Dear IEC community,
As we look forward to a summer with less COVID-related restrictions, I hope that the end of your spring semester is as stress-free as one can expect given the multitude of exams and grading deadlines.
As we transition from the emergency phase of the COVID pandemic to a new normal, educators have a rare opportunity to analyze our experiences from the past two years and devise better teaching and engagement strategies. COVID has clearly highlighted some irreplaceable aspects of face-to-face meetings while also pointing to situations where online interactions are more effective for teaching and engaging our students. The task of implementing a hybrid learning environment to devise better teaching strategies is indispensable but complex given that optimizing the right balance of face to face and online learning depends on the type and size of institutions. It is reasonable to assume that our IEC departments are similar in terms of size and/or student population. As such, we have the unique opportunity to leverage our collective experiences and collaboratively define what teaching and learning should look like at our institutions in the future. We plan to initiate these important discussions at future meetings, workshops and working groups.
In the featured article of this issue, we share a learning and mentoring environment at Tuskegee University that combines aspects of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) framework and IBM Design Thinking concepts to develop student skills in hands-on design and entrepreneurship. You will also find an institution spotlight on the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences at Alabama A & M. In the corporate feature article, the commitment to Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) of Infineon, an IEC corporate member, is evidenced by being ranked once again in the Top 5 of “Financial Times Diversity Leaders.” In his “Thinking Outside the Box'' contribution, Ken Connor encourages us to think about novel strategies for taking advantage of the benefits of having classes and other student interactions occur online instead of face-to-face and to actively engage with ECE faculty from other schools who have ideas you think you can use. In the ‘’Sister Nonprofits‘’ piece, we introduce Engineering for US All (e4usa), an NSF-funded high school engineering program that opens engineering to a new generation of students. We hope that the e4usa curriculum will be an asset to our outreach and engagement activities. Finally, we remind the IEC community of the upcoming grant opportunities from HBCU-UP and HBCU-EiR - two NSF programs tailored to HBCUs.
See you virtually on June 21 and 23 at EquiTech 2022: Summer Virtual Conference,