Engineering faculty, student attend Grand Challenge Scholars Program workshop

Jul 31, 2011 | Engineering and Science

Three faculty members and a recent graduate from Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science recently attended the 2011 National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP) workshop held in Austin, Texas. The workshop, titled “Attract, Retain and Prepare Your Students to Excel in the 21st Century,” took place at the Lonestar Campus of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).  Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean of administrative and strategic initiatives for College of Engineering and Science, served as Chair of the national GCSP Steering Committee and gave the opening address for the workshop.  She also talked to attendees about recruiting students, as well as programs and initiatives to assist students in fulfilling the global dimension component of the program. “Participants had an opportunity to learn about the various aspects of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, as well as share the best practices, network, and hear from potential industry and non-profit partners,” said Carpenter.  “The support of corporate partners like AMD who share the vision of education for engineers for the 21st century is a key component of our long-term success.” The workshop was exclusively sponsored and hosted by AMD.  In addition to the Louisiana Tech representatives, over 80 faculty administrators, students and non-profit and corporate partners attended the event. Dr. Bradley Cicciarelli, lecturer in chemical and mechanical engineering, spoke as part of a session focused on funding initiatives.  Dr. Leland Weiss, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Stephanie Parker, recent Louisiana Tech engineering graduate and GCSP Scholar, also participated in the event.  Parker, one of only 20 students from across the nation invited to the event, served on a three-person panel featuring Grand Challenge Scholar students. Although 32 universities have pledged to work to create GCSPs, Louisiana Tech is home to one of only 11 approved GCSPs in the U.S.  The first two Louisiana Tech GCSP scholars, Parker and Louis Reis, graduated in May 2011.  Parker and Reis are two of only 26 Grand Challenge Scholars graduates in the country. The National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a combined curricular and co-curricular program focused around five components: research experience, interdisciplinary curriculum, entrepreneurship, global perspective and service learning.  It’s designed to prepare students to lead in developing solutions to grand engineering challenges facing the global society in this century. For more information on the program, visit the GCS website at Written by Brandy McKnight –