Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:02 pm | Author:
RRVRC Recognizes Don Mugan with Pathfinder Award
Dr. Don Mugan, the Director of the Great Plains STEM Education Center at Valley City State University, was recognized with the Pathfinder award at the Milestones and Horizons conference co-hosted by U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan and the Red River Valley Research Corridor.

In presenting the award to Dr. Mugan, Senator Dorgan said, "North Dakotans should be extremely proud of Don Mugan for his work to boost high-tech education initiatives in the state. Don's efforts will help continue to grow our state's future high-tech workforce in the Red River Valley Research Corridor."

The Pathfinder award recognizes exceptional achievement in developing and deploying technologies, products, processes or services in the marketplace that have a significant effect on the way business and society operates. Previous winners of the Pathfinder award are Doug Burgum (2008) and James Carlson (2009).

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education is an emerging set of trans-disciplinary teaching methods and content in which students learn how to apply rigorous academic concepts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to real-world problems. Its goal is to increase student engagement and literacy in the STEM fields and ultimately increase the number and ability of students entering into STEM-related careers.

The State Board of Higher Education approved the Great Plains STEM Education Center in June, 2010, and it was established with $1.13 million federal funding, largely due to Senator Dorgan's support and influence. The Center provides STEM Education and training opportunities for K-12 students and teachers, and has formed partnerships with various national leaders in STEM Education including the National Center for Technological Literacy of the Museum of Science Boston, LEGO Education, The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, and others. Dr. Mugan has been with VCSU since 1973 serving in several capacities including the Chair of the University's Division of Math, Science and Technology.

The Red River Valley Research Corridor was founded in 2002 under the leadership of Senator Dorgan to increase high-tech research and development in North Dakota. Since then, nearly $700 million in federal investments have been directed to Red River Valley Research Corridor activities. The RRVRC hosts the Milestones & Horizons conference to recognize research, development and commercialization accomplishments in the Red River Valley Research Corridor.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.