New Robots at Kettering University

Oct 12, 2007

Seven were initiated into the A-Section Robots Society, which recognizes leadership on campus.

Six students and one faculty member have been initiated into the prestigious Kettering University Robot Society for A-Section. They are: Gadryn Higgs, Jonathon Lacy, Serena Lynch, Matthew Schwartz, Daniela Thompson and Claire Utrecht. Dr. Neil McCarthy '65, associate professor of Business, was named an honorary Robot.

The Kettering Robot Society recognizes and honors students and other individuals who have provided direction and leadership in extracurricular activities. When the society was founded in 1927 it was called MADHATTERS. On initiation day, new members still wear Derby hats and carry canes to preserve the "Madhatter" tradition.

Members are selected through an evaluation system where each Robot nominee is evaluated against the three ideals of the Robot Society: leadership which is creative; service that transcends itself; and citizenship that demonstrates responsibility. In addition, a Robot candidate must be in the top 75 percent of their class.

Kettering's curriculum is based on professional cooperative education, with students attending classes and working in their field of study on rotating three-month terms year round. Each class is divided into A and B sections.

The 2007 A-Section Robots are:
Gadryn Higgs, a senior Mechanical Engineering major from Freeport, Bahamas.
Higgs first came to Kettering University in the summer of 2003 as a student in the Academically Interested Minorities (AIM) Program. He is currently president of the International Club, multi-cultural representative on Student Senate, vice president of Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering honor society and serves as historian for Tau Beta Pi national engineering society. Higgs is also a resident advisor on campus and is active in the Student Ambassador program. Previously, he served as a tutor in the KAGLE Mentoring Program and has tutored for the Office of Multicultural Student Initiatives. He plans to pursue graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering.

Jonathan Lacy, a senior Mechanical Engineering major from Edwardsville, Ill.
Lacy is involved with the Greek Community on campus, holding several positions within his fraternity, Sigma Chi, and also in the Intra-Fraternity Council (IFC). In Sigma Chi Lacy has served as social chair, president and as Rush chair. During his time as president of Sigma Chi, the chapter was named 2006-2007 Chapter of the Year at Kettering and he was awarded both President of the Year and Greek Man of the Year. In IFC he served as social chair and president.

Serena Lynch, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Munger, Mich.
Lynch is a co-op employee with General Motors Powertrain in Bay City, Mich., and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. She is the current vice president of the Pan-Hellenic Council and is Marketing/PR chair for 2008. She has been a COMPASS Crew member for the past two years and a New Women Student Mentor. COMPASS is a student leader group focused on orientation for freshmen. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, where she currently serves as secretary. In the last academic year, she was a member of the associate provost's Student Advisory Committee and of St. Jude's Up Til Dawn leadership board. Along with her activities at Kettering, she is also actively involved in General Motor's Women's Affinity Group. Lynch plans to pursue an MBA.

Matthew Schwartz, a senior Mechanical Engineering major from Byron Center, Mich.
He is a co-op employee at Detroit Diesel in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is involved in Kettering's Engineer's Without Borders (EWB) chapter since 2006. In EWB he served as a project manager for the Climbing Through Flint project and is currently serving as the project manager for the group's international project in, Mexico. He is also the treasurer for Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. Schwartz plans to pursue a full-time engineering position and/or a graduate degree in Engineering.

Daniela Thompson, a senior Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering dual major from Waterford, Mich.
Thompson is a co-op employee of General Motors Pontiac Assembly Center and serves as student body president on Student Senate. She is a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and has participated in the Student Ambassador Program. She is also a resident tutor and student instructor in the new Freshmen Orientation class. In addition, Thompson is a staff member of "The Technician" student newspaper.

Off- campus Thompson takes an active role in the Women in Manufacturing (WIM) organization, a branch of GM's Affinity Group for Women, and participates with PATH Lighthouse in Pontiac, which offers shelter services for women and children. Also, this past spring she participated with Pontiac Assembly Center's A World In Motion (AWIM) as a volunteer instructor. AWIM, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers and GM, brings science and math into classrooms through teachers and industry volunteers working together. She plans to attend University of Michigan at Dearborn for a dual degree master's program for an MBA and an MSE in Industrial Operations Engineering with a specialty in Design and Manufacturing.

Claire Utrecht, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Troy, Mich.
Utrecht is a member of Alpha Phi sorority, serving as director of recruitment. She has also served as secretary for Pan-Hellenic Council and secretary of Engineers Without Borders. In 2008 she will serve as Pan-Hellenic president and Engineers Without Borders president.

Utrecht was recently a member of a research team that traveled to Mexico to explore ways to bring clean water to a small desert village. Post college, she plans to join the Fellows Program with the Peace Corps and continue her education.

Neil McCarthy '65
Neil McCarthy is a General Motor Institute (GMI/Kettering) graduate of 1965, with a bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and a concentration in Material Science. He earned an MBA from the University of Miami in 1967 and a Ph.D. in Managerial Economics in 1977 from Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute. He returned to Kettering/GMI in 1973 as a faculty member responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in accounting and finance. McCarthy has worked extensively for 12 years to develop exchange programs for Kettering University students. He is responsible for the current undergraduate exchange program with Reutlingen University in Germany and is currently developing the first graduate exchange program at Kettering, which already has agreements with Reutlingen University and Esslingen University in Germany. He is currently working on establishing another exchange program with a Chinese University to be launched in the near future.

Written by Dawn Hibbard