November 26, 2014  

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Southern Miss HEADWAE Winners to be honored Feb. 3 at State Capitol

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A professor considered a technology education pioneer and an Honors College student with a 4.0 grade point average are The University of Southern Mississippi’s recipients of this year’s Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) award.

Suzanna Ellzey, a senior biochemistry major from Hattiesburg and Dr. Steve Yuen, a member of the Southern Miss Department of Technology Education faculty, are recipients of the award sponsored by the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).

The HEADWAE award honors academically talented students and faculty members who promote academic excellence at the state’s public and private institutions of higher learning.  They will be formally recognized in Jackson Thursday, Feb. 3 during Higher Education Appreciation Day activities at the State Capitol by the State Legislature and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.

A National Merit Presidential Scholar, Ellzey is a recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society’s National Study Abroad and Emerging Leaders Awards. She was selected as an Outstanding Freshman in 2008, is a recipient of the Biochemistry Award and has studied abroad through the university’s British Studies Program.

“I’m very honored and humbled to be chosen to represent Southern Miss as the student recipient of the HEADWAE award,” Ellzey said. “I can’t say enough about the wonderful opportunities given to me at Southern Miss. My four years here have prepared me to obtain my goals.”

Ellzey has served as a member and officer in a variety of student organizations, including vice president of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-professional and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Societies and her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. She is also a member of Order of Omega and Lambda Sigma Honor Societies, is an Honors College Ambassador and member of Eagle Connection. After graduation, she plans to attend dental school

“Suzanne embodies all the traits of our best Honors College students,” said Dr. David Davies, dean of the Southern Miss Honors College. “She's a hard worker, excels in her classes and is deeply involved in activities all across campus. I can't think of a more deserving recipient of this award.”

Yuen joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1984. He is one of the first educators in Mississippi to integrate multimedia instruction, Web-based instruction, mobile learning, e-learning 2.0, Web 2.0 and social networking technologies into higher education.

His other areas of expertise include augmented reality in education, mobile computing for learning and instruction, e-learning 2.0, educational technologies for new generations, Web 2.0 and social computing for learning and 3D virtual community. 

“I’m deeply honored to be chosen for this prestigious award,” Yuen said. “I have made it my goal to promote the use of innovative technology to empower teachers and learners in Mississippi, and as a faculty member I’m proud to help prepare innovative leaders and high quality professionals in the field of instructional technology.”

Yuen has published 38 refereed journal articles, co-edited three books, nine book chapters, 37 refereed conference proceedings, and a professional blog with more than 330 articles on the use of emerging technology in teaching and learning.

He is co-editor of the International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning and associate editor of the Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange. Additionally, he has given five keynote addresses and more than 200 professional presentations at international, national, regional, and state conferences.

Yuen received the distinguished Senior Fulbright Scholar award at Southern Miss in 1992 and has twice earned the university’s Excellence in Teaching award (1997 and 2004). In 2002, he was named the Mississippi Technology Educator of the Year by the Mississippi Educational Computing Association. In 2005, the Southern Miss Faculty Senate honored him with the Mentoring Award, and that same year he received the College of Education and Psychology’s Service Award.
Dr. Edward Mann, chairman of the Department of Technology Education, described Yuen as one of the best teachers he’s ever observed. “He’s superior in the infusion of technology into the teaching/learning process, and demonstrates the qualities of a state-of-the-art instructor in his performance both in and out of the classroom,” Mann said.