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$750,000 grant helps keep graduates in state

Monday, December 8, 2003

A $750,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis will enable Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to create regional centers in Indiana where students will interview with prospective employers who find it difficult to recruit on campus.

The centers are part of an expanded initiative to retain more Rose-Hulman graduates in the state. The grant will also expand an internship program that has been successful in placing Rose-Hulman graduates with entrepreneurial Indiana businesses. "There are Indiana companies who don't have the resources to recruit on campus," stated Kevin Hewerdine, director of Career Services and Employer Relations at Rose-Hulman. "As a result, our students are missing out on attractive career opportunities, and these companies are not able to benefit from our talented pool of graduates. So, we're going to take the students to the prospective employers."

"At these regional interview centers, we will also conduct training sessions for employers on the advantages of the new graduates, how to interview students and how to emphasize the professional challenge, lifestyle and economic advantages of staying in Indiana," Hewerdine said.

Employers will interview students for summer, co-op and permanent employment. The grant is one of 37 the Endowment announced on Dec. 6 that are being awarded to public and private Indiana colleges and universities through the Endowment's Initiative to Promote Opportunity Through Educational Collaborations program. The grants total $38.9 million.

The amounts of the grants were based on total number of students at each school.

Thousands of Indiana college students should benefit from new or expanded internships and placement opportunities through the myriad of collaborative programs that will receive funding, the Endowment stated in a news release.

"Dozens of new relationships with alumni and others have been developed that will offer numerous internships and other experimental education opportunities for Indiana students," said Sara Cobb, Endowment vice president for education. Rose-Hulman alumni and other senior executives will be recruited to serve on advisory boards that will help Rose-Hulman meet the needs of employers in each geographic area where a regional center is located. The grant will also enable Rose-Hulman to expand its Entrepreneurial Internship Program.

"It has been one of our most successful programs for keeping new graduates in Indiana," Hewerdine said. "Sixty percent of the students participating in the program have accepted full-time employment with an Indiana company," Hewerdine noted. The internship program assigns students to work at a technical entrepreneurial Indiana company where they report to the chief executive officer or the chief technical officer. To qualify, companies must have less than $25 million in annual revenue and less than 100 employees. The program is in its ninth year. Efforts to create the regional centers and expand the internship program will begin immediately, Hewerdine said.

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