Central New York benefits from innovative University-industry partnership
Central New York benefits from innovative University-industry partnershipNovember 23, 2004Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
After working for 15 years as a mechanic, Kevin Warner decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related field. He enrolled in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) and began studying electrical engineering. A native of East Syracuse, married father and homeowner, he was invested in the community and had every intention of remaining in Central New York. He realized, though, that good opportunities could require him to relocate.
Near the completion of his studies in May, Warner was recruited by one of his engineering professors, Ercument Arvas, to participate in the Renaissance Internship Program. Warner began working as a summer intern at Anaren Inc., in East Syracuse, focusing on research and development efforts. He was hired full-time as a project engineer three months later.
Established in 2000 with funding secured by Assemblyman William Magnarelli, the Renaissance Internship Program places student interns at local technology companies in the cluster areas of environmental systems, biomedical systems, electronics technologies, manufacturing and software engineering. Each student works 20 hours per week during the academic year and 30 hours in the summer while maintaining a full academic schedule. Magnarelli has secured $600,000 in funding and nearly 30 internships have been offered since the program’s inception. Magnarelli visited Anaren on Nov. 19 to meet Warner and tour the company’s facilities.
“Funding for the Renaissance Program has given Syracuse University engineering students the opportunity to provide local companies with innovative ideas,” says Magnarelli. “In the process, the program has fostered a lasting connection between engineering students and Central New York companies. I am proud to have secured $100,000 for this year’s Renaissance program.”
In previous years, interns have been placed at Anaren, Carrier Corp., New Venture Gear, Philips Broadband Networks Inc., PPC Inc., Sonnet Software Inc., and Welch Allyn. Currently, five interns are working within three companies: Anaren, PPC and Sonnet Software.
Eric F. Spina, the Douglas D. Danforth Dean of ECS, and his predecessor, Edward Bogucz, were instrumental in establishing the partnership, which is overseen by SU engineering professor Ercument Arvas.
“The Renaissance Internship Program is a win-win situation for both the University and the participating companies,” Spina says. “Our students benefit by gaining real-world, practical experience, and the companies in turn have a deeper pool of highly-qualified candidates to recruit. This program is a shining example of University-industry collaboration, which benefits the region as a whole.”
Anaren has sponsored interns each year since the program’s inception.
“The Renaissance Internship Program has been instrumental in attracting and retaining the engineering talent that technology-based companies require to innovate, grow and create jobs in CNY,” says Larry Sala, president and CEO of Anaren Inc.
Warner says the program was key in enabling him to stay in Central New York. “If I hadn’t been presented with this opportunity, I may have had to move elsewhere,” says Warner, who recently purchased a home near Anaren’s headquarters. “I have been very fortunate, and I plan to stay here for a good long while.”