IDEAs Study Center

Located in Schrank Hall North 353, the IDEAs Study Center is home away from home for underrepresented engineering students. The center is equipped with a swipe card system, tables, chairs, computers, internets, a projector, white boards, black boards and information boards. 

IDEAs Excellence Awards

The IDEAs Excellence Awards were established by Miss Kaye Rowan in 2013 for the purpose of celebrating diversity and inclusive excellence. Two students in the IDEAs Program are honored with IDEAs Excellence Awards for their outstanding academic achievement or exceptional leadership skills and community services.

2013 award winners: Renee Calder Calderon and Jamara Beard
2014 award winners: Ana Bacco and Sophia Chichilla

Freshman Seminar

The Minority Engineering Seminar and Peer Group Discussion (4100-120) is a one-credit elective course offered every fall semester. The course meets the following objectives:


  • To motivate students toward achieving academic success in the fields of engineering.
  • To facilitate interaction between students and faculty/staff in engineering.
  • To experience and enhance the culture of diversity through learning.
  • To ensure a small group structure that provides information and promotes supportive relationships.


Freshman Project “A” Competition

The IDEAs Project “A” Competition is a sponsored program designed to encourage the freshmen in the program to strive toward academic success by achieving more A's. During the fall and spring semesters of the freshman year, students submit exams, quizzes and term papers on which they have received an “A” (above 90%). The students with the highest numbers of submissions win gift cards. All participants will be invited to the celebration lunch and field trips to our sponsored company.


  1. Only freshman students who participate in the IDEAs Program prior to the second week of the semester are eligible for this program.
  2. All submission should be given to the IDEAs Program Director.
  3. If grades are distributed online, please submit a screen copy of the grades.


IDEAs Workshops and Fields Trips:

Various activities are designed to enhance the culture of diversity, academic success, professional development and personal development. The following events have been offered:


  • Inviting community leaders and dynamic speakers from industry to discuss engineering professions and development;
  • Having IDEAs alumni to share their inspiring stories;
  • Workshop: How to Use Graphic Calculators;
  • Workshop: Beginning MATLAB;
  • Workshop: Money Management;
  • Workshop: Achieving 4.0;
  • Panel: My Undergraduate Research Rocks;
  • Panel: My Co-op Experience and Beyond;
  • Panel: College Life;
  • Trip to the UA Consulting Counseling Center for Stress Management;
  • Field trip to NASA;
  • Field Trip to Home High Schools


Undergraduate Research:

The IDEAs program participants are encouraged to be involved with undergraduate research after their sophomore year. Students may publish papers with research advisors/mentors in peer-reviewed journals or present their results at conferences.

Since 1996, our undergraduate researchers have been awarded with the following research scholarships and internships:


  • Faculty Support at the College of Engineering
  • OSGC Junior or Senior Scholarships
  • NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program
  • McNair Scholarships
  • Glenn-Stokes Summer Research Scholarships
  • National Institutes of Health Summer Internship
  • Summer Research Internships
  • University of Pittsburgh – School of Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program
  • Ohio Math and Science Alliance Summer Research Internships


Community Services:

This program is designed to enhance the sense of belonging and giving back. With partnership of Akron local community, the IDEAs program offers following opportunities to all engineering students:


  • Organizing STEM workshops for middle school students
  • Hosting high school visitors
  • Becoming a tutor for high school students
  • Becoming a peer mentor/tutor for engineering students
  • Involving service-learning projects


Multicultural Student Organizations: