HOBOKEN, N.J. Citing the importance of proper communication once graduates enter the workforce, Stevens Institute of Technology has received a grant that will strengthen the oral and written skills of undergraduate students.
Through a $25,000 grant from the Engineering Information Foundation, the Writing and Communications at the Institute (WCI) program at Stevens will offer a number of workshops to engineering students in their junior and senior years, said Deborah Sinnreich-Levi, Director of WCI, and Susan Metz, Senior Advisor, Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education.
"Employers increasingly demand that engineers be able to communicate their ideas, innovations and projects to an ever widening non-technical audience," said Professor Sinnreich-Levi. "Stevens' WCI program, already fostering the communications skills of student engineers, wanted to study and improve its existing initiative."
In recent years, a number of leading engineering associations have issued reports on the current state and future of communication in the workplace. The National Academy of Engineering, for example, said employees need "an ability to listen effectively as well as to communicate through oral, visual and written mechanisms. The increasing imperative for accountability will necessitate an ability to communicate convincingly and to shape the opinions and attitudes of other engineers and the public."
The WCI program will use the Engineering Information Foundation grant in a number of different ways, including evaluating and improving existing workshops. The program will also award a Communications Prize to the senior engineering design team whose presentation is most effective with technical and non-technical audiences.
"We believe this grant will help students gain and sharpen a set of skills that they will be able to apply throughout their careers," said Professor Sinnreich-Levi. "Students will be able to widen th
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Stevens Institute of Technology