These are exciting times at UVM from the positive momentum and action directed toward fulfilling President Fogel's sweeping, strategic vision to most certainly the bold changes initiated by Dean Grasso at the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). As the Board of Advisors (BOA) for CEMS, we heartily endorse these changes and our role and commitment is to support these initiatives as the College, along with the University, continues to grow in stature.
The BOA is a group of professionals comprised of about twenty members with experience, expertise and knowledge in industry and education, who broadly provide external counsel to the College. We help link the College to alumni, the local community and the State, the nation and the world of professional practice. Our Board formally meets on a biannual basis and also has ongoing activity, with an ad-hoc committee structure, which focuses on specific topics aligned with the strategic journey the College is undertaking.
A few more specific roles we are currently embracing include helping to promote the linkage between the College and economic development in the State, starting with collaborations with industry. We can help to initiate joint research and grant opportunities with faculty and graduate level programs. With an emerging focus on outcome-based education, with an interdisciplinary approach of engineering, mathematics and science which combines with the humanities and the arts, our Board has the ability to, in turn, link industry trends and needs.
Our role can be multifaceted, whether it's helping in the recruitment of new students, a partnership with students on a design project, or providing cooperative, internship experiences or future employment opportunities with our businesses or others. We also help provide an "outside touch" with the senior leadership of the University in advancing the vision of the College as well as providing development support and fund-raising activities. So as you can see, we have many opportunities to help make a positive difference. For example, pressing the case for new CEMS facilities becoming a reality for the growing enterprise!
As a thirty-year plus alumnus, it's indeed a thrilling time to be reconnected with the College again through the Board. Our membership wants to see students in the College learn and grow in an integrated, interdisciplinary environment in preparation to better serve humanity in the future. If indeed that goal is accomplished and we have helped contribute toward that outcome, then we will have all succeeded … and aiming high sure beats the alternative any day!
Chair, CEMS Board of Advisors,
President, Pizzagalli Construction Company