COES graduates receive national recognition as Grand Challenges Scholars
Louisiana Tech University students Stephanie Parker and Louis Reis have received national recognition and congratulations from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) as two of just 14 students in the country who are graduating as 2011 Grand Challenges Scholars. Parker, an electrical engineering major, and Reis, a biomedical and chemical engineering double-major, are also the only students from the State of Louisiana to receive this distinction for the 2011 academic year. Louisiana Tech, Duke University, and Olin College produced all 14 of this year’s Grand Challenges Scholars graduates. “The Grand Challenge Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to expand their educational experience to include a focus on global issues, service and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean for administration and strategic initiatives in Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science. Together with the interdisciplinary focus on engineering and science that is Louisiana Tech’s hallmark, the Grand Challenge Scholars Program uniquely equips students with the skills and vision to be leaders in addressing the complex issues facing our nation in the 21st century.” In addition to the national attention Parker and Reis are receiving through the NAE and the National Academies, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has requested information from the NAE to highlight the 2011 Grand Challenges Scholars graduates in their blog. Given that Louisiana Tech is one of only three institutions in the U.S. to have graduated Grand Challenge Scholars, Carpenter says this recognition further highlights the outstanding educational opportunities in engineering and science available at Louisiana Tech and that rank among the very best in the nation. Louisiana Tech is home to one of 41 Grand Challenges Scholars programs either operating or in development in the United States. Carpenter was elected in November 2010 to serve a two-year term as Chair of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program Steering Committee. The Grand Challenges Scholars program stems from the NAE’s “14 Grand Challenges for Engineering.” It is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program designed to prepare students to work on problems whose solutions could dramatically improve quality of life around the world.