NYIT Selected to Participate in Epicenter

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NYIT Selected to Participate in Epicenter's Pathways to Innovation Program

January 20, 2015

NYIT is one of 25 universities selected to participate in Epicenter’s Pathways to Innovation program, enabling  its School of Engineering and Computing Sciences  (SoECS) to engage with other schools on fully incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship in undergraduate engineering education.

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). Its team members bring together decades of experience in engineering education, technology entrepreneurship, research, and more.

Participation in the Pathways program will enable NYIT to maximize the impact of its recently established Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC). Serving as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors at the SoECS and in the New York metropolitan region, the ETIC’s three critical areas of focus are IT and Cybersecurity, Energy and Clean Technologies, and Bioengineering and Medical Devices. 

“We envision the ETIC as the focal point of our efforts to instill an entrepreneurial culture within the SoECS and the larger NYIT community, as well as connect students and faculty to local businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Nada Marie Anid, Ph.D., dean of SoECS. “The Pathways program will help NYIT empower undergraduate engineering students and unleash their creative potential for the ultimate benefit of society and the economy.”

The ETIC’s mission is to consolidate and expand the School’s ongoing industry-academic partnerships, foster innovation and promote collaborations between industry, the academic community, professional organizations, and government. Through the Center’s collaborative environment, students will gain the expertise needed to turn good ideas into businesses and become confident innovators in their own right.

“We want to capitalize on the ETIC to implement significant changes in our school and curriculum during the first year of our Pathways program participation,” explained Richard C. Simpson, SoECS associate dean for research and a co-leader of the NYIT team with Dean Anid.  “We plan to incorporate the advanced fabrication facilities in the ETIC across the curriculum to teach students about design and rapid prototyping. We also hope to excite students about the possibilities of using their engineering training to solve real-world problems by encouraging them to make use of the ETIC's facilities outside of class.” 

Universities participating in the Pathways program assemble a team of faculty and academic leaders to assess their institution’s current offerings, design a unique strategy for change, and lead their peers in a two-year transformation process. Program teams receive access to models for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering curriculum, guidance from a community of engineering and entrepreneurship faculty, and membership in a national network of schools with similar goals. Leaders of the 25 new Pathways to Innovation Program teams met at Stanford for the first time on January 14-15, 2015 (pictured above at right).

Additional NYIT team members include Chung Hyuk Park, Ph.D.; assistant professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Cecilia Dong, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Joanne Scillitoe, Ph.D.,  associate professor of Entrepreneurship, School of Management.