Indiana State partnering with U.S. Navy facility to foster science, math educational initiatives

February 13, 2012

A new partnership between Indiana State University and a U.S. Navy facility will provide greater educational opportunities for students.

ISU has signed an educational partnership agreement with Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, which is in southwestern Indiana. Officials at ISU and NSWC Crane hope the new partnership will lead to more opportunities for students to learn about science, technology, engineering and math, said Richard Baker, director of the university's Center for Homeland Security and Crisis Leadership. ISU students in all majors can take advantage of opportunities through the agreement.

"The agreement provides an avenue for students to get involved with projects or other work with engineers at Crane," Baker said. "Crane wants to provide excellent experiential learning, and at the same time, stimulate the interest of math and science in students."

Crane's contributions will help more students develop an interest in fields related to math and science, and may benefit the U.S. Department of Defense by providing training for future employees, the agreement states.

The purpose of the partnership "is to aid in the educational experience of ISU students by providing a mechanism by which the students can benefit from the staff expertise, unique facilities and equipment related to" fields in math, science and technology, officials wrote in the agreement.

Officials began discussing the collaboration after meeting about the unmanned systems program at ISU. The two organizations explored the possibility of a closer relationship, with the hope that the agreement could lead to collaborative research projects.

"The aviation department is extremely excited about the opportunities created with Crane as a result of the new agreement," said Harry Minniear, chair of the aviation technology department at ISU. "It's collaborative in nature and it opens the door for a lot of project work, which hopefully will result in getting our students more involved in collaborative efforts."

ISU faculty members are optimistic that students across many disciplines will learn about opportunities that they might not have previously considered.

"This agreement has tremendous potential for not only students in the College of Technology, but for students across a variety of academic fields at Indiana State," said Bradford Sims, dean of the College of Technology. "We envision many different collaborative opportunities will be available to students, and we are confident that we can provide many benefits to NSWC Crane as well."

"NSWC Crane is excited about engaging Indiana State University," said David Acton, NSWC Crane University Liaison. "An educational partnership agreement allows us to become actively involved in the educational and research endeavors of our partner universities. Utilizing known technical and business challenges, NSWC Crane scientists, engineers and technology transfer experts offer expertise and assistance to grow the next generation of leaders for the State of Indiana. Also, the unique facilities and equipment resident at NSWC Crane become an opportunity to expand the research and hands-on education of ISU faculty, staff and students. This partnership will advance the capabilities of both institutions and we look forward to the future."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Campus-Scenes/Campus-Scenes/DSC2492Campus/878900109_zqKRJ-L.jpg
Myers Technology Center, which houses programs and services in the College of Technology. ISU faculty members in the College of Technology formalized the agreement with Crane officials.

Contact: Richard Baker, director, Center for Homeland Security and Crisis Leadership, Indiana State University, 812-237-2662 or richard.baker@indstate.edu

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or austin.arceo-negrich@indstate.edu