Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Camp for Students

ECPI knows a thing or two about manufacturing, and that is why the university decided to be a sponsor of the Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp hosted by STIHL Inc. The camp ran July 13 through 16 in which more than 30 high school students from schools in North Carolina, Southeastern Virginia and District of Columbia participated. Designed to promote careers in modern manufacturing, the camp activities included classes on cutting-edge manufacturing technologies such as computer-controlled machining and robotics.

“This four-day, hands-on camp is designed to introduce students to modern manufacturing through tours, presentations, small projects, and a competitive manufacturing activity,” said Simon Nance, the director of the camp as well as manager of training and development for STIHL Inc.

With federal funding for vocational training and education at risk of being cut by 20 percent, business and education partnership programs like this are becoming increasingly important. The camp culminated with a two-hour competition on Saturday, July 16. Students were organized into five teams and collaborated to manufacture clocks. The teams were evaluated based on production efficiency, inventory management, quality standards, and innovative thinking. Each school with a winning team member won a First Technical Challenge startup kit from FIRST Robotics, and each student earned a $1,000 Virginia Industry Foundation scholarship for his or her future education.

Winning team members of the Stihl competition.

The winning team members were:

Christopher Benedetto, Kellam High School, Virginia Beach, VA, Brad Holmes, Landstown High School, Virginia Beach, VA, Sinh Ly, Landstown High School, Virginia Beach, VA, Joseph Frandsen, Granby High School, Norfolk, VA, Sharissa Marshall, Grassfield High School, Chesapeake, VA

The competition was judged by academic, corporate and community leaders including Norfolk councilwoman Angelia Williams and Ron Villanueva, delegate of the 21st district of Virginia. Other judges included Dee Tomczak from Virginia FIRST Robotics and Paul Dockery from ECPI University. “It was great seeing the youth go from not knowing much about manufacturing to putting together an entire production plan for the competition,” said Paul. “It was a great example why ECPI likes to be involved in STEM (science, technology, electronics, and math) activities in the community that are building our future workforce.”

Training Wounded Warriors for the Future

ECPI University conducts an Information Assurance training program at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach. The six month program covers A+, Network+ and Security+. Currently there are five wounded warriors who are taking part of the program using their G.I. Bill benefits or the Tuition Assistance Program which is for active duty personnel wishing to further their education.

The Wounded Warrior class at Oceana.

Michael Kidd is a marine who was hit by two IEDs in 2005. He looked at the class as his next step as he transitions out of the military later this year. As an assistant trainer for his unit, he has been responsible for the managing all of the training information, which led to his interest in database administration.

Michael Kidd is a marine enrolled in the computer class.

The marine of 8.5 years worked with representatives from the Veteran’s Individual Training Assistance Link (VITAL). “We come up with the battle plan by identifying my interests, what education would be needed and what companies I should be speaking to,” said Michael.

Logan McEwen signed up for the course as a result of the disability transition assistance program. He too worked with VITAL to discuss his future outside the military. In the navy Logan installed collection equipment on the ships, essentially the instruments to pull radio communications. It was his work there that lead him to look at computers, “I’d like to work up to a Network Engineer, take a CC+A course, and ultimately earn a business management degree,” shared Logan.

Logan McEwen is using the course as a stepping stone to obtain his bachelors.

After passing the course attendees are better equipped to earn a job with the military or government agencies.

CIV Gets a Taste of Celebrity

By: Kimberly White, CIV Honors Graduate, June 2011

On a rainy, unseasonably cool Sunday in September, two Italian reality television personalities brought a little sunshine to Virginia Beach. Top Chef fan favorite, Fabio Viviani and Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice along with Culinary Institute of Virginia Chef Instructor, Dedra Blount headlined as the finale attraction during the Mediterranean Festival at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The three day event began on Friday, September 16, was a celebration of Greek and Italian cuisine, music and culture.

The show began with a flawless cooking demo by Chef Dedra Blount, who effortlessly produced a beautiful dish of Quinoa Risotto and Veal Chops over a beautiful Pear Sauce with the assistance of CIV student Jeanine McDougald. CIV Academic Director, Chef Steve Sadowski was also on hand to demonstrate the proper technique for fabricating veal chops.

Teresa Giudice, known for her somewhat explosive temper, eclectic style, feuding family, legal woes, four rambunctious daughters, and New York Times bestselling cookbooks, Skinny Italian and Fabulicious, was next to take the stage. Teresa demonstrated how to make Devil Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta which is one of the recipes featured in her most recent cookbook. As she cooked, she fielded questions from the audience. Although Teresa seemed a little uncomfortable with the actual cooking portion of the demo, she wooed the audience with her candor, vivaciousness and down-to-earth quality that seems to be sincerely who she is.

Culinary team with Fabio Viviani of Top Chef and Teresa Giudice of Real Housewives of New Jersey

The icing on the proverbial cake in the event was Fabio Viviani, who came to the stage amid cheers and cat calls from screaming fans. Completely comfortable and commanding on stage, Fabio had the cameraman come right up to the demo table so that every step of his presentation could be seen clearly and up close by the audience. Fabio was assisted by CIV student, Jackie Beau. As Fabio began to make his famous Potato Gnocchi dish, he regaled the audience with funny antidotes and his philosophy about cooking and how Italians use very simple, fresh ingredients. He kept the audience completely entertained and engaged while giving cooking instructions.  After producing a pillowy light Gnocchi that he then finished in vibrant roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce, he had every person in the audience come up to the stage to try one. Fabio’s hilarious stories about growing up in an Italian family were endearing and you totally felt how sincere and passionate he is about cooking and sharing his love of food with his family, friends and fans.

 

“I’ll build an app for that.”

After six years in the Air Force, Eric Richardson wanted to transition to civilian life by completing his education. Who better to ask for advice than his father who suggested ECPI University after graduating himself in the 1960s. Eric enrolled in the Web Development program at the Richmond Campus’s Moorefield location in Virginia using his VA benefits. Two years ago he began the process and he completed his last class to obtain his bachelor’s in September. He has already landed an exciting job with Willow Tree Apps.

“I liked the core programming classes that included Java and C# (pronounced C sharp for the less tech savvy),” said Eric. “After I got the hang of it, I knew that is what I wanted to do.” After Career Services assisted with an introduction to Willow Tree Apps, Eric earned employment over lunch with Michael Prichard, the founder and Chief Technology Officer.

Willow Tree Apps was founded in 2007 and is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were one of the first companies to launch an iPhone app, and its Spotasaurus app is often featured in Apple’s television and print advertising. “I’ve been attending weekly meetings while I’m still in school prior to making the move,” said Eric. “They have a west-coast start-up feel with an open, friendly atmosphere. It is going to make a great environment.”

Eric admits that the year-round schedule at ECPI was challenging but really appreciated the small class sizes. “I was able to ask questions and actually get a response,” explained Eric. “There was more interaction that the typical school environment.”

Gainful Employment Information

Art as Communication

Who doesn’t love a good field trip? Students of Principles of Speech class in Raleigh, North Carolina were treated to a field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art that cleverly reinforced their in-class lessons covering verbal and nonverbal communication. Instructor Gloria Hicks said, “I love to use field trips and guest speakers to enhance our learning experience. An art docent and former art teacher put together a presentation specifically for our class, entitled Communication on Canvas.”

The trip amplified the learning experience as the sculptors and painters used nonverbal communication to send all types of messages through their work. “Art is a form of communication,” explained Gloria. “Many of my students had never visited a museum before and were mesmerized by what they saw and didn’t want to leave.”

Front row from left to right: Angela Marshall, Sandra Kucmierz, Anna Tarleton, Chris Smith, Jasmine Terry and Anthony Sala. Back row from left to right: Renee Gordon, Claude Brice, Amber Anthony, Bradley Spray, John Whitesides, Crystal Ray, Ms. Gloria Hicks, Instructor, Tyrone Tarvin, Joseph Macon and Monte Willis.