DeCaro Receives Award Of Friendship From Chinese City

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Dr. James J. DeCaro, director of the Postsecondary Education Network-International (PEN-International), a grant program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID), has been awarded the Hai He Award of Friendship from the city of Tianjin, China. The award is presented to foreign nationals who have worked in Tianjin and have made “outstanding contributions for the betterment of the city.” DeCaro received the award from the city’s mayor at a Sept. 30 banquet celebrating China’s “National Day.”

Tianjin University of Technology (TUT) is one of the original partners of PEN-International, which began in 2001 with a grant from The Nippon Foundation of Japan. PEN-International’s goal is to network colleges and universities worldwide that educate people who are deaf and to share educational and technological expertise among those colleges. PEN-International established a high-tech, multimedia lab at TUT in 2002.

“Jim DeCaro clearly is a world ambassador for NTID, for RIT, for Rochester, and for upstate New York,” said RIT President Albert Simone in a note of congratulations.

DeCaro is former dean of NTID, a post he held for 14 years, and has been affiliated with the college since 1971.

“I’m most pleased and humbled by this unexpected honor,” said DeCaro. “PEN-International has enjoyed a wonderful and productive relationship with TUT and I consider this award a recognition of our collective efforts. It is deeply appreciated.”

The Hai He Award is named for the Hai He River of Tianjin. Former winners include the CEO’s of Motorola, Samsung, and Toyota, as well as various foreign experts and educators.

PEN-International uses innovative education and information technologies as well as faculty training and development strategies to help improve the postsecondary education of people who are deaf worldwide. Visit PEN-International’s Web site at

The first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, NTID, one of eight colleges within RIT, offers educational programs and access and support services to the 1,100 students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y., campus.

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