National Robotics Week: igus Celebrates with Robot Block Party

We will be there.  Will you?

From Design News:

At the end of this week, which is National Robotics Week 2015, igus will celebrate by exhibiting at the Rhode Island Robot Block Party. The plastic bearings leader — which also makes cables, cable carriers, linear bearings, and linear guides — will demonstrate its robot-related products at the event and provide robot giveaways to lucky winners during the event on Saturday, April 11.

The second-annual Robot Block Party will take place at Brown University’s Pizzitola Sports Center, between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. It’s hosted by the Rhode Island School of the Future and the Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative at Brown. The non-profit Rhode Island Students of the Future uses youth robotics to engage young people in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and manufacturing through youth robotics.

More than 50 hands-on exhibits, demonstrations, and displays will be available at the party from schools, universities, companies, and non-profit organizations around the area, including Brown, the New England Institute of Technology, and Hasbro’s Animatronics Lab. Although this is a STEM event, all ages are welcome. The demonstrations and exhibit are focused on helping everyone, not just kids, discover how robots are being used in education, toy design, and manufacturing. You can find out more about the event and register for free tickets here.

Design News – STEM Connection – igus Celebrates National Robotics Week at the Robot Block Party.

Retirement Wishes to NEIT Employees

Over the past few months, several outstanding New England Tech employees have retired from the college after many years of service.  They will all be missed for their loyalty and dedication to serving NEIT students. The college community extends its best wishes to each individual for many healthy, happy years of retirement.

Stan Bailey, Chief Information Officer, 31 years

Felix Carlone, Building Contruction Department Chair, 30 years

Nick Murgo, Math and Science Department, 30 years

Ann Ricci, Academic Skills Center Director, 28 years

Ron Potvin, Automotive  Technology,  28 years

Norman Messinger,  Automotive  Technology,  27 years

Bob Dubuc, Math and Science  Department,  26 years

Lee Wesolowski, Information Technology Department, 16 years

Anthony Fossa, Student Accounts,  11 years

Norma Taylor, Admissions, 10 years

$120 Million Expansion Project is underway

1-ExpansionNew England Institute of Technology continues to grow! Now entering the second phase of its $250,000,000 development program at the East Greenwich campus, President Richard I. Gouse announced plans for expanding academic facilities and programs along with the construction of the college’s first on-campus residence hall.

Phase 2 of the expansion project will include the following improvements:

  • More than 300,000 square feet of new facilities.
  • A new 400-bed, on-campus dormitory.
  • Expanded classroom space, focusing on information technology capability.
  • A new student dining area.
  • Expanded amenities for students including a fitness center.
  • The development of a college ‘green’ open space area.
  • Infrastructure upgrades to the college’s 226-acre campus in electrical, water, sewer, drainage, and traffic flow.

President Gouse stated, “This expansion will make New England Tech the region’s largest provider of collegiate level technology-driven training.” In addition, new and expanded programs will be offered that will include advanced manufacturing, health sciences, architecture, engineering, and Digital Media Production (previously known as video/audio production.)

New England Tech has recently completed several significant projects:

  • The creation of an information technology workforce training initiative dedicated to meeting the 21st century information technology needs of the region’s employers.
  • Accreditation renewal by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
  • Expansion of NEIT’s nursing simulation laboratory making the college New England’s largest and most comprehensive health science education facility.
  • Working with the Town of East Greenwich and the State Department of Transportation, NEIT has completed two major transportation projects to assist with traffic flow in the campus area.
  • Since 2005, nearly 12,000 students have graduated from NEIT securing employment with more than 4,000 companies, 2000 of them in Rhode Island.
  • New England Tech is proud to begin its 75th year of operation and will mark this milestone with anniversary events throughout the year.

President Gouse concluded, “On behalf of our entire college community, I am pleased to announce this commitment to our students, faculty and staff. The first two phases in our campus development will represent a $250 million dollar investment in Rhode Island and our host community, East Greenwich. This economic development investment will place our college at the most advanced levels of workforce training for 21st century employment.”

Welcome, Liz Robberson

Liz RobbersonLiz Robberson has joined NEIT’s Office of Student Support Services with an extensive background in career counseling. She previously served as the School to Career Coordinator at William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School as well as the Senior Career Educator and Communications and Marketing Project Coordinator at Johnson & Wales University.

Liz’s educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Education in Teaching and Learning from Johnson & Wales University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English/Secondary Education from Rhode Island College.

She will be assisting students enrolled in the following technologies: Architectural Building, Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Cyber Security, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Systems Engineering, Information Technology (Bachelor’s and Master’s level), Interior Design and Respiratory Care.

 

Helping Those in Need

The 8th Annual Feinstein Enriching America Awards were held on November 19, 2014, at NEIT’s East Greenwich campus. Alan Shawn Feinstein, founder of the Feinstein Foundation, was on hand to congratulate several outstanding individuals for their service to the community. Awards were presented to two associate degree candidates and two bachelor degree candidates along with a faculty member. In addition, faculty, staff and students from the Automotive Technology program were also recognized for their contributions to a new on-campus program established with Rhode Island Special Olympics.

Congratulations to the following individuals for sharing their time and talent with so many worthy organizations.

David Cranmer, Professor and Assistant Department Chair

Dav has dedicated over 60 years of community service both in this country and in Africa ranging from scouting to church activities including extensive volunteer work with church choirs. Dav currently serves as the treasurer and executive committee member of the

Northeast Region Two Year College English Association. He is a board member of the New England Association of Teachers of English and is involved with the International Institute of RI. Dav is also secretary of the RI Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Sherika Parfitt, Information Technology, Bachelor of Science

Sherika is a very active member of NEIT’s Rotaract Club and participates in several on campus and off-campus activities. She has volunteered at several NEIT events including the Technology Career Expo, Health Care Career Fair, the Transportation Technology/Marine Technology Career Fair, and the annual fall cookout. Sherika served as the student representative on the First Dormitory Committee. In addition to sharing her time and talent for New England Tech activities, Sherika also volunteers for the South Providence Neighborhood Ministries, Kent County YMCA, Church of the Master, and numerous food drives and soup kitchens.

Matthew Speidel, Information Technology, Bachelor of Science

Matthew is extremely active as a World War II re-enactor. He serves as a unit clerk and is responsible for all communications between the re-enactors and the community including arranging performances as well as tracking participants, equipment, personnel records and historical documents. Matt plays the role of an American soldier in the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, as well as that of a German 6th SS Mountain Division soldier.  He also participates in parades, living history performances, public re-enactments, and tactical events.

Keith Doherty, Physical Therapy Assistant Technology, Associate in Science

Keith shares his talents at Generations Rehabilitation Center assisting with the rehabilitation of individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. He also works with adjudicated teenage boys at Ocean Tides, a Lasallian school and residential program that is committed to providing a challenging, safe and healthy learning environment for its residents. For more than 10 years, Keith has taught martial arts self-defense techniques to local law enforcement as well as military personnel through the Modern Army Combative Program.

Aaron White, Veterinary Technology, Associate in Science

Aaron is an active participant with the Rehoboth Historical Society. Each year, he honors all veterans at a cemetery in Rehoboth by placing a new flag on each grave. He also helps maintain the Historical Rehoboth Liberty Tree. Aaron is a volunteer at the Sylvan Animal Clinic in Fall River, MA, and participates in the Alan Shawn Feinstein Campaign Against Hunger. Aaron is president of NEIT’s Vet Tech Club.

PBN: Dorms next step in NEIT growth

Fantastic story published recently in the Providence Business news about New England Tech’s history and more importantly its future plans.

GROWTH PLAN: New England Institute of Technology President Richard I. Gouse has four decades at the helm of the school. He’s currently overseeing the school’s expansion, which includes both degrees and its physical assets.

GROWTH PLAN: New England Institute of Technology President Richard I. Gouse has four decades at the helm of the school. He’s currently overseeing the school’s expansion, which includes both degrees and its physical assets. PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

12/1/14

Richard I. Gouse, president of the New England Institute of Technology for the past 43 years, is leading a new phase of growth at the commuter-based school to accommodate residential students.

NEIT has two Warwick campuses, and a third on 226 acres in East Greenwich. It is at the larger campus that plans for a $120 million expansion announced in early October are beginning to unfold.

It’s all a long way from where the school was in 1971, when Gouse and his late father, Julian, revived the failing New England Technical Institute founded by Ernest Earle in 1940.

“When I started in 1971, we were located in an old mill in South Providence,” he said. “It was pretty grim.”

By 1976, Gouse had broadened the mission of the school, turning it into the nonprofit, degree-granting college it is today.

Now, as the school continues to develop programming for more than 3,000 students, plans spanning the next three years will provide more than 300,000 square feet of new facilities, including a first-ever, 400-plus-room, on-campus dormitory, more classroom space, and a greater focus on information technology.

PBN: You’ve been president since 1971, when there were just four programs of study and 70 students. What potential did you see for this school then?

GOUSE: It was obvious that the hands-on technologies were becoming more sophisticated even in 1971, and if we wanted to grow in that direction of training people who were going to be able to perform in the job market, I thought we needed something more. That’s when I thought of making this into a college where the students could get a liberal arts background and get a chance to become a little more sophisticated.

PBN: What do you think a liberal arts or undergraduate degree adds to the technical skills?

GOUSE: As we all can see, technology is moving at the speed of light; things are changing very quickly. In order to be successful, you have to be able to grow and develop in your profession. And a liberal arts degree, which teaches a student to research, to grow, has become essential.

PBN: Where are you attracting students from?

GOUSE: Well, it’s a commuting school. That’s good and it also has its limitations. What we’re doing is addressing the limitations.

Right now, we’re [attracting] Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island [students]. We’re getting a lot more interest than we ever did before from outside of the state, even foreign countries, because of the uniqueness of some of the programs that we offer. And that really has moved us into that expansion mode.

The only way this school can expand, given the demographics of the immediate area, is to attract people from outside the immediate area.

We have a growing, older demographic in Rhode Island, we have declining [numbers of] high school graduates in Rhode Island and we have no growth in population. So if you want to stay at 2,900 or 3,000 students, we probably could, but if we want to expand and grow, it’s going to have to be from outside the immediate area. And that’s why we’re [adding] housing.

PBN: How will the relationship between the East Greenwich and two Warwick campuses evolve as you undergo this $120 million expansion?

GOUSE: This all began in 2007. We started planning for this development, and our initial thoughts were that we would bring everything to this campus.

PBN: Obviously, you didn’t build this building [on the East Greenwich campus], Brooks Pharmacy did, but did you have plans before that?

GOUSE: We were planning on locating a campus. We were in Warwick; that was fine for what we thought we were doing at that point, but when it came to a thought of expanding, we were landlocked.

One of the main parts of our planning back then was the ability to sell the Post Road campus. What happened in 2008 is, the real estate market fell apart, and our ability to sell became limited.

So, we kind of crept back into that Post Road facility. Eventually, we’d like to be all on one campus, but economically, the right thing to do is to still use that facility. And the square footage we have there now we need; we’re using it.

PBN: You’ve talked about expansion as an idea; how does it fit into your long-range plan?

GOUSE: The whole expansion plan is really a move toward allowing the students to have the more traditional college experience, as well as still concentrating on the commuting student. This changes the student’s experience entirely. It will allow for extracurricular athletics on campus, the living experience. Hopefully, it will appeal to a whole new group of people – although our students that are presently commuting are also very enthusiastic about this kind of development. I think they would really appreciate the identification of this school in the general public as being a true university.

PBN: How much housing are you building?

GOUSE: There are two stages, the first with 400 beds. And we’re presently housing through a cooperative effort with our housing coordinator off campus.

PBN: Besides attracting out-of-state and foreign students, are there other rationales for expanding now?

GOUSE: Just the addition of other programs that we think would be really valuable. We’re constantly in touch with the employers in this area. We have an extensive technical advisory committee [of] 300 people. We want to hear from them about new programs and what changes we need in existing programs.

PBN: What’s the time frame for the expansion?

GOUSE: [For] the first part of it, there’s going to be an expansion in this building that’s going to occur in the spring. [But] because the 220 acres needs roadways, we have wetlands that we’ve got provision to cross, so we have to bridge the wetlands, we have to bring in sewer, water and electricity. That’s a $4 million job that’s being done right now. That will enable future expansion. And there’s a $15 million addition to this building that is going to begin in the spring. Sometime in the fall of 2015, there’ll be [construction of] the dormitories, which are supposed to be ready in the fall of 2017.

PBN: How important is it to try and stylistically match what you have here?

GOUSE: Very important. You do want a lasting, appealing campus and that’s where we’re headed. The architecture is critical to tie it all together – not necessarily have it look all the same, but have a feel that it all belongs together. While you were right in remembering this building being Brooks, what happened was Rite-Aid bought Brooks in 2007. This building had been built with a shell inside that really wasn’t a finished interior.

PBN: You’re expanding offerings in information technology, advanced manufacturing, sciences, architecture, engineering, video and audio production. What is demand like?

GOUSE: Rhode Island’s an interesting place, OK? We talk about a skills gap, but what we really do need is more high-tech jobs.

During the recession it was actually challenging for our kids even in IT to find the jobs they were looking for in Rhode Island. We would like to see more good jobs coming into Rhode Island, and hopefully there will be.

Right now, [more than] 90 percent of our students seeking jobs are getting jobs within a short time after they graduate – in fact most of them before they graduate – but I would like to see more good companies coming into Rhode Island, more employment possibilities. I think that’s really very important.

But if we expand into housing, we will be getting students from outside this area. And then it becomes more of a function of what the employability is for where they’re going to be going. The biggest problem here isn’t that the colleges aren’t providing enough talent for the local business community. The biggest challenge here is to have more opportunities for these students.

PBN: You have a new online RN-to-BSN program: Do you plan more online programming? Or is this designed to fill an unmet need?

GOUSE: Let’s talk about the RN-to-BSN program first. The field of nursing is moving away from associate degree-level nurses. They’re really looking to have a more sophisticated, better-trained level of nursing, and that’s where the BSN comes in. The hospitals are asking nurses to get to this level. [The program] received accreditation less than a year ago. The tuition rate is far lower than an on-campus program; it offers a lot for those people looking to make that move.

In general, it really benefits the students to come here and have an on-the-job-type environment, working with the actual equipment. For audio-video production, we have two HD television studios; it’s very hard to teach that on the Internet.

But we [also] offer a hybrid program where the students can come here on a more flexible schedule and actually get the lab experience, that hands-on job environment training, but then take a lot of their courses on a distance-learning basis.

PBN: How are you financing the expansion?

GOUSE: The school has not to this point done a real lot of borrowing. I think we have outstanding about $49 million for this building and the other campuses. And by the time this expansion happens, we hope our endowment will be in the neighborhood of $200 million. Between bonding and our endowment, we will at least be able to fund this portion of our expansion.

PBN: Will there be an impact on tuition?

GOUSE: No.

PBN: Any plans to expand master’s degrees?

GOUSE: We’ve just received approval for our third master’s degree. It’s in construction management. And … the New England Association [of Schools and Colleges], our accrediting body, they require you to apply for the first, second and third master’s degree. After that, you can apply to be exempted from making further applications. So, that’s what we plan on doing a year from now. The construction-management degree will be offered in the spring.

PBN: So how long did it take you to design this program?

GOUSE: It probably took a year.

STEVE KITCHIN: [NEIT’s vice president of corporate education and training]: About 22 years ago the hospital association said, ‘Look, things are changing in the operating room; we don’t need two nurses; we only need one.’ Within the time that we had that conversation with the hospitals [to create surgical technology programming]: we had labs built, curriculum developed, we had staff hired – within six months.

If we’re not keeping our ears to the ground about the demand side of the labor market, we’re not doing our job here. Everything we’re doing here is based on demand-side economics and preparing our kids to meet that demand. Richard has built an environment here where we all feel very entrepreneurial.

PBN: So you’ve been here 43 years. What more do you envision for the school … and the expansion?

GOUSE: It probably will take me the next 43 years! There’s a lot of things to be done. And that [rendering of the campus layout] is a 50-year plan. If you’re going to have a true college experience, you’re going to have to have all of the things that the kids want and dormitories alone won’t do that. You’re going to have to have an athletic program; a more aggressive extracurricular program.

PBN: Now, you don’t have another 43 years to complete the vision, but have you thought about succession planning?

GOUSE: I do believe the best kind of succession program is when you develop talent within the organization. I’m not a tremendous fan of doing a nationwide search for people who look like they’d be the right fit – especially when you have a unique culture, which we do have here.

So, we have a number of people here who are hopefully moving up and I think they all buy into the kind of culture that we have here, which is important. That’s where I hope we’ll find the talent for the future. •

Visit the Providence Business for more info

Tech First at FIRST Tech

Great blog story about FIRST and the importance of STEM fields from Congressman Jim Langevin.

From Fall 2014 Congressman Jim Langevin:

Tech First at FIRST Tech

It is a joy to attend FIRST robotics competitions each year, to watch the program grow into the towering success that it is today, and to see the interest and participation increase year to year. These programs are vital to spurring interest in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology.

As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I continually advocate for programs that increase enrollment in STEM fields. Closing the skills gap by giving students and workers the tools to succeed in the modern economy is how we will create an economy built to last. FIRST is one of my favorite student outreach programs, and it has already inspired countless students to pursue careers in STEM. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST as it is known, was founded by my friend Dean Kamen – a brilliant innovator who uses his ideas to push the boundaries of health care, science and technology. Among his many distinguished achievements, he has invented the first portable insulin pump, an advanced robotic arm, the Segway and my personal IBOT wheelchair.

Dean can now add teacher to his resume, as the FIRST competition has done an exceptional job at engaging young people and getting them excited about learning. That enthusiasm is palpable. I couldn’t believe how excited the students were at the FIRS

via Fall 2014 | Congressman Jim Langevin.

Career Services held IT recruiting event

New England Tech’s Career Services held a mini-recruiting event on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 for Information Technology graduates and upcoming graduates.

Five employers were on-campus to recruit and meet students and graduates from all the Information Technology programs.

The event was designed to help these companies fill current positions at their companies. 

It was also a great networking event for students not yet looking for employment and also gives students an opportunity to learn more about companies who hire New England Tech graduates.  As well as determine a company students may wish to apply to as they get closer to graduation.

If you were unable to attend this event and are a NEIT graduate, contact Career Services by phone at 800-736-7744 ext. 3457 , job info and contact info for recruiters will be supplied to you.

 

Vinny Ritoli named NEIT Instructor

Vinny Ritoli

Vinny Ritoli

Vinny Ritoli has worked as an adjunct instructor at NEIT since 2007, teaching courses in Design, GUI Design, Flash, Javascript, HTML 5, XHTML, CSS, Digital Audio, and Digital Editing. He has developed courses for both the Information Technology and Graphic, Multimedia and Web Design programs.

As a freelance designer and developer, Vinny is the founder of Imagery Studio, which specializes in web animation and interactive website design. He has developed projects for a wide range of clients in diverse fields including 20th Century Fox, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, First Look Pictures, and Biowater Technology. He has also worked on the designs for NEIT’s new Library website and that of the Center for Technology and Industry. In addition to web design, he also designs for print (logos, letterhead, business cards) and marketing (advertisements, brochures). Previous to developing his own company, Vinny worked for SilverLight Productions as a multimedia designer.

Vinny has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications from American Intercontinental University and an Associate in Science Degree in Multimedia Design from NEIT.

Chris Arsenault named Assistant Professor

Chris Arsenault has been an adjunct instructor in Information Technology, teaching programming for game development since 2009, including game persistence and game architecture at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art with a Computer Science minor from Rhode Island College and has put both his artistic and technical talents to use in a variety of occupations. As a self-employed producer/photographer/artist, he has produced high quality bridal, family, and event photography as well as media production, slide shows, presentations, videos and websites. In addition, he has been a software engineer and the architect of an extendable screensaver framework, which served as the primary product foundation of a software development/new media company.

As an independent author/developer, he worked on improving multimedia authoring tools, 2D animation systems, and plug-ins to provide end users with very rapid multimedia design software. Chris has also done instructional design at GTECH, creating and teaching a course for lottery systems operation that was modular and adaptable to customized instruction. At Rhode Island College, he was Development Manager for Project Clio, producing a computer-based introductory Western Civilization course, used at over ten colleges and universities nationwide.