By Hank Wright, ‘68
Twenty four Tech alumni and their spouses along with members of the WVU Tech administration came together at an event on May 31, 2013 in Cary, North Carolina. The alumni gathering was organized by Hank Wright, ‘68 and Richard “Dick” Hart, ‘62.
Throughout the evening old friends reconnected and new friendships were formed. Steve Claywell, ‘74, president of the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association encouraged people to get involved with the alumni association and help support the school. WVU Tech CEO, Carolyn Long, spoke about the great things that are happening on campus. Other representatives from WVU Tech who attended the event were Tara Hines, ‘03, alumni relations coordinator; Z. Torbica, dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences; and Frank Pergolizzi, Golden Bear athletics director.
The main goal of the event was to establish a new Tech alumni chapter in the area where people can network with one another, support the efforts of the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association and spread the word about the bright future that lies ahead for WVU Tech. By the end of the night several alumni volunteered to lead this new group including Hank Wright as the interim chapter president; Ken Barker, ‘65; Tim Bennett, ‘82; Jack Harvey, ‘66; and Paula Miller, ‘80.
This was a great first step toward organizing the NC Chapter and giving alumni in central North Carolina a place to stay in touch with our school. Anyone interested in joining the group can e-mail TechAlumniAssoc@mail.wvu.edu.
Camp STEM is designed to inspire high school students to study engineering and science by giving them a chance to take hands-on classes in STEM fields such as computer science, chemistry and engineering. “Thanks to AT&T’s generous sponsorship, we were able to offer scholarships to 40 percent of our students and increase the number of seats by 50 percent over last year,” explained Dr. Kimberlyn Gray, WVU Tech’s First Year Coordinator for the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences.
“The Charleston Area Alliance supports the work of Camp STEM at WVU Tech and thanks AT&T for
its support of this critical initiative for West Virginia,” said Matthew Ballard, President & CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance. “The students who will experience Camp STEM will receive real-world, hands on training so they can be prepared for college and to enter our workforce.
This year’s camp includes courses such as biomedical engineering, civil engineering, computer animations, environmental chemistry, renewable energy technologies and robotics. WVU Tech faculty teach all of the courses, with assistance from upperclass students majoring in one or more of Tech’s many STEM majors. In addition to classes, campers learn about possible careers in the STEM disciplines.
“When it comes to our children, we have a shared responsibility to make sure that they receive the best education possible to provide them the skills they need to succeed at good-paying jobs. Improving our STEM programs will open doors for our students and is critical for West Virginia to remain competitive in the global marketplace,” explained Senator Joe Manchin. “West Virginia University Institute of Technology has embraced this shared responsibility and provided such a valuable resource to our youth over the past nine years through Camp STEM. I applaud their efforts and wish them continued success.”
“AT&T is thrilled to support the Camp STEM program at West Virginia University Institute of Technology,” said Andy Feeney, Regional Vice President, External Affairs, AT&T. “An educated workforce for the future is not only critical to the success of our nation, and our state, but to the success of our company as well, and the students enrolled at Camp STEM are working hard to prepare for the economy of tomorrow.”
The Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association (TGBAA) has officially begun its inaugural fundraising efforts for a new Welcome Wall at the campus entrance of West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech).
“We have taken on this project because we see this as a way to create a legacy for all of us that love Tech,” said Steve Claywell, ‘74, TGBAA President. “With this project, our names will forever be linked with Tech through a one-time donation to the school that taught us so much.”
The Welcome Wall will be placed on the former site of the CoEd residence hall greeting visitors as they cross the bridge into Montgomery, W.Va. Alumni and friends can preserve their memories and leave a legacy for future generations at WVU Tech by purchasing a 4”x8” paver to construct the Welcome Wall. For $100, individuals can purchase a paver engraved with their message to support the project.
Tech alumni John Jarrett, ‘84, of Jarrett Construction and Ed Robinson, ‘69, of E.L. Robinson Engineering have partnered with the TGBAA to create conceptual renderings of the Wall. Jarrett has also volunteered to oversee construction of the project.
Claywell added, “CoEd gave us memories that are still with us today. It was the place where we made lifelong friends, fell in love (maybe even fell out of love), pulled all-nighters and relaxed after long classes and activities. What better way to honor those memories than through this project.”
For more information on the project, or to purchase a brick paver, please call 304.442.3131. Online ordering is also available.
By Gordon Billheimer, ‘45, ‘04
Robert L. Breeden, born in Montgomery, W.Va., and reared in Smithers, a former Vice President of the National Geographic Society, died at his home in MacLean, Virginia on March 15, 2013. He was 87. Breeden was a graduate of WV Tech and was named the 1962 Alumnus of the Year. He received his master’s degree from the University of Missouri. He was a senior vice president for the publications and educational materials and a Trustee of the National Geographic Society Emeritus, retiring in 1991.
However, Breeden was best known when he was chosen by Melville Grosvenor, the president of the Society, to create the White House’s first official guidebook which was an idea of the First Lady Jackie Kennedy. The book, which then cost $1.00, was an immediate best seller which sold 250,000 copies within 90 days. The text had over 20 editions and raised funds for the White House Historical Society, selling millions of copies.
Breeden was preceded in death by his wife Hilda Breeden, also a graduate of WV Tech. They had a daughter Cindy Scudder and two granddaughters. Although Breeden became the president of the White House Historical Society and president of the Capitol Historical Society, he was particularly proud of being a West Virginian. While living in Smithers, attending Montgomery High School from which he graduated, he established a printing business.
Breeden loved to tell the story of being called by Denver Brown, then mayor of Montgomery and democratic chairman, who said that President Harry Truman, campaigning for another term, was having his train stop in Montgomery around 10pm the next day. In those days we had only the newspapers and radio which would not be available on such short notice.
Breeden printed two thousand handbills announcing the visit of the President, which were distributed over the Valley. David McCullough in his Biography of President Truman, told the story of a turnout of an estimated 2,000 people even at that late hour. Truman asked the photographers to turn their cameras on the large crowd, saying that they deserved the credit for coming at such a late hour. Breeden donated one of those handbills to the Truman Library.
As a preface to a book about Appalachia, published by Breeden, he paid tribute to his coal miner father and West Virginia. Breeden’s death was published by press releases from the National Geographic, the White House and Capitol Historical Societies and obituaries in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Breeden established a scholarship fund in nursing at Tech in memory of his mother Lala Breeden.
When Breeden announced his retirement in 1991 after 36 years as a writer, editor, senior executive and trustee, Gilbert Grosvenor, president of the Society, said “I can think of no one in the last quarter of the century who has contributed more to the success of this institution than Bob Breeden.”
Four students from West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) have been named recipients of the University’s A.W. “Alex” Walmsley Engineering Scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year: Joseph Ferguson, Travis Allen, Coty Lusk and Joshua Painter.
Ferguson is a freshman electrical engineering student from Montgomery, W.Va. Allen is a freshman from Mount Nebo, W.Va., in the electrical engineering program. Lusk is a junior electrical engineering student from Fenwick, W.Va. A native of Kanawha County, Painter is a junior electrical engineering major.
The scholarship provides financial assistance for West Virginia students enrolled in WVU Tech’s electrical engineering program that demonstrate academic promise. Preference is given to students from Kanawha, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Mercer counties.
The Walmsley Electrical Engineering Scholarship was established in 2009 by John T. Jack Walmsley in honor of his father, Alexander Wareing Walmsley. Alexander Walmsley was a registered professional engineer serving the Alloy, Glen Ferris and Hawks Nest communities. He was also a member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.
West Virginia University Institute of Technology honored the Class of 2013 during the 114th Commencement on the Montgomery campus on Saturday, May 11, 2013. The ceremony recognized 171 graduates.
WVU Tech CEO Carolyn Long congratulated the graduates during the ceremony. “You have been asked to study hard, think creatively and push your intellectual boundaries. We are here to today to celebrate that your dream of a college education has come true. Congratulations!”
West Virginia Secretary of Transportation and WVU Tech alumnus Paul Mattox, Jr., provided the Commencement Address. A 1982 civil engineering graduate, Mattox now manages the Division of Highways, with an annual budget of $1.1 billion, as well as the seven other agencies under the Department of Transportation.
The University’s Academic Awards Committee presented the Leadership Citations, which were established by former Tech president and professor emeritus Dr. Leonard C. Nelson in 1978. The awards are given to one student from each College who has demonstrated academic excellence and extensive campus and community involvement. This year’s recipients were Casey Orndorff from the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences and Monika Becker from the College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences. Senior John Dunn was also honored during the ceremony as the NASPE Major of the Year by the WVU College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences.
Mattox offered final advice to the graduates, saying, “Be confident in the knowledge that the education you’ve received at this great institution has given you all the tools you need to be successful. All you have to do now is apply them.”
The Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) recently inducted Eric Fleshman and Nathan Settle into the engineering honor society of Tau Beta Pi. Fleshman is a senior electrical engineering major from Rupert, W.Va. Settle is also a senior electrical engineering student and is from Hurricane, W.Va.
Tau Beta Pi is the second-oldest honor society, founded at Lehigh University in 1885, and is the only engineering honor society representing the entire engineering profession. Members inducted into Tau Beta Pi are conferred this honor through their attainments of distinguished scholarship and exemplary character. The WVU Tech Chapter of Tau Beta Pi is one of now 241 U.S. colleges and university chapters with a total initiated membership of approximately 540,000. The WVU Tech Chapter of Tau Beta Pi was first founded in 1972 and has inducted 1,035 members.
A West Virginia University Institute of Technology faculty member has won a $5,000 ‘mini-grant’ from the state to help prepare proposals with the goal of obtaining a much larger research funding award.
Dr. Deborah Chun, assistant professor of mathematics, received a mini-grant from the Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research.
The mini-grant provides replacement salary for an uninterrupted period of time for a faculty member to write research or research equipment proposals during the summer. Each winning faculty member agrees to submit a proposal for funding from an external agency or foundation as a result of obtaining the mini-grant.
“The Mini-Grant Program is an investment in research, education, and ultimately, in economic development,” said Jan Taylor, Ph.D., Director of Research. “By allowing these faculty members the opportunity to concentrate on external research proposals, the state ultimately may realize benefits well beyond its $30,000 investment.”
The Mini-Grant Program is funded by the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund, which lays the foundation for many of the state’s competitive grant programs. For more information about that fund and other programs managed by the Division of Science and Research, visit www.wvresearch.org.
The Center of Excellence for Cyber-Physical Systems (WVCECPS) at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) will be hosting the first annual Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Symposium on Thursday, May 2. The event will feature six of the leading CPS researchers. Topics include the applications of CPS in smart grids, landslide detection, underground coal mines, emergency response and environmental monitoring.
Cyber-Physical Systems are engineered systems whose operations are monitored, coordinated, controlled, and integrated by a computing and communication core embedded in all types of objects and structures in the physical environment.
“Emerging CPS will be coordinated, distributed, and connected, and must be robust and responsive. The CPS of tomorrow will need to far exceed the systems of today in capability, adaptability, resiliency, safety, security, and usability,” explained Dr. Houbing Song, WVCECPS founding director and visiting assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at WVU Tech. “CPS will transform the way people interact with engineered systems, just as the Internet transformed the way people interact with information.”
The event will include the following five presentations: “Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things” with Dr. Houbing Song, WVU Tech; “Cyber-Physical Systems: A Smart Grid Perspective” with Joseph Januszewski, WDT; “Automated Analysis of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Images for Monitoring the Transportation Infrastructure” and “An Enhanced Grid-Based Bayesian Approach to Target Tracking” with Andrea Vaccari and Dr. Qian Sang, University of Virginia; “Protecting Underground Coal Mine Workers and First Responders with Breadcrumb Sensor Networks” with Dr. Hengchang Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and “Cyberinfrastructe, Virtual Environments and Getting Physical” with Dr. Jack Smith, WV Higher Education Policy Commission. A total of five West Virginia State Professional Development Hours may be obtained at this conference.
“This symposium is the first step to create a collaborative academy-industry-government program centered around CPS to foster economic development, academic development and scientific innovation in West Virginia,” said Dr. Zeljko “Z” Torbica, dean of the WVU Tech Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences. “The establishment of WVCECPS opens the door to opportunities and will increase the role of WVU Tech in technology-based economic development.”
Registration for the event will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Conference fees are as follows: IEEE/ACM members are $80, Non-members are $100, government agency employees are $60 and students are $30. Walk-ins will be accepted provided there is room for a rate of $120.
West Virginia University Institute of Technology’s Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences recognized 59 current students at the annual STEM Awards Banquet on April 18, 2013. Honorees were selected by their academic department based on academic accomplishments.
“This event recognizes the achievements of our College’s best and brightest students, and celebrates their outstanding accomplishments,” explained Dr. Zeljko “Z” Torbica, Dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences. “I am extremely proud of each and every one of these students.”
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