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Stevens: $20 Million from Gianforte Family Foundation

Greg ’83 and Susan Gianforte

Stevens Institute of Technology announced that alumnus Greg Gianforte ’83 M.S ’83 Hon. D.Eng. ’12 made history once again at his alma mater with another $10 million gift to name the Gianforte Academic Center, a new state-of-the-art interdisciplinary educational and research facility dedicated to technological innovation. This gift augments the previous $10 million gift made by the Gianforte Family Foundation in 2012, making the combined total of $20 million the largest gift to a single project in university history.

Gianforte and his wife, Susan, are philanthropists and longtime supporters of the University.

“Susan and Greg Gianforte have made yet another transformational gift to Stevens,” said Dr. Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens. “They invested in the future of Stevens in 2012 with a $10 million gift that jump-started our fundraising efforts and provided critical momentum to our planned academic building. With this additional gift, Susan and Greg have demonstrated their confidence in Stevens and the impact the university will have in the future. I and the entire Stevens community are so grateful for their leadership, commitment, and extraordinary generosity.”

The new 89,950 square-foot, two-building facility which will be completed in 2019, will provide academic space and research laboratories to further advance research and education in areas of significant societal need, such as healthcare and medicine, sustainable energy, financial systems defense and security, and STEM education, supporting the fulfillment of the Stevens strategic plan.

Located on the northeast and southeast corners of Hudson and Sixth Street, the Gianforte Academic Center is slated to add 17 smart classrooms, six advanced labs and 45 faculty offices, plus house the Department of Computer Science, an array of laboratories in healthcare technology including the Semcer Tissue Engineering Lab, a Digital Learning Lab, and the Prototyping Manufacturing Facility.

“Susan and I know a winner when we see one,” Gianforte said. “The incredible ascent that Stevens has experienced over the last five years is truly remarkable. We consider this additional gift as an investment in an organization that is making a difference—for its graduates who go on to launch and lead companies, for an economy that is driven by technological innovation, and for a society that benefits from the research taking place at Stevens. Susan and I are pleased that our gift will be a catalyst for Stevens and the important work the university is doing.”

Gianforte earned his B.E. in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Computer Science from Stevens in 1983. After graduation, Greg was elected as a young alumni trustee to the Board of Trustees. He has also been a member of the Edwin A. Stevens Society, the leadership giving society at Stevens, every year since graduation. He has been an entrepreneur and innovator in the computer networking and software industries and customer experience market. In 2012, he sold RightNow Technologies – the cloud-based customer service and support solutions company he founded and led – to Oracle for $1.8 billion.

Gianforte currently serves on the board of several companies and foundations and he is the managing director of the Bozeman Technology Incubator and chairman of Petra Academy. He and his wife Susan founded the Gianforte Family Foundation in 2005.

An industry leader and sought after speaker, Gianforte gave the keynote address at the university’s 2012 Commencement ceremony and accepted an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.

Career Outcomes Show High Demand and Compensation for Stevens Graduates

Trend of stellar outcomes continue to demonstrate a significant return on investment.

The Stevens Institute of Technology Career Center released its Career Outcomes report for the Class of 2016. The impressive numbers show a steady trend of success for Stevens graduates in securing highly competitive employment opportunities and admission into prestigious graduate programs – 22 percent of the Class reported continuing their education post-graduation.

Stevens graduates are in high demand. Of those seeking employment, 96 percent finalized their plans within six months of graduation, a testament to the real-world skills and technology-driven insights that are at the core of a Stevens education. The Class also reported a record-high average starting salary of $67,100, which represents a 7.9 percent increase from the average starting salary reported in 2011.

The first-destination data of the most recent graduating class demonstrates why Stevens continues to earn recognition as one of the nation’s top institutions for securing a remarkable return on investment. Salary consultancy PayScale ranked Stevens 12th in the nation for 20-year net return on investment, with financial aid, for graduates in its 2016 College ROI Report. CNBC also named Stevens 5th in the nation among “the 13 U.S. colleges where students go on to earn the most money.”

Named by MarketWatch in 2016 as one of the top schools in the nation for getting women into STEM careers, Stevens continues to distinguish itself as an institution known for its ability to place women in well-paid, competitive positions. The women of the Class were highly recruited, with a record-setting 99 percent having secured their first destinations within the six month post-graduation timeframe.

Noelle Mulligan ’16, who graduated with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, cited the career opportunities available to her through Stevens as being instrumental in preparing her for a career at Johnson & Johnson as a GOLD Associate, Metrology Engineer.

“By participating in the Co-op Program, I was able to gain valuable work experience that not only helped prepare me for full-time employment, but also allowed me to discover what I was passionate about,” said Mulligan. “At Stevens, I was challenged in the classroom, in the workplace, and as a student athlete. These experiences have provided me the preparation that I will carry with me throughout my career,” Mulligan added.

Stevens’ remarkable career outcomes are the result of a combination of its rigorous academics, which provides students with broad-based technical skill sets, as well as the numerous opportunities, access, and support services provided to students as they pursue their career goals. The Princeton Review recognized Stevens’ stellar career placement, ranking it 6th in the nation in the 2016 edition of Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.

The Stevens Career Center hosts three annual career fairs, attended by some of the nation’s top employers, including Verizon, Goldman Sachs, Turner Construction and Ernst and Young, and many more. The career fairs are just one of many events and programs the Stevens Career Center organizes during the academic year that connect students with employment opportunities. The office provides individualized guidance by professional career counselors, workshops and seminars, and other employer events on campus throughout the year.

Alexander Mendonez ’16, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in pure and applied mathematics, went to work for Sun Life Financial as an actuarial analyst. Mendonez credits the Career Center staff members for providing the personalized support and guidance needed to jump-start his career.

“Being able to drop in at any time and consult with experienced career advisors has given me confidence and insight necessary in building my actuarial career. Despite my niche career goals, the Stevens Career Center has been very helpful with all of their advice, workshops and connections to the industry,” Mendonez said.

First destination information for the Career Outcomes report was solicited from members of the Class from September 2015 through November 2016 by means of surveys, email correspondence, and in-person advising meetings. These methods, used to obtain reliable outcomes information for students’ post-graduation plans, resulted in a knowledge rate of 91 percent for this year’s report.

Computer Science Major Seeks to Create a New ‘Chapter’ for Women in Computing at Stevens

Nationwide, women are under-represented in computer sciences, and the gender gap in computing is only getting worse according to a 2016 study conducted by Accenture and Girls Who Code. It’s a trend that Stevens Institute of Technology junior and computer science major Monica Razak is fighting to reverse on the Stevens campus.

As president of Stevens Women in Computer Science (SWiCS), she helped secure $3,000 to start an ACM-W (Association for Computing Machinery Council on Women in Computing) student chapter on campus. The gift came with SWiCS’ selection as the winner of the Fall 2016 Student Seed Fund by the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT).

“I did some research and discovered that students at other major schools have been starting Women in Computing groups at their universities, and thought that Stevens should do the same,” explained Razak.

left to right: SWiCS members Roma Shah, Weronika Zamlynny, Monica Razak, Zoe Millard, Ayse Akin at the Spotify office in New York City during a technology networking event

Stevens Associate Professor of Computer Science Adriana Compagnoni serves as SWiCS faculty advisor. As a member of the ACM-W executive council, she says she has witnessed first-hand the benefits of creating an ACM-W chapter and being an active part of the largest member-based organization of computing students and professionals in the world.

“It is an honor to be invited to be the advisor of SWiCS. I believe the ACM-W chapter will give them a much needed structure, a routine of regular meetings, an identity to brand a number of efforts that would otherwise go unnoticed, an organization to engage technical women across departments, and a larger community to belong to beyond the campus,” said Compagnoni.

In applying for the award, SWiCS submitted a winning application that contained thoughtful, well-developed ideas, detailing: the extent to which SWiCS plans to incorporate activities that are evidence-based for increasing the recruitment and retention of women in computing and IT; the extent to which the initiative will be assessed for impact; how the ACM-W student chapter will evaluate impact (e.g. measuring the impact of the group and its activities on participants’ interest in computing skills, sustained or increased commitment to the field, etc.); and a budget.

Together with Razak and Compagnoni, Susan Metz, executive director of diversity and inclusion at Stevens, played a key role in SWiCS’ winning proposal.

“SWiCS’ success in securing funding to establish an ACM-W student chapter at Stevens provides an opportunity to enrich the experience of students studying computer science because it will provide access to a range of programs and services that advances the full engagement of women in computing,” said Metz.

Enriching the campus experience for women in computing is precisely the reason why Razak formed SWiCS a year ago. She founded the organization, which currently has approximately 70 members, to connect with other female computer science majors on campus.

“We began as a group of four undergraduate women, and now we are able to hold campus-wide events that help us stay connected with women in tech, as well as share our ideas with the entire Stevens community.”

Razak says the award will go towards funding transportation for members to attend conferences and local hackathons, prize money for campus coding competitions and promotion of SWiCS.

A new ACM-W student chapter will add to the rich campus offerings that already exist for students to connect and engage with the Stevens community, according to Razak.

“I chose Stevens over other schools because of the close-knit community of students. I knew that by choosing a smaller school with a great reputation, I would be able to benefit from as many programs as I wanted to at the school. For example, I ended up being a TA, a co-op student, an orientation leader and president of a club.”