September 10, 2008

Taylor Energy Board members, including Mrs. Phyllis Taylor, and spouses were escorted on a special tour of the College of Engineering and Patrick F. Taylor Hall on the afternoon of Friday, September 7, 2007. Upon arrival, the group congregated at the new Patrick F. Taylor Memorial Plaque at the front of the building. Many were moved by its likeness to Mr. Taylor and the words engraved on the plaque.

Dean Zaki Bassiouni then presented an overview of the College’s status and vision. Discussing the seven departments, nine undergraduate programs, eight MS graduate programs, and six PhD graduate programs, the Dean provided numbers to support the College’s educational efforts in enhancing this large program. Dean Bassiouni stated “The things that we are doing to improve the substance and image of the College, include supporting our mission by focusing on teaching, research, and engagement. We have important initiatives to promote student recruitment and retention, which are”:

·         TOPS scholarships

·         Donor-funded scholarships

·         Corporate sponsorships

·         NSF-STEM $600K scholarship grant

·         NSF-STEP $2M grant

·         Women and Minority programs

To improve the quality of the College’s graduates the Dean stressed his initiatives to impart students with critical skills and the tools to accomplish that goal which include: the Communication CxC Studio, the new Safety Training and Demonstration Lab and a Critical Thinking Initiative. Bassiouni stated, “We want to be known as the college where faculty teach students HOW to think, not just WHAT to think.”

Dean Bassiouni also spoke of efforts to promote faculty recruitment and retention; and to upgrade and renovate facilities, including Patrick F. Taylor Hall.

Following the visit to Patrick F. Taylor Hall, the Taylor group was escorted to the Petroleum Engineering Research & Technology Transfer Laboratory, where they toured the LSU Well Facility. It was followed by a reception with Engineering leadership, including department chairs. A special guest was Dr. Astrid Merget the new Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

Article by Mimi LaValle, LSU college of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu

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