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Justine Cassell Earns Women of Vision Award

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March 11, 2008 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Justine Cassell, professor of communication studies and electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, has been named the winner of the 2008 Women of Vision Award for Leadership from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

Cassell, who also is director of the Center for Technology and Society, is being recognized in the field of computer science for her development of the Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA), a virtual human with the capacity to interact with people using both language and non-verbal behavior.

In choosing Cassell for the award, the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) cited Cassell's investigations of the role that ECAs can play in children's lives. "Research addressing real issues in different types of learning and education make her a leader and a woman of vision," a spokesperson for the organization said.

Cassell will officially receive the award in early May. The ABI provides resources and programs for industry, academia, and government to help them recruit, retain, and develop women leaders in high tech fields resulting in higher levels of technology innovation.