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USM professor named ‘Top in Tech’ by Mississippi Business Journal

Dr. Anna Wan, USM assistant professor of mathematics and director and founder of the Eagle...
Dr. Anna Wan, USM assistant professor of mathematics and director and founder of the Eagle Maker Hub, was recently named a “Top in Tech” leader.(University of Southern Mississippi)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - An assistant professor for the University of Southern Mississippi was honored by the Mississippi Business Journal for her contributions to the field of technology in the state.

Dr. Anna Wan, USM assistant professor of mathematics and director and founder of the Eagle Maker Hub, was recently named a “Top in Tech” leader.

“This recognition should not go to me alone, but this team I belong to here at USM,” Wan said.

The “Top in Tech” award honored 22 individuals and companies that innovate, create jobs and contribute to Mississippi’s economy, coming from an industry, government, education, health care, security or other sectors where they are tech leaders and innovators.

Wan’s research to integrate digital fabrication to teaching and learning mathematics helped create the Eagle Maker Hub in 2016.

The Eagle Maker Hub ran by a small group of volunteers who are USM students and is the first public “maker space” available at a Mississippi university as it provides access to tools for digital fabrication, rapid prototyping and coding and has since branched into other content areas like science and engineering.

“Dr. Wan has a keen eye for the technologies of the future, and she implemented them at the University of Southern Mississippi upon arrival. Eagle Maker Hub was built on a much smaller budget than comparable facilities, and its impact has been outstanding,” said Dr. Bernd Schroeder, Interim Director of the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Since it is also open to the public, Eagle Maker Hub is home to multiple summer camps, serves as a “maker space” for creators who need to use its equipment and provides services to the community where there is a gap.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eagle Maker Hub partnered with local medical organizations to provide personal protective equipment face shields, respirator masks, ventilator prototypes and more in 2020 due to the sudden demand for those items.

“Dr. Wan is an authentic leader who fosters innovative thinking among her students and colleagues,” said Dr. Sarah Lee, Director of USM’s School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering. “Her technical contributions to the state of Mississippi were highlighted during the pandemic with her design and creation of a 3D-printed medical mask.”

Eagle Maker Hub’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic showed that it is prepared to take on challenges that may come in the future.

“I hope to resume the focus of integration of technology in teaching content areas and serving the community as we did before the pandemic,” Wan said. “What the team accomplished during COVID showed that we are willing and able for whatever may come next.”

To learn more about the Eagle Maker Hub, click here.

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