NSU Faculty Member Among State Outstanding
Faculty Award Recipients
Dr. Frances Williams, associate professor of engineering, is
among the recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award
presented by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
and Dominion Resources.
The Outstanding Faculty Award is the Commonwealth's highest
honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and
universities and recognizes superior accomplishments in
teaching, research and public service. Dr. Williams is one of 12
recognized statewide. This is the second consecutive year that a
Norfolk State University faculty member received the award.
“To be recognized in consecutive years with this honor speaks to
the exemplary quality of faculty at NSU,” said President Tony
Atwater. “Dr. Williams is an innovator and has been instrumental
in leading our efforts in providing researchers throughout the
region with a state-of-the-art user friendly cleanroom.”
Dr. Williams has conducted extensive research in the area of
acoustic micro-sensors, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)
devices and processes. In 2010, she was granted a patent that is
expected to save the semiconductor industry money. Dr. Williams
is interim director of the Center for Materials Research and
director of the Micro- and Nano-technology
Center (MiNaC), a $6.5 million state-of-the-art clean-room. She
is also the diversity director for the Center for Integrated
Access Networks (CIAN) Engineering Research Center (ERC), a
multi-university center that is funded by the National Science
Foundation. Since coming to Norfolk State in 2004, Dr. Williams
has been awarded grants that total more than $12 million.
She has been recognized for her research and innovation. Dr.
Williams was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in
Education in January 2012. She was honored by Norfolk State
University in 2010 with a Distinguished Faculty Award, receiving
the University Award of Excellence—the highest University
faculty award at that time. In 2012, Dr. Williams was recognized
by the NSU Board of Visitors for her innovation.
She received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering
from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.
Dr. Williams earned the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer
engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology where she
was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, Office of
Naval Research HBCU Future Engineering Faculty Fellow,
Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science Fellow,
and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Scholar.
Technology Spurs Creative Learning
Dr. Rasha Morsi, associate professor of engineering, has extensive experience in
modeling, simulation, visualization and training technologies. She has an amazing
aptitude for developing and facilitating learning applications that are meaningful and
successful for those who use them. Her work has been recognized by the Norfolk State
University Board of Visitors with a resolution honoring her scholarship.
Dr. Morsi is founding director of NSU's Creative Gaming and Simulation (CGS) lab,
which is developing a 3-D simulation exclusively for training nurses. This is just one of
the cutting-edge learning technologies that she is developing. "We are now in the digital
age," said Dr. Morsi. "Our students are more likely to google something than walk into a
library or read a book to find it out. This is the reality we live in."
Because of this new reality, Dr. Morsi believes that developing and using computer
simulations and other applications to educate and train students in the 21st century
become an expected educational process. CGS has engaged in projects for K-16
education. Dr. Morsi points out that more than 1.5 million Apple iPads are being used in
schools worldwide and with 200,000 applications available for them, teachers have apps for any subject. CGS is
currently working on curriculum-based apps that are expected to make it easier for teachers to adapt these
technologies and make better use of them.
For Dr. Morsi, who wanted to be a college teacher since she was 14 years old, it's gratifying to know this technology
can reach students. "Teaching to me is a passion. What really fascinates me is that you can almost see the light bulb
turning on when a student 'gets' something," she said. "You can see it in his or her eyes. It's a great feeling to be able
to have that kind of impact on the future generations!"
Highlights and Featured Articles
Dr. Mikhail Noginov
Distinguished Faculty Award for
Excellence in Teaching 2007
Dr. Noginov is a professor of physics
in the College of Science, Engineering,
and Technology. He is a scientist
that models the way for other faculty
members in the natural sciences
and is well-respected by his peers.
Through Dr. Noginov's work, Norfolk
State University's Center for Materials
Research has partnered with colleges
around the country in developing
new materials and the world's
Mr. Milton Ferguson
Teaching Award 2008
Mr. Ferguson is an associate professor
of physics and chair of the Physics
Department. He has served NSU
for more than 43 years! He brings
continued enthusiasm and commitment
to the scholarship of teaching
and endeavors to teach students by
using strategies that engage them in
the learning process. His instructional
focus is on students attaining proficiency
of the course content through
knowledge, application and synthesis.
Dr. Mahbub A. Khandaker
University Faculty Award of
Dr. Khandaker is a professor of
physics at Norfolk State University
and holds a joint appointment in high
energy physics at Jefferson Lab in
Newport News, Va. He has been with
the university and Jefferson Lab since
1995. Dr. Khandaker has 125 published
research articles in refereed journals,
an additional four submitted articles
for publication in refereed journals,
and one general article published in
a non-refereed journal.