Dean Emir Jose Macari has been like a force of nature since coming to Sacramento State five years ago to head the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Macari’s faculty, staff and students marvel at his energy level in pursuing academic excellence and promoting the college of which he is justifiably proud. He takes particular pride in the campus chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Late last year, the scrappy bunch won the National Academic Olympiad, besting teams from MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford and Georgia Tech. Earlier this month, one SHPE team won first place in the Regional Leadership Development Conference at Stanford while another squad placed third. All three of Sac State’s entries made the finals in the contest’s second round.
So it is fitting that the national SHPE has chosen Macari to receive the Junipero Serra Award. The society’s second-highest Star honor is presented “to an individual who has provided unique and outstanding contributions in the fields of engineering and science, including management, administration and education. Junipero Serra Award recipients demonstrate a similar pioneering spirit, tireless enthusiasm, and consistent commitment over time through innovative accomplishments that lead to the advancement of engineering and science. The candidate must demonstrate consistent dedication and commitment to SHPE’s growth and the advancement of engineering and science.”
Macari exemplifies this and more. A geotechnical engineer who works on the mitigation and prevention of loss of life and infrastructure from man-made and natural disasters, he was appointed to a state panel to monitor the mechanisms of earthquakes and torrential rains that have led to landslides of natural slopes and failures of man-made levees, dikes and dams. He was instrumental in Sacramento State becoming the site of the comprehensive Smart Grid Center that is changing the business model for electricity transmission to allow generators to respond more efficiently to consumer needs.
As Father Serra paved the way for missions across California, Dean Macari has striven to advance the causes of learning and innovation at Sacramento State to the community it serves.
“I accept this award,” Macari says, “and pledge to continue to work to invest on our future generations of engineers and scientists, many of whom will need to be Latinos as our state’s and country’s demographics have shown them to be the largest growing population. If our country is to succeed in the future, Latinos will have to succeed.”
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– Alan Miller