2002 Leaders to Watch

Article excerpt

Those who have contributed to the technology education field for many years are known for their teaching, written work, presentations, research, and recognition received from professional groups. The selected individuals who are highlighted here have shown outstanding leadership ability as educators early in their careers.

This list is by no means inclusive. There are many other professionals in the field with similarly impressive qualifications.

Individuals who want to recognize other technology educators with outstanding qualifications should forward their vitae and a sponsoring letter to ITEA for consideration.

The leaders of our field are our future; we should promote and encourage them to realize their potential.

John W. Hansen, Ph.D.
Associate Dean
College of Technology
University of Houston
Houston, Texas

Dr. Hansen's preparation for serving in academia began as an "at-risk" high school student. Close to dropping out of school, he enrolled in several industrial arts courses where he found something that he had never experienced in the classroom, success and self-esteem. Instead of dropping out, he became an "A" student, graduated tenth in his class, and received two awards for academic achievement in industrial arts. He attributes this success to his industrial arts instructors who wanted to make a difference in the lives of their students. Dr. Hansen's core value is to make a difference in the lives of his students and the students who are touched by the teachers he helps.

After receiving his Master's degree from California State University, Fresno, Dr. Hansen accepted a teaching assignment in central Africa in a technical high school. He soon became the principal of the school and established it as a regional provider of a quality technical education.

Upon completion of his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Hansen became an associate professor in the College of Technology at the University of Houston where he immediately became involved in revising the technology education curriculum in Texas.

His leadership in technology education is manifested in his research and publication in Texas. His research efforts have resulted in the establishment of the Technology Education Standards for Texas public schools, which is a new and innovative approach to developing the technological literacy of the youth of Texas. He has given multiple presentations at state and national conferences, written in professional journals, is actively involved in developing instructional resources, has developed approximately $1,300,000 in funding towards the statewide revision of the technology education curriculum and instructional resources, and hosts the www.texastechnology.com website. Dr. Hansen currently serves as chair of the membership committee for CTTE.

Dr. Hansen's research interests revolve around the development of pre-college curricula for developing the ability of future generations to adopt, adapt, or invent solutions to current and future problems that will ensure sustainable economic development. He is passionately concerned about the ability of our youth to make informed technological decisions. He has established the Center for Technological Literacy at the University of Houston to provide a research base for technological literacy and to promote technological literacy as a powerful means for: (1) achieving personal and shared goals, (2) alleviating human suffering and promoting social justice, and (3) evaluating and deciding on appropriate courses of action.

Chris Merrill, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial
Technology
Technology Education
Program
Illinois State University
Normal, IL

For the past nine years, Dr. Merrill has been teaching technology education at the high school and university levels. After earning his doctorate at The Ohio State University, he accepted a position teaching at Illinois State University, where, in addition to faculty responsibilities, Dr. …