Category Archives: Alumni

SCE Scholarship Students Give Thanks To Their Donors

“Without your generosity, we couldn’t educate some of what I consider to be the best and brightest students in the Kansas City region, the nation, and the world,” said Dean Kevin Truman as he thanked the donors attending the 2012 SCE Scholarship Luncheon which brought together SCE’s scholarship donors and their student scholars. Connecting our donors and students gave our SCE student scholars the opportunity to express their appreciation to their donors. Donors learned firsthand how their support helps our SCE computer science and engineering students and the impact it has on their scholarship students’ lives and careers. Student speaker, Kelsey Knoche, electrical and computer engineering senior, captured the hearts of all attending with her personal story of how important this support has been for her.

Christopher Kinzel, P.E. of HDR, a Kansas City engineering company, talked about the long-term benefits Kansas City engineering and computer science firms realize by supporting and encouraging the next generation of engineers, information technologists and computer scientists. He noted there are many ways companies and individuals can help. HDR endowed the HDR Scholarship in 2007 and it provides an internship opportunity.

This year, four newly endowed scholarships were recognized at the luncheon and their donors honored for their generosity and commitment to our computer science and engineering students. They are the 1) Bayer Scholarship; 2) Black & Veatch Scholarship; 3) Dave Hermance Memorial Scholarship sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA and 4) The Chandra Scholarship Fund. Minda Mason, SCE Director of Major Gifts, noted that SCE awarded 8 new scholarships this year and that these 4 newly endowed scholarships will continue to support deserving students in perpetuity.

SCE appreciates greatly all our scholarship donors. Thank you! We are proud of our scholars and appreciate how they are often our campus leaders, serving in key roles in student government, participating in community service and raising the level of academic performance in our classrooms.

Alum Taya Upkes featured in KC Star

UMKC SCE Alumna Taya Upkes was featured in Tuesday’s July 24 Kansas City Star article, Engineering challenges: Keep female graduates, stoke interest among girls. The article focuses on the opportunities for female engineering graduates and the unfortunate nationwide trend of fewer women choosing engineering as a career. Laura Loyacono, Director of the Kansas City based KC STEM Alliance, said that “the perception that engineering is for boys only remains a big deterrent”. The KC STEM Alliance was funded and supported one year ago by the Kauffman Foundation. Kevin Truman, Dean of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, was instrumental in obtaining the KC STEM Alliance grant and currently serves as the chair of its board of directors.

SCE Grads Start Two New Businesses

SCE is proud to congratulate two SCE graduates that have announced new start-ups. Aniruddha Shukla, Director of Innovating Solutions, is responsible for launching a new document management system for businesses, Innodocx. According to Marketing Director, Jake Bourret, “With Innodocx, you create your own private cloud by organizing your documents neatly on a central repository with first-level folder security and allowing customers, clients, employees, etc. access through mobile apps customized for your business’s branding.” Aniruddha participated in UMKC’s E-Scholars program whose graduates are trained to pursue fresh, entrepreneurial ventures and received his Masters in Electrical Engineering from UMKC in 2011. While at UMKC, he became associated with Innovating Solutions President Gina Bourret whose company is one of several headquartered at UMKC’s Innovation Center.

Amol Kher, after working for Microsoft, Google, and Netfix, is launching a new company called Wello that helps people get and stay healthier. According to Amol who received his Masters in Computer Science from UMKC in 2000, Wello makes it easier to get and stay fit by connecting fitness professionals with consumers over live, interactive video for convenient, accountable workout sessions. You can do yoga, pilates, martial arts, strength training, you name it, all with the guidance and motivation from a live trainer. Wello provides an easy way to discover, schedule, and connect with Wello fitness professionals. Wello sessions can be done anywhere; your home, a hotel room, office or local park. A laptop, webcam and internet connection is all that’s required – no fitness equipment needed. Go to: and get your sweat on today! If you are interested in booking a Wello session, use the discount code FRIENDSOFAMOL for 40% off your first session!

2012 SCE Alumni Golf Tournament Raises Scholarship Funds

Enjoying perfect weather 75 degree weather, 50 plus SCE supporters participated in our annual SCE Alumni Golf tournament and hit the links at Deer Creek Golf Course on May 30, 2012 to raise funds for SCE scholarships. The day concluded with a clubhouse dinner and presentations. Sponsors included Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Gibbens Drake Scott, Olsson Associates, The Golf Doctor, Trekk Design Group, and Superior Bowen Asphalt Company. Proceeds raised at the golf tournament help meet the needs of students through scholarships and programs that directly benefit them. Thanks to the generosity of the participants and volunteers, the SCE Alumni Association will increase funding of its endowed SCE Alumni Association Scholarship. Thank you! We couldn’t do it without your support and enthusiasm!

SCE Alums Spotted at Smith Electric Vehicles Tour

SCE is fortunate that the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Kansas City chapter saves a few slots for our SCE students and faculty when they organize their professional tours. This month’s tour of the Smith Electric Vehicle plant tour turned up two SCE Alums working at Smith Electric Vehicles, Robin Carroll-Dolci and Anupartha Howlander. These SCE electrical computer engineering graduates were just recently hired by Smith Electric Vehicles. In addition to these alums, the organizer of the tour Jeremy Fields, an employee of FIKE Corporation, graduated from our mechanical engineering program in 2006. It was great to see SCE alums working in Kansas City and contributing to improving our environment through green technologies. The tour was fantastic and included a walk down the assembly line where Smith Electric vehicles were being assembled. Thanks Jeremy!

2011 SCE Alumni Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Endowed Scholarship!

52 golfers signed up for this year’s SCE Alumni Golf tournament and hit the links at Deer Creek Golf Course on June 1, 2011. The day concluded with a clubhouse dinner and presentations. Sponsors included Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Gibbens Drake Scott, Olsson Associates, The Golf Doctor, Trekk Design Group, and Superior Bowen Asphalt Company. Thanks to the generosity of the participants, volunteers, and sponsors the SCE Alumni Association will be able to complete the funding for a new endowed scholarship! This annual event is hosted by the SCE Alumni Association to raise funds for SCE scholarships.

Congratulations Class of 2011

170 SCE undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students graduated May 6, 2011 from the School of Computing and Engineering.   Leonard Graham, P.E., President of Taliaferro & Browne, Inc., a Kansas City consulting engineering firm, and SCE alum, was our keynote speaker.  He spoke on how his technical education has helped him in his career and future challenges for graduates.  Lastly he provided some good fatherly advice.   His full speech is available here.    Our Spring commencement was preceded by the Dean’s breakfast reception for graduates and their families and friends.   SCE faculty and staff congratulate our graduates on their achievements!

2011 SCE Alumni Achievement Award presented to Len Rodman

SCE congratulates Len Rodman, Chairman, President and CEO of Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting, and construction company. Mr. Rodman was honored at UMKC’s Celebration 2011 luncheon presentation on April 27th at the Intercontinental Hotel as our UMKC School of Computing and Engineering 2011 Alumni Achievement Award Recipient. The annual event honors outstanding alums, one from each UMKC School. Following the luncheon, Mr. Rodman visited with Kevin Truman, SCE’s dean, and was presented with a copy of his alumni plaque.  The original was hung on SCE’s Distinguished Alumni Wall.

Since 2000 Mr. Rodman has led Black & Veatch, which is on the Forbes 500 list of largest US private companies. Under his leadership the company has experienced substantial growth and expansion in global markets. He is responsible for Black & Veatch’s engineering, construction, and related business activities in the energy, water, and information market sectors worldwide. Mr. Rodman has been recognized as the Power Elite, Ingram’s Magazine, 2000, 2003, & 2005.

Mr. Rodman is an active supporter of educational initiatives in the Kansas City area, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Community / Legislative Affairs Committee of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, as well as the Board of Advisors of the University of Kansas – Edwards Campus. He is also on the Iowa State ECIAC (Engineering College Industrial Advisory Consul). He has been Director of ALLETE Inc. Mr. Rodman has served on the Board of INROADS, a minority based organization that helps to transition high school students through college and into productive business careers. His Professional Registrations include Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio; Diplomat, American Academy of Environmental Engineers; Professional Associations ASCE, AWWA, MSPE, NSPE, and WEF. He graduated with a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering in 1978 from the former coordinated engineering program between UMKC and MU which merged with the UMKC computer science department to form UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering.

SCE Alumni Golf Tournament Nets Scholarship Funds for Students

SCE’s Alumni Association sponsored the annual SCE Alumni Golf Tournament on May 14, 2010.   SCE Alums/Students/Faculty and friends of SCE played 18 holes at Hillcrest Country Club, raising over $4,000 in funds for scholarships to deserving undergraduate students.   Sponsors included  Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Gibbens Drake and Scott, Inc., ATK Lake City, Trekk Design Group, KCI Inc., Merrill Watt, HNTB, Mike Varadey, UMKC EE and the Golf Doctor. See more pictures.

Golf Carts


SCE Masters Student Awarded ACI Graduate Scholarship

Anirudha Kadambi Vasudevan, a student in our SCE Civil Engineering Master’s program has been awarded the 2010-2011 American Concrete Institute Honorary Abdeldjelil “DJ” Belarbi Graduate Scholarship. SCE maintains a list of external scholarships at /outreach/externalscholarships.aspx and encourages students to review the list and apply, if eligible. Congratulations Anirudha!