EWU professor wins regional Outstanding Educator Award

Photo courtesy of EWU

Photo courtesy of EWU

By Colleen Ford, Contributor

Professor Uri Rogers was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award from the Spokane Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at their student presentations on Feb. 22. Dr. Rogers was presented the prestigious award at Luigi’s restaurant in downtown Spokane by fellow members of IEEE.

Dr. Rogers is a professor in the Electrical Engineering department at EWU and has been teaching at the school for four years.

Caught completely unaware, Rogers was stunned and elated at the moment he was announced as the recipient of the significant award.

“I knew something was up,” Rogers said, addressing his suspicion toward the many emails students were sending to make sure he’d attend that night.

Jeremy Mattfeld, Dr. Rogers’ former electrical engineering student, read a nomination letter written by another former student in the same major, Eric Williams.

“I can say without reservation that Dr. Uri Rogers has been one of the best educators I’ve had the pleasure of learning from,” said Williams.

Williams is not the only student who believes Rogers offers something unique to his students.

“I don’t know if there’s a different approach or style to my teaching,” Rogers said. “It’s just that I care.”

Rogers makes an exceptional effort to be available to his students. His office is always open to anyone with questions, concerns, or even just to sit and chat for a while. He responds to emails at all hours of the day and night, acclaimed Williams in his letter, and he makes time for students whenever possible—even on weekends.

“Find someone who is a mentor who will help you with you and with what you want to accomplish,” said Rogers, offering a piece of advice to his students.

Rogers worked in the industry for years before his switch to teaching. His reason? To give back to the people who inspired him to work harder. In each lesson he teaches there is a common question, “what does it mean?” He encourages students to think beyond the classroom and find out how the information will apply to their work, their job, or to life.

Rogers’ philosophy is to give his students the support and skills needed to succeed both in and out of the classroom. His classes may be difficult and his students may be pushed harder, but he does it so they are as prepared as possible to thrive in their environments.

“We push ourselves beyond our perceived limits inspired by our leader,” continues Williams’ letter, read passionately by Mattfeld, “perhaps convinced that the greatest thanks we can give him for his dedication is our earnest effort.”