2014-2015 Education and Outreach Highlights
- NCAT history-making enrollment/graduation of BS and MS students as 1st seamless offering of undergraduate and graduate bioengineering programs at an HBCU.
- The current (as of Fall 2014) enrollments are BS: 70 (74 % female, 74 % African-American), and MS: 14 (36 % female, 36 % African-American and 57 % students choosing not to provide race/ethnicity information to the University). Since their inception in Fall 2010, the BMEN degree programs have graduated BS 6 (33 % female) and MS 12 (50 % female). Many students have successfully found employment in industry (Baxter International, St. Joseph’s), graduate and/or professional schools and post-doctoral fellowships (Pitt, Penn State, UC, Univ. of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Univ. of Utah, Univ. of Virginia, Rutgers). The enrollment trends and demographics are presented in the charts below.
ERC-initiated Bioengineering Programs at NCAT
- Graduations since the beginning of the BMEN degree programs at NCAT:
- 8 BS
- 14 MS
- Co-sponsored 2014 National Educators Workshop – Seattle, WA – in partnership with the Materials Education Center at Edmonds Community College (RMB outreach partner institution)
- Trans-ERC Course Offerings
- Spring 2014 & Spring 2015 – Fundamental Principles of Metallic Alloys for Biological Applications (Dr. P. Kumta, Pitt) – 11 students from NCAT and Pitt in 2014, 6 in 2015
- Fall 2014 – Regenerative Engineering (Dr. Y. Yun, NCAT)
- D. Pai mentored NIH SPIRE Program Teaching Fellow – Dr. Linsey Phillips of UNC – Chapel Hill as adjunct faculty at NCAT for Spring 2014. Based on Dr. Phillips positive experience and feedback, a second SPIRE Fellow (bioengineer Dr. Christopher Arena) was assigned the teaching portion of his fellowship at NCAT and has been mentored by Dr. S. Knisley in teaching an undergradudate bioimaging class.
- 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. A new initiative in 2014 was Dr. Seone and other NCAT leaders curating and moderating the viewing by NCAT participants of a Web seminar course originated from Stanford University by Sam Altman, co-founder of Y Combinator, and entitled “How to Start a Start-Up)
- During Year 07, NCAT faculty Dr. Trisha Sain and Dr. Narayan Bhattarai initiated and conducted a Journal Club restricted to ERC research students for the deep discussion of review papers and the status of the topics at the global level
- Student satisfaction and learning growth for the trans-ERC courses, seminar series and outreach activities were assessed by the team of Dr. Robin Liles, Professor, School of Education, and Ms. Courtney Lambeth, Education and Assessment Specialist.
- 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 fourth and fifth Educational Advisory Board Meetings (EAB) at NCAT on February 17, 2014 and March 19, 2015, leading to discussion on integrating research, education, outreach and diversity.
Education highlights at UC
- Courses (7) offered by ERC faculty and staff members:
- Introduction to Smart Structures (graduate course that included nanoengineering and nanomedicine) (Schulz)
- Nanoscale science: ENFD 3008 (Shanov)
- Grand Challenges in Engineering: ENFD 2000C (Shanov)
- Nanostructured Materials Engineering: MTEN 6012C (Shan ov)
- Chemical Sensors I Chem 8071 (Heineman) Spring 2015 – enrollment 33, two lectures were based on ERC research on sensors
- UC Summer Institute (NSF outreach grant program): “Introduction to carbon nanotube materials” (Shanov)
- UC Summer Institute (NSF outreach grant program): “Characterization of carbon nanotubes” (Shanov)
- Undergraduates (and medical students) (6 total) involved in ERC research
- Schulz: Christian Lipa, summer research on: Research and Devices Made To Improve the Strength of Carbon Nanotube Yarn, for medical and engineering applications.
- Pixley: Alex Heilman, summer research fellowship: Use of Soft Tissue Microcomputed Tomography Imaging Combined with Histology to Analyze Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
- Pixley: James Liggett: spent his gap year in our lab working on analysis of peripheral nerve repair experiments using Mg metal.
- Pixley: 2 students: Tran Day and Alaa Alghalaeni, UC neuroscience undergraduates, doing ERC research in Pixley lab.
- Shanov: 1 student working on growing Mg single crystals.
- Student award/recognition: Summer student received Honorable Mention (top 15 out of ~400 posters) for his poster: (Pixley) Alex Heilman, summer research fellowship: Use of Soft Tissue Microcomputed Tomography Imaging Combined with Histology to Analyze Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
- Workshops hosted involving ERC research students: Sixth Nanomaterials and Devices Workshop. February 24-25, 2015
- Hosted a ERC Student Leadership Council Retreat: 2/27-3/1/2014.
All of RMB’s outreach programs had a very strong emphasis on diversity and broadening participation. Numbers are summarized below:
- 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 2014 National Educations Workshop at North Seattle College (Seattle, WA) attended by 142 K-14 and university educators from across the nation.
B.R.A.I.N. Games (Bioengineering Recuiting and Interactive Network):
- Coordinated by Dr. Matt McCullough and Prof. Alford, twelve high school students experienced the STEM educational modules (developed by RET participants) on July 29, 2014.
Informal Educational Outreach (number of participants):
- # STEM teachers: Visiting / visited by RMB researchers: NCAT (149), UC (26),
- # K-12 students: Visiting / visited by RMB researchers: NCAT (476), UC (1358)
- Visitors from industry/legislative/executive/entrepreneur/academia to RMB (~100)
- 7 undergrad/grad courses offered by ERC facultyand staff members
- 6 undergraduate/medical students performed ERC research in Summer 2014 (1 honorable mention (top 15 of 400 posters) at Research Day
- 6th Nanomaterials and Devices Workshop
- ERC Student Leadership Council Retreat: 2/27-3/1/2014
- ~1,000 informal education visitors (students, parents, international visitors) during reporting period
- Multiple outreach interactions with Mouth Healthy Junior High School Science class by ERC graduate students and multiple faculty (Pixley, Heineman).
ERC Student Activities
- Publication of sixth ERC-RMB Newsletter - produced entirely by the Student Leadership Council
- ERC-RMB Student Retreats were organized during the reporting period
- Many student recognitions and awards:
- K. Farraro:
- Health 2.0 Pittsburgh: The Winner’s Circle Pitch Competition: First Place – 06/2014
- World Congress on Biomechanics PhD Student Paper Competition: First Place (Orthopaedics) – 07/2014
- Lynn Preston Perfect Pitch Competition, NSF ERC Biennial Meeting: Third Place – 10/2014
- TERMIS-AM Business Plan Competition: Best Honorable Mention – 12/ 2014
- McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Student Poster Competition: Medical Devices: Second Place – 03/2015
- International Symposium on Ligaments and Tendons XIV, Best Student Paper Competition: First Place – 03/2015
- A. Brown:
- Michael G. Wells Student Healthcare Entrepreneurship Finalist
- Innovation Institute - Pitt Ventures First Gear Grant Award ($8K)
- Center for Medical Innovation - Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development Grant Award ($12K)
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania / Innovation Works - Technology Commercialization Consortium Grant Award ($25K)
- A. Brown, A. Chaya, Da-Tren Chou:
- Cornell-Rockefeller Case Competition - First Place
- Pitt Health Innovation Case Competition - Second Place