In this feature ATE Central continues our "I Am ATE" series, which showcases an ATE PI, staff member, industry partner, or other ATE stakeholder. We are excited to help spread the word about the wonderful people who are at the core of the ATE community and the innovative work everyone is doing.
Name: Ann Beheler
Title: Executive Director of Emerging Technology Grants
Institution: Collin College
Center name: National Convergence Technology Center
ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?
Beheler: In 2001 I became a Dean at Collin College, and my department had a very small ATE Project. The rest is history. We first proposed and received a Regional Center in Convergence Technology, awarded in 2004, and then proposed and received a National Center in Convergence Technology, awarded in 2012.
ATE Central: Tell us about the goals of the National Center for Convergence Technology.
Beheler: “Convergence” is the term our business team uses for Information Technology and Communications. Originally, the focus was on the changing need for technicians when IP data networking and telephony first began to merge. Now, it often refers to the converged data center. Our Center focuses on four major missions to equip colleges nationally to ensure their students are extremely “workforce ready” for the many high-paying jobs in the Information Technology area. First, we work with our national employer team to predict what “workforce ready” students must know and be able to do 12-36 months in the future; second, we work with over 70 colleges and universities to ensure curriculum is aligned with workforce needs; third, we provide free, employer-driven professional development for IT and Cybersecurity faculty nationally, so they can implement cutting-edge curriculum; fourth, we disseminate our work via webinars, conference presentations, and mentoring other individuals and colleges in a variety of ways.