As recruiting students becomes increasingly competitive, Fort Lewis College is looking to position itself around its strongest and most in-demand programs. To achieve that shift, a new program is organizing efforts to highlight FLC’s academic strengths.
National data show increasing interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Data at Fort Lewis College show similar trends, with STEM being among the most popular areas of study. In the coming year, teams of faculty, staff, students, and administration will analyze data and identify opportunities to build, enhance, and market FLC’s programs, with an emphasis on STEM.
This process, dubbed the Summit Project, aims to identify, strengthen, and highlight the value and distinctiveness of a Fort Lewis College education. Part of that distinctiveness will continue to be the liberal arts environment, which at FLC is foundational to the education students receive. As the Summit Project evolves, it will focus on bringing the College’s academic programs, both STEM and non-STEM, in closer alignment.
Helping the Summit Project teams as strategy officer will be alumna, CEO, and innovator Ramona Pierson (Psychology, ’94). After graduating from FLC, she founded SynapticMash, an education software company that was later acquired by Promethean World, Inc. Today she is CEO of Declara, an artificial intelligence-enabled social learning platform based in Silicon Valley. She recently signed a movie contract with Sony and TriStar to create a film about her life.
“After I was blinded in a car accident, Fort Lewis College was the school that gave me the best chance to succeed,” Pierson says. “In the years since I graduated, I’ve used what I learned at FLC as I’ve worked on the forefront of the technology and data industries. In my career, I’ve seen how vital STEM will be to our future and now I’d like to help my alma mater find ways to prepare students for the amazing innovations that tomorrow will bring.”