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DSU president to join landmark White House STEM education summit

Academics, Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Information Systems, College of Education

Kelli Koepsell

José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University, was recently invited to attend the first-of-its-kind State-Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Summit hosted by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on June 25-26, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

“Dakota State University has so much to contribute to this discussion,” said Griffiths. “Our faculty have been educating teachers since 1881, and we have now risen to be one of the most well-respected technology universities in the country. Our STEM curriculum is second to none, and our STEM outreach programs reach thousands of students and teachers from across the country. I am pleased to have the opportunity to bring our expertise and experience to this important summit.”

According to the OSTP, the State-Federal STEM Education Summit will convene a diverse group of State STEM leaders, including officials from governors’ offices, K-20 educators, workforce and industry representatives, State policy experts, and non-government organization executives. These attendees will participate in the development of a new Federal 5-Year STEM Education Strategic Plan in compliance with the America COMPETES Act of 2010.

“This event is the first time an administration has asked for this level of State input when developing a Federal STEM education strategy,” said Jeff Weld, senior policy advisor and assistant director for STEM education at OSTP.

“Top-down approaches to STEM education can often yield wonderful ideas, but it’s at the State and community level where the momentum happens. State leaders know best what kinds of programs will work in their communities, and where they need the power of the Federal government to help drive success in this field. STEM education is critical to preparing our students for the jobs of the future. We must do everything we can to ensure that Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, communities, educators, and private industry partners are united for the long-term success of our Nation.”

Alongside OSTP in planning and carrying out this Summit are the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Smithsonian Institution. STEM leaders from all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and tribes, will attend the Summit to illuminate and advance State-Federal STEM alignment.

In 1976, Congress established OSTP to provide the President and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics.  OSTP also leads interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of Federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government.

The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act of 2007 or America COMPETES Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007. Its purpose was "to invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States.” The Act was reauthorized in 2011 and in 2017 as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. The Act has special emphasis on encouraging multiple government agencies to enhance their efforts supporting the education of future STEM professionals.