ASTM International, one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, will launch the "Year of the Professor" campaign in 2009. This multifaceted academic outreach initiative will be aimed at promoting the value of standards education at colleges and universities worldwide. '
The Year of the Professor campaign expands upon ASTM International's "Year of the Student" initiative in 2007. That program brought a 40 percent increase in ASTM student membership and saw the number of colleges and universities that access ASTM standards increase to more than 1,000.' Currently, individuals from 75 different countries hold student membership in ASTM International. '
Highlights of the initiative include:
- The ASTM International Professor of the Year Award, rewarding a university-level educator for exemplary use of standards in their curriculum or classroom setting;
- College and university campus visits and training sessions by ASTM members and staff;
- Online educational resources at ASTM Campus, a focused area of the ASTM website for professors and students;
- Access to affordable ASTM academic-oriented products, enabling professors to integrate ASTM standards into their course materials;
- Ongoing ASTM International student membership opportunities.
ASTM International President James A. Thomas said, "Today's college students are the world's future technical experts and leaders in their fields. Enhancing their classroom learning with a real-world curriculum in standards will give then a learning foundation they can draw upon throughout their entire career. ASTM International is committed to supporting college and university educators in their efforts to build students' knowledge and awareness of the critical discipline of standardization." '
Dr. Vicki L. Brown, associate professor and chair of the civil engineering department at Widener University, said, "Engineering students, in particular, should learn about standards while still in school so that, as practicing professionals, they are prepared to appropriately apply those standards in their everyday technical evaluations and decision making. ASTM's Year of the Professor program will provide engineering educators with welcome resources for teaching students about standardization." '
Rewarding the Contributions of Educators
A special emphasis of the Year of the Professor initiative will be on the role of educators in developing student knowledge and involvement in standardization. Underscoring this important aspect of the campaign will be the new ASTM International Professor of the Year Award. Candidates for the award will include professors and instructors at accredited universities worldwide who have demonstrated outstanding use of ASTM standards in their teaching. Cash awards will be given to the winning educator and their respective university. '
Bringing the Message to College Campuses
In 2009, ASTM International will also continue its direct outreach efforts at colleges and universities around the world. Over the past several years, ASTM members and staff have conducted campus visits to give students a living "case study" on the importance of standardization. Numerous visits and seminars are planned for 2009, building on last year's programs at several schools, including Catholic University, Drexel University, Eastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Miami and Westminster College.' '
ASTM Campus: Home for ASTM Academic Outreach Information
In support of the Year of the Professor initiative, ASTM has expanded the ASTM Campus " the popular area of its Web site geared toward university and college students as well as professors and instructors.' ASTM Campus is the Society's central online home for a wide range of educational content on standardization, as well as information on all of ASTM's academic outreach programs.