with this release at www.uco.edu/photo/WeiChen.

Cutline: Wei Chen, Ph.D., assistant dean of the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Mathematics and Science, has been named the International Society for Optics and Photonics’ 2012 Educator of the Year, honoring his role as an outstanding teacher and mentor.