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New Governor Applauds Innovation at Keene State College

January 3, 2013
Assistant Professor Lisa Hix (left) and SPDI major Nick Bailey (right) show Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan some of the cutting-edge technology available in the TDS Center.
Assistant Professor Lisa Hix (left) and SPDI major Nick Bailey (right) show Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan some of the cutting-edge technology available in the TDS Center.

With her inauguration just days away, governor-elect Maggie Hassan paid a visit to the new Technology, Design, and Safety Center at Keene State College to learn more about the innovative curriculum, community and business partnerships, and the many ways that the college builds workforce readiness in the region.

Representatives from KSC, the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, School Administrative Unit 29, River Valley Community College, and several local businesses, were on hand to greet the new governor and discuss their partnership in the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) that is headquartered in the TDS Center. Through RCAM, founded in 2010, employees from the Monadnock Region of the state are able to take classes and participate in internships that develop the skills required by area manufacturing companies. This successful collaboration between businesses and educational institutions is the type of model that is important to the new governor’s Innovate NH initiative. As noted by William Gurney, Associate Superintendent of SAU 29, RCAM provides a viable model for collaboration between educational partners to provide services that support the advanced manufacturing workforce.

Lisa Hix, a member of the TDS faculty, led Governor-Elect Hassan on a tour of the TDS Center that included the Ideation Lab, the manufacturing area, and the architecture studio. Nick Bailey, a student in KSC’s Sustainable Product Design and Innovation (SPDI) program, explained his work on an adaptation to snow mobiles that will allow first responders to conduct ice rescues far more quickly resulting in a greater number of lives saved. Joshua Kulczyk, also a student in the college’s SPDI program, showed the governor-elect additional examples of innovative student work. Faculty member Christopher Gray described a prototype piece of equipment that is currently under development at the TDS Center that will allow firefighters to communicate the status of a fire through signals displayed in a series of door chocks.

In her remarks, the new governor expressed her appreciation for the learning process that takes students from the concept and design phases of a project, through production and marketing as well. She indicated that the collaborative models, demonstrated by the TDS Center and RCAM, were exactly what people across the State of New Hampshire wanted to see.

In order to underscore the importance of these collaborative efforts between business and education and their importance to workforce development, Senator Molly Kelly, Keene Mayor Kendall Lane, and Laura Keith King, President of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, also spoke with the governor-elect to share their experience and perspectives.