NTX Magazine Volume 5 - Page 56

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Education and Workforce During the Spring 2015 semester, students from Paul Quinn and Duke University partnered to study the environment, taking four classes in environmental justice, examining laws and actions through the lens of race and income. A seemingly odd pairing, the eight students from Paul Quinn and seven from Duke have learned their schools have more in common than they thought, both learning how smelters, waste incinerators and other less desirable operations end up in poor neighborhoods in West Dallas or rural North Carolina. Students will share research with their communities and discover ways to get more involved in environmental issues. “What urban schools should be doing is committing themselves, devoting themselves to the city they serve, creating models that are easily replicated so we improve the standards of everyone,” said Sorrell, who is also a graduate of Duke’s public policy and law schools. “I believe in the activist educator model. I think urban colleges have a responsibility to engage in their community.” In turn, the community has also gotten involved with Paul Quinn. Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban is working with Sorrell on designing a course on entrepreneurship and has provided counseling on Paul Quinn’s move to open-source educational materials. With renewed community involvement and a revamped gov- erning board, Paul Quinn has its fiscal house in order and regained the accreditation from a national accrediting agency. Sorrell prophesizes that the turn-around is only the beginning. “I promise you this, I’m just warming up. I haven’t even taken all my pitch stuff off the shelf yet. We want to transform our campus into a master-planned development – a city within a city. We’ve gained a national platform. We created it this way because we wanted to be able to really push the envelope and see what’s possible. People really did think we were crazy – but a good crazy. But it takes people that think they are crazy enough to change.” And who could have imagined that there would be no pajamas in the classroom or that a farm would come from a football field? Now that’s a happy ending. SMART LIVES HERE Where do students from around the world go to find an engineering program that provides state-ofthe-art facilities for students to acquire the knowledge and skills they’ll need to develop innovative technology? They’re coming to America – and more specifically to The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering. Recently ranked as the fifth most diverse university in the U.S., UTA is home to students from more than 100 countries. What difference does it make? Dr. Pranesh Aswath, associate dean of the College of Engineering, explained, “As we live in a global economy, the opportunity for our students to interact with people of all cultures enhances their world view and competitiveness when they graduate. In addition, many of our faculty in the College of Engineering have overseas roots and continue to develop collaborations with top universities in Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa, further enhancing opportunities for our students to work with students and faculty from these countries.” With more than 6,000 students and 24,000 alumni, the College of Engineering provides the workforce with highly skilled graduates, and the mixture of ethnicities, genders, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds have prepared students for life in a global workforce. “Engineering is a discipline without borders,” said Dr. Aswath. “In 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas exported overseas goods and services worth $289 billion, which is more than California and New York combined, and the top five destinations were Mexico, Canada, Brazil, China and The Netherlands. Clearly, providing an opportunity for our students to study in an international environment helps them be competitive in a global environment.” UTA graduates and researchers have not only started their own companies and filled leadership positions in major industries, their contributions have also played a major role in patented innovative processes and applications, as well as research that continues œ