The African baobab tree is known for its very thick hollow trunk, spindly root-like branches, and its fruit, sometimes called a superfood for its high nutritional value. In Africa its nickname is the tree of life. And for a group of Pennsylvania State University engineering students, the tree became an opportunity to grow local African businesses.
Baobab fruit is a staple food in many African societies, but it’s difficult to harvest and process into a usable product. The fruit, which is about the size of an American football, is traditionally cracked open, and the innards are pounded to a powder that can be added to food and drink.
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First jobs for college graduates aren’t scarce, they’re just hard to find and difficult to apply to, say the founders of Collegefeed. For graduates looking to land that ever-elusive first job, the start-up website may be the answer.
Collegefeed first launched in May 2013 for Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon SV and the University of California at Berkeley, but is now looking to expand its membership according to TechCrunch. The website touts itself as a “personal career assistant” and allows students and industry professionals to create free profiles. It generates a news feed where students can access tuition help, job opportunities, interview preparation help and access to alumni and mentors. It sounds like LinkedIn, but offers more services and is specifically tailored for fresh graduates, said Collegefeed founder Sanjeev Agrawal to StartUp Beat.
University of California, Berkeley’s engineering school accepted 700 applicants this fall and normally graduates around 80 percent of its incoming class, but engineering school dean Shankar Sastry recently said that the University of California system needs to accept and retain more engineering students.
In a KQED article and radio segment, Sastry said the UC administration has not been “nimble enough in setting budget priorities” for engineering schools and students. He said that while the engineering class this year was large, nearly twice that number of students fit the requirements and would succeed at Berkeley. It’s difficult to “squeeze in more students,” he said, when considering budget and staff cuts. Despite the constantly growing demand for engineers, jobs could go overseas to non-U.S. graduates if universities like the UC system don’t make recruitment a priority, he said.
The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship in universities and colleges in order to create experiential learning opportunities for students and successful, socially beneficial businesses. With a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages more than 5,000 student and faculty innovators and entrepreneurs each year, helping them to bring their concepts to commercialization.
Continue reading The NCIIA Supports Student Inventors and Entrepreneurs
SPEED is a global, non-profit student organization that seeks to make an impact on engineering education and its effect on society and the environment. Promoting a system that is productive, inclusive, and forward-thinking, it provides a platform for global communication about engineering education among students as well as between students and other stakeholders. SPEED also strives to build a support network for students, empowering them to take action locally and globally in improving their educational environments.