A Publication for West Coast Alumni and Friends
Events Engage Alumni, Teachers, Counselors
Project Center Dedication
As part of its continuing commitment to remain closely in touch with West Coast alumni and friends, WPI dedicated its new Silicon Valley Project Center in a formal event in late January. Nine student projects have already been completed at the center. "We are not so much opening a new off-campus site as we are extending the boundaries of a vital institution," noted Ronald L. Zarrella '71, president of GM North America and chairman of the WPI Board of Trustees, in celebratory remarks.
Remarks were also offered by Curtis R. Carlson '67, president and CEO of SRI International, and Michael R. Paige '68, vice president and director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. President Edward Alton Parrish, recognizing the center's corporate partners, pointed out that, "The Silicon Valley Project Center enables WPI to build links to the Valley's burgeoning computer industry and to tap into the considerable experience of California-based alumni."
The dedication was part of a week of events in California. Malcolm B. Wittenberg '68, Esq., a partner in the law firm of Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May, hosted an event in San Francisco. Nancy Pimental '87, the popular television personality and screenwriter, was the special guest at a reception in Beverly Hills. The Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Ocean- ography was the setting for an event in La Jolla.
Reaching Out to Educators
WPI, recognizing that some of America's best secondary school science and math programs are situated in the Silicon Valley, recently hosted 50 teachers of science or mathematics and guidance counselors there in a get-acquainted evening headlined by Sheila Tobias, a leading science and math education consultant.
In her remarks, Tobias, author of Overcoming Math Anxiety and Breaking the Science Barrier, pointed to reasons students do not persist in science and mathematics: "A presumption that you have to be a 'genius' to do the work; subtle discrimination against even the ablest girls and minority students in these subjects; and the expectation that the only way to serve science is through research."
Some of this is changing, she noted. "WPI is one of 24 universities funded by the Sloan Foundation to inaugurate a professional master's degree in the sciences and mathematics to develop skills in the context of real-world problem solving, management and public policy."
Four graduating seniors, Jimmy Cook, Katie Shore, Pallavi Singh and Fred Tan, shared their WPI experiences with the educators. The program, hosted by President Parrish, concluded with the showing of a video that paints an exciting portrait of the university and its acadmic and research programs. The gathering was organized by WPI at the initiative of James Tyler '59 and Wil Houde 'firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last modified: Nov 14, 2003, 08:16 EST