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Posted 12/17/2014

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By Ann Marie R. Harvie
New England District

The New England District has entered into a STEM Partnership in Education Agreement with Worcester State University in Massachusetts. Col. Christopher Barron, New England District Commander, and New England District’s STEM coordinator, Mark Anderson, traveled to the university to meet with President Barry Maloney on Oct. 27, to sign the agreement.

“The purpose of this partnership is to encourage and enhance study in STEM disciplines for students and faculty at Worcester State University,” said Anderson. “It offers a unique opportunity for our District to engage STEM-related careers like physics, chemistry, mathematics, GIS and remote sensing that we typically do not engage with on a regular basis.”

According to Anderson, this is the District’s first educational agreement with a four-year college or university. The District currently has two agreements signed with Concord Public Schools and the Schools to Careers Partnership.

“While working with multiple schools simultaneously, we were fortunate that Worcester State was so eager to execute the agreement and begin working with the District,” he said.

Anderson will work with Worcester State University faculty member Linda Larrivee on any STEM initiatives brought about by the agreement. Worcester State University is one of 12 universities and colleges in Worcester, Massachusetts, the second largest city in the Commonwealth and is 40 miles away from Boston.

Anderson credits Planning Division retiree Joe Horowitz for helping the agreement come about. “Thanks to Joe, we were able to make the right connections and make this happen quickly.”

Some examples that USACE may do to support the agreement could include collaborating with the university in research of mutual interest; involving the university faculty in USACE projects through certain programs; identifying and developing areas of research where students could get academic credit for working on projects; and forming a pool of volunteer professionals to assist in developing and or taking STEM-related courses, and possible site visits to USACE facilities.  

Anderson sees some exciting activities involving the university in the future. “The District will likely be participating in some panel discussions and career fairs on campus, and we will begin working toward site visits and possible demonstrations of some of our remote sensing capabilities,” he said.

Worcester State University is a 58-acre campus college with 5,556 registered undergraduate and 891 graduate students.
According to the university website, among the STEM-related degrees they offer are: bioinformatics, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, mathematics and natural science.

New England District entering into this partnership with Worcester State University supports the Corps of Engineers Campaign initiative, “Prepare for Tomorrow.”