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Global Technology Initiative at San Jose State University: Results of Seven Years of an International Experience for Students

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Global Engineering Models: Curriculum Development, Improvements, and Partnerships

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.673.1 - 25.673.12



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Paper Authors


Belle W. Y. Wei San José State University

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Since her 2002 appointment as Don Beall Dean of SJSU's Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, Belle Wei has led a college dedicated to educating engineers who can take on today's problems and produce tomorrow's solutions. Under Wei’s leadership, the college has launched programs to enhance students' global awareness and enrich their professional networks. A signature program is the College's Global Technology Initiative (GTI), a two-week study-tour to Asia. Since its inception, GTI has sent student-teams to China, Taiwan, or India each year to meet global collaborators, competitors, and leaders through an intensely immersive learning experience that goes beyond classroom studies. Other programs reflecting Wei's international reach include the college’s Poverty Alleviation/Service-Learning program and Engineers Without Borders. This global perspective is rooted in a vision of SJSU as a preeminent producer of forward-thinking problem-solvers. With this goal in mind, Wei has established the Silicon Valley Engineering Scholarship, a program that provides $5,000 of annual support for high-achieving students to pursue engineering careers. Wei is also a Principal Contributor to CSU (California State University) Engineering Academies, a statewide program that helps high schools better motivate and prepare students for the rigors of engineering education. Moreover, she supports the creation of high-impact programs for first-year students and established a new SJSU Engineering Student Success Center to help engineering students thrive. Most importantly, Wei's commitment to expanding the sphere for student excellence has produced results that include increased access for women, African Americans, Latinos/Latinas, and other historically underrepresented communities to SJSU. Wei extends her service beyond SJSU through active engagement in national and international organizations. She serves on the Executive Board for the Engineering Deans Council of American Society for Engineering Education, chairing its Committee on Diversity. She has served on several National Science Foundation panels. And she has assumed numerous leadership roles on program committees for technical conferences. In 2006, Wei was invited by Congress to share her insights on the "Innovation Agenda," promoting strategies for the United States to maintain and advance its technological and economic leadership in an increasingly challenging and interdependent global arena. Wei also serves on the boards of Monte Jade and Vision New America and is a founding board member of U.S.-China Green Energy Council.

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Patricia R Backer San José State University

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Patricia Backer has been a faculty member at SJSU since 1990 and now serves as Director of general engineering. In her current role, Backer is involved in developing and assessing outreach programs to increase the number of women and underrepresented students in engineering.

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Wenchiang Richard Chung San José State University


Andrew F. Wood San José State University

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Andrew F. Wood, professor, Communication Studies and Humanities honors program, San José State University, has authored or co-authored books on internet communication, reality television, roadside Americana, and the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. His most recent book, City Ubiquitous: Place, Communication, and the Rise of Omnitopia, received the 2009 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Award from the Urban Communication Foundation. His peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Text and Performance Quarterly, Communication Theory, Space and Culture, Communication Education, and Southern Communication Journal, and he has served on editorial boards for several regional and national journals. An in-demand speaker and commentator, Wood’s ideas have appeared in USA Today, National Public Radio (Talk of the Nation and Morning Edition), and dozens of other media outlets.

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Global Technology Initiative at XXX: Results of Seven Years of an International Experience for StudentsFor XXX students to thrive in the highly competitive global economy, it is critical to developinternational perspectives and knowledge. The $1 million Global Technology Initiative (GTI),established in 2004, provides SJSU students with an opportunity to gain a global perspective ofthe world by learning about technology and business developments in the Asia Pacific region.GTI donors are high-tech business leaders with strong business ties in Silicon Valley and theAsia Pacific region. Given the current trend of engineering globalization in the global economy,particularly the trend of outsourcing Silicon Valley manufacturing, development, and designwork to foreign countries, the purpose of GTI is to provide (primarily) engineering students ofXXX University with a global perspective for engineering and entrepreneurship in the entireenterprise value chain and prepare them for a successful career in this globalization era. The GTIprogram includes: a pre-trip General Education course on Chinese economy, politics, education,and environment; organized site visits by XXX students to the Asia Pacific region, with allexpenses paid by industrial donors; and dissemination of lessons learned by the students on thestudy-tour to the rest of XXX engineering students during their remaining study at SJSU. Thispresentation will include the showing of a documentary about the Spring 2012 GTI trip to Chinaand a discussion of the evolution of the GTI program over the past seven years.

Wei, B. W. Y., & Backer, P. R., & Chung, W. R., & Wood, A. F. (2012, June), Global Technology Initiative at San Jose State University: Results of Seven Years of an International Experience for Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21430

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