Conference on international engineering education charting future of educating engineers for global workplace

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URI-organized event open to educators, businesspeople, policy experts

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 22, 2014 – The University of Rhode Island’s 17th annual colloquium on international engineering education will feature keynote presentations by Utah Senator Howard Stephenson, Hope Global President Cheryl Merchant, and Lee Tablewski, director of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund.

The Nov. 6-8 event at the Providence Omni Hotel will bring together leaders in language and engineering education, global business and education policy to chart the future of international engineering education.

“The colloquium unites leaders in education, business and policy providing common ground to talk about educating engineers for today’s global workplace,” said Sigrid Berka, executive director of the URI International Engineering Program and organizer of the event. “We’re showcasing several new frontiers this year, including a discussion of dual language immersion programs in K-12 education, and efforts to combine engineering with the social sciences and humanities.”

Among the highlights of this year’s colloquium are:

• A keynote by Utah Sen. Howard Stephenson, a nationally recognized expert on digital learning, and Gregg Roberts of the Utah Department of Education, who will discuss their state’s successful model for language immersion in elementary and secondary schools, an initiative which the Rhode Island Roadmap to Language Excellence Initiative, led by its director, Erin Papa, is championing in Rhode Island;

• A plenary on engaging with Latin America that will feature the leader of President Obama’s new initiative, 100,000 Strong in the Americas; and

• A keynote presentation about the importance of global engineers to the world’s economy, by Hope Global President Cheryl Merchant, who oversees worldwide manufacturing and distribution for her Cumberland-based textile company.

In addition, other sessions will focus on such topics as preparing students to go abroad, institutional internationalization strategies, engaging and assessing students while abroad, retaining students through short-term programs abroad, and new frontiers in the STEM disciplines.

The conference is organized by the URI International Engineering Program and sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, Hope Global, ZF Friedrichshafen, Deutsche Bahn, URI’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the College of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Click here for information about registration and the conference agenda or contact Sigrid Berka at or 401-874-4700.