2013-2014 Education and Outreach Highlights
ERC-initiated Bioengineering Programs at NCAT:
- History-making graduation of BS and MS students as 1st seamless offering of undergraduate and graduate bioengineering programs at an HBCU (NCAT)
- The current enrollment as of Spring 2014 stands at BS: 53 (77% female, 75% African-American), and MS: 13 (31% female, 31% African-American and 54% with no race/ethnicity information provided by the students to the University). Since their inception in Fall 2010, the programs have graduated BS 5 (40% female) and MS 12 (50% female). Many students have successfully found employment in industry (Baxter International, St. Jude’s), graduate and/or professional schools and post (Pitt, UC, UVa, Rutgers). The enrollment trends and demographics are presented in the charts below.
- NCAT Bioengineering program has been accepted for membership into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) at its Spring 2014 meeting, a first for a stand-alone HBCU.
- Dr. Pai, Dr. Liles and Dr. Sankar were invited to several ad hoc working groups at NSF EEC headquarters, to strategize with NSF staff and select invitees from other ERCs for a complete revision of the ERC Best Practices Manual. Specifically, they have completed work or are actively engaged in working on the following sections:
- D. Pai: Pre-College Education, University Education, Outreach, Diversity
- R. Liles: Assessment
- J. Sankar: Directors Working Group
- Graduations since the beginning of the BMEN degree programs at NCAT:
- 5 BS
- 12 MS
- Faculty and staff served as subject matter experts for new ERCs
- Peter Seoane – ILOs group
- Lois Deve – Administrative Directors group
- Robin Liles / Courtney Lambeth – Education and Outreach Assessment
- Co-sponsored 2013 National Educators Workshop – Tulsa, OK – in partnership with the Materials Education Center at Edmonds Community College (RMB outreach partner institution)
- Trans-ERC Course Offerings
- Spring 2014 – Fundamental Principles of Metallic Alloys for Biological Applications (Dr. P. Kumta, Pitt) – 11 students from NCAT and Pitt, guest lectures from UC
- Fall 2013 – Medical Imaging (Dr. L. Phillips, NIH SPIRE Teaching Fellow) – 9 students from NCAT, 2 from UC and UC, guest lectures from UC
- D. Pai mentored NIH SPIRE Program Teaching Fellow – Dr. Linsey Phillips of UNC – Chapel Hill as adjunct faculty at NCAT for Spring 2013 and Fall 2014. Based on Dr. Phillips positive experience and feedback, two SPIRE Fellows (Dr. Sonya Sonnenberg and Dr. Christopher Arena, both bioengineers) from the 2014-15 cohort at UNC-CH have selected and been assigned to do their teaching rotation in BMEN at NCAT.
- At UC, during each school year: multiple courses are offered by ERC faculty and staff members (including Chemical Sensors, Nanoscience and Technology, Nanoscale Devices, Nanobiotechnology, and Advanced Computational Biology)
- Strong and diverse seminar series – academic year and summer – intramural speakers included faculty, students and research scholars from RMB as well as non-ERC departments/schools, extramural speakers included clinicians, entrepreneurs, government agency research managers, and visiting scholars
- Special trans-ERC seminars to all students and faculty on innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurship, business models, etc
- The Education Advisory Board (EAB) for the ERC and Bioengineering Programs at NCAT continues to be active in reviewing and guiding the ERC’s education and outreach activities. Initiated and conducted the third and fourth Educational Advisory Board Meetings (EAB) at NCAT on March 18, 2013 and February 17, 2014 leading to discussion on integrating research, education, outreach and diversity.
All aspects of RMB’s outreach programs had a very strong emphasis on diversity and broadening participation. Numbers are summarized below, but full demographic details are provided in the related sections (hyperlinked) of this document.
- Between 2009 and 2014, RMB’s REU programs have served a total of 44 unique participants, plus return summer REUs by 3 of these (total of 47). They have attracted a diverse population in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity, from 11 states and 19 total institutions. An emphasis was placed on recruitment from RMB’s principal outreach partners including California State University – Los Angeles (an HSI) and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in Greensboro.
- Between 2009 and 2014, RMB’s YS programs have served a total of 17 unique participants, plus return summer YSs by 2 of these (total of 19). They have attracted a diverse population in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity, from 10 total secondary institutions in North Carolina. An emphasis was placed on recruitment from RMB’s principal K-12 outreach partner: Guilford County Schools.
- Exceptional interactions with Guilford County Schools System (serving Greensboro, NC and neighboring towns) and as well as with local community colleges (Guilford and Forsyth Technical Community Colleges) for 2 plus 2 program initiatives.
- Between 2009 and 2014, RMB’s RET programs have served a total of 25 unique participants, plus return summer RETs by 11 of these (total of 36). They have attracted a diverse population in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity, from 18 total secondary institutions, most in North Carolina and two in Illinois. An emphasis was placed on recruitment from RMB’s principal K-12 outreach partner: Guilford County Schools.
- NCAT collaborated closely with K-14 partner EDCC in organizing a successful 2012 National Educations Workshop at Tulsa Tech Community College – Riverwalk Campus (Tulsa, OK) attended by 85 K-14 and university educators from across the nation.
- Total: Between 2009 and 2014, RMB’s BioInstitutes at NCAT with the support of Prof. Abramowitch at Pitt have served a total of 80 unique participants, plus 1 return participant. They have attracted a significant participation by female high school students (43%) as seen in the chart that follows. An emphasis was placed on recruitment from RMB’s principal K-12 outreach partner: Guilford County Schools. The middle and high school camps every year at Pitt attract twice this number.
Informal Educational Outreach (number of participants):
- Presentation to American Society of Mechanical Engineers (20)
- Visit by NC STEM teachers to RMB (30)
- Visits by K-12 students to RMB (100)
- Visits by RMB to K-12 schools for STEM activities / career fairs (1150, and 40 teachers)
- Visits by industry/legislative/executive/entrepreneur/academia to RMB (50)
- Continuation of special efforts to promote diversity at Pitt and UC by Drs. Wosu and Pixley.
- Participated in, and UC faculty taught in, the Trans-ERC Course: “Advanced Imaging Techniques,” Fall 2013. The course director was Dr. Linsey Phillips and it was televised out of NCAT.
- Faculty taught 10 college-level courses, inserting ERC info.
- Hosted the ERC Student Day: 2/27-3/1/2014.
- Hosted NCAT PhD Student, Leon White, for training, 1/15-18/2014.
- Hosted undergraduates (9) doing ERC research.
- ERC graduate students visited Mt. Healthy Jr. High in Nov. + Dec. 2013. The Nov. visit was assessed by Dr. Cathy Maltbie.
- Prof. Abramowitch and his students continue to play the leading role in working with PTEI and working for 2 months every summer to mentor Pitt as well as NCAT undergraduate students and graduate students in developing innovative and engaging modules related to tissue engineering. The modules have been presented in summer camps for high school students as well as middle school students in Pittsburgh, and then brought to NCAT for the Bioengineering Institute already described.
ERC Student Activities:
- Publication of fifth ERC-RMB Newsletter - produced entirely by the Student Leadership Council
- ERC-RMB Student Retreat was organized during the reporting period
- At the Site visit on June 3rd 2014 evening, the students will be conducting for the RMB Perfect Pitch Competition
- Many student recognitions and awards – see full list of accolades.
Diversity Advances in the Center:
- The current enrollment in NCAT BMEN programs as of Spring 2014 stands at BS: 53 (77% female, 75% African-American), and MS: 13 (31% female, 31% African-American and 54% with no race/ethnicity information provided by the students to the University). Since their inception in Fall 2010, the programs have graduated BS 5 (40% female) and MS 12 (50% female). Many students have successfully found employment in industry (Baxter International, St. Jude’s), graduate / professional schools and post (Pitt, UC, UVa, Rutgers).
- Dr. Pai was invited to a 2013 Diversity Working Group meeting at NSF EEC where he was involved in the startup of a group being led by Dr. Coley that is drafting the first ever section dedicated to Diversity best practices to be inserted into the ERC Best Practices Manual.)
- ERC-RMB outreach partner CSU-LA (65% Hispanic-serving) is working with NCAT in microfluidic drug delivery research areas – a major research initiative at NCAT RMB. Additionally, the partnership is providing for student exchange through summer programs – 16% of RMB REU participants to date have been Hispanic.