Dean receives award from American Society for Engineering Education

Jeffrey Ray, dean of Western Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology, was recognized by the American Society for Engineering Education for his outstanding service to engineering technology education.

Ray was named the 2017 James H. McGraw Award recipient in a ceremony held Wednesday, June 28, in Columbus, Ohio. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium and plaque.

Jeffrey Ray (left) accepts the 2017 James H. McGraw Award from Thomm Scaife, manager of McGraw-Hill Higher Education Group.

The award is named for the founder of McGraw-Hill Book Co. and recognizes contributions to engineering technology education such as displaying outstanding subject matter competence and providing student guidance and course development, as well as developing written materials including textbooks, articles, reports and exams.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this year’s James H. McGraw Award as the 68th honoree,” Ray said. “Although this is an individual award, I could not have achieved it by myself. Thank you to my wife, American Society for Engineering Education and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology colleagues, and all the faculty, staff and administrators who I’ve worked with over the past 10 years for your support and encouragement.”

Ray cited WCU’s instruction methods for engineering technology education, with a curriculum that emphasizes a hands-on approach that fosters lifelong learning and critical thinking. “It’s about making things happen, problem solving and responding in real-world situations,” he said.

Ray came to WCU to take the dean’s position in August 2014. He earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering at Tennessee Technological University.