In welcoming VEF attendees and special guests to the conference, Rensselaer Provost Robert Palazzo noted that “scientific and technological entrepreneurship is at the core of The Rensselaer Plan a comprehensive blueprint for institutional change that we embarked upon a decade ago, in order to achieve greater prominence as a top-tier, world-class technological research university, with global reach and global impact.
“Rensselaer is honored to work side-by-side with the people of Vietnam a country with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. We have much to learn from one another, and we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationship in the months and years ahead.”
In its seventh year, the annual conference, which centered on the theme of leadership and entrepreneurship, provided more than 250 participants with an opportunity to engage in a series of sessions and discussions that focused on professional career development, networking, science, and leadership training. The program also included several presentations led by Rensselaer faculty and VEF Scholars. Special highlights of the program included a job fair, recreational sports activities, and on- and off-campus tours.
Stanley Dunn, vice provost and dean of the graduate school, noted that it was “befitting that the organization selected Rensselaer, the nation’s oldest technological university, for this meeting. Our purpose, as written into the school’s founding documents, is ‘...the application of science to the common purposes of life.’ This mission has kept the educational focus on engineering solutions to international needs and challenges.”
In remarks at the event, Dunn said that “Rensselaer’s rich tradition of engineering, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship continues through this conference, where you will have the opportunity to hear from our faculty and learn about their cutting-edge research in energy and the environment, information technology, nanotechnology, and biotechnology.”
According to the VEF, the organization’s mission is to help the country of Vietnam build excellence in science and technology. Specifically, the foundation aims to help Vietnam establish a science, engineering, medical, and technology community of people and institutions that can implement a strong teaching and research agenda, create economic growth, and maintain scientific cooperation with the United States.
To achieve this, the VEF Fellowship and Visiting Scholar Programs support Vietnamese nationals as they pursue graduate degree programs or further development of their professional skills via studies, research, and/or observational activities at leading U.S. academic institutions. The U.S. Faculty Scholar Grant Program supports U.S. professors who teach courses at Vietnamese institutions for one or two semesters either on-site in Vietnam or via interactive, real-time videoconferencing from the United States. Presently, Rensselaer has one student pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science under the Fellowship Program.
Additional support and programming for the conference was provided by Rensselaer’s Office of Academic Outreach Program Services and the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development.
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