FARMINGTON - James Lombella, president of Asnuntuck Community College and interim president of Tunxis Community College, spoke at the plenary session at the American Association of Community Colleges and National Science Foundation’s joint 24th National ATE Principal Investigators Conference in Washington recently.
At the same event Connecticut Community College students and faculty received awards and gave presentations at sessions focused on issues related to advanced technological education.
During the panel session “Community Colleges Build America’s Skilled Technical Workforce,” Lombella discussed the challenges, perceptions, and strategies that have been implemented to attract Connecticut students and develop highly skilled workers.
He also talked about the state’s success with attracting students through the College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM).
“To remain competitive in Connecticut and globally, it is important that we change the perception of advanced manufacturing technology so we can continue to interest students in these high-tech careers, and meet the demand for educated, highly skilled workers,” he said in later remarks.
During the conference, six Connecticut Community College students who are enrolled in the College of Technology received the “Advanced Technological Education Student Award for Excellence,” awarded through a competitive application process, at an invitation-only breakfast.
The students are:
Elena Bolotova, from East Berlin, who attends Tunxis.
Austin Ferguson, from New Hartford, who attends Northwestern Connecticut Community College.
Maftuna Rakhimova, from Glastonbury, who attends Manchester Community College.
Lillian Orelup, from Torrington, who attends Northwestern.
Ronald Silva, from Cheshire, who attends Gateway Community College.
Millie Ramirez, from Palmer, Mass., who attends Asnuntuck.
The award recipients also presented their research projects both at the RCNGM’s booth and student booths, participated in a pre-conference workshop panel on professional skills and problem-based learning, and in two presentations led by RCNGM.
Tunxis professor Karen Woczyna-Birch, director of the College of Technology and RCNGM executive director, presented at a workshop entitled “Integrating Research and Professional Skills in the Community College Curriculum,” on the panel “Utilizing Additive Manufacturing at Your Institutions.”
She also presented with Wendy Robicheau, project manager for the College of Technology, on the panel “Integrating Professional Skills into Technology Curriculum.”
RCNGM is one of seven National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Centers in the United States. It is led by the College of Technology at Tunxis, a consortium of all 12 Connecticut Community Colleges and eight public and private universities that was formed through state legislation in 1995 to establish seamless pathways in engineering and technology.
Among its goals are to bring together educators and industry, and to be responsive to workforce needs in Connecticut. It also provides seamless career pathways for students to earn certificates, associate of science and bachelor of science degrees in engineering and technology disciplines, with no loss of credit upon transfer.
For more information on the College of Technology, contact Karen Wosczyna-Birch at 860-723-0608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on programs at Tunxis, call 860-773-1490 or visit tunxis.edu.