The Power of Stevens

Alumni and friends are the real power behind the campaign. Their generosity is having an impact on talented students, exceptional professors, and a transformed Castle Point. The stories, stats, and videos below show just some of that impact from the campaign start in 2013 to the present. Virtually every facet of the university’s success has some connection to philanthropy.

 

VIDEO: THANKS FROM THE CAMPAIGN CHAIRS

 

Every Gift Counts

 Some gifts come from grateful alumni who make provisions for Stevens in their estate plans. Others come from eager new alumni who make their first gift soon after graduating, and begin to make philanthropy an annual tradition. Still more gifts come from generous corporate and foundation partners who believe Stevens is a sound investment. Whatever the reason, and no matter the amount, every gift has a story and an impact.

A FIRST GIFT TO STEVENS 

This past year, Emily Yelverton ’15 M.S. ’15 made her first gift to Stevens, to support a place where she spent a lot of time as a student: the Samuel C. Williams Library. Emily was a commuter student, so she relied on the library as her anchor on campus.

“I often had long breaks between classes,” Emily said. “Since my commute was 45 minutes to an hour, it didn’t make sense to go home. Naturally, I spent a great deal of time in the library. I loved the third-floor quiet areas. I sat at those desks by the windows more than any other place on campus.”

Emily earned her degrees in applied mathematics. She now splits time between Kaplan, an educational services company, and DataKind, a nonprofit that harnesses data science in service of humanity. “My day job involves writing a lot of code and technical documentation, so it’s always nice to be able to switch gears and flex my creative muscles. There’s also something very cool about coming up with an idea, writing it down, and collaborating with a team to bring that idea to life. There’s nothing else like it, and I’m so fortunate to be able to do it!”

Emily’s gift gained her membership in the Edwin A. Stevens Society for annual, leadership-level giving. “Now that I’m in a position to give back, it was important to me to target my gift for the library, which, after my professors, played the largest role in my success as a student and subsequently as a professional.”

In her spare time, Emily enjoys screenwriting and filmmaking. She and her husband live near campus, so these days she has a closer look at the library and all the progress at Stevens. “I’m very impressed that Stevens doesn’t rest on its laurels as an institution, and that it is always planning new initiatives and new avenues of innovation. The world changes so rapidly these days, and it’s great to see my alma mater is responsive to that.”

 

Student Success

Every year, hundreds of students attend Stevens because of alumni and friends who support scholarships. These students have access to a Stevens curriculum that is a proven path to thriving careers, and they can participate in enriching activities such as athletics, the arts, and entrepreneurship. Play the video below to meet Serena Shah ’21 and hear how a scholarship has opened doors to her success.

VIDEO: MEET SERENA

 

Faculty Excellence

For a professor, filling a named chair or fellowship can be a highlight of their career. Thanks to the investment of Rick Roscitt ’73, Professor Wei Zheng is one of the many accomplished faculty members who chose Stevens as the best fit for their teaching and research. As the Roscitt Chair, Professor Zheng is adding new understanding to the meaning of leadership.

LEADING THE WAY 

“Stevens is on a roll,” says Rick Roscitt ’73. “It’s visceral. You can see it. You can feel it.”

Roscitt decided to roll with Stevens by endowing a faculty chair in the School of Business. As a telecom executive and university trustee for more than 20 years, his interest is in teaching leadership. “Leadership is what separates successful enterprises from their competitors,” he said.

In 2019, the Richard R. Roscitt Chair in Leadership helped Stevens recruit Professor Wei Zheng. Professor Zheng is an expert on how effective leaders can create inclusive environments to build high-performing teams. She earned her doctorate from the University of Minnesota, recently taught at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and has consulted for companies like Walmart.

“The Roscitt chair was the main factor in my decision to come to Stevens,” Professor Zheng said. “It is a dream role for me. Its dual focus provides an excellent fit for my background and aspirations. One focus is on leadership research, addressing how individuals develop into leaders and how leaders can foster inclusiveness and innovation. The other focus is on expanding leadership education at Stevens and in the business community. That is an area of great passion for me, to help people build knowledge, skills, and confidence to take on bigger challenges.”

“Academic research must incorporate technology and innovation in order to create value for students,” said Dean Gregory Prastacos of the School of Business. “The generous support of Richard Roscitt is helping us uncover new insights in important areas like leadership and innovation, while giving us an edge in attracting world-class faculty like Dr. Zheng to Stevens.”

Since coming to Stevens, Professor Zheng has gotten involved on campus by speaking at the annual LeadHERship Conference for women and hosting a virtual lecture on how leaders can maintain a culture of inclusiveness even when their teams are working remotely.

Professor Zheng is excited about using the Roscitt chair to expand her research. “The resources provided by the Roscitt chair allow me to be bolder in my pursuits,” she said. “It allows me to envision larger projects, such as my current effort to develop a Stevens Leadership Web Portal to disseminate knowledge to the larger community. It also allows me to participate in conferences, which helps build new partnerships that can facilitate innovative leadership research and education. Furthermore, the resources allow me to assemble a team of talented students who bring support, creative ideas, and fresh energy to my pursuits.”

 

Vibrant Campus

The Stevens campus has long had landmark names like Howe, Canavan, Walker and Wittpenn. Now, a new generation of places reflect generous donors to the campaign, including the Ruesterholz Admissions Center, the Hanlon Financial Systems Center, and the American Bureau of Shipping Engineering Center. Many more are inside the Gateway Academic Center, and still more will open in the transformational Student Housing and University Center.

THE PROOF IS IN THE PRINTING 

The Gateway Academic Center is one of the crowning achievements of The Power of Stevens campaign. By supporting this vibrant campus priority, generous alumni and friends have helped to add dozens of smart classrooms, research labs, and collaboration spaces to campus.

Inside Gateway’s PROOF lab, faculty and students are using 3D printers to ride a revolution in manufacturing.

The acronym stands for PROtotype Object Fabrication. The lab had been located in the Carnegie building before moving to its new home in Gateway. There, Professor Kishore Pochiraju and his team of students have used 3D-printing equipment for instruction, and to produce prototypes for items such as knee implants for biomedical research, an environmental monitoring system for campus, and even replicas of the beloved Torch Bearers statue.

“We are stocked to the hilt,” Professor Pochiraju said. “We have the ability to print with metals, plastics, ceramics and other materials. We can invite classes to use the lab, and there is dedicated space for students to gain hands-on experience.”

Sean Rooney ’16 relies on the PROOF lab to pursue a doctorate. Professor Pochiraju has dubbed him the “3D doctor” because Rooney monitors the health and quality of products made by 3D printers.

“My research is in early detection and prediction of failure in 3D printing,” Rooney said. “3D printing still lacks many of the standards present in other forms of manufacturing, so large-scale production becomes less reliable. I’m working on minimizing those losses.”

By working inside the PROOF lab, Rooney believes he can help drive innovation that benefits society.

“We’re going to see a whole generation born with the ability to design and make usable objects in their own home, and with a completely different design paradigm compared to the more rigid traditional manufacturing methods,” Rooney said. “Products are going to get massive reductions in weight, since 3D-printed parts can have comparable strength while only having 10-30% of the material in it.”

“3D printing is the future that has arrived,” adds Professor Pochiraju. “It is now affordable and accessible to print high-performing, lightweight parts. We are now looking to scale it further for everyday manufacturing.”

 

Our Campaign. Our Impact.

The Power of Stevens has been a campaign of impact. Across the globe, and spanning eras, alumni and friends are rising to meet the priorities of enabling student success, promoting faculty excellence and creating a more vibrant campus at Castle Point. With the continued support of our alumni and friends, we can reach the $200 million goal and celebrate the campaign’s monumental success. We hope you feel the same way toward this shared effort for the future of Stevens.

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT FARVARDIN