Governor Chris Christie Lauds Stevens Institute of Technology’s Impact on New Jersey’s Economic Growth

Enabling Innovation Event Marked the Launch of Two Innovative Information Technology Projects at Stevens, Supported by $7.25 Million in State Funding

10/4/2013

Hoboken, N.J.—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited Stevens today to spotlight two innovative technology projects at Stevens to spur science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and fuel innovation and economic growth.

The “Enabling Innovation” event, which took place during Stevens’ 2013 Homecoming celebration, marked the start of two projects to enhance the information technology infrastructure at Stevens.

At the Enabling Innovation event, Christie said investing in higher education—especially high-quality STEM education—is critical to building a strong state economy. Helping the state’s colleges and universities educate students with the most cutting-edge of technology ensures New Jersey’s best and brightest students are prepared for jobs of the future and provides positive and lasing benefits for the state by allowing the New Jersey workforce to attract the best companies and the top talent.

“I’m pleased we are enhancing the technology capabilities of ‘the institute of technology,’” said Christie. “For New Jersey to continue to grow economically, we will need workers to fill more than 260,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, and a large number of those workers will need to come from the Stevens campus.”

Christie said he views the state funding not as an expense, but as an investment.

“This is an investment in what Stevens will mean for the future of this state and this country,” Christie said. “Stevens is a gem. It is a huge point of pride to have Stevens in our state.”

Stevens recently embarked on a series of leading-edge IT upgrades to transform teaching, learning and research. The projects are supported by a $7.25 million award from the State of New Jersey through the Building Our Future Bond Act, which provides grants to New Jersey's colleges and universities to construct, upgrade and enhance academic and research facilities.

Two pioneering IT infrastructure projects at Stevens—the Unified Communications and Collaboration Environment (UCCE) and the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)—will have a major impact on faculty and student capabilities to engage with course content, collaborators and graphic- and computing-intensive technology applications for learning.

The UCCE will utilize state-of-the-art communication and collaboration technologies to support a learner-centric approach to education, and in particular STEM education. Allowing students to choose from an array of powerful technologies and learning resources available through a common web interface, it will support an innovative model in education called personal learning environments.

The VLE will introduce advanced virtualization technology to make specialized software applications, which are commonly used in the STEM fields and in high-tech design and manufacturing, accessible to students online. By pioneering the use of this powerful technology in education, Stevens will give its students increased access to excellent STEM training and better prepare them for the workforce now and in the future.

Both the UCCE and the VLE are based on Web 2.0 technologies, and use a secured private cloud so students can access these tools from anywhere online, including laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

“The link between technological innovation and economic growth is well known,” said Stevens President Nariman Farvardin.  “Stevens is proud to be known as ‘The Innovation University®,’ grateful that the State of New Jersey is investing in our future, and delighted to welcome Governor Christie to our campus. Through these projects, Stevens will create a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure befitting the next generation of technological innovators who will fuel our state’s and nation’s economy.”

Stevens President Nariman Farvardin, Chairman Emeritus Larry Babbio and student Ashley Tomasura also made remarks at the event. They thanked Christie for his support of higher education in New Jersey, especially in revolutionizing Stevens’ IT infrastructure, so the university can continue to produce tomorrow’s technology leaders.

“These very exciting IT infrastructure enhancements will literally transform Stevens into the campus of the future,” Farvardin said.

Stevens is a leader in educating the next generation of technology talent for New Jersey’s workforce. Home to three national research centers of excellence, the university was recently ranked seventh in the nation and first in New Jersey in the percentage of STEM degrees awarded as well as seventh in the nation and first in New Jersey in the number of engineering master’s degrees awarded. PayScale recently ranked Stevens third in the nation and first in New Jersey for mid-career salaries of graduates and ninth in the nation and first in New Jersey for return on investment of a college education.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 140 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 350 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense and STEM education and coastal sustainability. The university is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on investment for students, career services programs and mid-career salaries of alumni. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.