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Wilkes University Celebrates Successful Semester In Mesa Program With May 5 Event

Program Brings Students from Pennsylvania to Work with Arizona Businesses

Contact: Vicki Mayk

 (MESA, ARIZ. – May 5, 2014) Wilkes University affirmed its commitment to the City of Mesa and the Mesa business community with an event celebrating the successful completion of the University’s first Semester In Mesa program. Semester in Mesa brings students from the University’s Pennsylvania campus to Mesa to study and complete internships.

The event was on May 5 in the Mesa Center for Higher Education, 245 West Second St., in Mesa. It included remarks by Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy and presentations by Wilkes undergraduate business and engineering students who spent the spring semester 2014 interning with Mesa businesses. Wilkes presented each participating business with a framed certificate and photo to thank them for their support of the program.


The Semester In Mesa program was developed as another component of Wilkes University’s participation in the H.E.A.T. (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace, Technology/Tourism) Initiative for Economic Development in Mesa, designed to increase college competition and spur economic growth. 


Ten students have spent the past five months in Mesa, interning with the City of Mesa Engineering Resources Department, Entrepix, Dashboard, Phoenix Marriott Mesa, Neighborhood Economic Development Corp. and Visit Mesa. The students benefited by the chance to intern with companies not available closer to home and by taking advantage of the cultural opportunities available in Mesa. It is patterned after the University’s successful Semester in Washington.


Semester in Mesa, also provided a way to build brand recognition by showcasing the quality of a Wilkes education by placing students as interns in area businesses


“Introducing a new institution into a new market requires time and effort. Realistically, we don’t expect to have high name recognition among the general population in what is a relatively short time,” says Michael Speziale, Wilkes vice president for strategic initiatives. “Programs like this are helping to grow our presence.”’

A list of the Wilkes student interns and their host companies follows, along with some examples of the projects they have completed: 

City of Mesa Engineering Resources Department: Douglas Cowley and Andrew Polzella, mechanical engineering majors, and Joseph Zack and Thomas Zelinka, electrical engineering majors, interned with this city department which is responsible for providing assistance with the analysis, design and bidding of all of the City of Mesa's capital projects.


Internship Project: Students Zack and Cowley performed a detailed analysis of an expansion of the city’s district cooling system that serves 19 buildings with one central cooling plant. Students Polzella and Zelinka designed plans for a compressed natural gas filling station for vehicles.

Dashboard:Created by entrepreneur Mark Jamnik to help business executives better understand the psychology of sales, Dashboard is a strategic motivational program that emphasizes plans, systems and sales focus to help clients achieve peak sales performance. Sara Hagenbach, accounting major, interned there.

Entrepix: The company provides production, engineering and technology development services to customers in the semiconductor and related industries. Daniel Lykens, electrical and mechanical engineering double major and Alex Planer, mechanical engineering major, interned there.

Internship Project: Students Lyken and Planer completed five projects for Entrepix, including development of a bulk chemical distribution system and a platen motor test fixture. The pair also produced a video for one of the company’s customers showing the process of a MirraTrak machine.

 Note: Follow student Dan Lykens internship experience at Entrepix on his blog: http://wilkesumesa.wordpress.com/

NEDCO (Neighborhood Economic Development Corp.): This non-profit corporation is a partnership between private and public sectors, providing alternative financing programs throughout the state of Arizona. Ryan Joyce, finance major, interned there.

Phoenix Marriott Mesa: Alexis Gildea, finance major, interned at the hotel. Built in 1985, the newly renovated 12-story hotel located in the heart of the Phoenix East Valley is 12 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Visit Mesa: J. Brandon Carey, business marketing major, interned with this non-profit marketing company that was formed to promote the City of Mesa and its partnering East Valley communities. Through advertising promotions and sales incentives, this organization markets Mesa as a venue for business meetings, leisure and corporate travel and showcases its proximity to sports and cultural venues.

About Wilkes University

Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university provides its students with the experience, mentoring and education necessary for career and intellectual development as well as personal growth. Named one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilkes offers the doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees and more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing. For more information, visit www.wilkes.edu

Published On: 5/9/2014
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