Integrating Academia & Industry with University of West Florida’s Sea3D Lab

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Martha Saunders, President at University of West Florida joined the podcast to talk university-industry partnerships and their Sea3D lab’s missional pivot during COVID.

We are part of this community and wewant to convert what we know how to do to benefit the community you're listening to enroment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to enromant growthuniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricOlson with helicks education and we're here today with Dr Martha SaundersPresident at University of West Florida. President Saunders welcome to the show.Thank you. I'm glad to be here really excited to talk with you today aboutinnovative ways to integrate academia and industry, specifically with your Cthred lab. Before we dig into that, can...

...you give the listeners a little bit ofbackground on both yourself and University of West Florida wet sure theUniversity of West Florida is one of the twelve universities in the StateUniversity System of Florida. We are located in Pensacola Florida, which isthe Western most city in Florida, Rigdt on the beautiful guff of Mexico, iawayshave to say with the most beautiful beaches in the world, our mayor Paus usthe western gate to the Sunshine State and so that it kind of puts USteographically. We are just fun fact. We are the only university in Florida,that's on central time. Okay, Florida th, the central time thezone goesalmost from where we are to Tallahasse, so that always adds to the fun whenwe're having statewide meetings are universities by a fifty three years old.We are a comprehensive university, but...

...with strong, strong science programs,very strong cypersecurity programs- and I think well, we've been recognized forour innovation as well, so yeah, I'm proud of the work that we do. We havethirteenthsand students and a tremendous amount of agility foruniversity yeah. I have been president here, I'm Goin. Let me think a minuteto thatsifteen- and this is my third presidentcy. My first one was atUniversity of Wisconsin White Water and then my almo mater called, and I wentto the University of Southern Mississippi as president there andthought I had retired and we had kept a beach house here andwe thought great we're going to retire, and then I got a call if I could comeand help them out at Youbup and is so...

...here I am and back since two thousand and twelveso ten. So this is a labor of love. For me, I got my start at UWL as a facultymember worked up the ranks and had some wonderful opportunities, and when I wasa dean here, I was given the opportunity to go in a grandprofessional adventure that led to the other presidency's, and so the work I'mdoing here is really meaningful to me. We do a lot of good for a lot ofstudents in a relatively rural part of Florida, they're lucky to have you. Youare doing amazing work and I appreciate the institutional background becauseit's so relevant to this conversation today to kick us off. Could you give usa high level overview of your S, three Dlev? Well, the the SITHRY delayb, it's an addative manufacturinglaboratory and it serves as a hub for...

...multidisciplinary research, innovationand discovery in the high demand field of advitive manufacturing. We havelocated it. I mean here is the the coolest tippest smartest stuff that youknow that we're doing, and it is in our historic district. You know mestled in to the Museum ofCommerce and it's just great fun to go there because you walk and you see allof the industrial see the museum exhibits with all of the industrialchanges over. You know hundreds of years and then there's the Se tredlow,let's talk goals and who the lab is designed to serve when you build suchan ambitious lab like this very aligne to your strategic plan in support ofcommunity and economic engagement. What are your students goals? Whateducational and Career Readiness Goals...

...do you hope the lab can serve? Wellwe're looking for true collaboration. I think it's interesting to note thatsome of the early lab directors we had an engineering student and an artstudent, and so we, you know, we see a wonderful merger of science andTechnology and Engineering and art and math there. So we see an awful lot ofcollaboration as well for our students and then also for the community and thefaculty. They you know, they're able to come in and use the lab test. Some oftheir ideas build prototypes and people in the community do the same thing. Wedo everything from helping them develop prototypes, for you know new ideas, newinstruments to replicating parts of machines that they can't find anymore.So it's sort of a full service SA Three...

D lab it's such an amazing resource foryour students and then how about from industries advantage point? How do youhope local employers see you and the lab and can add value to the lab aswell as benefiting from it? Well, we certainly hope they see us as theresource that we are. You know we are part of this community and we want toconvert what we know how to do to benefit the community, but also youknow we get these. You know the local industries come in and our students gethands on experience, a faculty ore able to conduct research as well, and so wehave a number of of local businesses that come in and it's just fascinating.You know I get excited it's just to watch they get into that lab andsomething magical happens. They they start messing about...

...with you know, with the equipment andnew ideas get generated, and that's that's essential education. It is.Indeed can you also talk about your labs recent pivot during covid? Youhave this amazing three Te print lab. There is an amazingly high need forCovid PPE right now talk about what you and you Dow. You have decided to do tohelp. Well, they got busy, and in March, when you know we all essentially justwent home and everything changed regarding Covid, the team at the SE,thre D lab started manufacturing full face shields for healthcare workers,and we are still doing them and they were working seven days a week,producing these free of charge for local healthcare workers and thefunding to do that came from several grants from the like golf power. Localbusinesses gave us the money for the...

...materials and we're still doing it andthere's still a need, and I'm happy to be able to to do our part. It's anamazing story. We are a grateful that you are. How has this C thret lab modelinfluenced how you think about university industry partnerships andwhat they can be and what you might want to create? Next, as our strategicplan evolves, whone are the things that we have found as an opportunity for us,but also very important is to leverage regional strengths and regionalresources with what we do, and so you know the model of the lab is okay. We have engineers and all kindsof faculty who do all kinds of things. We have students who are learning andwho are creative and then you know, industry can come in and- and I guessmaybe give us the practical sense of...

...all right and here's what's needed-boys and girls and Weve Ben. We put our heads together and that's what issupposed to happen, that that is providing real on the ground productsthat serve an industry and then, of course, our students get thi greatexperience and then the local industries very likely are going toinvite our students to stay and work with them. So everybody's well servedwith that and it's kind of something that it's greater than the sum of itsparts. Yeah and I think that's the magic that is the magic win win that we areall looking for thanks. So much for your thoughts to Dor Saunders, any nextteps advice for universities looking to establish relationships andpartnerships with local industry, like you have in a way that best servestheir students. Where should they start? I think many schools most of us haveadvisory groups. The variof colleges...

...and academic programs, not first advice,is really listen to them. You know wee. Sometimes, universities, don't alwaysmove real, fast and and knowledge is more evolutionary than revolutionarysometimes, but we have, I think, we're very lucky that we have industrialpartners. We have advisors that come in and say hey. You know you, yourgraduates need to know how to do more of this, and maybe not so much of that,and if we tune in and listen and and respond in an agile way, then I thinkthat's key. Listen First, I love that Bhat last advice, President Saunders.Thank you so much of your time today, what's the best place for listeners toconnect with you, if they have any follow up questions well, they can goto uwf, dot, Edu and there's a president's page there and that's t themost direct route, also on twitter, Dr...

MD, Saunders and Instagram, Dr MDSaunders as well. I think that is the first time that a president hasvolunteered their instagram information. So, even though you thought this wasyour last top, I'm glad you are paving new ways for higered. For Presidenciesand for Yewf, specifically thanks so much for joining us today, PresidentSaunders, it's my great pleasure, have a great weekend attracting today's newpost. Traditional learners means adopting new enromant strategies.Keeliks educations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollmentgrowth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helex has just published the second edition of theirenrolment growth playbook, with fifty percent brand new content on howinstitutions can solve today's most pressing andromant growth challengesdownload it today for free at Helocks,...

Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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