13 Aug


With a water crisis impacting more than 300,000 people and a record-setting winter still fresh in the minds of Kanawha Valley residents, WVU Tech is taking steps to ensure students, faculty and staff have a back-up plan for emergency events.

The university’s Division of Student Life and Dining Services created a three-day emergency plan that includes a surplus of food and water to keep students fed and hydrated during an emergency situation.

To satisfy the three-day requirement, Dining Services purchased 5,000 ready-to-eat meals and more than 10,000 bottles of water.

WaterMoving WVU Tech soccer players pitch in to help Dining Services move 10,000 bottles of water.

The emergency meals, which have a shelf-life of 25 years, are of a higher quality than the military-style MREs most people are familiar with. Dining Services even conducted student taste tests to determine which products would go over well.

“It was important for us to find high-quality products that students would actually enjoy,” said David Templeton of Dining Services. “We looked for a product that was not only nutritional but also tasted good.”

The water has a shelf-life of two years and will be routinely rotated so that the stockpile remains fresh.

On Tuesday morning, nearly 30 WVU Tech men’s soccer players pitched in to help move the 10,000 bottles of water into secure storage.

“We’re in our first week of pre-season, so the extra workout fits right into our schedule,” said Shinya Turley, WVU Tech men’s soccer Associate Coach. “Dining Services does a lot for us. They stay late and get here early to keep us fed, so we’re here to help out with anything we can.”

Templeton said that working with students was a big help and that, with a plan in place, Dining Services staff can breathe a little easier about keeping the campus fed during an emergency.

“We put in the work and we’re certainly ready now,” he said. “The hope is that we’ll never need to use any of this.”

Check out more photos on the WVU Tech Flickr page.

12 Aug

WVU Tech chemical engineering student Lindsay McDowall discovered her love for NASA’s space program at the age of 13. Between attending a space camp and reading Homer Hickam’s 1998 memoir “Rocket Boys,” which inspired the film “October Sky,” it wasn’t long before McDowall became fascinated with engineering, rocketry and space exploration.

Now in her early twenties, McDowall is turning that fascination into real career experience. In the spring of 2014, she chased a rare opportunity 1,200 miles from campus to participate in a NASA Education Internship at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas – a hub of astronaut training activity and home to NASA’s Mission Control.

In Houston, McDowall worked on sustainability projects in the Design and Analysis Branch of NASA’s Crew and Thermal Systems Division. The division designs and tests environmental and thermal control systems that allow astronauts to live in space.

Kranz McDowall meets with Apollo 13 flight director, Gene Kranz.

“My projects focused on engineering and environmental sustainability. I was tasked with writing a paper on all renewable energy projects JSC had done for the past ten years, and in that I was to include my recommendations for future projects as well as things I thought could have gone better or should have been done differently,” she said. “I presented my work to the JSC Sustainability Partnership Team and the JSC Energy Managers, who will use the recommendations from my paper when working on future projects.”

McDowall created six posters for a Houston area awareness campaign centered on the JSC’s six sustainability focuses: water, air, energy, people, materials/waste and land. She also designed the cover of the JSC 2013 Annual Sustainability Report.

The internship wasn’t all papers and presentations. McDowall repaired an electrolyzer – a machine used to break down water into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen – and helped to prepare a hazard analysis for the equipment.

“I was 21 at the time of my internship and I did something that will help to further NASA’s research on renewable energy systems on Earth and in space. I know that what I did was impactful to the organization and that it was taken seriously,” she said. “There’s no better feeling than that.”

Super Guppy Lindsay McDowall tours NASA’s Ellington Field to see the “Super Guppy” over-sized cargo plane.

During the program, McDowall met Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz, skyped with “Rocket Boys” author Homer Hickam and met with astronauts Karen Nyberg and Chris Cassidy, who had recently returned from the International Space Station.

Astronaut Serena Aun took McDowall on a tour of the Ellington Airfield where she saw NASA’s reduced-gravity aircraft, known as the “Vomit Comet,” and the “Super Guppy” over-sized cargo transport plane. McDowall also toured Mission Control, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility where astronauts train on actual ISS modules and NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory where astronauts train on ISS module mockups while submerged underwater to simulate weightlessness.

McDowall said that seeing everything in action taught her that it takes all kinds of backgrounds to make the space program a success.

“You don’t have to be an engineer to work in spaceflight. NASA needs business men and women, medical professionals and technicians – anything you can think of. You just have to want it bad enough to work for it,” she said.

McDowall plans to graduate in 2015 and apply to the NASA Recent Graduates program. She’s currently deciding whether to pursue a renewable energy engineering graduate degree or a global energy law degree. She was selected to address the incoming freshman class at WVU Tech’s New Student Convocation on Thursday, August 14, 2014.

For more on Lindsay’s NASA experience, check out her MyTech blog posts here and here.
4 Aug

Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with the family and loved ones of Dr. Jay Wiedemann, a member of the WVU Tech community who has passed away.

Dr. Wiedemann had been a professor in the physical science department at WVU Tech since 2003. He held a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in biochemistry, a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. Dr. Wiedemann was a published researcher, active member of the American Chemical Society and the science community, and a respected educator and advisor.

Obituary for Dr. Jay Wiedemann:

Dr. Jay M. Wiedemann, age 47 of Smithers, West Virginia died unexpectedly at his home.

He was born on April 2, 1967 in Sheboygan son of Joseph and Jeanette (Schroeder) Wiedemann.

He attended grade school in Sheboygan and graduated from Sheboygan South High School in 1986. He furthered his education earning a degree in Chemistry/Biology from the University of Green Bay, earned a Masters from the University of Minnesota, and a PHD from University of North Dakota. He was currently serving as an Associate Professor of Physical Science at West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, WV. Currently Jay was working on methods to produce clean coal and had obtained a U.S. patent, with another pending. He began a company with two other professors in 2013 called Natural Environment Solutions Corporation.

In his youth, he was a Boy Scout and Eagle Scout and received awards in 1982 and 1983. In his free time, he enjoyed camping building big bonfires and he had an extensive stamp collection.

He is survived by his parents Joseph and Jeanette of New Holstein, two brothers Keith Wiedemann of Texas, Joe (Tracy) Wiedemann of Neenah, and a special nephew Justin. He is further survived by his aunts, uncles, relatives, friends and colleagues.

He preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Leonard Sr. and Emma Wiedemann, maternal grandparents Ervin and Verona Schroeder and a sister-in-law Beverly.

Funeral services will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at the Schneider Funeral Home in Plymouth. Burial of Jay’s cremains will be held in the Greenbush Cemetery. Friends may call on Tuesday at the funeral home from 3:30 p.m. until the time of service.

Source: Sheboygan Press

To view Dr. Wiedemann’s obituary or leave a message on his memorial page, visit The Wittkopp Schneider Funeral Home page.

25 Jul

Payment Deadline Clarification

Jennifer | July 25th, 2014

We want to clarify a communication that you may have recently received from WVU Student Accounts. The communication stated that August 13, 2014 is the deadline for paying 60% of your balance, which is accurate. However, the class drop date that was provided was incorrect. If you have not paid 60% of your balance by August 25, you will be dropped from classes.

Additionally, some student accounts reflected incorrect housing costs. Current and accurate housing costs are provided here.

Paper bills are not provided unless requested. To view your student account balance and/or to make a payment, log in to STAR, select “Student Services & Housing,” “Student Accounts” and then click on “Electronic Bill by Term/Make Payment.”

We apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding. If you have questions about your student account, contact WVU Tech Financial Aid at 304.442.3228. If you have questions about housing, contact my office at 304.442.3158.

Thank you for your understanding.

Richard Carpinelli
WVU Tech Dean of Students

18 Jul

WVU Tech was recently awarded a Noel-Levitz Marketing-Recruitment Excellence Award during the National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing and Retention in Chicago, Illinois.

The award recognized the university’s 2012-2013 recruitment campaign, which garnered a 45 percent increase in applications, a 53 percent increase in first-time freshman students and a 10 percent increase in overall enrollment in 2013.

Noel-Levitz cited the development of a comprehensive recruitment plan, the successful launch of the Student Success Center and college-wide support of enrollment growth as contributing factors to the successful campaign.

“Recruitment and retention at WVU Tech are truly campus-wide efforts,” said WVU Tech Dean of Enrollment, Bill Allen. “We thank Noel-Levitz for their recognition and, with the support of all our student-focused departments, we’re excited to carry this momentum into the new academic year.”

WVU Tech admissions staff traveled to Chicago to attend the conference and accept the award.

Noel-Levitz is a consulting firm that provides research and services in student recruitment and retention, financial aid, publications and web development.

9 Jul

The State Journal – Tuesday, July 8, 2014
by Sarah Tincher, Energy Reporter

The American Electric Power Foundation has donated $50,000 to West Virginia University and the WVU Institute of Technology for science, technology, engineering and math summer camps.

The gift will cover some housing and board expenses, as well as some scholarship opportunities for students who face financial challenges, for the Engineering Challenge Camps at WVU and Camp STEM at WVU Tech. The camps will allow students to discover a field they are passionate about and possibly hope to pursue a career in.

“We’re happy to partner with WVU and WVU Tech on this STEM program. At Appalachian Power, we need employees with good math and science skills for many if not most of our jobs,” said Charles Patton, president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power, an AEP subsidiary. “From engineering to customer service, STEM skills are critical for success. WVU and WVU Tech are helping create a well-educated work force that will build a better future for West Virginia.”

WVU and WVU Tech officials say that introducing STEM disciplines at an early age will improve high school graduation rates and help ensure that students are ready for college by giving them a glimpse into the college experience.

WVU Tech attracts about 60 students from across the state to Camp STEM’s location in Montgomery.

“We’re grateful for American Electric Power Foundation’s support as it allowed us to expand Camp STEM. This summer program is a vital opportunity for West Virginia high school students to explore STEM fields and see themselves as future scientists and engineers,” said Zeljko Torbica, dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences at WVU Tech.

To find out more about the camps, visit the WVU and WVU Tech websites.

State Journal article: http://www.statejournal.com/story/25964900/aep-foundation-donates-50000-to-wvu-and-wvu-tech-stem-camps

26 Jun

Charleston Daily Mail – Thursday, June 26, 2014
Editorial: WVU Tech may be the best choice of all

Despite a slow job market and ever-increasing student loans, college is still a good investment, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Even if a job does not require a college degree, an employee is better off with one, the study found.

When it comes to higher education, the return on investment depends on the college chosen and the major studied. Harvard and other Ivy League colleges offer great returns on their investment, of course. Not only are the degrees prestigious, but the network of their graduates is stellar.

However, Forbes found, the best investment in the country is Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., which has fewer than 1,000 students. Its mission is to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, who are well-versed in the humanities and the social sciences as well.

Forbes magazine found Harvey Mudd graduates typically receive a starting salary of $73,300 a year. Forbes calculated the return on investment over 20 years as $980,900.

That bested No. 2 Cal Tech ($837,600), No. 13 Princeton ($690,800) and No. 23 Harvard ($650,100).

However, one does not have to travel across the country to do well by college. West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery ranked in the top 10 percent. Its graduates can expect a starting salary of $52,200 a year and a 20-year return of investment of $452,200.

That topped No. 314 WVU ($311,600) and No. 878 Marshall ($154,300).

Two factors make the return at WVU-Tech so high, spokeswoman Jen Wood Cunningham told the Daily Mail’s Whitney Burdette.

The cost of attendance is low and the students pursue degrees in chemical, electrical, software and project engineers. The demand for engineers is much higher than say, English majors, which explains the difference.

The school also has a good reputation.

“We’ve been told by employers that with our graduates, they don’t have to do a two- or three-year training program to get them where they need to be,” Cunningham said. “Our graduates are ready when they graduate. They’re ready to start day one.”

Engineers from WVU, Marshall and other state schools can expect the same salaries and a similar rate of return.

West Virginia high school students should think about staying in state—especially if they qualify for four years of free or nearly free tuition from Promise scholarships.

Regardless of school choice, an investment in a two-year or four-year higher education is one that pays off well in the long run.

Charleston Daily Mail editorial: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140626/DM04/140629538

25 Jun
Camp STEM 2014

Last week, WVU Tech hosted 70 area high school students for Camp STEM. Made possible by generous contributions from AT&T, Toyota, DOW and the American Electric Power Foundation, the camp offered students a chance to explore fields such as robotics, biology, forensics, engineering, computer programming, math, chemistry and automobile technology.

“Businesses in West Virginia and around the country need a capable and diverse pipeline of employees to fuel 21st century jobs. Today, the need is outpacing their availability,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T-Mid Atlantic. “Camp STEM is a great way to introduce high school students to the many career opportunities that require STEM skills. The program prepares the state’s next generation of technology leaders.”

During the week-long camp, attendees participated in interactive classes where they manipulated genes in bacteria, created electrical circuits, documented mock crime scenes, built lasers, programmed basic computer games or found out what it takes to build a bridge.

DOW employees provided an interactive chemistry presentation and students worked in teams on the camp’s final project, the cardboard canoe. AT&T and DOW representatives judged Friday evening’s competition, which challenged students to design and build a cardboard canoe capable of ferrying a student across the WVU Tech swimming pool.

Attendees also visited the Green Bank Telescope and Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

This year, Camp STEM welcomed a group of Toyota Scholars – high school girls interested in studying STEM fields – that attended the camp on Toyota-sponsored scholarships.

“There is no better time than now for ambitious students to enter STEM-related fields as demand across our country rises in many areas,” said Millie Marshall, president of Toyota West Virginia. “I learned early in my Toyota career about the importance of STEM and how it helps us continuously improve our safety and quality. I encourage students who are interested in STEM fields to learn the fundamentals, hone their skills and seek a mentor who can always help you improve. There’s no best way; only a better way of doing things.”

View coverage of WVU Tech’s Camp STEM from the Charleston Gazette and WOWK-TV 13.

Check out photos from Camp STEM on the WVU Tech Flickr page.

25 Jun

WOWK TV – June 24, 2014
By Hillary Hall, WOWK TV

MONTGOMERY, WV – Hair cells, blood spatter, and fingerprints…things that are more likely to be found at a crime scene than a summer camp. The STEM program held at West Virginia Tech is a little bit different than your run of the mill camp for high school students.

STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is a program designed to give high school students across West Virginia a hands on experience with jobs related to those topics. They get to work in forensics, engineering, computer programming, math, and science for an entire week. An experience hoped to lead them to a future job in one of those fields. “They don’t know what an engineer does or what a mathematician does, this lets them apply the things they are learning in school in a real world environment” say first year engineering and science director at WVU Tech Dr. Kimberlyn Gray. She feels that more interest in STEM will lead to job growth in West Virginia in the future.

The students at the summer camp seem to enjoy the unique things they are getting to do. Tarryn Walker from Oak Hill High School in Fayette County said “you are learning but its not like it is in school” he went on to say that “you could never get to do something like this in a normal classroom”.

The camp is made possible by donations from AT&T, DOW, AEP [American Electric Power Foundation], and Toyota. Some students are also at the camp on scholarships from other organizations.

The camp runs through Friday, June 27th. It’s too late to apply for this years camp, but if you are interested in applying for next year please visit http://campstem.wvutech.edu/.

25 Jun

Charleston Daily Mail – Tuesday, June 24, 2014

by Whitney Burdette, Capitol reporter

Students graduating from West Virginia University Institute of Technology can expect an average 20-year return on investment of more than $450,000.

The Montgomery school was recently recognized by Payscale’s 2014 College Return on Investment Report and ranked in the top 10 percent of public schools across the country for students paying in-state tuition. Tech graduates have the highest overall return on investment of any school in West Virginia. Payscale collects and reviews compensation data and releases an annual report ranking institutions based on financial gains graduates can expect to see with a bachelor’s degree from that college or university.

Jen Wood Cunningham, interim director of university relations for WVU-Tech, said the high return on investment is because of two things.

“Our cost of attendance is really low, especially for the value of the degrees they receive,” Cunningham said. “Our degrees are really sought after by employers in the industries, especially the STEM fields. We really attribute that to low cost of attendance and the quality of education they receive and (graduates) having an employable degree to get a high paying job after they graduate.”

WVU-Tech has a long tradition of educating engineering students, and that’s reflected in the Payscale data. According to the report, Tech graduates average a starting salary of $52,200 and most pursue degrees in chemical, electrical, software and project engineering. Careers in those fields pay a median of $55,000 or more.

Cunningham said students pursuing those types of degrees from Tech are at an advantage. The school partners with employers for a cooperative education program as well as internships.

“We’ve been told by employers that with our graduates, they don’t have to do a 2-3 year training program to get them where they need to be,” Cunningham said. “Our graduates are ready when they graduate. They’re ready to start day one.”

Tech has made strides in recent years to revitalize both student services and its physical appearance. The revitalization plan was put in action after a 2011 report to the state Legislature criticized academic, structural and financial issues with the school. Since then, millions of dollars have been spent to improve the campus, including adding wireless Internet and a Student Success Center. Carolyn Long, WVU-Tech president, said those improvements have helped create an environment where students can reach their potential.

“This report shows what we already know — that an education from WVU-Tech is a worthwhile endeavor,” she said in a news release. “Our graduates are seeing more than financial benefits. Our students are educated in an inclusive and supportive environment that creates knowledgeable and civic-minded graduates.”

WVU ranked second on the list, with an ROI of 8.8 percent for in-state students, Fairmont State University ranked third with 6.3 percent, Marshall University ranked fourth at 5.7 percent and West Liberty State University rounded out the list at 5.2 percent return on investment for in-state students. Return on investment for out-of-state students is ranked somewhat differently, with WVU-Tech and WVU coming in at first and second with 8.1 and 5.9 percent, respectively, Fairmont State at 4.7 percent, Marshall at 3.8 percent and West Liberty at 2.4 percent.

Cunningham said she wants prospective students, parents and potential donors who analyze the report to know that a good education is available at Tech.

“I think the main takeaway is our school is providing a high quality education in West Virginia for students to compete globally within the STEM fields and a variety of other fields including forensic investigation and criminal justice,” she said.

“We really want to make sure we’re showing we’re part of the WVU system. We were No. 1 and WVU was No. 2. between the two of us, the WVU system is the highest level of return on investment you can get in West Virginia.”

Article on Charleston Daily Mail http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140624/DM01/140629648/1276

Recent Articles