JOHNSON CITY (March 7, 2013) – “Education, Research and Economic Impact: Making the Future Brighter for Northeast Tennessee” is the focus of a one-day workshop to be hosted by East Tennessee State University on Wednesday, March 20.
The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Millennium Center on State of Franklin Road across from the ETSU campus. It is designed to bring together a broad audience of leaders in business, government, K-12 education and industry, as well as others who are “concerned about meeting challenges and engaging opportunities that will enhance the quality of life in Northeast Tennessee,” according to workshop organizer Dr. Richard Ignace.
Ignace, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, along with co-organizer Dr. Michelle Joyner, ETSU assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics, are particularly concerned with increasing the number of undergraduate majors in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas at regional colleges and universities.
The workshop is an outgrowth of a collaborative proposal by ETSU and Northeast State Community College to the National Science Foundation to help students majoring in STEM areas to be more successful in achieving career goals.
“While we are specifically interested in STEM education,” Ignace says, “the objective of the meeting is to understand better how our effort and the efforts of so many others fit into the much broader picture of the way Northeast Tennessee is growing and developing as a regional entity.
“One significant desired outcome of this event would be a better appreciation by all involved for how growth and prosperity in our region depend on the interconnected success of many sectors.”
A variety of leaders from business and industry, educational institutions and philanthropic organizations will speak throughout the day.
Those scheduled as speakers and discussion facilitators include Dr. Denise Barnes, head of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research in Arlington, Va.; Jose Castillo, president and CEO of thinkjose, L.L.C.; Dr. Matt DeLozier, dean of Early Colleges and STEM at Northeast State Community College; Dr. Nancy Dishner, vice president of the Niswonger Foundation; Dr. William Duncan, vice provost for Research and Sponsored Programs at ETSU; Dr. Bill Greer, president of Milligan College; Linda Lewis, director of Operations Support Services and Global Quality at Eastman Chemical Co.; Iliff McMahan Jr., regional director of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development; and Dr. Brian Noland, president of ETSU.
There is no charge to attend the workshop, which includes a working lunch (space is limited).