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Virginia Science and Technology Campus Celebrates 20th Anniversary
October 13, 2011
Ali Eskandarian, senior associate dean for strategic initiatives and research in the College of Professional Studies, is named the new VSTC dean.
The George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus commemorated its 20 years of innovative research, education and corporate partnerships in Loudoun County, Va. Wednesday.
During a celebratory breakfast, George Washington President Steven Knapp said the campus has grown significantly since 1991.
“This is a very exciting milestone for us to have reached,” said Dr. Knapp.
Dr. Knapp also announced new leadership at VSTC. Ali Eskandarian, B.S. ’79 and Ph.D. ’87, senior associate dean for strategic initiatives and research in the College of Professional Studies, will now serve as the new VSTC dean. Before coming to GW in 2002, he worked at Computer Science Corporation, James Madison University and the National Research Council. Dr. Eskandarian, who in addition to his role at CPS also serves as a professor in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, received both his bachelor’s and doctorate degree in physics from George Washington.
“Under his leadership I’m confident this campus will enjoy continued growth in its academic and research programs,” said Dr. Knapp.
Dr. Eskandarian is replacing Craig Linebaugh, former chief academic operating officer of VSTC. Dr. Linebaugh will now serve as senior associate provost for academic operations as he coordinates the new academic and research spaces in the Science and Engineering Hall.
Virginia Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey delivered a keynote address during the celebration about George Washington’s presence in the commonwealth.
“This campus is and will continue to be a big part of the Virginia technology corridor,” said Mr. Duffey. “The Ashburn campus offers research excellence in more than 20 graduate degree and certificate programs in business, education and engineering as well as undergraduate programs in the health sciences.”
Also during the celebration, Virginia state Sen. Mark Herring (D- Leesburg) read the official resolution that the Virginia General Assembly passed in January commemorating the 20th anniversary of the campus. Mr. Herring thanked the university for its contribution to the economy of the commonwealth.
“GW has been educating Virginians since its founding in 1821 and has been offering educational programs in Virginia for over 50 years,” said Mr. Herring. “Today, George Washington University is among the largest private providers of graduate education in the commonwealth.”
In May, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors also presented a resolution to GW in honor of the 20th anniversary of the campus.
George Washington established its Hampton Roads Center in 1958 and since then has established a presence in both Loudoun and Arlington counties as well as Alexandria. Today, there are over 2,000 George Washington students taking classes in Virginia and more than 42,000 alumni living in the commonwealth.
“The Virginia Science and Technology Campus has a strong commitment to being a part of Loudoun Country and Northern Virginia as well as the entire commonwealth of Virginia,” said Dr. Linebaugh.
VSTC was launched in 1991 with one building and 50 acres of land thanks to the generosity of Robert H. Smith, GW trustee emeritus and local philanthropist. Today, there are more than 100 acres and four buildings, with a fifth planned to be built next year. The campus educates more than 600 students in nearly 20 graduate degree and certificate programs.
VSTC is home to 17 research labs, including the National Crash Analysis Center, the GW Institute for Nuclear Studies, the Earthquake Engineering and Structures Lab, the Driving Simulator Lab, the High Performance Computing Lab and the Pharmacogenomics Health Sciences Lab.
The campus is also home to the School of Nursing. The school offers an accelerated second degree Bachelor of Nursing as well as six master’s degree programs, a Doctor of Nursing program and four graduate nursing certificates.
“Attending GW is enabling me to achieve my goal of becoming a skilled health care professional,” said Andrea Wilson, a student in the School of Nursing who will be graduating in December with a second bachelor’s in nursing. “The knowledgeable and passionate professors have inspired me to serve others in our community, and the challenging curriculum has given me the confidence I need to achieve my goal of becoming a pediatric critical care nurse.”
Dr. Knapp recognized the numerous partnerships VSTC has made including one with Northern Virginia Community College, Shenandoah University, Loudoun County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, The Textile Museum, the INOVA Health Systems and HCA Virginia.
“Universities cannot be called great unless they have excellence in certain fields of science and technology,” said Dr. Eskandarian. “I think under the leadership of President Knapp and Provost Lerman GW is well on its way to becoming a great university. And my pledge is to utilize all the intellectual and physical capital we have here and make this even a greater place.”