Dean's Newsletter August 2017
Message From The Dean
Welcome back to the beginning of the 2017 fall semester. What better way to begin the school year than with a solar eclipse. Students, faculty and staff from the College of Engineering participated in eclipse activities across the state, over 2,000 eclipse watchers gathered here on the Moscow campus. Some, like me, joined-in eclipse viewing for the historic nature, but many of our students conducted research during this rare event. NASA's Idaho Space Grant Consortium funded student teams to conduct high-altitude balloon experiments in conjunction with the eclipse. One project carried cameras to stream videos of the eclipse as it happened, another used sensors to collect atmospheric data, and another used the event to build communication devices to collect photos of the ground during the eclipse. One group of engineering students who spent time along the eclipse’s path of totality is the Training in Advanced Technology and Exploration Research to Optimize Teamwork in Space, or TATERTOTS for short. They are working on a multi-year, $200,000 project, advancing our understanding on issues concerning the future of space exploration.
The TATERTOTS’ hands-on experience is an excellent example of what we want for our current and future students. We want our undergraduate students involved in impactful work that is formative to their education and future careers. Initiatives like our Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which is beginning its second year, also have significant potential to not only be a foundational part of our students’ education but also contribute towards equipping our students with the skills to tackle some of the society’s most pressing issues. Through providing these programmatic opportunities we are focused on preparing our students for success in what’s next.
As you are aware the University’s Strategic Plan 2016-25 establishes bold objectives to serve our students and the state and region. In the College of Engineering we have seized on the university’s mission to shape the future through innovative thinking, community engagement and transformative education to develop a College of Engineering Cascaded Plan 2017-25. In short, our plan lays out a vision to be a destination engineering program known for an exceptional student experience, research with impact, inclusive culture, and meaningful outreach that advances Idaho and beyond. We outline our approach, goals, objectives and the primary performance measures that will be used through a waypoint of July 2019 at which time we will assess our progress. I encourage you to read through our plan and provide us with feedback as we set out to accomplish our strategic initiatives.
Larry A. Stauffer
Dean, College of Engineering