On June 1, 2016, I had the honor of being inducted as an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).
I was among a small number of new foreign members elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and it was a great pleasure to meet new colleagues and associates there.
A Chinese Academy of Engineering academician title signifies the highest Chinese academic achievement level in Engineering and Technology and a lifelong honor. It's a true honor for me to be elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering. I am deeply grateful to my mentors, colleagues, fellows, students, and friends who have inspired me through my career. I look forward to continue to work closely with the engineering community in China.
On May 24, I was very happy to receive the prestigious Connecticut Medal of Technology at the 41st Annual Meeting & Dinner of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), at the University of New Haven. The Connecticut Medal of Technology is the State of Connecticut’s highest honor for technological achievement in fields crucial to Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.
It is wonderful to receive this recognition for the work I have been doing in Connecticut. Besides our work in science, we have started a number of successful companies here and have been able to reach back by working in STEM education in the state. I am particularly gratified that the state has recognized my work in making Bioscience Connecticut a reality. I wanted to thank those who nominated me and supported my nomination, including Provost Mun Choi here at the University of Connecticut. And, of course, thank you to my extended family, colleagues, and friends who have always supporting me and my vision over the many years.
On May 21, as part of the Connecticut Science Center Women in Science program, CICATS' Dr. Linda Barry, Assistant Director and Chief Operating Officer of CICATS, was giving the keynote speech for the #DaVinciCoder Girls-only Hack-A-Thon in Connecticut Science Center in downtown Hartford. During the speech, Dr. Barry talked about academic medicine still has low number in women and underrepresented minorities. She also shared her own story to becoming a surgeon. One of our missions is to collaborate in creating a learning environment where underrepresented minority individuals and women can thrive in STEM. We also encourage mentoring to support women throughout their academic and professional experiences, and supporting efforts to retain women in the STEM workforce.
On May 19th, 2016 I was extremely honored to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barrack Obama at the White House. This marks the third time I have received White House honors. I was the recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from President Bill Clinton for work bridging engineering and medicine, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama.
In a press release issued by the White House, President Obama stated, “Science and technology are fundamental to solving some of our nation’s biggest challenges. The knowledge produced by these Americans today will carry our country’s legacy of innovation forward and continue to help countless others around the world. Their work is a testament to American ingenuity.”
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation is America’s highest honor for technological achievement. I give thanks to my family, teachers, mentors, colleagues, and students for inspiring me each and every day. What has been accomplished on this journey is in large part due to them.
Since the announcement of my receiving the National Medal of Technology we have embarked on a number of new and exciting initiatives. These include the Hartford Engineering a Limb Project (HEAL), and the launch of our new Journal, Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine.
On May 31st, I had the honor of receiving a personal tour of the prestigious 301 Military Hospital in Beijing. The 301 Military Hospital is a direct subsidiary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Logistics Department. It is also the largest general hospital under the auspices of the PLA. Its mission includes assuring the health of PLA and China's leaders. The hospital has 125 clinical, medical and technological departments, and 4000 patient beds. The tour allowed me to see some of the key areas within the hospital. It is a very impressive building, and I was pleased I had the opportunity to tour this first class health facility.
Thank you to Professor Xiaobing Fu (Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering), Professor Peifu Tang (Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery), and medical staff members of the 301 Hospital for hosting my visit.
On April 29, I was invited to present the distinguished lecture for the annual Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NEAGEP) and Five Colleges STEM Diversity Day. NEAGEP is one of 26 NSF-funded programs in the U.S. It focuses on increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in STEM. In my speech, ‘Innovation and Leadership in Science, Engineering and Medicine’, I shared my story and talk about aspects of the convergence of innovation and technology. I enjoyed sharing some principles for success as well as my personal philosophies in terms of successfully developing and encouraging young people in the STEM field. It was a fascinating event. Thanks to UMass Amherst for hosting the event.