Educator at Center Selected for Award for Contributions to STEM Education, Workforce

Achievement date: 

Yacob Astatke of Morgan State University, an outreach partner school of the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC), headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), was selected for the 2016 College-Level Promotion of Education Award for inspiring minority students to pursue STEM-related careers.


The Career Communications Group chose Astatke for the award. He runs summer camps for middle school, high school, and community college students to spark their interest in STEM (science, technology, Education, and Math) fields, in which too few minorities and other U.S.-born students graduate with qualifications to fill available positions.


Astatke teaches courses in both analog and digital electronic circuit design and instrumentation, with a focus on wireless communication. He has more than 15 years’ experience in developing and delivering Web-based course supplements for electrical engineering courses. He has published over 35 papers and presented his research at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition to the summer camps Astatke organizes, he has traveled to Ethiopia for the last decade to teach graduate courses, provide training, and guest lectures at Hawassa University and Addis Ababa University.

Astatke was also honored with the 2012-2013 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Mid-Atlantic Region Distinguished Teacher Award and the winner of the 2013 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Outstanding Teaching Award.