Expanding STEM Opportunities

Summer 2018 Issue

Cover Story

Expanding STEM Opportunities

New academic quad reaffirms Stockton’s commitment to New Jersey’s future.

By Samantha Cary ’13

 

 

 

S tockton opened the doors to the new Health Sciences Center and Unified Science Center 2 (USC2) on May 2, ready to educate students to become innovators and entrepreneurs in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The nearly 100,000-square-foot expansion adds classrooms, teaching and research labs, simulation suites and much more to Stockton’s main campus in Galloway. Coupled with the Campus Center and Unified Science Center (USC), the Academic Quad creates a grand entrance to the campus. More than just adding space, the expansion makes room for hands-on learning opportunities, preparing students for jobs that have not been invented yet.

"We desire that our students, not only secure the newly created positions, but to be the creators of these positions, to be the innovators, the entrepreneurs," said President Harvey Kesselman at the dedication and ribbon-cutting. "We’re stimulating their thought processes and equipping them with the problem solving acumen to be world changers because the need for critical thinkers and problem solvers never goes away."

The Health Sciences Building boasts 14 new classrooms, an Exercise Science lab, high- and medium-fidelity mannequin patients - iStan and Juno - and an entire floor dedicated to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. The simulation suites allow an instructor to control the simulated patient, providing students with life-like experiences.

“Exercise Science students at Stockton will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for entry-level positions in the public or private industries or future graduate study,” said Kelly Dougherty, assistant professor of Exercise Science. “Students will learn how to conduct and evaluate health and fitness assessments, design and implement exercise programs based upon assessment findings and to monitor health and fitness progression over time. We look forward to training the next generation of exercise science professionals in this state of the art laboratory.”

The third floor of the Health Sciences Building will house the DPT program. “This will be the first time all of our classes have been located in the same building,” said Patricia McGinnis, director and professor of Physical Therapy. “This space accommodates our expansion to 34 students. Facilities and equipment mirror contemporary physical therapy practice and support our mission of excellence in teaching and learning.”

Also located in the Health Sciences Center is the Sustainability lab, where Patrick Hossay, associate professor of Sustainability, and his students will have more research space.

“The new academic building with the high ceilings and the roll up [doors] allows us to do a lot of things we can’t do right now. It allows the student to build an actual photovoltaic system, or a wind-powered system or a hybrid go-cart inside, roll it outside, test it and bring it back inside for repairs or reinvention,” Hossay said about the new space.

The USC2, an expansion of the USC that opened in 2013, features a greenhouse with three temperature zones, labs dedicated to physics, organic chemistry, and anatomy and physiology, a vivarium, and an x-ray room. The opening of the USC2 allows the sciences to be housed in one building, streamlining student access to faculty, equipment and resources.

BY THE NUMBERS

$48 million – the total cost of the academic quad project, supported by the N.J. Building Our Future Bond Act, with the University providing 25% matched funds
37,720 – square feet of the Health Sciences Center
58,210 – square feet of the USC2
8 – Physics & Biology teaching labs in USC2
4 - Physics research labs in USC2
24 – faculty offices in USC2
96 – compound microscopes
4 – instructor microscopes with cameras

 “The new USC2 means having more lab space to offer more classes. We have not had enough to meet the enrollment growth,” said Peter Straub, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “This will especially allow us to expand offerings in Physics and Sustainability, and it integrates the sciences into one area on campus.”

“The new buildings are going to allow us space for faculty to explore options, work alongside students, get students involved in research with faculty, both in my own Sustainability lab and in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, you name it,” Hossay said. “It’s about getting students and faculty together, creating solutions, identifying problems and solving puzzles.”

Exercise Science students and faculty
Kelly Dougherty, assistant professor of Exercise Science, and her students have access to state-of-art equipment in the new Exercise Science lab. | Photo by Creosote Affects
Sustainability lab
Patrick Hossay, associate professor of Sustainability, works with students to set up the new Sustainability lab. | Photo by Susan Allen

Read more event coverage from the academic quad dedication.