November 19, 2019
Athens State University has partnered with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC) in an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA). The formal agreement between a federal agency and an educational institution encourages and enhances study in scientific disciplines at all levels of education.
The AvMC’s authority for Educational Partnerships is Title 10 United States Code Section 2194 which states, in part, that under such agreements the director of a defense laboratory may provide assistance to the educational institution by making laboratory personnel available to teach science courses or to assist in the development of science courses and materials for the institution; involving faculty and students of the institution in defense laboratory research projects; and cooperating with the institution in developing a program under which students may be given academic credit for work on defense laboratory research projects.
There is a sharp decline in the number of students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees in the United States, making the pool of qualified candidates smaller and more difficult to recruit for the Army’s mission-critical efforts. Encouraging and nurturing a student’s interest in STEM subjects must start early in a student’s education. In an effort to ignite interest in STEM subjects, the AvMC does EPAs with several schools and universities to bring real-world science and technology applications to the classroom environment. Through education outreach, the AvMC not only strengthens the student’s understanding of science and technology but exposes them to the vast career opportunities at AvMC to influence their future career decisions in business opportunities, says Ms. Wallace, Deputy Chief, Office of Research and Technology Applications.
“The Educational Partnership Agreement will benefit the students by enhancing their skills in all levels within science, technology, and mathematics. As a result of closer interaction with research projects based upon practical, “real world” situations, this effort gives the students experiential relevance to academic programs. The main goal of an EPA is to encourage and enhance the study of the scientific disciplines at all levels of education. The students will be better prepared to enter into the ever-changing workforce,” said Ms. Cindy Wallace, Deputy Chief for the Office of Research & Technology Applications, AvMC.
“The mission of the ORTA is to facilitate access of federally-funded research and development efforts by private industry, academia, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations. This is accomplished primarily through marketing, technical outreach, cooperative research and development, and the licensing of intellectual property. One of the vehicles that facilitate the process of technology transfer is through EPAs,” said Wallace.
The partnership was officially launched at an agreement signing event held on Thursday, November 21 at AvMC’s Office of Research & Technology Applications. Athens State University was represented by Dr. Philip Way, University President; Dr. Kim LaFevor, Dean of the College of Business; and Dr. Lionel Wright, Assistant Professor of Business and Graduate Program Manager. “Athens State is proud to partner with local organizations to provide experiential learning opportunities to students and better prepare them for real-world careers upon graduation,” stated Dr. Kim LaFevor. “Our goal is to shape the future of this area by preparing leaders in business, education, and science, and we’re appreciative of this partnership to help us in our mission.”
The AvMC’s Office of Research & Technology Applications is focused on expanding the team of research partners. If you represent an educational institution and wish to pursue an Educational Partnership Agreement, the Office of Research & Technology Applications is interested in talking with you. For more information, call 256-313-0895.