President Shirley Ann Jackson received the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Alice H. Parker Women Leaders in Innovation Award on Monday, October 26, at The Palace at Somerset in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Chamber named the new Women Leaders in Innovation Award after Alice H. Parker as an acknowledgement of Parker’s significant contribution to the legacy of innovation in New Jersey. The award recognizes individuals from around the world who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of engineering, technology, and science in any sector, either through research and development in their respective technical field or through their leadership of an enterprise.
Since becoming the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from MIT, in any field, and as the second African-American woman to earn a doctorate in physics in U.S. history, President Jackson has been a trailblazer throughout her career.
In 1999, she became the first African-American woman to lead a top-ranked research university. Since then, she has led an extraordinary transformation of Rensselaer into a world-class technological research university. Rankings for Rensselaer among national universities have risen substantially under her tenure, and the number of students applying to join the freshman class has tripled.
Under her leadership, more than $1.25 billion has been invested in transforming the campus, building state-of-the-art research platforms that include the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, and the Center for Computational Innovations, which houses the most powerful supercomputer at an American private university.
President Jackson continues to transform Rensselaer as it embodies her vision of “The New Polytechnic,” a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research. The foundation of The New Polytechnic is the recognition that global challenges and opportunities are so great that they cannot be addressed by the most talented person working alone, nor even by a single discipline, sector, or nation.
The New Polytechnic enables collaborations between talented people across disciplines, sectors, and global regions, in order to address the complex problems of the world. This vision amplifies the ways in which the global impact of Rensselaer research, innovative pedagogy, and transformative student experience are changing the world.