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IDEA Student Center

Advancement are goals of the new IDEA Student Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering, which opened this fall. The IDEA Student Center supports the academic, professional and personal development of all students at the Jacobs School of Engineering. The center aims to improve retention and graduation rates; attract more underrepresented students; encourage undergraduates to pursue research; and get students in elementary, middle and high school, as well as community college, excited about a career in engineering.

The creation of the IDEA Student center already has led to significant changes, said Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible. Initiatives launched this year include a summer prep session for freshmen selected as IDEA Scholars, as well as a mentoring program that connects graduate and undergraduate students.

Dozens of students, faculty, staff, administrators and corporate partners celebrated the center's official dedication on Oct. 14. The audience heard from Stedman Graham (below), a well-known businessman, educator and author, who sits on the Council of Advisors to the Dean of the Jacobs School.

"The dedication at Jacobs Hall, which brought together people from all over campus, is a recognition of our achievements. But we are not done," Seible said. "We are just getting started. I want the IDEA Student Center to transform how we live together, how we work together and how we accomplish our mission here at the Jacobs School."

The center's creation dates back to unrest on campus in 2010, after which Jacobs School officials created a voluntary Diversity Advisory Council. Faculty, students, staff, alumni and industry advisers eagerly joined and gave generously of their time. The council recommended creation of the IDEA Student Center.

In addition to its outreach, retention and mentoring initiatives, the center supports all student organizations at the Jacobs School, including the Triton Engineering Student Council; the Jacobs Graduate Student Council; engineering diversity organizations; project, service and competition teams; professional student organizations; and honor societies.

Get involved
Work directly with student organizations or mentor individual students

  • Provide advice on careers and professional development
  • Sponsor a program or a scholarship Alumni and the broader Jacobs School community are key to the center's success. "Alumni can give toward the mission of the center in many ways, including time, talent and treasure. We couldn't achieve our goals without community support," said IDEA Student Center Director Terrance Mayes.

Stedman Graham and Prof Todd Coleman Image IDEA Student Center Dedication Image
Stedman Graham (left), a businessman, educator talks with biongineering professor Todd Coleman (right) at the IDEA Student Center dedication.


For more information, contact IDEA Student Center Director Terrance Mayes at or (858) 534-6105


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