UMKC Receives FIRST Award

The School of Computing and Engineering’s (SCE) Dean Kevin Truman was honored to receive for UMKC a FIRST recognition award for UMKC’s substantial support and commitment to the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for the past ten years.  UMKC and the SCE have provided space and logistics as well as hundreds of volunteer hours to FIRST events.   We are proud to be strong supporters of both the FRC event and the FIRST Tech Challenge competition.  Pictures from the awards ceremony and this year’s FRC event can be viewed here.

KC STEM Alliance Awarded UMKC Trustees Community Engagement Award

On February 9, 2015 the KC STEM Alliance was awarded the UMKC Trustees Community Partnership Award which “recognizes a business or organization that contributes to the university through programs and/or projects that help the university live up to its urban-serving mission of education and research.”  In just three short years, KC STEM Alliance has become a leading convener of K-12 STEM education and enrichment in our region. Guided by Executive Director, Laura Loyacono and Advisory Board Chair, Kevin Z. Truman, Dean of UMKC School of Computing and Engineering; KC STEM Alliance collaborates with local school districts, post-secondary and research institutions, industry partners and hundreds of mentors and volunteers from around our region to provide STEM educational and enrichment opportunities to nearly 25,000 students.

Kansas City Engineering Zone Hailed as Tremendous STEM Resource

Dean Kevin Truman and the faculty and staff of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering joined with our Kansas City community to celebrate the opening of the Kansas City Engineering Zone (KC EZ) on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Located on the UMKC campus at 4825 Troost Ave., KC EZ is a direct response to the equity and access issues faced by Kanas City’s K-12 urban schools and their students, providing tremendous STEM resources and mentoring.   

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Free Enterprise Center at UMKC Gathers Momentum

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.

New SCE Student Collaborative Space Dedicated

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.

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SCE Hosts MOU Discussions with Delegates of Canik Basari University in Samsun, Turkey

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.

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Unique Summer Program Draws Students from Saudi Arabia

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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.”

Brazilian Rotarians Visit UMKC and SCE

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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

UMKC’s Kevin Truman and Linna Place Join Governor’s Trade Mission to Taipei and Seoul

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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.

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PLTW High School Senior Showcase Attracts 250 Senior Projects

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.