Tag Archives: engineering

engineering

ASU’s engineering schools merge

Arizona State University is merging its two successful engineering schools. The move will enhance and expand engineering education opportunities, lead to growth in the number of engineering and technology graduates, strengthen and increase the impact of research and simplify engagement for industry.

This is a natural next step for ASU’s successful College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) and the Polytechnic campus, where the college is located. Both are now about a decade old.

CTI will be renamed the Polytechnic School, and will be housed within ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The school will continue to have unique programs, and the engineering and technology programs will be expanded at the Polytechnic campus.

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the change Feb. 5.

“For ASU to pursue its mission of innovative education and research, there needs to be continuous evolution and improvement of the university’s schools and campuses,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “By incorporating the Polytechnic School within Fulton Schools of Engineering, a top 50 nationally ranked engineering school, Poly will attract more students and expand research possibilities faster than could have been done otherwise. The Polytechnic School brings to Fulton a number of high-quality applied engineering programs and additional research facilities and programs.”

In recent years, ASU has constructed new academic facilities at Poly, built a residential life academic village, and added new recreation facilities. The goal remains to have 15,000 to 20,000 students there.

“The merger of CTI and the Fulton Schools represents a logical fusion of two very successful programs,” said ASU Provost Robert Page. “It will provide our students with a better-defined set of program options and allow new synergistic connections among our faculty.”

Both CTI and the Fulton Schools share a strong interest in innovative, experiential education, student success and use-inspired research directed toward solving societal challenges in areas such as energy, health, sustainability, education and security.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is one of the largest engineering schools in the United States, with more than 10,000 students. CTI has more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The Fulton Schools undergraduate program ranking from U.S. News & World Report puts them in the top 25 percent of ranked programs. Both schools have faculty that have been honored with the highest awards in their fields.

Mitzi Montoya, who has served as vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation since 2011, has been promoted to vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and university dean for entrepreneurship and innovation. In this new role, Montoya will synthesize activities across campuses and continue to enrich the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.

During her time as dean of CTI, Montoya spearheaded several initiatives designed to promote and support entrepreneurship. She was pivotal in bringing TechShop – a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide – to the ASU Chandler Innovation Center. She also launched iProjects, which connects ASU students with industry to solve real business problems.

immigration

Tackle Popular Immigration Reforms Now

Following the results of the election, there appears to be a real window in Washington, D.C. to do something meaningful on immigration.

The just reelected president has made immigration reform a first tier priority.  And many Republicans believe that dealing with this issue is essential to restoring to their party some attractiveness with the two fastest growing groups of immigrants: Asians and Hispanics.  Both groups clobbered the GOP in the election, with approximately 66 percent of Hispanics breaking for the president and Asians going into the president’s column at a whopping 73 percent.

The inability of Republican candidates to capture votes from these important demographic blocs is jarring. In 1996, the GOP Dole-Kemp ticket won 48 percent of the Asian vote. In his successful 2004 reelection campaign, President Bush won over 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Much has changed.

But more important than any political gains to be had are the economic benefits. As American Enterprise Institute fellow Ben Wattenberg wrote a few months ago, immigration is a comparative advantage for the United States. We need to take full advantage of the fact that the best and the brightest, the hardest working people from around the world desire to work and live in the United States.  This isn’t a situation that we should run from. This is something we should fully embrace.

While there may be the urge to try to fix the entire immigration system in one fell swoop, an all-at-once approach imploded a few years ago.  A step-by-step approach focused on making incremental gains may make more sense.

Yes, we need to bolster security and continue to work towards operational control of the border, but we also need to work on other areas ripe for reform now.

The three areas that should be addressed first:  1) some sort of codification of the president’s mini-Dream Act; 2) a path to increasing the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and higher-skill visas; and 3) improvements to our existing temporary worker programs.

Already the president has gone forward via executive order with a Dream Act-type plan that provides a renewable work permit for those who entered the country illegally at a young age and who meet certain conditions, such as military service or enrollment in college.

Shoring this up via legislation is not necessarily dead on arrival in Congress. You will recall that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney criticized the president’s process behind this new program, but he did not attack the substance.  And Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had been working on a similar proposal to the president’s actions before the executive order.

On visa reform, the U.S. House as early as this week is poised to act on legislation that would increase the number of STEM visas and make it easier for those with green cards to bring over family members.  The trade-off would be an elimination of the diversity visa program.

The public support for reform is there. A poll conducted for the Arizona Business Coalition over the summer found support for the president’s action on undocumented immigrants brought here as children, with 56 percent of respondents favoring the president’s policy while 41 percent were opposed.  This proposal was supported by 76 percent of Hispanics with only 21 percent in opposition.

Regarding Arizonans’ support for a proposal similar to the STEM legislation to be considered by the House later this week, the results are clear. The same poll asked the following question:

“The proposal would create a new category of green cards for highly-skilled foreign students who have earned a masters or doctorate degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics from an American university and have received a job offer to work in the U.S. This would allow these foreign-born students to stay, work, and pay taxes here in the United States. ”

The results?  Eighty percent support and only 19 percent in opposition.

In addition to this STEM proposal we should pass something along the lines of what Sen.-elect Jeff Flake has proposed with his STAPLE Act, which would exempt international STEM graduates educated in the U.S. from visa quotas.

There is also support for addressing obvious U.S. temporary worker needs. Arizona voters were asked:

“In general, would you support or oppose a guest worker program that allows workers from Mexico to cross the border legally and register with American authorities to perform seasonal work on a temporary basis in Arizona?”

The results were 83 percent of respondents in support and only 16 percent registering in opposition.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is prepared to help advise policymakers on these items, and we’ve established new policy committees – Federal Affairs and Hispanic Business and Emerging Markets – to help provide the analysis they require.

Forgive the sports analogy, but if immigration were a baseball game, we’re down by four runs. It would be nice to hit a grand slam and solve all of our immigration challenges, but we can get the same results by stringing together singles and doubles.

There’s a real opportunity to make substantive reforms to our country’s immigration system. Let’s not let this opportunity pass us by.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. http://www.azchamber.com/

78634646

Afterschool Programs Get STEM Grants From Cox

Nine afterschool programs around the state will each receive a $1500 STEM grant from the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence and Cox Communications to support creative efforts to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into today’s curriculum.

“At a time of shrinking funding in schools across the state, these grants emphasize the critical importance of using an informal STEM approach to curriculum in afterschool and out-of-school-time programs because they remain one of the few opportunities for youth to engage in projects incorporating science, technology, engineering and math,” said Melanie McClintock, Executive Director, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence.  “The quality of the proposals we received from around the state made the decisions incredibly difficult, but also pointed to the remarkable quality of afterschool programs developed and operating across the state.”
Proposals were submitted from urban, rural, suburban and charter schools across the state as well as from community-based afterschool programs.

Winners are:

Afterschool “All-Stars” Program, Ira A. Murphy School, Peoria:  To purchase iPads for junior high student-led program for students to report, edit and broadcast video morning announcements to the school.

Computer 360 Start to Finish, Introduction to Computer Drafting and Design, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arizona, Cottonwood:  For implementation of computer technology curriculum teaching youth about basic hardware and software components needed to construct a computer system, basic functionality and operational maintenance.

Gilbert Public Schools, VIK Club, Incorporating Digital Photography into 6 VIK Club sites, Gilbert: Funds will support efforts to increase creative hands-on art projects; enhance and expand children’s passion for books, reading and imagination; and inspire and develop passion for photography as an art form.

Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona, Launch of Gamma Sigma Club, Tucson: To purchase iPads for junior high and high school girls to use current apps to plan their engineering projects, integrate 3-D graphics, spreadsheets, charges and presentations.

JAG Afterschool Program, Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, Gila Bend, LaJoya, Sierra Linda, Tolleson and Westview High Schools: To help students develop career and college plans and deepen their connection to their school and community through the purchase if iPads for students to use in researching, planning, conducting, editing and producing a series of video interviews with passionate professionals in STEM related careers.

Show Me Light, Tucson Parks and Recreation KIDCO Programs, Tucson: To explore the science of light from a totally different perspective which would end up creating a laser music show as the final product.

Lego Robotic Club, Magnet Traditional School, Phoenix:  To establish a Lego Robotics Club to expose students to STEM in an informal learning setting.

Spartans Science Club, Northland Preparatory, Flagstaff:  To expand STEM projects to include robotics and allow students to identify problems they want to try to solve, design, build, program, troubleshoot and execute by purchasing Lego Education NXT Mindstorm kits.

SPOT 127, KJZZ’s Youth Media Center, Phoenix: To engage youth in project-based activities that build foundational skills in radio and broadcast journalism, music and video production, sound design, media literacy, web design, graphic arts, and social media.

Winners were selected based on their innovative use of science and technology in an informal learning setting, the involvement of students in designing many of the projects and the maximum utilization of the limited dollars available.