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August 16, 2011

Lockheed-Martin/IISME fellowship provides Gavilan College Computer Graphics & Design Instructor with workforce insights


Colette Marie McLaughlin’s fellowship will enhance Gavilan College’s efforts to prepare students for rewarding careers

Instead of sporting a golden tan at the end of the summer, Gavilan College Computer Graphics & Design instructor Colette Marie McLaughlin and 154 other educators are glowing with strategies they developed over the past eight weeks. Their insights were discovered while completing projects through the summer science research program Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education’s (IISME.)  IISME seeks to transform teaching and learning through industry-education partnerships. Industry sponsors make it possible for educators to participate, and part of each fellowship is dedicated to planning innovative ways to make courses more relevant to students.

Lockheed Martin, Dr. McLaughlin's sponsor, has hosted a total of 334 fellows since Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education’s (IISME’s) inception 27 years ago.  Lockheed Martin Vice President and General Manager Kevin Bilger summarizes the purpose of his organization’s support as “...providing teachers with a hands-on working environment to inspire our next-generation of scientists and engineers.”

Dr. McLaughlin and this year's 19 other Lockheed Martin fellows will soon reenter academia with a payload of insights from one of the world’s leading providers of space system products and services. Dr. McLaughlin's mentor in the project was Lockheed Martin Space Systems Sr. Manager Ron Moore, a master in systems engineering with extensive teaching experience. His assignment was for her to create a searchable database to locate "subsystem integration Subject Matter Experts" by skill, which could be used to resolve emergencies.

Dr. McLaughlin is looking forward to fall semester at Gavilan College. She noted, “The interdisciplinary nature of today’s workforce requires competency in the 'four C's': (1) critical thinking, (2) communications, (3) collaboration and (4) creativity along with mastery of the three Rs (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic ). These skills are in high demand in today’s workforce where 'lean and agile' employees are in short supply. The lessons I learned over the summer will be implemented by integrating ‘real world’ experiences into the curriculum so students may develop 21st Century skills and become Subject Matter Experts in their chosen career fields.”

Gavilan’s College Dean of Career Technical Education, Sherrean Carr, explained how IISME fellowships support student achievement: “One of the greatest rewards is working with faculty like Dr. McLaughlin who strive to continually improve their teaching and create an environment that breeds success for students. Helping these students succeed requires technology courses that adapt with constantly evolving industry trends and standards.”

Dr. McLaughlin teaches in the Computer Graphics and Design (CGD) program at Gavilan College. CGD prepares students for careers as designers, architects, engineers, game/simulation developers, and other design fields that produce and market real and/or virtual products. Project-based activities help CGD students develop design skills while gaining expertise in computer graphics. CGD courses provide career and transfer options, incorporate theories and principles to support design, including instruction on SolidWorks and/or other commonly used computer graphics applications. Creative problem solving methods enable students to design products that meet human factors needs, use appropriate materials and address environmental issues. For more information about the CGD program at Gavila

Last modified: August 17, 2011
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