Inside USD

USD Engineers Roll Out Red Carpet for Veterans

Friday, February 19, 2010

videophotomainIt won’t rival a glamorous Hollywood premiere. But it does have a dramatic message: that engineering can be a great career for veterans.

Thousands of veterans in California now have the opportunity to further their education through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Today, the University of San Diego’s Engineering Programs will officially premiere a new video inviting them to consider engineering.

The 10-minute-video features USD engineering students and alumni in class and on the job at places like Qualcomm Inc., L-3 Communications, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific and Scripps Health Care. USD President Mary E. Lyons also makes an appearance. The campus and public is invited to the premiere at 3 p.m. in USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for  Peace & Justice Theatre.

“Many veterans who joined the military right out of high school have a strong interest in technical careers,” said Kathleen Kramer, professor and chair of USD’s Engineering Programs. (Shown with NROTC student)

“But engineering is often considered a difficult major. We want veterans to know that they can succeed, especially in a program like USD’s that offers small classes and hands-on instruction.”

Rick  Olson, associate professor of industrial & systems engineering at USD, said he hopes the video shows that engineering isn’t easy but that “the extra effort required is all worth it because of the fun and exciting things you get to do” in designing new electronics or other high-tech products or systems.

The $25,000 video was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to help attract more students to careers in engineering, mathematics and science. It introduces five USD students and follows them as they attend class, complete projects and work at internships. Students from electrical engineering, industrial & systems and mechanical engineering programs are all featured, along with an active duty member of the Navy who is attending USD.

USD’s Engineering Programs are ranked 26th in U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings for schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s.

USD has had a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program for nearly 30 years with a strong tradition of supporting the military and veterans. “We know veterans will feel very comfortable on our campus,” Kramer said. “We have also worked to identify the support services needed to help veterans succeed in the first years of engineering study with particular emphasis on the needs of disabled veterans, women and other groups underrepresented in engineering.”

Under the GI Bill’s Yellow Ribbon Program, USD and the Veterans Administration have entered into an agreement to  fund tuition expenses that exceed the cost of California’s most expensive public institutions. Combined, the scholarship funds provided by USD and the Veterans Administration under this program cover approximately 75 percent of USD’s tuition for eligible veterans and their dependents.

The video is expected to be posted on USD’s web site, YouTube and other sites. It also will be shown at recruitment fairs and other events.

— Liz Harman

  • Share/Bookmark