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brick building with large windows

Center for Science & Technology: Preparing Students for the Future

Volume 37, Issue 2

Tiffin University’s mission focuses on educating students by linking knowledge to professional practice. Its priority is to equip students with the skills they need to be successful innovators in the 21st century workforce. This mission has become more attainable by building the Center for Science and Technology.

Science and technology are among the fastest-growing areas of study within Tiffin University. According to Dr. Joyce Hall-Yates, Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, TU’s lab classes were reaching maximum capacity and needed additional space for equipment, lab classes and student research. Now, students will have adequate space to learn and practice necessary skills in a laboratory setting.

“This new building meets the needs of Tiffin University and its students,” said Dr. Hall-Yates. The new 18,100 square foot facility provides space for three labs, two large classrooms, faculty offices and an exercise science lab. Additionally, there are areas where students can meet to study and work together. “We are really excited about this building and the possibilities it will create for our students.”

A primary benefit of the new Center for Science and Technology is access. Hayley Lyons, junior at Tiffin University, explained her schedule included a day full of lectures with evening labs. “The new building will accommodate more students by offering more lab times.” She also mentioned that it was difficult to sample experiments throughout the week. “For certain labs, we need to check our samples within 24 to 72 hours. Before, we would have to go in during our free time, and there was usually other students in there for class. Now with more labs, it will be easier to check my samples.”

Tiffin University’s Center for Science and Technology sets itself apart from other universities by focusing on student-to-faculty ratio and student access to instrumentation. “The main difference is that Tiffin University limits its lab enrollment to 20 students in a class,” said Dr. Hall-Yates. “A student has both a professor and a lab assistant to help them during the lab processes, meaning there is a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. That doesn’t happen at other universities.”

Dr. Hall-Yates also explained that students at the undergraduate level use advanced instrumentation during upper-level classes. “The GC-MS machine, used in the detection of several congenital metabolic diseases, is used by students in their junior and senior year. At other universities, undergraduate students are not allowed to use that higher-level instrumentation.” Additionally, TU is investing in other state-of-the-art equipment for the exercise science lab. The equipment will help graduate students do research and create exercises to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from chronic diseases.

Not only will TU students experience hands-on learning, but they also will receive a well-rounded education. In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) as an essential component of 21st century education. It is more important than ever to prepare the next generation of working professionals to think critically and solve societal problems, such as the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently facing.

“It is critical that students enter the workforce with a set of universal skills that allow them to adapt to an evolving and fast-paced environment,” said Dr. Hall-Yates. “The Center for Science and Technology will help students grow holistically.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEAM-related occupations are projected to grow by 8% between now and 2029, and healthcare occupations, are projected to grow even more.

With the addition of the new facility, students will use technology, math and art to make scientific discoveries in the state-of-the-art labs. With this holistic approach, TU graduates will be qualified for jobs of the future.

“I cannot wait to expand my horizons and be more creative,” said Lyons. “I’m excited to see what we will be able to do in the labs.”

Dr. Hall-Yates added, “I look forward to seeing students engaged and utilizing the equipment. Learning in a hands-on laboratory setting helps students learn faster. They will grow and learn so much.”

The Center for Science and Technology is projected to open during the 2021-22 academic year.

“Bringing this vision to life is rewarding,” Dr. Hall-Yates said. “It has been hard work, but thinking about the success of our students and what our students will be able to do in their careers kept me motivated. Everything we do at the University is for our students and to transform their lives.”