Verizon praised for support of 'Engineering Our Future NJ'

Program designed to bolster interest in engineering through K-12 study

HOBOKEN, N.J. -- At a gathering of Stevens Institute of Technology's Board of Trustees and faculty Thursday, officials from Verizon Communications and the Verizon Foundation were recognized by Stevens' President Harold J. Raveché for their commitment to "Engineering Our Future NJ (EOFNJ)," an innovative program designed to enrich K-12 education through the integration of engineering into the elementary, middle, and high school curriculum.

Engineering Our Future is a statewide effort to train 2,000 teachers throughout New Jersey is funded in part by a leadership grant of $500,000 from Verizon. The EOFNJ program is led by Stevens' Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE), under the direction of Beth McGrath.

President Raveché recognized the vision of two senior Verizon executives, Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. and Virginia Ruesterholz, in remarks describing the importance of this gift. Babbio is Verizon Communication's Vice-Chairman and President and Chairman of the Stevens Board of Trustees. Ruesterholz, president of Verizon Telecom, is a Stevens alumna and has served as co-chair of the Stevens Edwin A. Stevens Society and as a board member of the Stevens Business & Technology Program. Also receiving accolades were Dennis Bone, President, Verizon NJ; Susan Sullivan, Director, Employee Volunteerism & Strategic Partnerships, the Verizon Foundation; and Mark Bocchieri, Verizon Director of External Affairs in New Jersey.

"Programs such as Engineering Our Future NJ are paramount to producing a technically savvy workforce," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "The program also dovetails well with one of the Foundation's key missions of using technology to improve education and our communities."

The goal of Engineering Our Future NJ is to strengthen the policies that govern what students are required to study in New Jersey to ensure that all students study engineering, from the elementary levels through high school, as an integral and required part of their curriculum – not merely as an elective or extracurricular activity.

"Verizon's generous gift is providing support to CIESE to train 2,000 teachers throughout New Jersey in grade-appropriate engineering activities, implemented in the context of science, mathematics and technology classes, that give students experience with the engineering design and problem-solving process and an understanding of the important work that engineers do," said Raveché. "These experiences are also helping students to apply and see the relevance of the science and mathematics principles to current, real-world problems and challenges.

The discipline of engineering is vital to economic growth and prosperity, said Raveché. "A report issued by the National Academies last fall, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, reports that 85 percent of economic growth per capita is due to technological innovation. In addition to economic growth, as we all well know, engineering is critical to solving the pressing challenges of the 21st century – challenges that we at Stevens are working on, such as wireless network security, port security, and cleaning contaminated water."

Stevens is playing a leadership role in the state of New Jersey in promoting pre-college engineering education, thanks to this generous gift from Verizon, said CIESE Director McGrath.

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About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com or contact Brian C. Malina, Verizon Media Relations, (908) 559-6434, Brian.c.malina@verizon.com.

About the Verizon Foundation

Verizon delivers technology that touches life. The Verizon Foundation uses that technology and the foundation's financial resources to improve literacy and K-12 education; to support victims of domestic violence; and improve the delivery of health care. In 2005, the foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, which is one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States and responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005 alone. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Established in 1870, Stevens offers baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees in engineering, science, computer science, management and technology management, as well as a baccalaureate in the humanities and liberal arts, and in business and technology. Located directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan, the university has enrollments of approximately 1,780 undergraduates and 2,700 graduate students, and a current enrollment of 2,250 online-learning students worldwide. Additional information may be obtained from its web page at www.Stevens.edu. For the latest news about Stevens, please visit www.StevensNewsService.com.


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