The Student Activities Board will host WVU Tech history professor, Dr. Paul Rakes, for his lecture, “Life’s a Comedy, Not a Tragedy: The Rakes Methodology” on Wednesday, October 29 at 7 p.m. in the Tech Center Ballroom.
Dr. Rakes’ lecture is the third in the SAB’s Last Lecture series at WVU Tech, which asks professors to present their final lecture.
“The idea is that, if this is the last lecture you were ever going to present, what is it that you would want to share with students. It always makes for an interesting lecture, and it gives professors a chance to speak about those things that interest them, things they don’t teach in the classroom,” said Director of Student Activities, Emily Sands.
Colleges and universities have hosted last lecture series for years, and the concept received national attention when Carnegie Mellon University professor, Randy Pausch, gave his last lecture “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in 2007 after a terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Rakes was selected by students and the SAB for his varied life experiences, which include his work with a timber crew at the young age of 14, military experience, two decades in the coal industry, a lifetime of traveling and recording with musicians and twenty years of teaching at the college level.
“Dr. Rakes has lived enough lifetimes for three people,” said Sands. “His lecture is an opportunity for students to see that professors don’t spend their whole lives teaching they lead rich lives outside of the classroom, just like students.”
The SAB will serve refreshments at the lecture and a Q&A session will follow Dr. Rakes’ presentation. WVU Tech alumni in the area are encouraged to attend.
AWESOME, the Association for Women Engineers, Scientists, Or Mathematicians Empowerment, is a new WVU Tech student group dedicated to supporting female students in STEM programs and sharing STEM with K-12 schools.
The organization hosted its kickoff Mix & Mingle event on Thursday, October 23 in WVU Tech’s Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences auditorium. At the event, attendees heard from guest speaker, Millie Marshall, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc., who oversees the company’s manufacturing facility in Buffalo, West Virginia.
Marshall delivered a message of encouragement to students, shared tips for finding success in the workplace and charged AWESOME members with helping to change the culture around gender roles in STEM fields.
“I was fortunate to grow up in a family where I never felt like I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do,” said Marshall. “But there are perceptions that need to change from an overall cultural perspective. We’ve got to combat the image that engineering or manufacturing is your grandfather’s job, and the first step is to get students interested in STEM at a young age.”
Dr. Stephany Coffman-Wolph, AWESOME faculty advisor and professor in the WVU Tech department of Computer Sciences and information Systems, said the group will give members a chance to take that challenge to the classroom by participating in outreach programs that get young students interested in pursuing these important fields.
“We need to pull them at those early, early ages and get the students involved during the outreach, before they have been influenced, before someone has said to them ‘you can’t do that.’ We want to get them before that so that we can say ‘hey, you can do this,’” she said.
In addition to outreach, the organization will allow members to participate in networking events, STEM conferences and mentorships with faculty and industry professionals.
Kristie Tran, WVU Tech mechanical engineering major and Vice President of AWESOME, said the group is much more than a just a girls’ club.
“It’s a space for all the women in STEM to get together, to talk with each other, to encourage each other just to know that someone’s there with you, and you’re not alone,” she said.
On Thursday, October 23, join the WVU Tech Sports Studies Club as they bring together players, coaches and fans for “Tech Madness,” the 2014 Winter Sports Kickoff in the Neal D. Baisi Athletic Center.
The kickoff will feature WVU Tech’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, introduce new WVU Tech coaches, honor the men’s soccer team for their 2013 USCAA National Championship victory, recognize distinguished wrestlers and the women’s soccer team, and honor Bob Williams, WVU Tech men’s basketball Head Coach.
“This event is a great way to promote awareness of our athletic activities and events,” said Sports Studies Club faculty advisor, Dr. Rachael Alley. “This is a big event for the club, and a great opportunity for students and the community to come out and show their support.”
Attendees will also watch a men’s basketball dunk contest featuring guest judges from WVU Tech, and fans will be able to compete in half-court and three-point shot contests, participate in a relay race and sign up for chances to win WVU Tech gear. Guests wearing pink will be entered for a chance to win a Nike Elite backpack.
“It’s going to be a fun, light evening for students to spend time with our athletes and one another,” said Aquila Fox, WVU Tech Sports Studies Club President. “Our athletes work so hard to compete at their best level and it means the world when they receive support from the WVU Tech community.”
Doors open at 8 p.m. and the Kickoff is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.
Students interested in getting involved with the WVU Tech Sports Studies Club, which allows members to network within their industry and participate in a variety of events throughout the year, can contact Fox for more information.
The WVU Tech chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery will host TechLAN this Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26 in the Tech Center Ballroom. The LAN party allows gamers to join one another on a local network to play games, compete in tournaments, meet fellow gamers and win prizes.
“The LAN party is a great way to socialize with people from the school and the surrounding community. You get to play great games while meeting a variety of people,” said WVU Tech ACM President, Richard Murdock.
Participants are welcome to play any game they choose, though there will be scheduled tournaments for select games. Early event activities, starting Friday, October 24, include early registration and setup, a FIFA 15 console tournament (ACM provides hardware and games) and a costume contest.
“While most modern games allow people to play online, there’s something more meaningful and memorable about playing these games together in person. A student who has never attended a LAN party will see a ton of people playing computer and console games together. It’s quite an incredible sight,” said Dr. Matthew Williamson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems.
Participating students will need to bring a desktop or laptop computer (it doesn’t need to be the best or the most expensive just capable of playing games), with gaming software already installed and adequate anti-virus software. For more information, visit TechLAN’s rules page or the N00b guide.
Students can register for TechLAN at www.lanville.org. General admission is $10 and bonus packages run from $15-$40 depending on selected options such as early equipment set-up, dual monitor use, pizza packages and chances at better prizes. Attendees are guaranteed to win a raffle prize, which include computer hardware, accessories and unique items. Visit the ACM store page for more info.
Dr. Williamson said that TechLAN is also an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about the ACM, which hosts a variety of events throughout the year.
“ACM provides students opportunities for advancing their interest in computer science,” he said. “One key event is the regional programming competition, where our students test their problem-solving skills against some of the top schools in the nation.”
“ACM also hosts several events that bring together people who have a similar interest in computing. Through these events, students get to learn new aspects of computing they may not be able to see in the classroom.”
Any student can join the ACM, regardless of major, and interested students can speak with any of the group’s officers: Richard Murdock, Thomas Baker, Michael Sansone or Josh Sizemore.
For WVU Tech students like Murdock, the ACM is much more than a group of computer fans.
“Joining the ACM is like becoming part of a family, if someone in the organization is struggling, there is a person there that will be able to make sure they get the help they need,” he said.
TechLAN is sponsored by WVU Tech, AMG Network Hosting, Fast Signs, Rival Cards and Games, AFK Games, GameStop and Foodland.
In an annual tradition of honoring distinguished alumni, WVU Tech has announced Dr. Aaron Morris and Sarah “Sally” Smith as 2014 Alumni of the Year, and will induct Doug Epling, Dameion Mills, Mike Morrison, Dr. Leonard C. Nelson and Ronnie Rice into the WVU Tech Athletic Hall of Fame.
WVU Tech has honored Alumni of the Year since 1949. Honorees are selected for their recognition and successful stature in their chosen profession, a strong dedication to their communities and a commitment to serving as role models for all WVU Tech alumni.
Aaron Morris, Ph.D., ‘01, is a roboticist, author of 17 publications, co-inventor of four patents and successful tech entrepreneur. Morris works in the Reality Solutions group at 3D design software company, Autodesk, which purchased Morris’ tech startup, Allpoint Systems, in 2012. He graduated from WVU Tech summa cum laude with a double major in computer science and electrical engineering. He holds a doctorate from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Sarah E. “Sally” Smith, J.D., is a partner in the Charleston office of Bowles Rice LLP. She is a member of the WVU Tech Board of Visitors and the Charleston Area Alliance Board of Directors. Smith has served on a variety of economic, educational and legal boards, and by gubernatorial appointment on the Kanawha County Correctional Officers Civil Service Commission. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and as a Bar Foundation Fellow. Smith graduated summa cum laude from WVU Tech and earned her J.D. at the WVU College of Law.
The WVU Tech Athletic Hall of Fame has been honoring notable athletes, coaches, administrators and contributors since 1956, and will add five new names to the Kelley Hall of Fame Room wall:
Douglas Epling has contributed to WVU Tech athletics for two decades. Owner of Mountain Edge Mining, Legacy Resources and Hanover Resources, Epling has served as the West Virginia State Boxing Commissioner, Chairman of the Beckley Police Commission, board member of the West Virginia Parkways Authority and a Board of Visitors member at WVU Tech. WVU Tech’s baseball program currently uses the Douglas M. Epling Stadium in East Bank, West Virginia.
Damieon D. Mills, ‘02, was a WVU Tech wide receiver and quarterback from 2000-2002, where he was an all-conference player both years and currently stands third on the school’s all-time receiving list. In the early 2000s, Mills served as a receivers coach and special teams coordinator at WVU Tech. He is currently the head basketball coach at North Central High School in Opelousas, Louisiana.
Mike Morrison, ‘64, played tight end/ defensive end at WVU Tech from 1960-1964, where he served as team co-captain and earned SIGMA EP all-American tight end accolades. Morrison’s coaching career includes football, wrestling and track in Ohio and West Virginia. He eventually went on to serve as Fayette County’s athletic director.
Dr. Leonard C. Nelson served as the president of then West Virginia Institute of Technology for 25 years and is the namesake of the WVU Tech College of Engineering and Sciences. The University’s longest-standing president, Nelson was a member of several prestigious national honor societies. As president, Dr. Nelson supported the efforts of noted basketball coach, Neal D. Baisi, who led a nationally recognized team in the 50s and 60s, and from whom WVU Tech’s athletics center gets its name.
Ronald K. Rice, ‘59, played baseball at WVU Tech from 1955-1959 where he batted over .300 each year. He also kicked for the WVU Tech football team in his senior year. Rice’s football coaching career took him high schools in West Virginia, Ohio and Virginia until he accepted an assistant coaching position for the University of Maryland football team in 1970.
WVU Tech will host a reception and dinner to honor these alumni on Friday, November 14 at the WVU Tech campus in Montgomery. Tickets can be purchased by calling 304.442.1025 or e-mailing Tech-Homecoming@mail.wvu.edu.
The WVU Tech chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) will host an orientation event for new and interested organization members next Tuesday, October 21 at 5 p.m. in the WVU Tech Center Student Activities Room.
The orientation will provide a basic introduction to the society, discuss membership benefits and opportunities such as scholarships, leadership conferences and networking and cover the requirements for official induction into the society.
Throughout the course of the semester, NSLS members host on-campus events, participate in community outreach and attend a variety of live-broadcast video seminars featuring guest speakers who stand out as leaders in their respective fields.
“Membership in NSLS allows students to develop and expand their communication and community involvement skills, maximizing the ability of members to effectively lead in a variety of business, scientific, academic and public settings,” said Dr. Andrea Kent, WVU Tech political science professor and NSLS faculty advisor.
Members also work in teams to establish and meet personal educational or career-oriented goals where they rely on one another for accountability and support.
“The Society’s goal is ultimately for students to find their ability to communicate and utilize those skills to achieve goals they set through group work and feedback they receive from peers,” said Dr. Kent. “Helping students find the tools to feel like they can realize their dreams in an efficient and effective way is a fantastic mission to have.”
The NSLS has a busy fall schedule, including a Homecoming Spirit Board Mixer on Saturday, November 8 (location TBA) and live-broadcast videos on the following Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in the WVU Tech Student Success Center: October 23, November 4 and November 11.
More than 150 middle and high school students from throughout the state visited WVU Tech for the second annual West Virginia Science and Art Fair on Friday, October 17.
WVU President Gordon Gee kicked off the event, addressing the young artists and scientists.
“Science is important. Arts are important. There’s nothing more important than being involved at this age,” he said. “This is a time for fun, a time for tremendous learning opportunities and a time to get together for friendly competition where you can learn from one another.”
In the arts division, students exhibited sculptures, hand-drawn sketches and paintings.
In science categories, students entered investigatory science projects, sharing their experimental research in topics ranging from earth and space sciences to chemistry and biology. Students also entered display projects, submitted papers, participated in a project symposium and competed in Olympiad events.
Derek Midkiff, an eighth-grade science teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School, brought 19 students who had previously competed in the school’s own science fair. He said the science fair’s atmosphere stimulates learning by offering students a chance to explore topics they find interesting.
“I think the most important part of this is that students own their work, they take it home with them. Some of them get their parents, their families involved. It gets the students doing something outside the regular curriculum, and it gets them in a competitive situation academically,” he said.
Midkiff said his students are enthusiastic about showing their work, which includes research on how crickets react to music and a “stinky shoes” project where students determine which materials can prevent shoes from smelling after use.
“This is our first year at the fair and our students are excited about it. They’re excited about competing with other students from other schools. I think this is a great thing that WVU Tech is doing, and I hope it grows. We’ll certainly be back next year,” he said.
The fair was hosted by WVU Tech, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
Students and alumni interested in STEM careers, internships and co-op opportunities will have a chance to meet with prospective employers during the Engineering, Technology & Science Career Fair on Wednesday, October 22 and Thursday, October 23. The fair will run from 11:00 a.m. 2:30 p.m. both days in the first floor hallway of WVU Tech’s E-Lab building.
The two-day event gives students a chance to network with employers, even if they’re not actively seeking employment.
“This fair is an excellent opportunity for students to get their tools ready for the job hunt, whether that’s going on right now or in four years,” said Cantrell Miller, WVU Tech Director of Career Services. “It’s also a great way to explore area opportunities, validate career choices and expand horizons into thinking about the world outside of college.”
Students can prepare for the fair by visiting their Experience account to see potential employers and the majors those employers are looking for. WVU Tech’s Career Services site also offers online career resources and helpful job interview tips. Students interested in applying to available positions should bring an updated resume, dress appropriately and be prepared to answer questions about themselves.
Four participating employers American Electric Power, TRC Engineering, R.J. Reynolds and Toyota of WV will be accepting resumes for potential on-campus interviews. Find out more here .
Each day of the event will feature different employers, so students may want to consider visiting the fair both days to maximize their exposure to area opportunities.
Additional fairs will be held throughout the year, including a nursing career fair (November 11, 2014); a College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences career fair (February, 2015); and a Spring Campus JobFest (April, 2015).
Engineering, Technology & Science Career Fair – participating employers:
Day 1 Wednesday, October 22
American Electric Power (AEP)
Kanawha Scales & Systems
K&K Technical Group
March Westin Company
Mine Safety & Health Administration
Orders Construction Company
Potesta & Associates
Rexnord Industries, LLC
The Thrasher Group
US Navy Officer Program
WV Division of Personnel
Day 2 Thursday, October 23
Constellium Rolled Products
CDI IT Solutions
J.H. Fletcher & Company
US Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)
Pickering & Associates
Service Wire Company
Toyota of WV
US Marine Corps Officer Program
Women may make up a small percentage of students and professionals in STEM fields, but a new student organization is trying to change that starting right here at WVU Tech.
The Association for Women Engineers, Scientists, or Mathematicians Empowerment (AWESOME), is a new student group dedicated to supporting female students in STEM programs at WVU Tech and sharing STEM science with K-12 schools to get young students interested in pursuing these important fields.
“Joining AWESOME will allow students to assist in community outreach efforts to increase awareness of STEM fields within local area schools. We’re hoping that having future AWESOME outreach activities will assist in both the recruitment and retention of future generations of females into all STEM fields,” said Dr. Stephany Coffman-Wolph, assistant professor in the WVU Tech department of Computer Science and Information Systems and AWESOME faculty advisor.
Besides opportunities to participate in outreach programs, AWESOME student members will have a chance to work with WVU Tech faculty and industry professionals in mentorships, network with other STEM students, attend conferences focused on women in STEM and hear from guest speakers.
“Most importantly, we hope students will join AWESOME to have fun and meet others with similar interests,” said Dr. Coffman-Wolph.
The group’s first guest speaker, Millie Marshall, will address AWESOME at the group’s Mix & Mingle kick-off event on Thursday, October 23 from 12:30 2:00 p.m. in the engineering auditorium.
Marshall, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, has worked for Toyota since 1991, and oversees the company’s manufacturing plant in Buffalo, West Virginia, which produces automobile engines and transmissions.
“WVU Tech has a long-running relationship with Toyota here in West Virginia. They hire many of our students and are strong advocates for women in STEM fields,” said Dr. Winnie Fu, AWESOME advisor and assistant professor in WVU Tech’s Engineering Technology department. “Ms. Marshall is a shining example, right here in our backyard, of what women in STEM fields can accomplish.”
The Mix & Mingle is the group’s first big event, but students interested in joining the organization won’t have to wait until October 23. Find out how you can be AWESOME at the group’s first meeting this Friday, October 17 at 2 p.m. in Engineering, Room 201. If you can’t make the first meeting, or if you have questions about AWESOME, contact Dr. Coffman-Wolph.
The West Virginia Science and Art Fair returns to WVU Tech on Friday, October 17. The fair, which is open to all West Virginia high school and middle school students, provides an opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge of biology and physical sciences in display projects, a symposium and Olympiad events, and their creativity in art projects.
The fair is being hosted by WVU Tech, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Registration is free and open to public, private and home-school students.
“The science and art fair was so well-received last year and we are honored to partner with the Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History on this program again this year,” said Carolyn Long, WVU Tech Campus President. “WVU Tech is pleased to offer five $1,000 scholarships to the winners in the science competitions.”
Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission, said, “For students in high school and middle school, the opportunity to exhibit their scientific work and art talents brings with it a great sense of pride and a deepened love of learning in these essential fields. The Science and Art Fair is an exciting opportunity designed to do just that, and the Commission is thrilled to work with the Division of Culture and History and WVU Tech to make it a reality.”
“Programs like this encourage young West Virginians to think creatively about what they are learning and to develop confidence in presenting their ideas, which can spark a love of lifelong learning,” said Randall Reid-Smith, West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner.
Students may enter several competition categories:
Investigatory Projects: Students are invited to perform experiments and create displays explaining their experiments
Display Projects: Students may present displays on topics in the Biological and Physical Sciences
Symposium: Oral competition open to students in the Investigatory and Display Projects
Olympiad Events: Open to students regardless of whether they have submitted exhibits in other categories, these events will test students’ knowledge of Physical and Biological Sciences in a series of exercises
Art Exhibits: Students may enter two- and three-dimensional art projects that have scientific themes
For information and applications, visit sciencefair.wvutech.edu.