STEM in the LDP By–Dr. DeRuntz

The LDP achieved a major goal last year when we expanded to include the other STEM colleges: College of Science, College of Applied Science and Arts, and the College of Agriculture. This is an important achievement because of its alignment with our LDP Vision: To become the premier university program that develops global technical leaders. Our goal was just to be inclusive of the other STEM Majors; however, we were pleasantly surprised by the diverse skills and ideas all the new students have contributed.

The first attribute I noticed was the invaluable resource that our pre-med majors bring in the form of first-aid training. They embraced the responsibility of being our group’s medic with passion. Our medical preparedness gets better each semester and with each treatment experience. I have even noticed a sense of confidence and safety from our team members knowing we have trained people in our group in the event that something may go astray.

Our team’s diversity has greatly improved since opening LDP to all STEM majors. Last year we only had one female on our team and this year we have four and growing. Having this wonderful diversity in gender is offering everyone the chance to learn new perspectives and how to be better engaged in working with the opposite gender. This is a skill that they will need to master to have a successful career.

The final attribute I have noticed, but did not anticipate, is dynamism. It should have been obvious to me, since everyone knows that engineers are known to be the most gregarious people. These other wonderful majors have brought a new level of energy, enthusiasm, vitality, and humor that we never knew we were missing. Now that we have gotten a taste of it, none of us could ever imagine having an LDP team without them.

L to R: Jessica Higginbotham, Olivia Taitt, Bruce DeRuntz, Breanna Whitley, Madeleine Meyer