News Release

Dalton State Forms STEM Advisory Committee

February 10, 2015

Dr. Kerry Dunbar
Dr. Kerry Dunbar, left, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and a professor of biology at Dalton State, shows a student research lab to members of the STEM advisory committee during a tour of Peeples Hall.

Howard Elder saw manufacturing shift toward using more and more technology.

A job that once needed mechanical skills, may now need mechanical skills plus computer skills, said Elder, who is retired from J+J Flooring in Dalton. To accommodate the changes in manufacturing, Elder believes a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs are important at all levels of education.

Having a workforce that is trained and ready for the available jobs in the industry is important to help continue to stimulate the economy, he said.

With that in mind, Dalton State has created a STEM advisory committee to help ensure STEM programs at the College are geared toward filling the needs of the industry. Elder is one of several with knowledge of local industry serving on the advisory committee.

“We want members from the community with interest in STEM education to serve on this board and advise us on what to do for the STEM programs at Dalton State,” said Dr. Randall Griffus, dean of the School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics. “We want to know what we are doing well, what we need to improve, and what programs we should be adding.”

The committee is beginning small, with about 10 members, but Griffus hopes it expands to approximately 25, including people from secondary education and biology based fields.

“Input from industry is invaluable to us as we plan programs and classes,” Griffus said. “We need to know what the needs in the community are to direct our resources toward meeting those needs. We want our students to have a well-rounded education with marketable degrees when they leave here.”

A meeting of the committee on Monday evening started with a tour of the newly opened Peeples Hall that features state of the art equipment.

“This new facility is absolutely fantastic,” Elder said. “It should provide world class opportunities to the students here.”

Dalton State, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
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