James T. Neubacher Award

David Chesney (right) talks with Brad Ebenhoeh, for whom students in Chesney's senior-level engineering class developed assistive technology. (Photo by Joseph Xu, College of Engineering)

Congratulations to 2018 Award Recipient, David Chesney

The University of Michigan’s Council for Disability Concerns has named David Chesney, a lecturer in computer science and engineering, as the 2018 recipient of the James T. Neubacher Award. Reimagining the way in which U-M campus learning and living can be designed for those affected by a disability poses a number of challenges, but Chesney encourages his students to do just that.

Every fall semester, Chesney teaches the first-year student engineering course, Gaming for the Greater Good. In the first part of the course, students learn fundamental programming skills. In the second part, they create a computer game using their newly acquired programming skills. The game, however, must have some form of social relevance.

Students from Chesney’s classes have developed games for children with cerebral palsy and for children who are on the autistic spectrum.

“They are really developing solid technical skills,” Chesney said, referring to his students and the projects they have worked on. “Developing a very unique user interface for someone who potentially can’t see it or can’t hear is an interesting technical issue. A cool project with the addition of ‘let’s help people while we’re doing it’ seemed like a really easy fit.”

Read more about David Chesney in the University Record.