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Rose-Hulman/Shelbyville/Shelby County IMPaCT Partnership Earns Local Government Cooperation Award, Marks First-Year Successes

September 18, 2014

Shelbyville Mayor Speaking

Strong Community Support: Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun has been a strong advocate of the IMPaCT partnership since opening discussions in 2012 with Rose-Hulman officials. (Photo by Gena Linville)

A successful community and educational development partnership between Rose-Hulman, Shelbyville, and Shelby County has been recognized with a local government cooperation award from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT).

The City of Shelbyville partnered in 2013 with Shelby County and Rose-Hulman on the Innovative Model: Positioning Communities for Transformation (IMPaCT). The economic development and community involvement program has increased science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum for local school students, and benefitted local industry by creating an intentional and collaborative bridge between local industry and education leading to clearer pathways for future success.

“Our members frequently ask for best practices that embrace the principles of operating at maximum efficiency, while building communities with a great quality of life. The City of Shelbyville and Project IMPaCT are an example that other communities can learn from,” says IACT Executive Director and CEO Matt Greller.

Catapult Shelbyville

Catapult Scholar: Michael Gardner (right), a senior at Triton Central High School, completed a computer game during this summer’s Operation Catapult program. (Photo by Dale Long)

The five-part IMPaCT partnership strives to increase the number of Shelby County students with the skills necessary for higher education in STEM areas; has connected Rose-Hulman students with the local technology industry; established a network of industry, academic, and government leadership; raised awareness of the professional development and other engineering resources available through the college; and introduced high-school freshmen to a plethora of career opportunities with the more than 30 local industries in Shelby County.

“We can do a lot of things for the citizens we serve. One of those things is knowing how to find the right partners with similar goals in mind,” says Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun. “The IMPaCT Partnership continues to be a fantastic opportunity to work collaboratively with Rose-Hulman and the county. If we weren’t all willing to work together for the greater success of our community, we wouldn’t get very far.”

Programs established to accomplish the partnership’s goals have been:

  • Innovation Networking: Shelby County industry, academic, and government leadership connect with Rose-Hulman alumni, faculty, students, and staff through bi-monthly networking events sponsored by the partnership. These events are well-attended, and have inspired greater collaboration and community pride among residents, businesses, and educators.
  • Operation Catapult Scholars: Shelby County high school students have participated in Rose-Hulman’s unique campus summer program that exposes recent rising senior-year students to engineering and applied science through hands-on project work, lectures, and visits to see scientists and engineers at work.
Shelbyville Interns

Valuable Experiences: Rose-Hulman students talked about their summer internship experiences during a recent community networking event. (Photo by Gena Linville)

  • EMERGE Program: Rose-Hulman student mentors work with ninth grade students throughout the county to expose them to local industry as well as academic opportunities and careers in STEM-related fields. All county high schools are participating in the EMERGE program this school year.
  • Entrepreneurial Internships: Rose-Hulman students are embedded within local companies, providing high-caliber technical skills while positioning Shelby County as an attractive location to work and live. More than 18 Rose-Hulman students have taken part in summer internships with Shelby County companies in 2013 and 2014.
  • Innovation Partnerships: Shelby County entrepreneurs and companies can receive awards for project support with the Rose-Hulman Ventures program for design, prototyping, and testing services from Rose-Hulman student intern teams. Rose-Hulman Ventures has completed its third innovative project with Shelby County residents and companies.

“This partnership is a triple win for Shelbyville, Shelby County, and Rose-Hulman, and we hope to expand the program and achieve greater impact in the future,” says Bill Kline, Rose-Hulman’s Dean of Innovation and Engagement.