Computer Science Professor Recognized Nationally as Outstanding Mentor


Jenny Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at Kean University, is being recognized by the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) 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 2018 NCWIT Summit last month 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, citing the importance of faculty mentors whose support influenced their student’s educational and career path.

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

Li’s undergraduate research 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 that are underrepresented in STEM fields.

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

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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