Community and business leaders joined faculty, staff and students from Saint Louis University and Harris-Stowe State University Thursday, Oct. 4, to announce a new academic partnership between the neighboring institutions.
The new program will allow students to complete the requirements for a math degree at Harris-Stowe and continue at SLU for either two years with a major in interdisciplinary engineering or three years with a major in mechanical or computer engineering, ultimately earning an engineering degree from SLU at the completion of the program. After five years, students will graduate with two degrees.
Anthony Thompson, CEO of Kwame Building Group, joined Harris-Stowe President Albert Walker, Ph.D., and SLU President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., to sign the agreement to launch a new dual-degree mathematics and engineering program.
Thompson initiated the idea at the neighboring universities and also is supporting the program financially through the Kwame Foundation, which established a $100,000 endowed scholarship and continues to contribute $10,000 a year. Thompson said the new program will be an asset for the schools, the community and, most of all, the students.
"This program addresses our state's initiative to increase science, technology, engineering and math degrees; broadens the appeal of Harris-Stowe for local and minority students; and increases the number of diverse candidates at SLU," Thompson said.
The Kwame Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization founded by Kim and Anthony Thompson to develop a doorway for opportunitity into the professional world for youth in underprivileged communities through mentoring programs and scholarship opportunities.
|From left: Tony Thompson, Kwame Building Group; Lateef Adelani, Ph.D, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Albert Walker, Ph.D., President, Harris-Stowe State University; Manoj Patankar, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs; University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J.; and Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., Dean, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. Photo by Danielle Lacey|
Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., dean of SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, said the new program is a wonderful opportunity for students at both universities.
"This unique collaboration between our two universities will enhance the breadth of education students of both Universities currently receive and is one of the many steps Saint Louis University and Parks College are taking to provide the diverse and interdisciplinary knowledge that is required for the world leaders of tomorrow," Alexander said.
Manoj Patankar, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at SLU, added that the program strengthens the ties between the neighboring universities.
"During the last two years, SLU has been actively engaged in conversations regarding STEM-Plus — the traditional STEM disciplines plus humanities, business, law, education and others," Patankar said.
"This partnership with Harris-Stowe State University strengthens the ties between the institutions and is another very important step in the long-range vision to build a vibrant STEM workforce as well as nationally distinctive research and scholarship," Patankar said.
Patankar expressed particular gratitude for the financial support provided by several donors, countless hours invested by faculty and staff from both universities, and bright motivated students who are eager to claim the pioneer student status in this unique program.