The Yanai Prize for Excellence in Academic Education, which was awarded for the first time in 2011, has become a status symbol among Technion faculty – reaffirming the importance of effective teaching.
INITIATE, INVESTIGATE, INTELLECT. One of the goals set a decade ago was to recognize excellence in teaching.
To this end, the Yanai Prize for Excellence in Academic Education was launched eight years ago together with Moshe Yanai, a Technion alumnus and global pioneer in the field of information storage. Yanai, together with his wife Rachel, sought to give back to Technion in gratitude for the life skills that he gained during his studies nearly 50 years ago. He contributed $10 million to reward lecturers who demonstrate teaching excellence. The prize he endowed awards 100,000 shekels to each recipient.
The prize is awarded in appreciation for faculty members who set an example through their valuable contributions to teaching, and who strive to improve student involvement and sense of belonging to Technion. By honoring faculty, who are not only excellent researchers but also outstanding lecturers, the Yanai Prize sends a clear message that teaching quality is supremely important.
Since it was established, 69 professors have received the Yanai Prize, including five this year.
“The main reward is not prestige and money but your opportunity to change and inflfuence people’s lives”
– Moshe Yanai
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Assoc. Prof. Daniel Orenstein Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning
“My students receive a solid knowledge base that enables them to critically evaluate and understand the factors that affect the main environmental challenges of our generation. They learn to acquire many different types of knowledge, from academic textbooks and literature, from the cumulative experience of experts, from people’s everyday lives, and from the students’ own life experiences.”
Assoc. Prof. Adi Salzberg Rappaport Faculty of Medicine
“I demand a high degree of investment from my students, so that they will have a high level of knowledge and understanding, but at the same time I demand the same from myself. I invest a great deal of time and energy in frontal instruction and I spend many hours preparing my course. Furthermore, I spend a lot of time in personal meetings with students.”
Assoc. Prof. Keren Censor-Hillel Faculty of Computer Science
“Although the main goal of teaching is to convey the material on the syllabus, I aspire to expand the students’ horizons and therefore I encourage them to gain research experience. I believe in active learning. The website Socrative.com is an important tool for me; it enables students to choose answers to problems that I ask them. I also use other interactive tools in order to make the material more accessible to the students.”
Assoc. Prof. Daniella Raveh Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
“I view training students as my foremost responsibility as a faculty member. I believe that my unique contribution to teaching comes from working with students in various frameworks and through continuous interaction, as well as by being available to listen and give advice. I am especially proud of my contribution as an advisor for student research projects and experiments.”
Assoc. Prof. Avi Schroeder Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering
“I developed a teaching method based on ‘individually adapted teaching’ – a way of learning whereby each subject is studied from several different angles, in complete cooperation with the students. This multi-dimensional view enables the students to express their aptitudes while acquiring an in-depth understanding of the subject in question. As a Technion professor, I feel it is an honor to be an active partner together with the students in building their skills and their professional futures.”
Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering
The faculty received the Yanai Prize this year as a result of its continuous improvement in teaching scores and the many personal prizes awarded to both senior and junior faculty in recent years. The Faculty has established an extensive support network for students in order to respond effectively to all problems that arise during their studies. The Faculty works with student representatives to improve the student experience, nurture a pleasant social atmosphere, discuss changes in the curricula, plan the class and exam schedules, and balance the student work load.
The Yanai Excellence in Teaching Prize was awarded to Assoc. Prof. Roee Amit of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Assoc. Prof. Yael Yaniv of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, and Asst. Prof. Roi Reichart of the Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management.