Senator Todd Young and NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan visit Notre Dame, SpectrumX leadership, to discuss critical investments in science and technology

On Thursday, April 25, Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), joined U.S. Senator Todd Young in a visit to the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The pair met with faculty, students, and University leaders and discussed how research and innovation can drive better policymaking, grow the local economy, and contribute to national security.

Senator Young explained, “As I travel around the state, I am inspired by the quality of students and the quality of research at our universities—and we have that at Notre Dame. Some of the best research in the country is happening here. That is exactly why I thought it was important that the director of the National Science Foundation come to Indiana, see it for himself, and meet many of the researchers whose projects have been funded by the NSF.”

Electrical and computing engineering students learn academic research methods with SpectrumX at UCLA

Over the summer of 2023, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hosted three SpectrumX-sponsored students in its National Science Foundation (NSF) research experience for undergraduate (REU) program. These students were paired with graduate students to pursue research in the electrical and computer engineering field and were guided through the process researchers take from project formation to presentation throughout the 10-week program.

Founding SpectrumX Broadening Participation Director Promoted at CU Boulder

SpectrumX’s founding Broadening Participation Director, Dr. Tanya Ennis, began her career as an electrical engineer and found her passion opening doors for young engineers through education.

Since March 2022, Ennis has served as both Broadening Participation Director for both SpectrumX and the Research Support Office in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder). As of October 2023, she has been promoted and transitioned to a new role as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Research, Creative Work and Innovation in the Research and Innovation Office at CU Boulder. She will continue to support SpectrumX indirectly through this new role, but has stepped down from her day-to-day responsibilities in the center.

SpectrumX’s fall meeting introduces new ways to engage with the center’s work

Unveiling comprehensive undergraduate research experience programs, introducing a new board of advisory members, and launching a flagship workshop on crafting comments on policy for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) were just some of the top agenda items for attendees of SpectrumX’s Fall 2023 Center meeting. The meeting took place at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, from October 9 and 10, 2023. It brought the multi-institutional center, composed of 27 founding institutions and led by the University of Notre Dame, to the upper midwest to discuss research progress, center initiatives, and more.

Participants from five continents join together to learn from telecommunications experts at University of Colorado Boulder

During the week of July 10, 2023, faculty and researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) hosted participants from five continents for the United States Telecommunication Training Institute (USTTI). Each day of the five-day course focused on a new topic: trends and impact in telecommunications, spectrum management and radio frequency technology, law and regulatory aspects around the globe, technology and innovations, and participant case study presentations.

NTIA seeks feedback on future airwaves for innovative technologies; SpectrumX to host a listening session at the University of Notre Dame

WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on Wednesday began seeking comment on identifying airwaves for more intensive use and innovative new uses by both the private sector and federal agencies.

NTIA’s National Spectrum Strategy Request for Comment seeks input on creating a spectrum pipeline for the next decade of frequencies that could be studied for new or additional uses. The agency’s goal is to identify at least 1,500 megahertz of spectrum to study for potential repurposing – perhaps the most ambitious study goal for NTIA to date – to meet future requirements for non-federal and federal users.

Radio Shop Chat / Should I Stay or Should I Go? Black Engineering Students Deciding to Stay or Leave Engineering Majors

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Black Engineering Students Deciding to Stay or Leave Engineering Majors

Featuring Dr. Tanya Ennis
Broadening Participation Director
SpectrumX Center and Research Support Office (RSO)
University of Colorado Boulder, College of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. Ennis’ presentation will highlight the findings of her dissertation which include multiple configurations of factors working together that inform Black engineering students in making a decision to stay or leave engineering majors. Her theoretical framework draws upon research on the continual reinforcement of the racialized environment on university campuses, academic social supports, resilience responses and feedback loops. Dr. Ennis’ dissertation topic grew out of her desire to center and understand Black students’ experiences in engineering, revealing the complexities of why Black students choose to stay or leave. She will outline the results of her findings and reveal the multiple factors working together that contribute to Black engineering students deciding to stay or leave.

Dr. Tanya Davis Ennis is the Broadening Participation Director for the SpectrumX Center and for the Research Support Office (RSO) at the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her M.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. She also recently earned her PhD in Education in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Colorado Boulder where the School of Education faculty committee awarded her the Outstanding Dissertation Award for her dissertation entitled Yearning to Learn: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Black Engineering Students Deciding to Stay or Leave Engineering Majors.

As a low-socioeconomic, first-generation college student who grew up in rural Louisiana, Dr. Ennis encountered multiple factors that impacted her decision to study engineering, to graduate and to pursue a career in telecommunications with AT&T Bell Laboratories, US WEST Communications and COVAD Communications where she developed and implemented large-scale systems. After a career in the telecommunications industry, Dr. Ennis transitioned into teaching high school mathematics, with an emphasis on educating  students of color who struggled with learning mathematics. She later began her career at CU Boulder where she directed the Engineering GoldShirt Program and the BOLD Center, where she directed programs designed to support and engage underrepresented students to succeed as engineering students. Dr. Ennis also taught introductory physics and engineering project design; additionally, she created new curriculum to serve students needing additional academic instruction, especially for the calculus sequence. A number of ASEE conference papers on the Engineering GoldShirt Program and other topics are published by Dr. Ennis.

This event will take place February 7, 2023, at 3 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. CST/ 1 p.m. MST/ and noon PST.

Register here.