Professor from Maplewood recognized nationally

Photo Courtesy of Kean University
Maplewood resident Jenny Li, assistant professor of computer science at Kean University, was awarded the NCWIT Award for her outstanding research mentorship of women and underrepresented minorities.

UNION, NJ — Maplewood resident Jenny Li, assistant professor of computer science at Kean University in Union, was recognized by the National Center for Women in Technology for her outstanding research mentorship of women and underrepresented minorities.

“This positive feedback and recognition of my research mentoring work of the last several years is super motivating,” said Li, who was awarded the NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award at the organization’s annual summit in Texas.

The award recognizes exceptional mentorship, high-quality research, recruitment of women and minority students, and efforts to lead undergraduates in computing-related fields, and cites the importance of faculty mentors whose support influenced their students’ educational and career paths.

“Kean students benefit immensely from having access, one-on-one, to a researcher and professor of Dr. Li’s expertise,” said Patricia Morreale, executive director of Kean’s School of Computer Science. “She encourages her students in a positive, engaging manner that allows them to be very successful.”

Li’s mentoring has led to the publication of 20 co-authored papers. She has mentored more than 70 students, of whom 40 percent are women and 60 percent belong to minority groups underrepresented in STEM fields. Li was also recently featured in the 2018 edition of the NJBIZ Vanguard Series, which recognizes the unsung heroes of higher education in New Jersey.

“I am always thrilled about students creating new technologies and applications with my guidance and support,” Li said.

The enrollment of women in Kean’s computer science and information technology programs has increased 25 percent in the last two years. With Li as a faculty adviser, Kean also has an Association for Computer Machinery Women chapter, which organizes career fairs, guest speakers and information sessions to help members achieve success in computer science and information technology fields.

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