A panel of UMR faculty and alumni will discuss globalization’s impact on higher education during a special forum to be held April 21, 2006, on the UMR campus.
The forum, “UMR in a Global Society,” will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Friday, April 21, in the Carver-Turner Room of the Havener Center on campus. The forum is free and open to the public. It will begin with a panel discussion featuring five experts on some aspect of globalization, followed by a brief question-and-answer period.
“Globalization is on the minds of many business and educational leaders these days, especially as it pertains to our economic competitiveness as a nation,” says Dr. Wayne Huebner, UMR’s vice provost of research and sponsored programs, who will moderate the panel discussion. “Because so much of our future success will rely on scientific and technological innovation, it’s important for a technological university like UMR to talk about these issues and what they mean to our future. We hope that this forum will be a good first step in beginning a dialogue among our students, faculty and alumni, as well as among the general public.”
The forum’s five panelists are:
Bipin Doshi, president and chief executive officer of Schafer Gear Works of South Bend, Ind. A native of India, Doshi purchased Schafer in 1988 and faces global competition in his traditional, “rust belt” manufacturing business. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from UMR in 1962 and 1963, respectively.
Dr. Ralph E. Flori, associate dean of engineering and associate professor of interdisciplinary engineering at UMR. Flori also serves as the Missouri director of Project Lead the Way, a national program designed to increase pre-college students’ interest in engineering, science and technology. Flori served on the UMR faculty from 1981-1983, then served as an Exxon Teaching Fellow and was a senior research scientist for MO-SCI Corp. before returning to the UMR faculty in 1990. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in petroleum engineering from UMR in 1979, 1981 and 1987, respectively.
Dr. Antonio Nanni, the Vernon and Maralee Jones Missouri Professor of Civil Engineering and director of three UMR research centers: the Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies, the University Transportation Center and the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on Repair of Buildings and Bridges. A native of Italy, Nanni is spearheading the development of a joint degree program between UMR and the University of Naples.
Prasenjit Shil, a Ph.D. student in engineering management and president of the UMR Council of Graduate Students. A native of India, Shil earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Madras and a master’s degree in engineering management at UMR. He decided to study at UMR because it offered “the best option to learn business practices with a strong understanding of the engineering and manufacturing practices.”
Dr. Joan Woodard, executive vice president and deputy laboratories director for nuclear weapons, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M. Prior to her current appointment, Woodard was vice president of the Energy Information and Infrastructure Technology Division A member of the Sandia staff since 1974, Woodard earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UMR in 1973, a master’s degree in engineering economic systems from Stanford University in 1975 and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California-Berkeley in 1982.
“UMR in a Global Society” will be held in conjunction with UMR’s annual OGS Weekend, a meeting of UMR’s society of major donors, the Order of the Golden Shillelagh. Also meeting on campus on that date will be the MSM-UMR Alumni Association’s board of directors, the UMR Corporate Development Council (CDC) and several departmental academies and advisory groups.
The CDC consists of representatives from many of UMR’s major employers, and the academies are advisory groups made up of alumni and others who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments.
Portions of the forum will later be broadcast on “TechnoFiles,” a monthly radio program hosted by Huebner on UMR’s public radio station, KUMR. The program will also be available on the UMR website.
For more information on the program, please contact Andrew Careaga, UMR director of communications, at (573) 341-4260.