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MMC Faculty Member Receives IBM Award


Published Date4\13\2012
Sr. Bonita Gacnik, PhD, chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and professor of mathematics and computer science at Mount Marty College, has received a 2011 IBM Faculty Award. In his letter of congratulations, Jeffrey Brody, IBM Faculty Award Program, IBM University Programs World-Wide, wrote, "This award is highly competitive and recognizes the quality of your program and its importance to our industry." Only 131 faculty members worldwide received the IBM Faculty Award in 2011 and only 57 awards went to U.S. faculty members.

Sr. Bonita remarked, "To say that I am excited about this is a gross understatement! I am very pleased and honored that IBM has recognized Mount Marty’s new interdisciplinary leadership program with this prestigious award."

The IBM Faculty Awards are meant to foster collaboration between researchers at leading universities worldwide and those in IBM research, development, and services organizations, as well as to promote courseware and curriculum innovation to stimulate growth in disciplines and geographies that are strategic to IBM. Nominations for these awards must be initiated by someone within IBM. Wendy Murphy, Program Manager in IBM's University Relations, nominated Gacnik for the award. According to Murphy, "Mount Marty's adoption of the spirit of the concepts in our guide on service science, management and engineering is a terrific way to get students exposed to multi-disciplinary skills." She continued that she was delighted to work with Gacnik, MMC's leading force behind the new program, and aiding Gacnik in selecting what was gleaned from the guide to fit the needs of MMC's students and constituencies. This collaboration resulted in the Mount Marty College interdisciplinary Leadership Program Minor, launched in the fall of 2011.

Mount Marty College is the first undergraduate institution in the world to launch an adaptation of IBM's Service Science, Management, and Engineering (SSME) curriculum as an undergraduate interdisciplinary leadership program. The program adds value in the areas of professional preparedness and marketability to every program participant's degree. The principles and theories presented in the classroom are applied in the workplace through case studies and community outreach activities. The program has been designed for MMC's best and brightest and its curriculum is designed to produce students with the skills needed to enter today's workforce. Upon completion students are ready to contribute immediately to the economic and innovation agendas of their employers. The leadership courses are also available to entry-level management and administrative professionals.

Mount Marty College plans to use the monies associated with the award to fund campus leadership initiatives. For more information on the IBM award or the Service Science Leadership minor please contact Sr. Bonita Gacnik at (605) 668-1582 or bgacnik@mtmc.edu.