More than 50 business and community leaders attended a Shepherd University Center for Regional Innovation reception on Thursday, December 15, to hear presentations from Fred White, senior director public sector at ABS Consulting, about partnering with Shepherd for economic development and innovation, and Kurt Gehlsen, vice president and chief scientific officer of Research Corporation Technologies, about translating innovation to practice.
Shepherd President Mary J.C. Hendrix announced the establishment of the Center for Regional Innovation in September. Her vision is for the center to become an economic engine for the community and the state while at the same time providing hands-on experience with innovative projects for Shepherd students in all disciplines–from the liberal arts and humanities to professional studies and the sciences.
“The Center for Regional Innovation provides the physical space and the collaborative environment for strategic growth of an innovation-based economy and allows our students to apply concepts learned in the classroom to address real-world problems–in collaboration with leading experts in business, the sciences, and humanities,” said Hendrix.
The center, currently housed in the lower level of the dining hall, will be moving in summer 2017 to the first floor of Turner Hall, where Thursday night’s event was held. Co-directors of the Center for Regional Innovation are Dr. Scott Beard, dean of graduate studies and associate provost; Dr. Ben Martz, dean of business school development; and Dr. Colleen Nolan, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Earlier in the day, representatives from four companies–ABS Consulting, Crisis 1, Harkcon, Inc., and Potomac Wave Consulting–were at Shepherd to discuss partnership opportunities for student internships in conjunction with Shepherd’s Center for Regional Innovation.