Thursday, November 21, 2013

Materials Joining Professor Wins Award for Teaching

It was a joy to be in Chicago this week at North America's largest gathering of the welding industry known as the Fabtech conference. 

Our materials joining engineering students were there to present research and man a LeTourneau University booth. Dean DeLap and Dr. Adonyi presented updates to 80 LETU alumni who gathered at dinner in the McCormick Center. 

One of the surprises of the day was an honor to one of our own faculty members - Robert W. Warke, associate professor of engineering and engineering technology. Warke was awarded the 2013 Adams Memorial Membership Award.

Sponsored by the American Welding Society, the Adams Memorial Membership Award recognizes educators for outstanding teaching activities in their undergraduate and postgraduate engineering institutions. 

Warke has conducted research and taught materials engineering, welding metallurgy and design of structural welding at LETU since 2003. Previously, he worked 17 years in the welding industry, consulting and performing applied research and development. A licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas, Warke earned his bachelor's degree in welding engineering in 1986 from LETU and his master's in metallurgical and materials engineering from Illinois State of Technology in 1994. 

According to the AWS website, the AWS Awards are designed to recognize men and women in the industrial, education and research communities who have made distinctive contributions to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied processes, including joining, brazing and soldering, cutting and thermal spraying.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Creating a Better Longview

I enjoy reminding our community that we are "Longview's university." Every great city has a great university and in a multitude of ways, LETU contributes to the quality of life in Longview.

An example is our sponsorship of the Chamber of Commerce's "Intercity Visit" program. For two years now, it is has been my pleasure to lead a delegation of citizens from Longview to visit and learn best practices of civic progress from another city.

Dr. Lunsford tours Ft. Collins, Colo. with group from Longview Chamber

A year ago, the delegation visited Chattanooga, Tenn. This fall, we visited Ft. Collins, Colo.

The Fort Collins community has redeveloped its downtown into a vibrant business district. The city and the local university (Colorado State) work together. Ft. Collins is a place that has emphasized quality of life as a tool to creating jobs and developing economically.

This week, I chaired an early morning meeting with the delegation to identify what we saw in Ft. Collins that might be useful to the future of Longview. Several good ideas are emerging.

We've assembled a talented group of people on our campus. We all have something to contribute to making a bright future for Longview. God has put us here for this time and place. For me, it feels like a responsibility: to give what I can so that I can someday say I left Longview a little better than I found it.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Board of Trustees Visits LETU Campus

Today, members of our LETU Board of Trustees are on campus, having traveled from all over the country to our semi-annual board meeting. During this meeting, we will welcome four new trustees onto the board, and say goodbye to three who are completing their terms.

The four new trustees include Bill Anderson, David Dykes, Paul Montgomery and Doug Roszhart:

Bill Anderson of Colorado Springs, Colo., is an LETU alumnus who works as a leadership consultant and is the former CEO of Christian Booksellers Association. Anderson is returning to the board after his previous term serving as a trustee from 2007 to 2011.
David Dykes of Tyler, Texas, is the pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, one of the leading churches in America in missions and evangelism.  Dykes had been pastor to Marsha and me since 1999.
Paul Montgomery of southeastern Pennsylvania is a financial market analyst who has served on our board before and led the management of our university endowment. He currently is director of portfolio research at an investment advisory firm he owns with his son.
Doug Roszhart of Greenville, Texas is an engineer with L-3 Communications who earned his engineering degree at LETU in 1981. He will serve as the new alumni representative on the board. He chairs the university's alumni council and has recruited numerous LETU engineers.

During this board meeting, business items will include approving the list of our December graduates, along with faculty promotions and tenure. The board also will approve the final version of the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget. New board officers will be elected to new one-year terms.

Also at this meeting, we will express our great appreciation as we say goodbye to three trustees who are completing their terms on the board, including Joe Nowiczewski of Houston; Wayne Trull of Arkansas; and Jim Mauldin of Longview. We are deeply grateful for their faithful service and the love they have for LeTourneau University.

Friday, November 1, 2013

LETU Partners with American Eagle Airlines

Usually when we talk "pipelines" in Texas, we are talking oil and gas. This week we are celebrating another type of pipeline:  a partnership between LETU and American Eagle Airlines. Congratulations to LETU Aeronautical Science dean Fred Ritchey, Chair of Flight Science Department Lauren Bitikofer and the LETU aviation faculty for the great work in establishing the pilot pipeline agreement with American Eagle Airlines! 

This new agreement we signed Monday at the Abbott Center opens a pathway for LETU flight graduates to transition seamlessly into careers as first officers with American Eagle Airlines.

American Eagle Airlines Captain Richard King, who signed the agreement with me, stated that some of their best and brightest pilots have come from LeTourneau University. We know we have an excellent program, and it is always encouraging to hear corporate America agree. 

King said American Eagle Airlines needs to hire about 50 new pilots each month. The agreement is a win-win-win for LETU, for AEA and for our students. 

This new program also provides an incentive for our flight graduates to remain at the university as certified flight instructors while gaining more flight experience and amassing the required flight hours in the cockpit.

Students will have to meet specific criteria for consideration.

Once the candidate is placed in a flight school, like LETU, as a certified flight instructor, AEA will enter into an employment agreement with the pipeline instructor to be an employee of American Eagle Airlines, eligible for health benefits and travel privileges. And if hired by American Eagle Airlines as a First Officer, the individual will remain in that position for two years from the start of First Officer training.

Pipeline Instructors who enter into First Officer training and sign a two-year letter of commitment will receive a $10,000 scholarship, or signing bonus, from American Eagle.
This pipeline is another great reason to study aviation at LETU. Tell your friends and share this news-let's grow the enrollment of LETU's flight program.