PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo DECEMBER 2005 - VOLUME 15, NUMBER 4
Great Loss at ASEE

Frank L HubandI was shocked and distressed to learn that 
ASEE’s vice president for Institutional Councils, Isadore T. Davis, suffered a severe stroke last month while preparing to go to work and that he succumbed three days later from complications of the stroke. It was especially shocking because Isadore had been at ASEE headquarters the day before his stroke for ASEE’s executive committee meeting. I have received a number of messages from his friends and associates expressing much sadness that Isadore is suddenly gone from us. He was a good friend to engineering and an outspoken advocate of diversity. He will be greatly missed. We are gathering details of his distinguished career, and a full obituary will be carried in an upcoming issue of Prism.

This month’s cover story, “Writing a New Chapter” focuses on the impact that some large foundations are having on engineering education. The Whitaker Foundation, for example, has given more than $900 million since 1976 to help establish programs in biomedical engineering, a field often overlooked by universities because of its interdisciplinary nature and the difficulty of bringing together the two disciplines. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has played a major role in the development of distance education programs, and generous support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has helped create entrepreneurship programs for engineering students.

There is a pressing need for our citizenry to have a better grasp of technology. Graduates of engineering programs can use their education in a broad array of career fields outside engineering. In “Speaking the Same Language,” we look at Bachelor of Arts degree programs in engineering. The goal of most of these programs is to create more technically literate graduates who may not make engineering a career. They may go on to become lawyers or business executives, but whatever path they choose, they will definitely have an advantage in the workplace.

We also need a more diverse group of young people to enter engineering. In “Engineering? ¡Sí!” we introduce you to Viva Technology, whose goal is to get Latino youngsters excited about science, engineering and math careers. There is a great need—last year, only 6 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering went to Hispanics.

I believe you will find these stories highly interesting. We’re very interested in generating a dialogue between you and your colleagues on the pages of Prism. Please drop us an e-mail at

Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher



WAVE OF INFLUENCE - By Jeffrey Selingo
ENGINEERING? ¡SÍ! - By Margaret Loftus
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TECH VIEW: Logging on to Class - By Mary Kathleen Flynn
A LESSON IN SAFETY - It took a tragedy to focus the engineering curriculum on safety in product design. - By Nancy Cowles and Zachary Hill
RESEARCH: The Challenge of Change - By Dave Woodall
ON CAMPUS: Mind Your Manners - By Lynne Shallcross
LAST WORD: State of Spending - By Wm. A. Wulf


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