College of Technology’s grad program shows growth

Holly Mueller

Senior industrial technology major Ryan Clay works on repairing a machine during class. The technology students are combining robots and other machines to make a robotic assembly line. SAMANTHA RAINWATER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Michael Gershe has a lot to be proud of.

The academic adviser for the College of Technology has seen nearly 100 percent of his undergraduate students placed in the workforce.

“What other college can say that?” he said.

The graduate program has an excellent placement record as well, said Raj Chowdhury, dean of the College of Technology.

“We have graduated 30 students from the program with a 100 percent employment record,” he said.

The master’s program in technology was revised seven years ago to train the students better for the workforce, Chowdhury said. The program has been successful for many reasons, but it “takes professionals in this industry to train our students to make them better technology majors,” he said.

Trent True, graduate student in the College of Technology, uses his experience to teach undergraduate students, said Verna Fitzsimmons, professor in the College of Technology.

“He wears many hats,” she said. “He’s a graduate assistant, and he assists in teaching undergraduate courses.”

True said he plans on getting his doctoral degree after completing the graduate program and becoming a college professor.

True helps teach the computer-integrated manufacturing course, Fitzsimmons said, which is a hands-on class.

To put it simply, students try to get a 7-year-old machine to work again efficiently, said Sue Lamb, a graduate student specializing in engineering technology and automated manufacturing.

The students who graduate from the College of Technology are more marketable, said Jie Chen, graduate coordinator and assistant professor in the college.

“We have different ingredients to make them a little more special in the marketplace,” she said.

Chowdhury said the graduate program has grown 20 percent each year.

The College of Technology has a unique graduate program, which is state-of-the-art, state-of-the-business and state-of-the-industry, he said.

The aeronautics program also benefits from the graduate program’s model of working with real-world professionals, said Isaac Richmond Nettey, senior academic program director of aeronautics.

Nettey and his students have worked with two captains from commercial airlines.

It’s important for his students to work with aviation professionals to prepare them better for the aviation workforce, he said.

Contact College of Technology reporter Holly Mueller at