JCSU breaks new ground in the sciences

As part of its mission to transform education in the sciences, Johnson C. Smith University broke ground today on the 62,000-square-foot Science Center that will house innovative programs in the College of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The center will be built between the James B. Duke Memorial Library and the Jane M. Smith Memorial Church on the JCSU campus.
Funded by a $25 million grant from The Duke Endowment, the new center will house programs that will prepare students for emerging fields in renewable energy, medical informatics, homeland security and analytics. The new center is part of the STEM complex on campus, which also offers programs in electronics, cyber security and robotics. “As we continue to build this unique new model for colleges and expand beyond the traditional STEM education, we will ensure our graduates have the contemporary curriculum that provides the expertise they need,” said Dr. Magdy Attia, dean of the College of STEM. Such a curriculum, he said “will give students a chance to compete more efficiently for post graduate schools and jobs.”

Designed by Gantt Huberman Architects, the Science Center will enable the College of STEM to increase admission from 300 to 450 students by 2016. “The JCSU leadership has worked for months with architects to create an optimal learning environment for interaction among students, faculty and visitors,” said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University.
When complete, the three-story building will be the largest on campus. Special features will include a common atrium, teaching labs, offices and a 250-seat tiered lecture hall/auditorium to accommodate guest lectures, conferences and other multipurpose events.

Not only will the new Science Center benefit university students, the Charlotte community will be able to use the center as a resource through the JCSU STEM Innovation Center, providing training, mentoring, think tanks and STEM summer camps for students, teachers and professionals.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine continues to rank Johnson C. Smith University 18th in the nation in graduating African Americans in computer and information sciences. The university also ranks well above the national average in the number of female students in STEM.

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 23 fields of study to more than 1,600 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visitwww.jcsu.edu or follow the University on social media sites Facebook (www.facebook.com/smithites) and Twitter (@JCSUniversity).