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The Minuteman

Friday, December 18, 2015


-- The School of Business has named Prasad Vemala the director of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Vemala, an assistant professor of management, holds a Ph.D. in international business and finance from Texas A & M University, and he earned a master's degree in computer science and an MBA from the University of South Dakota. He received a bachelor's degree in engineering and computer science from Bangalore University, and he was previously on the business faculty at McNeese State University in Louisiana. Among Vemela's responsibilities in his new role:

  • developing strategic alliances within the university and the external community,
  • organizing and conducting speaker series, business plan competitions, and conferences related to entrepreneurship and innovation,
  • networking with entrepreneurial organizations.

EDITOR'S NOTE -- The Minuteman will return on Friday, Jan. 8. Happy Holidays!


-- The RMU chapter of the Alpha Chi academic honor society named as an honorary member David Majka, vice president for strategic planning and quality assurance, during its Nov. 15 induction ceremony. Majka gave the keynote address at the event, which was featured in the Dec. 4 Minuteman.

-- Priyadarshan Manohar, an associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, has been selected by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to attend the ABET program evaluator training.  As the ABET invitation says, Manohar is among a very elite group of individuals selected to represent their professional society at this ABET training. Manohar's selection was approved by the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) Accreditation Committee and the TMS Board of Directors. Manohar will undergo extensive training which includes on-line, pre-work, and face-to-face training at ABET as a program evaluator in Spring 2016. He will then be assigned to a campus visit in Fall 2016 as an observer with an experienced program evaluator before becoming a full ABET program evaluator/auditor himself. 

-- Vice Provost Larry Tomei was selected as a member of the officiating crew this year at the WPIAL AAA football championship at Heinz Field. Read more about Tomei's officiating career.


-- The Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program will host a two-day “Women and Transformational Leadership Symposium” starting Thursday, Jan. 21, with a keynote address by RMU alumna and accomplished financial executive Jada Grandy. The symposium will examine why women are underrepresented in corporate and political leadership positions despite obtaining higher levels of education than men over the past 40 years and demonstrating that companies led by women have outperformed their competition in several measures.

A reception to kick off the symposium will take place at 4 p.m. Jan. 21, in the Sewall Center at RMU’s Moon Township campus. Grandy, the senior vice president and Community Reinvestment Act director at Fifth Third Bank, will begin her talk at 5 p.m. The speech is titled “The Transformational Power of Mentoring: Preparing Women for Leadership” and is free and open to the public. Space is limited, however, so please RSVP here

Grandy is based in Charlotte and leads the community affairs, community development and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance strategic initiatives in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia. She oversees strategic community partnerships and opportunities to transform and impact communities served. Grandy has received the Women’s Financial Empowerment Award, the Urban League Young Professionals of Central Carolinas 2013 Leadership Award, the Women of Achievement Award in Banking in 2011, and was and named one of the New Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40 in 2009. Grandy earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2000 and an MBA in 2004, both from RMU.  

The symposium will continue on Saturday, Jan. 23, with a series of workshops open only to the students and faculty/staff mentors in the Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program.

-- The School of Education and Social Sciences is once again hosting the Girls and Women in Sport Symposium on Thursday, Feb. 4, to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sport Day. The event kicks off with a breakfast keynote speech by Nicole LaVoi, associate director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports at the University of Minnesota. Her talk is titled "Was 2015 a Tipping Point for Girls and Women in Sport?" Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., and breakfast and LaVoi's talk begins at 8 in the International Suite of Sewall Center. Following breakfast, two concurrent scholarly sessions will take place at 9:30, and then two more at 10:45. RSVP is required for the breakfast to Renee Augostine at Look for more details about this event after the New Year.

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