Audience at National Academies conference hears PCEC successes
The community ties that helped establish GVSU's Padnos College of
Engineering and Computing were highlighted October 19 in Washington,
D.C., during a National Academies roundtable discussion focused
on undergraduate STEM education.
Paul Plotkowski, founding dean of PCEC, was invited to participate in
a panel discussion on building ecosystems for STEM partnerships. It's
a topic Plotkowski knows well. PCEC has more than 300 industry
partners, most in West Michigan, supporting co-op or internship
experiences, or sponsoring projects.
At center is Paul Plotkowski, founding dean of PCEC, who joined a
National Academies discussion about building ecosystems for STEM
partnerships during a conference in Washington, D.C.
"Grand Valley and our college invest heavily in co-op
education," Plotkowski said. "And we're not just sending
students to industry partners to work. This is closely coupled with an
academic element, as there are weekly touchpoints. It's like any
relationship; if you don't invest time and resources, it's not going
to work out well."
Plotkowski also discussed the college's extensive outreach to K-12
students. Last year, PCEC faculty and staff hosted more than 13,000
students at summer camps, project days or FIRST Robotics events.
"We have dedicated facilities and staff for pipeline events for
K-12 students," he said. "It's an important component of our mission."
At the conference, Paul Plotkowski discussed PCEC's connections within
the community through industry partnerships and K-12 pipelines.
PCEC was established in 2004, in part, to meet the talent demands of
West Michigan industry. Plotkowski said the college's applied research
and development centers, such as the Applied Computing Institute and
the Electromagnetic Compatibility Center, provide area businesses with
incubator space, rapid prototyping and access to student and faculty expertise.
"We're contributing and building the STEM workforce in West
Michigan. And we're very committed to maintaining and strengthening
our connections in the community," he said.