Engineers honor Mueller for STEM leadership
Story by Laurie Merrill
Photos by Darryl Webb
GCU News Bureau
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Phoenix Section on Saturday named GCU President Brian Mueller the 2015 “Non-Member” of the year.
Mueller, who has made it a priority to expand STEM programs and enrollment at GCU to build a highly trained workforce, was honored for “for outstanding leadership in providing affordable education and STEM programs, developing future American force and revitalizing west Phoenix both socially and economically.”
The University also was given a plaque for corporate sponsorship of the organization.
Some of Saturday’s spotlight shone on four College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) students in attendance and their role in starting GCU’s first Engineering Club.
GCU Provost Dr. Hank Radda, who accepted the award on Mueller’s behalf, spoke about how GCU’s engineering program is blossoming.
The University opened its first engineering school this fall with more than 250 students in three areas, and the program continues outstanding growth, he said. A new engineering building opened in August, and a second one is under construction.
To help anticipate the needs of the workforce and develop top-notch programs, GCU faculty and leaders meet regularly with more than 40 industry advisers.
Radda also noted the three freshmen and one sophomore in the audience who represent part of why STEM is so important at GCU, Radda said. They are among charter members of GCU’s first Engineering Club and might help form GCU’s first IEEE student chapter.
All four students said they transferred to GCU specifically to take advantage of the University’s thriving STEM programs.
Tayler Shurley, a freshman mechanical engineering major and Engineering Club president, said she hopes to work in the aeronautics and and/or military defense industries.
“I’ve always liked math and science and building things,” Shurley said.
Michael Teberg, also a freshman engineering major and the Engineering Club treasurer, said he chose his major because of his aptitude in math.
Josh Tipton, a freshman electrical engineering major and club member, said he attended six Maricopa County community schools before settling on GCU as the place for him to pursue his passion for engineering.
Sophomore IT major Tim Prescott wants to develop a new electronic health system for doctors because today’s systems are too difficult and time-consuming.
“I want to make it easier to practice medicine,” Prescott said.
Prescott also said he was impressed with how much IEEE does to help the community. For example, it supports Akshaya Patra, a charity that feeds 1.4 million children in India by providing healthy lunches at more than 10,000 government schools.
“Someone said IEEE is a well-kept secret,” Prescott said. “I think there should be more publicity about what they are doing.”
Contact Laurie Merrill at (602) 639-6511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.