German connection valuable; Science Olympiad, Packaging Jamboree inspire

An enlightening visit with a great German partner

Last month I had the honor of representing UW-Stout at the Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany. We are a strategic partner with this university along with UW-Platteville, Purdue University, Penn State-Harrisburg and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

The partnership is partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to facilitate faculty and student exchanges. More than a dozen UW-Stout faculty and staff have headed to Germany to teach, guest-lecture or explore related opportunities. In addition, we have had several students visit, including Brenna Lesnar, Rebecca Wereley and Joe Rosewicz.

While in Darmstadt, Dean Chuck Bomar and I attended the seminar Strategic Partnerships Project: Creating a Transatlantic Applied Science Network in Engineering and presented to the participants on UW-Stout’s Role as a Polytechnic University.

The partnership is providing excellent opportunities to teach and study in Darmstadt, and it represents a growing array of international education opportunities at UW-Stout. These excellent opportunities of strategic importance will strengthen staff and student understanding of other cultures and of today’s global economy. A University Communications news release has more information about our Darmstadt relationship.

State Science Olympiad a preview of the upcoming national event


If the state Science Olympiad is anything like the national event, we are in for quite a treat in a month.  I had the honor of giving a welcome and then presenting medals to the first-place finishers last weekend during the event, some of which was held in Johnson Fieldhouse.


About 1,500 students competed in the state event from about 43 high schools and 29 middle schools. Competition categories include life-personal-social, earth-space, physical-chemistry, technology and inquiry. The technology category, for example, includes competition in air trajectory, bridge building, robot arm, mystery design, electric vehicle and Wright stuff.


The national Science Olympiad will be held on campus May 18-21. This will be a huge event and a real jewel in our crown as a polytechnic university, with more than 7,000 people expected to attend.

Packaging Jamboree a ‘game-changing’ event


I have a weakness for the packaging program on campus because my daughter Erica is a proud and successful graduate. That’s one of the reasons I gladly accepted the invitation to say a couple of words and help hand out awards at the Packaging Jamboree held Sunday through Tuesday on campus.


The title of the event was Game-Changing Innovation, and it certainly was attended by a lot of present and future innovators. The major organizations involved in the Jamboree include the Fibre Box Association, the Institute of Packaging Professionals and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation.


I was honored that the organizers asked me to be a part of their event