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June 26, 2008

Around Campus

WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey and Governor Deval Patrick

President Berkey Witnesses
Signing of Life Sciences Bill

WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey was a guest at Gov. Deval Patrick’s June 16 ceremonial signing of the $1 billion Massachusetts life sciences bill. President Berkey is shown shaking hands with Gov. Patrick prior to the bill being signed into law.

The landmark legislation is a 10-year measure that includes $500 million in capital funding, $250 million for research grants, and $250 million in tax incentives for certified life sciences projects in Massachusetts.

Gov. Patrick signed the bill into law at the Joslin Diabetes Center just before he headed to San Diego, Calif. for an international biotechnology conference, BIO. (See story at left for more information).

WPI Featured at BIO 2008 Conference

WPI academic and research programs in the life sciences and bioengineering, along with the growth opportunities at Gateway Park, were featured last week at BIO 2008 in San Diego, Calif.

Running June 17-20, BIO 2008 was the largest global gathering for the biotechnology industry. More than 20,000 people from 70 countries, representing all facets of the industry, academia, and related trade organizations, attended.

A team of faculty members and senior administrators from WPI traveled to San Diego to showcase the university’s life sciences programs and interact with academic and commercial entities who may find synergies with the growing Central Massachusetts life sciences cluster. The WPI contingent worked with representatives from Massachusetts BioMedical Initiatives, Choose Worcester, and the City of Worcester as part of a new collaborative called “BioWorcester.” The group has launched a website to serve as a portal to the range of life sciences and economic development opportunities in the Worcester region.

Also at BIO 2008, PriceWaterhouseCoopers released the second edition of Super Cluster, a comprehensive analysis of the biotechnology and life sciences industry in Massachusetts. The 90-page report documents, among other findings, the continued concentration of life sciences companies and research labs in Central Massachusetts. Super Cluster includes a written “Perspective” from D’Anne Hurd, WPI’s general counsel and vice president of business development at Gateway Park. “With the build-out of WPI’s Gateway Park, and with the University of Massachusetts Medical School as the flagship for the Commonwealth’s $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, the greater Worcester region will continue to offer opportunities for companies across the continuum of the life sciences,” Hurd wrote.

New Banking Service on Campus

Jeffrey Solomon, executive vice president and CFO, announced during the Finance Division’s June 19 Community Briefing that TD BankNorth is coming to campus in mid-August. The bank is replacing the Commerce Bank ATM in the Campus Center. Meanwhile, the Sovereign Bank ATM at Daniels Hall will be removed (and will not be replaced), and another TD BankNorth ATM will be installed near East Hall (the new residence hall) once the ArtsWalk is complete.


Junior Robotics Challenge

WPI is sponsoring the Junior Robotics Challenge in August for incoming middle school students in grades 6-8. There will be two weeklong, on-campus sessions: August 4-8 and August 11-15. Both will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During each program, students will learn how to build robots and program them to perform tasks. The fee is $250.

To register or for more information, go to the JRC website.

Rodino to Retire from WPI

Denise Rodino, executive director for Corporate and Foundation Relations, has decided to leave WPI after almost 30 years of service to the university, announced Dexter Bailey, vice president for alumni relations and development.

“It goes without saying that Denise has been an important contributing member of the WPI community,” Bailey stated in a June 23 email to the campus community. “Her impact ranges from successfully completing three campaigns, to building the Advisory Boards designed to helping to advance the academic mission of WPI through working with our faculty, and to securing the many grants and gifts necessary to advance WPI’s leadership position in engineering and science education.”

Corporate and Foundation grants received during Denise’s tenure amount to tens of millions of dollars that have had a direct impact on the quality of our community, Bailey continued.

A celebration of Rodino’s contributions to WPI is being planned for August.

WPI Researchers Contribute to New Book on Bioengineering of Cells and Tissues

George Pins, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Katie Bush, a graduate student in the joint WPI-University of Massachusetts Medical School doctoral program in biomedical engineering and medical physics, have co-authored a chapter in the new book Micro- and Nanoengineering of the Cell Microenvironment: Technologies and Applications (Artech House). “This is a very fast-moving and exciting field of research,” Pins says. “There is a tremendous clinical need here, and investigators are now working at the nano-scale using technology to develop biomaterials that can not only treat the wound, but also promote tissue regeneration.”

Working at WPI’s Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park, Pins and his team focus on developing biomaterials that can promote wound healing and tissue regeneration by studying how cells interact with each other, and with the structural elements of the body. Their research is funded, in part, by grants from the Whitaker Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

In the chapter titled Nano-and Microtechnologies for the Development of Engineered Skin Substitutes, Pins and Bush explore the range of approaches now being tested and developed in the field, including the use of layers of engineered biomaterials and the development of scaffolds, which are three-dimensional frameworks that can be seeded with cells or growth factors and then implanted in a wound to promote healthy cell growth and tissue regeneration.

The new book, which covers a wide range of biomedical engineering topics, was edited by Ali Khademhosseini of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology, Jeffrey Borenstein of Draper Laboratory, Shuichi Takayama of the University of Michigan and Mehmet Toner of Harvard Medical School. Pins, who has a long-standing collaboration with Toner on tissue engineering projects, was invited by the editorial team to develop the chapter on engineered skin substitutes. “I hope this new book will be used by students, scientists, and researchers at academic and industrial labs, and will help in their work to develop promising new technologies to treat people who suffer from burns and other skin injuries,” Pins says.

President Berkey Elected Chair of AICUM Executive Committee

WPI President and CEO Dennis Berkey has been elected by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) to serve as chair of its Executive Committee of college and university presidents.

“President Berkey is a nationally recognized higher education leader,” said AICUM President Richard Doherty. “With experience as both a faculty member and administrator, he knows the issues faced by colleges very well. He is a dynamic advocate for the contributions independent higher education brings to our state’s innovation economy. We are fortunate to have him lead our Executive Committee.”

Berkey serves on numerous boards including UMass Memorial Health Care Inc., the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative, the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative, and Leaders for Education. He is a member of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, and has previously served as a trustee of Muskingum College, the Dibner Institute for Science and Technology, and the Huntington Theatre.

“I welcome the honor of chairing AICUM’s Executive Committee,” said President Berkey. “I have spent more than 30 years in independent higher education in Massachusetts, and it is my opinion that the role of the private colleges and universities has never been more vital to the Commonwealth than it is right now. We are the only state in the nation with more students enrolled in private colleges and universities than in the publics. These institutions are driving the innovation and producing the well trained labor force on which our state’s economy is critically dependent, no less than preparing our next generation of civic, corporate, and cultural leaders. I look forward to working with my fellow presidents and the AICUM executive staff on some exciting and important initiatives.”

Parking Garage Permits Available

The new East Hall parking garage will open soon. Because the garage will be operated on a permit-only basis with guaranteed space to permit holders, there will be a fee charged to those who are interested in using the garage. The first offer went to East Hall and Founders Hall residents, and the second went to commuter students. At this time, the university is making guaranteed parking available to faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis.

The annual cost of the parking permit is $350. With this permit, motorists will be guaranteed to find a parking space every day in the garage, which will be operated with a gate that is controlled with a special pass. Motorists will not be assigned to a particular space. Rather, they will be guaranteed to find space compared to all other campus parking, which comes with no guarantee of finding a parking space. Another feature is that almost all of the spaces are covered.

Interested faculty and staff should complete the attached application form and pay a $50 deposit (cash or check made out to WPI). Either visit the Campus Police station, located in the lower level of Founders Hall, or mail the application and deposit to WPI, Campus Police Department, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA, 01609. The remaining $300 parking fee will be expected before the parking permit is issued. (A payroll deduction option is available, too.)

Please contact Eva Parzych, Campus Police X-5433, or Bernice Lisk, Student Affairs X-6006, if you have any questions.

Danneels Featured on PBS

Erwin Danneels, associate professor of management, delivered the commentary on the June 19 edition of "Nightly Business Report," the popular national news program carried by 250 public broadcasting stations across the country. In his commentary, Danneels explained how organizations that encourage a frank and open exchange of ideas also tend to be the most innovative. The commentary was drawn from Danneels' research on the growth and renewal of corporations through product innovation, work that is funded by the National Science Foundation.

McGrade Appointed as WPI's New
Director of Graduate Admissions

Kristen Tichenor, vice president of enrollment management, announced last week the appointment of Michael McGrade as director of graduate admissions. He comes to WPI with 15 years of experience in higher education admissions.

At the University of Chicago, McGrade coordinated graduate admissions for the Department of Statistics and served as the administrator of its interdisciplinary Committee on Evolutionary Biology. Most recently, he has been a member of the faculty at Brandeis University, where he has taken a lead role in recruiting and selecting graduate students for their musicology program.

Recent Grants

Biology and Biotechnology

Chemical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Computer Science

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Cement is poured last week to create the ArtsWalk, which separates Founders Hall from East Hall (the new residence hall) on Boynton Street. Future plans are for the ArtsWalk to lead to Worcester Art Museum on Salisbury Street. This week, Boynton Street has been closed to through traffic to allow for construction.

East Hall is scheduled to open at the start of the new academic year.

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Thursday, June 26

Summer Concerts at Campus Center

The Campus Center and Student Activities Department is sponsoring WPI’s annual Summer Lunch Hour Concert Series, which starts July 9. Music will be performed on Wednesdays in July and August on the Campus Center Burt Terrace (back patio) from noon to 1 p.m. Talented musicians will entertain the audience by offering a variety of genres in this summer’s concert series. Free ice cream will be provided for the kick-off concert on July 9 featuring Dave Binder. Concerts will be held rain or shine. If there is rain, the concerts will be held in the Campus Center Forkey Commons (Food Court). The summer concert schedule follows:

This information is also provided on the Campus Center website.

Computer Tip

Reuse Text, Graphics, and More with Office 2007 Quick Parts

You may have used AutoText in Word 2003 to automate insertion of often-used text like names and addresses. In Microsoft Office 2007, Quick Parts enables you to reuse more than text. In Word 2007 and Outlook 2007 you can save any document content and its formatting, including text, photos, Microsoft SmartArt graphics, headers and footers, etc. to the Quick Part Gallery. These saved Quick Part items can be easily accessed as follows:

For assistance using Quick Parts or other features of Office 2007, don’t hesitate to contact the Helpdesk at x5888 or helpdesk@wpi.edu.

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Last modified: July 13, 2010 10:24:03