Chao honored for software solutions to community needs


BOWLING GREEN, O. - Dr. Joseph Chao, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Bowling Green State University, received the Community Involvement Award and was recognized at the Faculty Recognition Awards ceremony April 10.

Presented by Faculty Senate, the award annually recognizes a faculty member for outstanding contributions to the community or to other local, state, national or international communities, and includes a $1,000 cash award.

Five years ago, Chao founded the Agile Software Factory (ASF), a program within the Department of Computer Science at BGSU. More than 300 students have participated in ASF, designed to provide real-world learning opportunities for students and thereby increasing their value to future employers. Since the program's inception, Chao and his students have created nearly 30 software projects to meet the needs in the community.

"A common thread in the feedback I have noted from community partners is how well the student teams worked with the clients in understanding their needs, a vital element in service-learning for the students that are involved," wrote Dr. Venu Dasigi, chair of the computer science department.

Chao has also served as mentor to other faculty members interested in community engagement and entrepreneurial outreach. In 2011, he was the co-recipient of the first BGSU Faculty Award for Excellence in Service Learning and Civic Engagement, which recognizes faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and learning activities by making significant contributions to the civic learning of BGSU students.

"His commitment to sustained community engagement since 2007 has made a significant impact on many agencies and organizations and the individuals and families they serve," noted Dr. Jane Rosser, director of BGSU's Office of Service-Learning.

Often the nonprofit organizations that benefit from ASF services receive solutions to services they desperately need, but often do not have the financial resources to afford. Sherry Tripepi, executive director of Equality Toledo, said she is very appreciative of Chao and his students for creating a membership and donation database software program for her organization. "This is a wonderful service that Dr. Chao is providing for the community as well as a great learning opportunity for his students."

(Posted April 11, 2013 )