ACTE Announces Dr. Wu as National Award Finalist
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Jo Wu, Faculty at Fullerton College in Fullerton, California, as the 2019 ACTE Region V Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) teachers at the postsecondary level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institution and communities.
Wu has been a biology professor at Fullerton College for 30 years and a strong proponent of synergistic efforts. She has directed the OC Biotech Education Partnership, which developed seven new courses in the Biotech CTE pathway at four colleges, increased enrollment to 850 within five years and expanded dual enrollment to nine high schools. She has served as a liaison for several internship programs at regional universities, as well as a reviewer for a national awards program. As an Amgen Biotech Experience coordinator, she has hosted a professional development and equipment loan program to empower teachers to bring hands-on biotechnology curriculum into their classes. This program grew from her personal delivery of equipment to seven schools in 2002 to serving over 7600 students and 75 teachers in 43 schools in 25 districts in three counties last year.
With over $2 million in external funding and a personal philosophy of promoting career-building skills and exploration, Wu has initiated various programs such as science summer camps, Biotech Skills workshops, peer tutoring, student mentoring and weekend research projects. Multiple research and tutoring experiences for community college and high school students have led to numerous alumni in national internships, doctoral programs, teaching and industry professions. About 700 middle school and high school students at 35 summer science camps gained hands-on training in a college setting and mentorship by college students. While faculty advisor for the Fullerton College Science Club for 22 years, she encouraged students to explore new opportunities, volunteer in community service, and learn from alumni guest speakers. As a first-generation immigrant, Wu has been keenly aware of the challenges facing female, ESL and minority students, and is firmly committed to mentoring students of all backgrounds who are interested in the sciences.
Wu is one of five finalists for the 2020 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 4, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2019 in Anaheim, CA. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, CareerSafe, and Stratasys. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage.