Francelina A. Neto, chair of the civil engineering department, won the Bentley Educator of the Year award for her achievements in higher education and academics.
Neto was selected as the winner by an independent jury panel composed of educational leaders and infrastructure professionals. The decision was based on nominees’ educational histories, along with candid videos and photos of courses taught by the nominees, several essays summarizing work done with students and descriptions of selected research projects and grants, including her innovative work in infusing the engineering curriculum with 3D modeling and spatial analysis techniques.
“I was surprised and honored and the nomination itself was much appreciated,” says Neto, who received the award last month at a London ceremony attended by about 3,000 people. “I felt recognized for my many years of work toward the education of the future generation.”
The award is sponsored by Bentley Systems, a company that produces design software for the architecture and engineering industries, and it comes with a $1,000 donation for the charity of the winner’s choice. Neto has chosen Cal Poly Pomona’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a student organization focused on developing sustainable engineering projects at the local level. Neto says students from the Cal Poly Pomona chapter will in early 2014 tackle a “hands-on, larger than life” project to provide a reliable water source to the community of Chaguite, Nicaragua.”
Mahyar Amouzegar, dean of the College of Engineering, says Neto exemplifies the dedication and all-around excellence of Cal Poly Pomona’s faculty.
“The Bentley Educator of the Year award is a prestigious honor and the college congratulates Dr. Neto for receiving the award,” Amouzegar says. “We are proud of Dr. Neto representing Cal Poly Pomona and the College of Engineering on an international platform.”
Neto says winning the award does not mark the end of her aspirations to continue being a great educator and says she “will continue serving still for many years.”
Neto has been a part of Cal Poly Pomona’s civil engineering department for 15 years, serving as department chair for the last two. During her tenure, she has helped maintain and lead the largest engineering department on campus and the largest civil engineering program in the state, according to the Engineering Workforce Commission.
(Photo: Professor Francelina Neto receiving the Bentley Award.)