ASTM “Year of the Professor” Campaign Boosts Standards Education at Colleges and Universities
As colleges and universities around the world settle into their fall semesters, ASTM International is continuing its highly successful “Year of the Professor” campaign throughout the remainder of 2009. This multi-faceted academic outreach initiative promotes the value of standards education in the college setting.
Launched in January, the Year of the Professor campaign has played an important role in bolstering ASTM International’s ongoing efforts to expand student knowledge and awareness of technical standards. A central thrust of this year’s campaign focuses on providing college and university educators with various tools and informational programs to help them teach their students about the field of standards. To support this goal, the Year of the Professor initiative offers peer-to-peer resources, such as sample course materials and articles on standards education; campus visits by ASTM members and staff; access to affordable ASTM academic-oriented products; ASTM International student membership opportunities; scholarship programs; and other educational resources at ASTM Campus, a focused area of the ASTM Web site for professors and students.
As part of the Year of the Professor campaign, ASTM International has awarded the Professor of the Year award to Dr. John (Jack) T. Germaine, Ph.D., department of civil and environmental engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ASTM established the Professor of the Year Award in 2009 to recognize and reward the contributions of educators in developing students’ understanding of standards.
Dr. Germaine has more than 28 years of experience as an educator, researcher and author in the field of geotechnical engineering. He has been a member of ASTM International since 1985 and currently serves as second vice chair of Committee D18 on Soil and Rock. He has incorporated many aspects of his work with ASTM into his teaching, and he is the co-author of a textbook titled Geotechnical Laboratory Measurements for Engineers. Published in 2009, the book contains hundreds of references to ASTM D18 standards.
Later this year, Dr. Germaine will present a Webinar for professors on incorporating ASTM standards into university curriculum. Details of the Webinar, to be held in December, will be announced at a later date.
Among the other highlights of the Year of the Professor campaign have been on-campus seminars by ASTM members and staff. During these visits, students learn about standards from experts in the field who are directly involved in the ASTM process. In 2009, campus visits have been conducted at Eastern University, Widener University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Catholic University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Visits to Calvin College, Drexel University, and Georgia Tech are planned for later this year.
ASTM International also invited local college engineering students to attend its January committee week in Atlanta, Ga., and will do so again this fall. Students attending will be able to learn more about ASTM and sit in on subcommittee working meetings to directly experience the standards development process.
To assist professors in incorporating standards into their teaching curriculum, ASTM International offers cost-effective product options that enable students to read and study standards written by leading technical experts. Among these solutions is Standards on Campus, which instructors can use to create a package of up to 10 ASTM standards for use by students in a particular course – for just $10 per student. The Year of the Professor campaign has helped build continued momentum for the Standards on Campus offering, with the number of users doubling during the past year.
Another key barometer of the impact of the Year of the Professor campaign is the continued increase in ASTM student memberships. ASTM invites students to expand their knowledge of standards by joining the Society and receiving a wealth of benefits free of charge. Upon graduation, students are then eligible for full ASTM membership at a reduced fee. So far in 2009, student membership in ASTM International has increased by 22 percent.
To further drive student involvement in ASTM standards, the ASTM International Graduate Scholarship was established in 2009 as part of the Year of the Professor initiative. The inaugural winner of this scholarship was Reed Eppelheimer, a graduate student in the School of Packaging at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.