UW-Platteville to open CenterPOINT in remodeled Ottensman 170

May 8, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, or EMS, is committed to providing resources to its students, both within the classroom as well as outside of it, for the study and work that are required by most classes to achieve academic success. With this in mind, the College of EMS will open the Center for Projects, Opportunities, Instruction, Networking and Teamwork, or CenterPOINT, in the fall as a space for students to study, meet with mentors, complete individual or group projects or assignments in a constructive environment designed specifically around student feedback. CenterPOINT is a grant initiative of the National Science Foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program, or STEP, which was awarded to the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science last year.

“Our aim with CenterPOINT is not to duplicate any existing services on campus, but rather to collaborate and work with other offices to get students access to services and enhance those that are already out there,” said Jaclyn Esqueda, special programs manager in the Women in Engineering, Mathematics and Science Program who will have an active role in the center. “It will be a positive study environment that will be extremely versatile to our students’ needs.”

A forum was held for approximately 55 students and faculty members in March to collect input regarding what attendees would want from CenterPOINT. In an interactive style, attendees voted on which design scheme they wanted for the room, used Legos to demonstrate ideal layout of furniture, took a survey to share more specific feedback, tried out sample furniture and brainstormed center name ideas on whiteboards. 

“Feedback was very important to us for the design and function of the center,” said Esqueda. “We picked the name and design that our students and faculty voted for because we want students to see the space as theirs and to feel comfortable spending time in it.”

CenterPOINT will have technology options for media-related projects or those that require the use of a computer or software as well as moveable whiteboards and tables for whichever set up would be easiest for those who need it. Its location is ideal for students who are looking for a quiet place to study between classes without having to go very far.

In addition to serving as a study and resource center for students, initiatives related to the NSF STEP grant will be run from CenterPOINT. “Another key element of the grant is our outreach to females and traditionally underrepresented minority students,” said Esqueda. “CenterPOINT can serve as a point for the organization of College of EMS outreach initiatives as well.”

Esqueda and other staff will monitor and assess the use of CenterPOINT in order to determine the most effective uses of the space and make the changes necessary for students to use the room to its fullest potential.

Contact: Jaclyn Esqueda, Women in EMS, (608) 342-7158, esquedaj@upwlatt.edu

Written by: Angela O’Brien, UW-Platteville Office of University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, obrienan@uwplatt.edu

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