Invited Letter: Greetings from the National Science Foundation

Keywords: NSF, ATE, technician Education

© 2024 under the terms of the J ATE Open Access Publishing Agreement

On behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and as a program director with NSF’s Advanced Technological Education Program (ATE), I extend heartfelt greetings to all who contribute to and benefit from the invaluable platform provided by the Journal of Advanced Technological Education (JATE). As stewards of innovation and champions of inclusivity, I am delighted to recognize the journal’s commitment to a peer-reviewed process for disseminating knowledge, ensuring that more voices are heard and valued in the pursuit of progress and equity.

Serving as a program director for the ATE program team is an extraordinary privilege that I value deeply. ATE is one of the longest-standing core programs within the Division of Undergraduate Education and is celebrated for its legacy of outstanding leadership and a vibrant and devoted community. At present, it actively supports the efforts of twenty-three centers and hundreds of unique projects across the country, each focused on transforming and expanding technical education in emerging technology fields. The endeavors of J ATE stand as an essential cornerstone of the ATE community, exemplifying a deep commitment to accelerating research and innovation that yields numerous benefits for society.

At the center of the ATE community’s success lies the exceptional and dedicated STEM faculty of two-year colleges, a group I am honored to be a part of. My path to becoming a program director at NSF has been shaped by nearly two decades as chemistry faculty in the two-year college realm, complemented by a background in chemical education research. As passionate educators, we strive to foster supportive learning environments, cultivate equitable opportunities, and engage in meaningful change initiatives that address societal needs while simultaneously transforming the lives of our students.

I am thrilled to see the spotlight shine on this inspiring group of educators throughout this issue of J ATE. This issue’s theme highlights the invaluable contributions and unique challenges faced by STEM faculty in our diverse and dynamic educational environments. Likewise, the ATE program acknowledges the vital role of STEM faculty by mandating that they hold leadership positions on all ATE projects. I applaud J ATE for recognizing the significance of this work and offering a venue to amplify faculty voices and exchange ideas that will undoubtedly galvanize colleagues nationwide.

In closing, I urge each member of the technical education community to recognize the impact of publishing their work and disseminating their research findings. By sharing insights, practices, and innovative approaches, we not only enrich our collective knowledge base but also drive regional economic growth. I extend a warm invitation to all to submit their work to J ATE, where it will find a forum to reach a wide audience and contribute to the ongoing dialogue within our community. Together, let us continue to advance the field of technical education and foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and excellence.

Kalyn Owens
Program Director, ATE Program
The National Science Foundation