Navy rear admiral visits Black Hawk College

Black Hawk College President Dr. Gene Gardner and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Tilghman Payne

Black Hawk College administrators, educators and students recently were privileged to meet with U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Tilghman Payne, commander of the Navy Region Midwest, at the college’s Quad-Cities Campus in Moline.

Payne was in the Quad Cities as part of Quad Cities Navy Week 2011. The Quad Cities was one of only 21 communities selected to host Navy Week this year.

One of the goals of Navy Week is to increase awareness in communities that do not have a significant Navy presence. The event offered activities and programs to help the public experience the wide variety of jobs in the U.S. Navy, meet some of the Navy’s sailors and learn about the Navy’s critical missions and its broad ranging capabilities.

“Education is a key piece of our national security,” Payne said.

The rear admiral congratulated Black Hawk College for the varied innovative programs the college has instituted in new materials science, engineering technology and sustainable energies.

“We help students change their lives,” said Dr. Michael Rivera, dean of instruction and student learning.

Payne learned about the college’s new Sustainable Technologies Building from Michael Phillips, vice president for administration. The 13,000-square-foot facility will have high-tech classrooms, an instructional wind turbine, geothermal heating/cooling and a new materials science lab. The college hopes to begin construction this fall and open the building in the fall of 2012.

Several Black Hawk College faculty members discussed the college’s sustainable energy and engineering technology programs.

BHC student Ricardo Cardoso; Dr. Michael Rivera, dean of instruction and student learning; and Dr. Adebayo Badmos, assistant professor of engineering technologies

Dr. Adebayo Badmos, assistant professor of engineering technologies, said materials science is the backbone of engineering. He also discussed the college’s initiative to start a new and unique materials science and technology program in the fall of 2012.

Glenn Saddoris, professor of engineering technology, mentioned that the college is hosting the annual ASM Materials Day Camp and presented Payne and his colleagues with key chains made with the college’s uPrinter.

The specialized printer can make 3-D models from designs developed by students using a computer-aided design (CAD) program. The souvenir oval key chains were made of strong ABS plastic imprinted with “Navy Week Quad Cities 2011” on one side and “Black Hawk College” on the other side.

Bruce Boyd, associate dean of sustainable energies/careers, noted that Black Hawk College has been at the forefront of campus recycling efforts for 20 years. The college also was the first in Illinois to offer a Sustainable Energy Certificate, a 50-hour program that is designed for direct entry into the job market after four semesters.

Ravi Manimaran, assistant professor of engineering technology, demonstrated the 3-D energy simulator/geothermal calculator that the college created through a three-year National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education grant.

Debbie Collins, professor of computer information processing and chair of the Engineering, Computer and Apprenticeship Technologies Department, discussed outreach efforts to draw females into science and technology careers.

In 2006, the college launched a three-day Digital Divas camp for high school girls. Participants explore career possibilities in science, engineering and information technology through hands-on activities.

Dr. Badmos also is working on a project to help increase the number of minorities in engineering careers.

The rear admiral and his colleagues were welcomed to Black Hawk College by college president Dr. Gene Gardner and Black Hawk College student Chad Stephenson and 2011 Black Hawk College grad Ricardo Cardoso, both representatives of the BHC Military Students and Veterans Club.

Dr. Rose Campbell, executive vice president and vice president of instruction and ITS, gave an overview of the college and noted that for the second consecutive year, Black Hawk College has been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine.

Biology students Amy Komadino and Abigail Holmes asked the admiral for his advice on how to succeed in life. Payne’s recommendation – Do what you love, not what makes the most money.