Bill Pfister, BWXT
My involvement with the CGEP (now Cardinal Education) includes pursuing a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from The University of Virginia and a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University while working at Babcock & Wilcox (now BWX technologies) in Lynchburg. Along with completing the required courses for each degree, I was able to develop a program of study that fit my specific career interests in manufacturing automation.
In earning the two degrees, I was able to include courses from UVA, Virginia Tech, ODU, and VCU in a variety of disciplines: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Statistics, and Engineering Management. Access to such a diverse collection of courses would not have been possible through a single University and limited transfer credits.
Although I could take credit for making all this happen, it was made possible thanks to the people associated with the program and the universities that I have had the pleasure of knowing over the years and who contributed to the success of my studies.
Neil McSweeney, Wiley|Wilson
Through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (now named Cardinal Education), I earned my Master’s Degree in Engineering from ODU in 1994, while working full-time for Wiley|Wilson in Lynchburg, VA. Earning an advanced degree offered numerous benefits — for myself and my firm. But like other full-time professionals, I faced the unique challenge of working in one location yet pursuing an advanced degree from a college in another location.
The CGEP closed that gap. Without this program and its distance learning technologies, connected faculty, and network of other working engineers, earning an advanced degree would have been near impossible. In the architecture-engineering industry, a Master’s degree not only offers students information about more complex technical topics, but it also provides education about project management skills and different managerial philosophies.
Earning this degree while working full-time gave me the opportunity to apply the abstract concepts I was learning to real-life projects I was already working on. I gained a more complete understanding of the engineering field and that has undoubtedly contributed to my growth in the firm. I credit the CGEP for playing a central role in my career advancement. The benefits of this program can’t be overstated.
– Neil E. McSweeney, PE, Chief Executive Officer
Liz Povar, The Riverlink Group
A historical higher-education innovator, CGEP continues to build on its legacy of broadening the opportunities for graduate education in the STEM fields. By efficiently delivering access in every corner of the Commonwealth, the student pipeline is increased and employers have a deeper pool of talent from which to draw.
CGEP efficiently delivers quality education in a flexible format to meet the needs of today’s businesses. As a consulting firm focused on building capacity in rural Virginia, the RiverLink Group values the opportunity to share the CGEP story with our business and education clients.
-Liz Povar, Principal, The Riverlink Group
Dahlgren Naval Base
CGEP has been a great asset to the Navy for many years. CGEP’s graduate engineering programs at the University of Mary Washington’s Dahlgren campus keep our employees on the job as they earn their advanced degrees, and allow them to tailor their curriculum to include specialized courses from all the member universities – something other graduate programs do not provide. As our mission and employee base in Dahlgren grows, we’ll look even more to CGEP to meet our needs for advanced degrees in new and evolving scientific and engineering disciplines.
The partnership of top tier universities in CGEP and the unique ability for students to take pertinent classes across the membership provides a great opportunity to our engineers. This creates an avenue of personal development to aid in attracting and retaining engineering workforce in Virginia.