Breaking ground in fall 2019, Gonzaga is ready to welcome an era of collaboration and reflection, allowing students and faculty to approach the world’s problems without limitations.
Over the past five years, applications for STEM-related majors at GU have increased by more than 122%. According to Washington STEM, jobs in these fields "make up the majority of projected family-sustaining job openings and will be the hardest to fill with local talent, given the credentials they require." More than 79,000 jobs will be on the table in Washington by 2030 for credentialed STEM professionals, and it's up to us to ensure there are Jesuit-educated individuals ready to fill them. Gonzaga has always been committed to being a leader, and in this moment, when our world is faced with critical problems that need immediate, creative and collaborative solutions from STEM professionals, it is vital that GU provide the kind of education those who will have a positive impact through a balance of heart and mind are seeking.
Q&A with the Deans
Karlene Hoo, Dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science
Matt Bahr, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
“With more and modern space and equipment, we can serve our growing student body to make them competitive in the global market space. We can assist faculty in research/scholarly endeavors while providing more opportunities for engineering and science students, faculty, and staff to explore collaborations, share equipment, co-supervise student research, co-teach existing and leading-edge subjects. We can attract research-minded faculty along with a higher quality and more diverse student body, and to allow Gonzaga to take the next step in its STEM journey.”
“Several of the programs that would be served by the ISE are simply out of space. For example, in Hughes Hall, we have more research active faculty than we have lab spaces, leading to doubling (or even tripling) up. It would also allow us to expand the kinds of projects students can work on as undergraduates, including course-based research experiences and independent research projects with faculty. Additionally, we talk about Gonzaga as a relational, community driven campus—relationships matter a lot here. This shared facility will help develop new collaborations in curriculum, projects, and networks that will support our students and their goals. This is exceptionally important as it relates to diversity and inclusion in STEM disciplines—where women and underrepresented minorities are more likely to be engaged when they experience collaborative, interdisciplinary, hands-on learning with demonstrated real-world applications of what they are learning.”
“The STEM fields are competitive. This facility will provide students with exposure to faculty and other students from different disciplines, which along with our focus on educating the whole person, our cultivation of transferrable skills through the core curriculum, and our excellent facilities that lend themselves to meaningful research opportunities. Together, all of these will help Gonzaga students have a unique advantage. They will also become more aware of the breadth of career options available in STEM fields as they experience interdisciplinary collaboration.”
“The ISE building provides the space to allow for a modern multi-disciplinary curriculum to be implemented that can address the myriad of global challenges posed by the water-food-energy-planet nexus.”
“Research is intended to develop critical thinking, to establish facts and then to question these facts; but at the end of the day, it is to generate new knowledge. New knowledge can be transformational or incremental; it may be impactful immediately or it may take years for the new knowledge to be impactful. Research at the undergraduate level is very different than at the graduate level. At GU, the research experience equips students with non-traditional, hands-on learning, a means of exploration of a real-world problem under the tutelage of faculty or research staff, and often, the student will realize they have a talent that should be further developed.”
“Students who do research at Gonzaga are typically working in very small groups with direct access to their faculty mentor. The absence of graduate students here means that undergraduates are our main focus—they are able to use the equipment and get real-world research experience that makes them more competitive and better equipped to understand and be more engaged in their projects. This facility will be a driver to engage students with actively contested ideas, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer big questions.”
“An interconnected complex such as this will provide the opportunity for more frequent, deeper collaborations along with greater efficiencies in the delivery of more high-impact learning for more students. Gonzaga is investing in a new era in which all disciplines will be better off in the long run because it is only through integration and collaboration that our students, faculty and community will be able to bring interests together to advance fields, learning, and even funding opportunities.”
“Herak labs, classrooms, and hallway spaces need timely refurbishing for Herak to play its role in this quadrangle of STEM “attractors.” There is no reason to not foster the highest quality combination of STEM and computer science, and to promote untapped areas of bioengineering programs with intentional embedded components of innovation and entrepreneurship.”