UMKC Vice Provost & Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering Kevin Truman continues to work toward the day when UMKC becomes home to the Free Enterprise Center. In the July 23, 2014 Kansas City Business Journal article, UMKC enterprise center nabs funds for KC entrepreneurs, he described why various constituents have currently pledged over $7.4 million, about ½ of the center’s estimated cost. “It will be a fantastic entrepreneurial resource for the community,” Truman said. “Even though the center is proposed to be on the UMKC campus, it will handle budding entrepreneurs all the way through the industries here in town and be a resource for our students. It’s a one-stop shop with equipment to build prototypes and explore ideas.” The Free Enterprise Center will include laboratory space, rapid prototyping equipment, digital virtualization/visualization equipment and educational/collaborative space. Business and technology transfer advisors will be available to serve the students, faculty, researchers, local industries, entrepreneurs, artists, and K-12 students that will utilize the center.
A $59,000 gift from Burns & McDonnell and UMKC SCE alumni who are employees of the engineering firm, is responsible for the new “student collaboration space” which was officially opened at a dedication reception on June 5.
Delegates of the Canik Başari University of Samsun, Turkey, President Yunus Bekdemir and Chair Ferhat Ozturk, visited UMKC on Monday, April 28, to initiate a student and faculty exchange program between our two universities, with the mediation of Dr. Aydin, Executive Director of the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest. They were warmly welcomed by UMKC Vice Provost and SCE Dean, Kevin Truman, and international student affairs officer, Nigyar Dzhafarova.
SCE is excited about the recent UMKC announcement that the Robert W. Plaster Foundation of Lebanon, Mo., has made a significant contribution to support a new Free Enterprise Center on UMKC’s Volker Campus. The Plaster Foundation’s contribution, described as “a significant seven-figure gift,” follows a $5 million pledge last fall from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Fourteen students and their two accompanying professors from Jazan University in Saudi Arabia left for home after a five-week summer program held here at SCE. Designed to be both intellectually and culturally enriching, the program included the students learning about software methods and tools from Professor Yongjie Zheng, mobile apps and cloud computing from Professor Yugi Lee, and about big data from Professor Praveen Rao. They then created their own app for Jazan University with the help of the Kansas City-based RareWire app creation studio. UMKC’s Applied Language Institute provided the students English instruction for two hours each day. In addition, students and faculty ventured beyond campus to visit and tour Cerner, Garmin and Sprint and enjoy local attractions such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Royals and Starlight Theatre. SCE Continuing Education Director Christina Davis, managed the program including preliminary discussions with Jazan University, curriculum, and program logistics. For more details, see the UMKC Today article “Students from Saudi Arabia Study at UMKC School of Computing and Engineering.”
SCE knows that the future of our nation will be significantly determined by the state of our technologies and our computing and engineering capability. To this end, SCE faculty, staff and students are working with area schools, community and professional organizations and K-12 STEM outreach programs to increase our region’s STEM pipeline and ultimately the number of STEM professionals for America.
Five Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) members from Brazil visited UMKC on May 7. Rotary clubs throughout the world provide students with scholarships to work and study in other countries as part of their mission to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. Two of the five GSE members, information technologist Pablo Diego Schrammer and mechanical engineer Nilo Granciano, visited with Dean Kevin Truman, Department Chairs Mark McClernon and Ghulam Chaudhry, and SCE Student Services’ Whitney Molloy and Valeri Reynolds. UMKC students from Brazil joined the GSE team throughout the day’s activities. After touring SCE laboratories Pablo and Nilo re-joined their team members who had been at meetings at the UMKC Applied Language Institute, for a UMKC campus tour. A meeting with Director of International Student Affairs Sandy Gault, Director of International Academic Programs Linna Place and Director of UMKC’S Applied Language Institute Monica Minguicci ended with a fun lunch at UMKC’s student cafeteria in the Atterbury Student Success Center. Continue reading
The Missouri Governor’s Trade Mission to Taipei and Seoul included four Missouri educators who explored educational collaborations and partnerships with their Taiwan and South Korea counterparts. UMKC delegates, SCE’s Dean Kevin Truman and UMKC’s Director of International Academic Programs Linna Place, joined Northwest Missouri State University and Missouri State University representatives. Together they talked with educational ministry representatives and university representatives discussing development opportunities for students to come to UMKC and UMKC students to attend their universities. While in Taipei, Taiwan the delegation visited the National Taiwan University, the National Taiwan Normal University and the Ministry of Education. In Seoul, South Korea, meetings were held with representatives from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Pukyong National University and Seoul National University. A visit to the campus of Konkuk University, where SCE civil engineering student Jason Regina will attend in Fall 2013, completed the delegation’s South Korea itinerary. The larger contingent of Missouri business leaders and government officials met with Taiwan and South Korea business leaders and government officials exploring potential trade agreements, one of which – an agreement to buy $1.9 billion of Missouri goods over the next 4 years – has been recently announced.
Sixty-three Missouri and Kansas high schools participate in Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a KC-STEM Alliance affiliate that provides STEM hands-on, extracurricular coursework to 9-12 students that culminates in a capstone project during their senior year (12th grade). The slide show, KC High School Seniors Strut their STEM Stuff, posted at KCPT reflects the work and enthusiasm of the 250 high school seniors participating at the second annual PLTW High School Senior Showcase on April 18, 2013. Kevin Truman, Dean of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, helped to found the KC-STEM Alliance and currently serves on the PLTW STEM Industry Council.
The KC-STEM Alliance partners “with affiliate organizations, like PLTW® -Kansas City and Kansas City FIRST®, who are making a significant difference in the Kansas City STEM community and laying the foundation for student success. These partnerships benefit students and organizations by connecting resources, sharing information and streamlining communications.” KC-STEM Alliance estimates that “more than 12,000 students are served by programs like PLTW and FIRST across the metropolitan area.” Laura Loyacono is the KC-STEM Alliance Executive Director.
SCE is proud of its involvement with the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Greater Kansas City (GKC) Post! SCE Continuing Education Director Christina Davis and Dean Kevin Truman both served on this year’s planning committee for the 2013 SAME GKC Post Industry Day Education & Training workshop which was held April 1-April 3, 2013. SCE faculty/staff/students participated in events on the agenda, stopping by, viewing the displays and talking with representatives from local and regional consulting engineering firms, construction firms and materials suppliers (35 states were represented), other professional services companies, and government organizations such as the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
Kevin Truman described the close working relationship between our School and GKC SAME Post over the past several years in his welcome speech to the over 400 participants,. He thanked the Post for its generous funding support, its help with identifying experiences and opportunities for both our faculty and our students, its help with promoting our continuing education programs and its support of our UMKC SAME student chapter (one of the largest in the region). UMKC SAME student chapter president Samantha Baker and SAME student chapter members attending the workshop enjoyed building personal relationships, while expanding their knowledge and understanding of the engineering careers that are available.
With 6 United State Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) District Commanders in attendance representing the Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Omaha, St. Louis and Tulsa USACE Districts, two Region 7 Small Business Managers (GS & EPA), and 45 company exhibit booths, the event indeed provided “a full program offering Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Federal Program Briefing” which included “scheduled one-on-one meetings with the Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District Contracting Officers and Program Managers from each of the district’s three program areas: Military, Civil Works, and Environmental as well as representatives from NOAA, EPA and GSA”.
Photo Credit: Casey Hedge, Proposal Coordinator, MW Builders – SAME GKC Industry Day Welcome Talk.