published October 31, 2013

WPI Students Join NCSCE Strategic Planning Efforts

Danielle Kraus Tarka, NCSCE

As mentioned in an article from the October 3rd eNews (here), NCSCE has been engaged in strategic planning over the past year. We plan to continue to provide you updates as invite you to engage in our future planning efforts.

This week, we welcomed three students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to the NCSCE office in Washington, DC. The WPI team will work with the Center to conduct research for NCSCE's funding and institutionalization options for moving forward. The team's findings will be considered by our strategic planning group, as will the insights gained from planning discussions, survey results, interviews, and other sources.

These students are part of the Interdisciplinary Qualifying Project (IQP) at WPI, a unique experience that enables all WPI students to "work under the guidance of faculty members from all disciplines to conduct research, use social science methods, directed at a specific problem or need...[A goal of this program is for students to become] more effective and socially responsible practitioners and citizens." Students conduct these projects on campus, internationally at designated project centers, or at the Washington, DC project center.

As part of the WPI IQP, 23 students are conducting projects in the Washington, DC metropolitan area project center this semester. The team working with NCSCE includes Krista Anderson, a mechanical engineering major, Matthew Forman, a robotics engineering major with a minor in management information systems, and David Wians, a mechanical engineering major.

Krista, Matthew, and David will be in residence in the DC office through December, conducting research and providing recommendations to NCSCE based on goals and options for the future set out during strategic planning discussions over the past ten months. In December, the team will present NCSCE with a final written report and recommendations on moving forward based on the research they have conducted.

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Washington, DC IQP project center and the 25th anniversary of the Venice [Italy] Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute will host a celebration on November 19th at the Library of Congress. At this time, students working on projects in Washington will present posters detailing the organizations they are working with, how they are addressing project goals, and how they anticipate continuing their research through the end of their time in Washington.

We thank SENCER co-founder and Senior Advisor, Karen Kashmanian Oates, for her help in placing the WPI students at our Center. Karen serves as the Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences at WPI.