Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 501 NEW HAVEN, CONN.
a newspaper for the campus community
Southern Connecticut State University
december 2013 • Vol.17 No. 3
4 In Pursuit of the 'Asian Unicorn' 5 Caregiver Robots Raise Ethical Questions?
Nanotech Center Opens Doors to Cutting-Edge Fields Connecticut
college students inter-
ested in pursuing the applied sciences
will have more opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research thanks to the newly designated ConnSCU Center for Nanotechnology that will be based at Southern. The designation by the state Board of Regents for Higher Education opens the door for students and faculty members from the 16 other institutions in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system to pursue collaborative research and partner with representatives from business and industry. The center has been operating for several years as a Southern-based facility, offering hands-on training in a field that draws upon several scientific disciplines — including chemistry, biology, physics and engineering. Students use specialized equipment, including a state-ofthe-art microscope that uses electrons to image materials on the atomic scale. The National Science Foundation estimates that 2 million workers will be needed to sup-
port nanotechnology industries worldwide within the next 15 years. Nanotech is already being used to produce new medicines, improved medical imaging tools and more durable construction materials, as well as energy-efficient power sources like fuel cells, batteries and solar panels. “It’s a very exciting time for us, especially as we await the opening of a new science building (projected in 2015), which will enable us to do more things with a state-of-the-art facility and equipment,” says Christine Broadbridge, chairwoman of the Physics Department and the director of the center. The new center will soon include research in the nano-medicine field. Broadbridge says that Southern faculty from the departments of Chemistry, Biology and Physics will be working together to develop topics such as examining how drugs are delivered in the human body, and research and development for new medical devices and implants. The center will also feature environmental
Research opportunities await students in the newly designated ConnSCSU Center for Technology at Southern.
applications of nanotechnology — such as testing products that can sense microscopic pollutant particles — and manufacturing applications of nanotech. These include creating more durable products and examining devices that can enhance the speed of computers. Broadbridge notes that a fellowship program affiliated with the new center is being developed. Several students who participate
in nanotech research at the center will be awarded a stipend annually. The stipends will be geared primarily to Southern undergraduates. “The idea is that the stipends will enable those students to engage in their research projects without having to worry about working a job during that period,” she says. “It also Nanotech continued on page 6.
Study Abroad a 'Transformative Experience'
Office of International Education Expands Offerings, Tailors Them to Students’ Needs
Looking at photos of the E iffel T ower is one thing;
for Southern’s full-time international non-immigrant faculty. Thus, over actually standing beneath it a short period of time, and gazing up at its immensity, and with no increase in with the musical sound of the staff, the landscape of the French language filling your OIE changed dramatically ears, is quite another. Such a while managing to mainmoment – and others like it – tain a student-centered is common for students who approach. OIE’s efforts choose to study abroad. Yet not seem to be paying off: only does international study during the past year, the enable a student to visit and office sent more students learn about another culture, it abroad and welcomed also “challenges you to rethink more exchange students and question beliefs you have and J-1 visiting scholars had all your life,” says Erin Erin Heidkamp than ever before, while Heidkamp, interim director of expanding its programming to suit the needs the Office of International Education (OIE). of a much broader range of students. “It changes everyone in a different way.” Most notably, Heidkamp says, OIE has When Heidkamp first came to Southern seen a 25-percent increase in study abroad about four years ago, OIE dealt strictly with participation, with even greater participation study abroad. In most cases, Heidkamp anticipated for 2014, based on long-term explains, international program offices serve study abroad applications submitted for all members of the campus community and spring and fall and summer program abroad manage multiple programs and services, sign-up lists. Southern’s faculty-led spring including individual study abroad, facultybreak and summer program offerings for led programs abroad, risk management 2014 have seen a 40-percent increase, with for study abroad, internships, scholarships, Jamaica, Brazil, Armenia and a re-envisioned international insurance, immigration advisChina program joining the seven existing ing and much more. But at Southern, these programs (Bermuda, Guatemala, Iceland, programs and services developed over Paris, Rome, Spain and Tuscany), as well as more than two decades in three different a 40-percent increase in reciprocal exchange offices: International Programs, Sponsored partner universities. OIE has also estabPrograms and Research, and International lished National Student Exchange (NSE) Student Services. as a “study away” experience for students In January 2012, OI E was formed, unable or not yet prepared to study abroad. merging the former Office of International Finally, the office reinvigorated the univerPrograms and the Office of International sity’s J-1 Visa Visiting Scholar Program, with Student Services. Following Heidkamp’s 15 international J-1 visiting scholars having appointment as interim director of OIE, visited Southern during the 2012-2013 she began to transition all international academic year. programs and services into a single office “Our students like the faculty-led pro— the OIE. grams,” Heidkamp says, explaining that S h e a l s o t o o k o n the additional many Southern students have never left the responsibility of handling H-1B visas
United States before, so they appreciate the structure a professor adds to the experience. She points out that with so many Southern students having jobs and other outside obligations, taking a whole year or semester to go abroad is not always feasible, thus the popularity of the shorter-term programs. Heidkamp says she had expected that the longer-term programs would have a bigger impact on students but has found that students return from the four- to six-week programs “transformed.”
Strengthening the university’s program in international education was part of the university’s 2007-2012 Strategic Plan: “Preparing students and faculty for life and work in a global society” is one of the plan’s overarching goals and strategic initiatives, and such preparation includes expanding international opportunities for both students and faculty. Heidkamp says it remains to be seen how global education will fit into the university’s new strategic International continued on page 6.
Boost for Buley The renovation of Buley Library will now be completed in full after a legislative Financial Advisory Committee endorsed Southern’s request to use reserves and other money to cover the $8 million cost of finishing the library’s second, third and fourth floors. This part of the project was previously unfunded. As a result, the renovation work will now be finished by January 2015, with move-in taking place during the winter break. "The new-look Buley will offer our students the latest in media technology in a modern and attractive facility,” says President Mary Papazian. The project includes the creation of an art gallery, as well as space for media collections, special collections and a reading area on the ground floor. The first floor will be highlighted by a cyber café and an “information commons,” offering a variety of resources for students. Plans call for the second floor to include classrooms, computer teaching labs and a Fac-
ulty Development Center. The third floor will be home to the Library Science Department and staff, and also house a tutorial center, offering support in writing, math and science. The fourth floor will be occupied by library administration and OIT offices. “The long wait will have been worth it as we develop Buley into a true library for the 21st century, providing the best possible environment for teaching, learning and research,” Papazian says.