In This Story
Congratulations to Professor Danny Menascé, the 2021 winner of the David J. King Teaching Award. This annual award is presented to a faculty member who has made significant, long-term contributions to the overall educational excellence of the university.
Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. Mason’s Teaching Excellence Awards are both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgment of the significant work that faculty members devote to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring. The David King Award is the highest teaching honor that the university bestows on a faculty member.
Menascé is an outstanding research scholar and teacher, as is evidenced by the many awards he has received for teaching and research during his lengthy career. Some highlights include receiving the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia, being elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2014, receiving the 2001 lifetime achievement A.A. Michelson Award from the Computer Measurement Group, election as a Fellow of the Association for Computer Machinery in 1997, several best paper awards, more than 278 published papers, and five books.
To a large extent, the current CS department is what it is today because of a 2007 merger between the CS department and the Department of Information & Software Engineering. As Senior Associate Dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering, Menascé envisioned this merger as a way to strengthen the CS department. He was instrumental in convincing both the school administration and the faculty to approve the merger of the two departments. The merger created a stronger department that serves its students and other constituencies more effectively and has climbed in national rankings.
In addition to his leadership in the department and the school, Menascé is highly regarded by students. They describe him as a great motivator who makes himself available in and out of class. Evaluations from undergraduates and graduate students alike give him consistently high marks. Menascé still remembers being a curious teenager who took apart electronics to find out how they work and imparts this sense of wonder, excitement, and self-direction in his students. He requires students to learn by themselves and finds it necessary for students to experience self-learning to become self-learners. This attitude, combined with his extensive subject matter expertise, has propelled countless students through the rigors of the computer science curriculum.
The university honored Menascé and other award recipients at the Celebration of Teaching Excellence on May 7.