Morgan State University has signed a new partnership agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that opens up new learning opportunities for students in STEM-related disciplines.

The Education Partnership Agreement was signed between MSU President David Wilson and Lt. Col. Michael S. Ruppert, deputy district commander for the Corps’ Baltimore District at Morgan State’s Patuxent Aquatic and Environmental Research Laboratory’s annual open house.

The arrangement is meant to bring attention to the growing importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the 21st century landscape and to encourage the study of these disciplines at Morgan.

Through the partnership, the university, its faculty and students may gain access to advantages such as collaborative research programs, internships, academic and career counseling and mentorship, student mentoring, Army lectures and/or instruction related to STEM.

The Army Corps of Engineers had its beginnings during the American Revolution when George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the military branch on June 16, 1775, and has played an integral role in the development of the country. The Corps has devoted its talents and resources to both military and civil projects, surveying roads and waterways, restoring and preserving environmental habitats like wetlands, building monuments and edifices in the nation’s capital, building coastal fortifications, managing recreational sites and responding to floods and other natural disasters.

For many years, education advocates have been advocating for more women and minorities to pursue learning and careers in STEM fields, seeing these fields as the areas of ripest opportunities for success in the modern era. According to Change the Equation, a coalition of Fortune 500 companies that act as drum majors for STEM education, between 2014 and 2024, the number of STEM jobs will grow 17 percent, as compared to 12 percent for non-STEM jobs.

Unfortunately, the coalition found, diversity in the STEM workforce remains virtually unchanged from 2001. Among the suggestions was that outreach efforts need to be more strategic, reaching minorities in their communities and in their organizations


Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO