OTTUMWA – Indian Hills Community College Laser & Optics Technology students Zachary Bowling and Cesar Ramirez Rodriguez recently attended the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) conference in Washington, D.C. The two IHCC students were invited to the conference as ATE students and representatives of the Midwest Photonics Education Center, which is based at Indian Hills.
Bowling and Ramirez Rodriguez attended a showcase event where ATE Centers and Projects hosted exhibits of their work and products. They created a poster about the IHCC Laser & Optics program that garnered a lot of interest. Their poster displayed program coursework, job placement, enrollment, salary ranges, and pictures of laser club activities and laboratory activities.
Members of the National Science Board joined the students to discuss opportunities and challenges facing students as they prepare to enter the skilled technical workforce. The NSB members were impressed with the nearly 100% job placement from the challenging IHCC program.
Bowling and Ramirez Rodriguez were both honored with a Student Award for Excellence at the ATE Student and Alumni Recognition breakfast.
The IHCC students were nominated by Greg Kepner, Director of the Midwest Photonics Education Center, and Michael Shay, IHCC Laser & Optics Technology instructor. They were part of an initiative to honor ATE students and alumni at the conference by the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Science Foundation.