2012-2013 Education and Outreach Highlights

Education Programs:

  • History-making as 1st seamless offering of undergraduate and graduate bioengineering programs at an HBCU (NCAT)
    • The current enrollment as of Spring 2013 stands at 57 BS (27 BS in Spring 2012, with 21 confirming intent to enroll for Fall 2013) and 17 MS students (15 MS in Spring 2013, with 9 applications under review for Fall 2013), and meets the department’s enrollment projections well.
    • Recognized by Biomedical Engineering Society President Dr. Gilda Barabino – 2012 BMES Annual Meeting Keynote Address
    • Diversity SWOT self-study and reports were requested in Fall 2012 of all active ERCs by AAAS Fellow Dr. Brooke Coley, working with ERC Program managers and Leaders at NSF. The RMB E&O Diversity SWOT Self-Study Report (Drs. Pai – NCAT, Wosu – Pitt and Pixley – UC) findings and best practices received strong positive feedback and recognition from Dr. Coley. Dr. Pai was invited to present RMB best practices as part of a panel in a closed session on Diversity at the 2012 ERC Annual conference.
    • High participation rates in NCAT bioengineering programs by US nationals from underrepresented populations:
      • Graduate Program: 70% female, 90% African-American, 90% US nationals
      • Undergraduate Program: 60% female, 80% African-American, 20% white, 100% US nationals
    • Graduated first two MS BMEN students – Fall 2012
      • Jonquil Flowers – now enrolled in PhD Bioengineering program at Pitt
      • Terell Taylor
    • 7 more MS BMEN students to graduate – Spring / Summer 2013
      • § 3 have received job offers from Baxter Healthcare, 1 from St. Jude Medical
      • § PhD admission offers from Virginia Tech, University of Arkansas, Purdue University, and University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
    • 3 BS BMEN students to graduate – Spring/Summer 2013
  • PhD student Leon White (NCAT) and 2-time REU participant Hector Carmona (Cal State U – LA) – were among the 3 winning teams of the 2012 ERC Annual Conference Testbed Competition
  • PhD student Amy Chaya (Pitt) won 3rd place in the 2012 ERC Annual Conference Perfect Pitch (Elevator Pitch) Competition
  • Faculty members chaired multiple and open closed break-out sessions at the 2012 ERC Annual Conference – including Diversity, Directors, International Programs
  •  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 2012 National Educators Workshop – Fort Wayne, IN – in partnership with Edmonds Community College (RMB outreach partner institution)
  • Trans-ERC Course Offerings
    • Spring 2012 – Fundamental Principles of Metallic Alloys for Biological Applications (Dr. P. Kumta, Pitt) – 14 students from NCAT and Pitt, guest lectures from UC
    • Fall 2012 – Corrosion and Medical Microdevices (Dr. Y. Yun, NCAT) – 12 students from NCAT and UC, guest lectures from UC
  • At UC, during each school year: ten different courses are offered by ERC faculty and staff members (including Chemical Sensors, Nanoscience and Technology, Nanoscale Devices, Nanobiotechnology, and Advanced Computational Biology)
  • UC RMB students at all levels were exposed in one or more ways to globalization and societal considerations in research and design.
  • 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
  • Mentoring NIH SPIRE Program Teaching Fellow – Dr. Linsey Phillips of UNC – Chapel Hill as adjunct faculty teaching required NCAT undergraduate course Spring 2013 – Bioimaging
  • Participation of 4 RMB students and 3 RMB faculty members in a week-long ‘Disruptive Innovation in Healthcare’ Workshop organized by RMB global outreach partner IITM’s Prof. Venkatesh Balasubramanian
  • Hosting of visiting faculty member Prof. Tohru Ihara Spring and Summer 2012 - on sabbatical from Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan. Prof. Ihara completed his textbook on material removal processes while at RMB/NCAT.
Outreach Programs:
  • Total: 10 (3 from RMB outreach partner 4-year and 2-year institutions, 3 total from community colleges)
  • Demographics: 5 Male / 5 Female, 7 White (incl 2 Hispanic), 3 African American
  • Accomplishments:
    • 2011 & 2012 REU Hector Carmona (California State University –Los Angeles) – (with ERC PhD Student Leon White) won 2012 Annual ERC Conference Test Bed Presentation, acknowledged RMB research contribution to his academic portfolio in gaining dental school admission Fall 2013
    • 2010 REU (+ Academic Year follow-on RMB research) Chris Gardner (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC) – admitted to medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill Fall 2013, acknowledged RMB research contribution to med school application
    • 2012 REU Erin Slattery (Mira Costa Community College, Oceanside, CA) – abstract on RMB research accepted at UC Irvine HTCC Student Research Conference, scholarship from Genentech
    • 2012 REU Myrielle Allen-Prince (Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, NC) – graduating Spring 2013, poster on RMB research accepted to Bennett College Interdisciplinary Research Day
  • Total: 8 (7 from RMB outreach partner community colleges and school system)
  • Demographics: 2 Male / 6 Female, 3 White, 4 African American, 1 Asian American
  • Accomplishments:
    • 2011 & 2012 RET Aebeyho Abraha (Smith High School, Greensboro, NC) – 2012 US Dept of State Teachers for Global Curriculum Program Awardee, part of 12-member US teacher delegation for 2-week visit to India, used RMB research experience in application process, presented seminar to ERC staff and students on return from India
    • 2012 RET Cynthia Bullard (Kernodle Middle School, Greensboro, NC) developed module on RET research, presented at 2012 NC Teachers Association Annual Institute
    • 2012 RET Kimberly Simmons (Hairston Middle School, Greensboro, NC) – brought back 8th grade class to ERC bioengineering outreach activity – BRAIN Games, Fall 2012
  • Total: 6 (4 from RMB outreach partner school system)
  • Demographics: 4 Male / 2 Female, 1 White, 4 African American, 1 Asian American
  • Accomplishments:
    • 2012 YS Aditya Garg (Early College at Guilford, Greensboro, NC) – one of 104 nationwide selected to 2013 US Senate Youth Program, featured in a March 2013 news article
    • 2012 YS Brianna Hargett (Southern Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC) – accepted Fall 2013 to bioengineering program at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
    • 2012 YS Dondre McCaskill (Middle College at NCAT, Greensboro, NC) – accepted Fall 2013 to computer engineering program at NCAT
Bioengineering Institute:
  • Total: 18 high school students in Summer 2012
  • Demographics: 14 Male / 4 Female, 3 White (incl 1 Hispanic), 12 African American, 1 Native American, 1 Asian American, 1 Mixed
  • Staffed by faculty, staff and student counselors from NCAT, Pitt and Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative
Informal Educational Outreach (number of participants):
  • Presentation to Society of Plastics Engineers + American Society of Mechanical Engineers (25)
  • Visit by NC STEM teachers to RMB (60)
  • Visits by K-12 students to RMB (100)
  • Visits by RMB to K-12 schools for STEM activities / career fairs (400)
  • Visits by industry/legislative/executive/entrepreneur/academia to RMB (50)
  • At UC, “Nanoworld” (a group of labs) is a College facility and the main nanotechnology educational base for undergraduate and graduate students at UC, as well as high school students and their teachers from the Cincinnati community. The ERC research on biodegradable implant development, single crystal Mg synthesis, and some of the biosensor development is conducted in Nanoworld. Various programs and courses at UC use Nanoworld to provide educational opportunities. Nanoworld is already involved in hosting NSF NUE, RET, and REU students, as well as hosting students from other programs, such as Men in Engineering, Women in Engineering, Ethnic Engineers, and Women in Science and Engineering. Project experiments from the ERC are also integrated into NSF NUE courses partly taught by the PI and Co-PIs. 
  • At Pitt, 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.
  • NCAT collaborated closely with K-14 partner EDCC in organizing a successful 2012 National Educations Workshop at Ivy Tech Community College – Northeast (Ft. Wayne, IN) attended by 129 K-14 and university educators from across the nation.