Zachary Wilson and Jacob Horn are USC Salkehatchie’s first group of students to complete the first two years of requirements for its 2 + 2 Industrial Process Engineering partnership with USC Aiken. The pair will march for their associate degrees this spring, complete some additional summer courses, and then continue the program at USC Aiken this fall.
Both Wilson and Horn are pleased with their decisions to start engineering degrees at USC Salkehatchie.
“Salk provides many opportunities that are not available at four-year colleges. I participated in an internship as a sophomore where I learned important skills such as time management, leadership and working independently,” Wilson said.
The future engineers have served as STEM ambassadors and flight camp counselors. They are PURE (Palmetto Undergraduate Research Experience) grant research recipients, department interns, WORC grant scholars and have completed several independent research studies while earning course credit.
“USC Salkehatchie has gone out of its way to make sure I have made connections with local engineering companies through events, lectures, and classes,” Horn said.
Horn was awarded funding to work on a PURE project with adjunct engineering instructor Dr. Brian Lindmark last summer. He leveraged his 3D printing experience, gained from his engineering courses at Salkehatchie, to generate three-dimensional models from real data gathered from landmines. This required him to learn about the data that was collected and then figure out how to translate that into a three-dimensional model for printing. He was able to successfully use his creativity and problem-solving skills to generate a working solution to a modern engineering problem.
Wilson was awarded a PURE grant to work with Dr. Eran Kilpatrick in the USC Salkehatchie Herbarium where he prepared and digitized hundreds of museum-quality plant specimens. He will present his research at the South Carolina Academy of Science Annual Meeting and Discover UofSC.
“It has been my great pleasure to work with Jacob and Zachery both inside and outside of the classroom. Both students have demonstrated a passion for engineering through their studies as well as their extracurricular activities,” Lindmark said. “In addition to being the inaugural graduates of the 2+2 transfer program for industrial process engineering at Salkehatchie, they have also completed internships with faculty members and worked as STEM ambassadors promoting outreach to the community. They have both demonstrated the aptitude and drive to be successful in engineering, and I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.”
One goal of Salkehatchie’s STEM program is to train highly skilled workers for the region and that fits perfectly with Horn’s and Wilson’s plans. Both hope to remain in the region after completing their engineering degrees.
“I plan to stay local and find a strong job in the engineering field that will provide both financial support, enjoyment, and a bit of a challenge,” Horn said.
STEM Program Coordinator Holly McCrary said Salkehatchie is lucky to have the duo as part of the program.
“I could not be prouder of these students. They are motivated, academically gifted and a perfect example of the incredible students we have at Salkehatchie. I’m grateful to have had them as part of the program which is made possible by the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, the Savannah River Site and WORC grant funding,” she said.
The 2+2 degree in Industrial Process Engineering is a partnership with USC Aiken where students can complete the first two years of coursework for the degree at the USC Salkehatchie campus. The students benefit from small class sizes where they receive individual attention from their professors and are given the opportunity to work directly with modern technologies such as 3D printers. Students also have a variety of additional funding opportunities available to them in the form of scholarships and internships which help them to reduce their costs while simultaneously developing their professional skills.