For Roberto Ballarini, chair of the Cullen College’s civil and environmental engineering department, the decision to become a professor was as much about inspiring the next generation of civil engineers as it was a passion for his field.
Early in Ballarini’s career, his zeal to inspire students to pursue engineering careers required him to travel all over the country to meet with students in K-12 classrooms. Nowadays hectic travel schedules are replaced by live video streams connecting Ballarini to hundreds of students across the U.S. each year from the comfort of his office at the UH Cullen College of Engineering.
That’s thanks to an online platform called Nepris (www.nepris.com), which connects curious K-12 students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals through live video conferences.
Speaking with Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine, Ballarini explained how the Nepris platform allowed him to reach more potential engineering students than ever before.
“What was attractive to me about Nepris was that I could talk with students in real time, and be able to see them and answer their questions, without having to travel back and forth to the school,” he told C + S Engineer Magazine. “It gives me a much broader reach than I would have otherwise.”
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