State-of-the Art STEM Education Facilities Focus of STARBASE Visit at NVCC

Naugatuck Valley Community College hosted members of the Connecticut National Guard along with staff from the U.S. Department of Defense program, STARBASE, for a tour of the College’s manufacturing and allied health facilities.  The tour was conducted on NVCC’s Waterbury Campus on November 15 and attendees included: Maj. Gen. Fran Evon, Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard; Brig. Gen. Gerald McDonald- Assistant Adjutant General, Connecticut Military Department; Melissa Vanek a Director for STARBASE Connecticut; and Felix Cowey, a Deputy Director for STARBASE Connecticut.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) STARBASE is a premier educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. In Connecticut, STARBASE has two sites, both supported by the Connecticut National Guard; one located at the Windsor Locks Readiness Center and the other at NVCC. 

The first tour stop was inside Technology Hall where NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) is housed. Attendees received an overview of the AMTC’s history, academic programs, and mission by Joseph R. DeFeo, Program Director for the AMTC. Attendees were able to see AMTC students in action, demonstrating the skills they’ve acquired operating machines such as the CNC and grinders.

"It was a pleasure meeting with Major General Evon and his staff last week to host a tour of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. I would be proud to welcome members of Connecticut’s National Guard to enroll in our training program," said DeFeo.

The tour continued on to Founders Hall which was opened in 2017 and houses NVCC’s Allied Health programs such as nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory care, and physical therapy along with being the base for NVCC’s non-credit lifelong learning workforce education and safety programs. Participants were able to see the state-of-the-art facilities such as the ambulance simulation lab for its EMT program, the equipment used in its radiology lab, smart classrooms, and many of the other simulation laboratories that help prepare students for working in the allied health field.

“As a veteran of the U.S. Army and faculty member at NVCC, I was proud to show the new Center for Health Sciences to Major General Evon and his staff” said Dr. Janet Gangaway, PT, DPT, Professor of Physical Therapy. “Our faculty are happy to work with STARBASE to introduce health careers to hundreds of local fifth-grade students and I look forward to future collaboration to improve the knowledge and skills of our citizen-soldiers in the National Guard.“

"The manufacturing and health care science programs and facilities at NVCC are state of the art and quite impressive," said Maj. Gen. Evon. “The local availability of quality education programs in growing fields are a benefit to Connecticut National Guardsmen who take advantage of the 100 percent tuition waiver. I have no doubt that students who complete these programs become great assets to Connecticut industries and as members of the Connecticut National Guard. We are fortunate to have Naugatuck Valley Community College as one of our STARBASE locations and we look forward to the continued partnership. The exposure to continued education opportunities in a collaborative environment in addition to the STARBASE STEM based curriculum is invaluable to students in our community."

At STARBASE, students participate in challenging "hands-on, mind-on" activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); such as physics and chemistry experiments, engineering challenges and computer-aided design (CAD) programming. Each year, over 700 fifth grade students from Waterbury benefit from the week-long STEM intensive program at STARBASE at the NVCC location by gaining a sense of self-confidence in themselves and excitement for STEM topics, in addition to the increase in STEM knowledge.

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Posted November 2018