Creativity / Flexibility / Humanity

Davin Huston, Assoc. Prof. of Practice at Purdue University Polytechnic School of Engineering Technology, and Dept. of Theatre

We are excited to have Davin Huston serve as our Keynote speaker. Davin received his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology in 2004 and M.S. in Technology in 2007 from Purdue University. Prior to his current position, he was a consultant at the acoustic and audio/video design firm Kirkegaard Associates in Chicago, IL.

His creative and research interests include the use of different art mediums and media to help educate students in technology disciplines. Through this blend of topics, he believes that students will engage in both art and technology with a deeper understanding of the impact the topics have in their lives and in others lives.

In addition to his teaching and research, he is a faculty advisor for two multi-disciplinary student organizations, All Majors Engaged in Technology (AMET) and Theme Park Engineering and Design (TPED).

“Human-Centered Design Thinking”

Lorri J. Barnett, Senior Lecturer/Workforce Development, Technology Leadership Innovation, Purdue Polytechnic Anderson

Lorri Barnett’s industry career includes roles as customer service manager, training manager, human resources, and project manager, and, most recently, information technology director. Her experience has been with companies in advanced manufacturing, government, and education industries. Lorri also serves as an IT consultant in the funeral industry. Lorri teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has taught courses in areas including organizational leadership, business administration, career development, education, and technology leadership, as well as supply chain and various lean classes. 

Committed to facilitating excellence in teaching and learning, Lorri develops curriculum materials and training activities for teaching professionals who work with adult learners. She most recently became the Workforce Development Director for Purdue Polytechnic Statewide and works closely with companies throughout the state on workforce initiatives that assist with incumbent workers as well as succession planning and talent acquisition for new employees.

Lorri’s licensures and certifications include Lean, Strategic Doing, Skill Point/Training Within Industry, and Technical Writing. Lorri earned her BS and MBA degrees at Anderson University.

“A Systematic Approach to Pathway Systems”

Lisa Deck, Program Manager, Education and Workforce, Purdue INMaC

Lisa is the Education Workforce Program Manager for Purdue Polytechnic’s Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC). As a program manager, Lisa works with employers, schools, students, and community stakeholders to scale-up and sustain critical programs around manufacturing and STEM related careers while maintaining an emphasis on professional and technical skills necessary to be successful in the workforce.

Prior to IN-MaC, Lisa served as the Director for the Education Workforce Innovation Network (EWIN) with CELL. She worked with employers, educators, and communities across Indiana to build out sustainable career pathway systems in multiple sectors. Her career also includes serving as the Director of Admissions, Advising and Career Services for Ivy Tech, Director of College Cooperative for Southeastern Indiana, Eco15 Coordinator for Decatur County, and 13 years with a Tier 2 supplier to automotive.

Lisa is a lifelong resident of Decatur County. She earned her Masters of Science Management degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and her Bachelors from Indiana University/Purdue University Columbus.  She also is a Master Trainer for DiSC and Organizational Behavior.

“VEX Robotics and Drones: A Catalyst for Curriculum and Innovation”

Joshua Dillard and David Perrel, High School Educators, Anderson HS, Anderson, IN

Joshua is the PLTW Engineering and Computer Science Department Chair at Anderson High School in Anderson, IN. He is a PLTW Master Teacher and VEX Robotics coach, as well as an instructor at Purdue Polytechnic Anderson.

David is the Science Department Co-Chair at Anderson High School. He teaches Physics and PLTW and is an AP and Dual Credit Instructor. David also is a VEX Robotics coach and a Rube Goldberg Machine Team sponsor.

Through their partnership with PLTW and VEX at Anderson High School, they have enhanced the curriculum offerings to their students and exposed them to new technology, such as the V5 VEX Robot. Their students not only learn how to code, program, and build in the classroom, they also compete in VEX Robotics Tournaments hosted by Purdue Polytechnic and VEX Robotics Competition. With PLTW and VEX, their students are reaching new heights and are better prepared for a world engineered by STEM.

“Makers as Employees”

Dr. Jane Ellery, Assistant Professor of Wellness Management, Ball State University

Jane works at the intersection of Place, Health, and the Economy by focusing on collaborative change efforts, participatory approaches, and community-centered processes.  After two decades working in prevention-related roles, Jane shifted from pathogenic interventions designed to keep people from getting sick to salutogenic initiatives that encourage living life to its fullest. 

Dr. Jane Ellery joined the faculty at the Fisher Institute at Ball State University in August of 2003. She received her Ph.D. in Public Health and has served in many community-based health and wellness capacities. Bringing with her experience in workplace wellness, managed care administration, workers compensations programming, community-based cardiac rehabilitation, and hospital-based cardiovascular diagnostics, Jane serves as the Program Director for the Wellness Management graduate program. Her major interests include encouraging students to experiment with different ways to use technology in wellness management practice and working to develop partnerships to ensure consumer-friendly approaches for wellness initiatives and research practices.

“The Purdue IN-MaC Design and Innovation Studio Model”

Sascha Harrell, Director of Education and Workforce, Purdue IN-MaC

Sascha Harrell has been active in workforce education for fifteen years, focusing on the manufacturing industry and 21st century skills. Sascha serves as the director of education and workforce for Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) at Purdue University. IN-MaC develops and implements K-16 education and workforce programming that enhances the talents and capabilities of Indiana’s present and future workforce. By facilitating connections between educators and industry to catalyze the formation of near-term and long-term skills – partnering and developing a variety of STEM-type, skilled trades, degrees (associates and undergraduate), pathways, and certificate programs. 

 Before this position, Sascha worked at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. and Caterpillar, Inc. as a human resources manager. Sascha continues to lead workforce education initiatives and collaborations across Indiana with industry, K-16 education and educators, economic development and community organizations, and workforce development providers. In this effort, the state continues to gain momentum in manufacturing talent development, workforce programming, and identifying industry and education ecosystems and best practices.

 Sascha is a current graduate Ph.D. student in Technology Leadership and Innovation at Purdue University, focusing on STEM education and technology. Her research interest includes perceptions of manufacturing in K-12 and postsecondary education, industry-education partnerships, and communities of practice. She holds an MS in Education from Purdue University with an area of focus in workforce development and manufacturing skills in the 21st century and a BA from Morehead State University.

“Funding for Makers and Small Manufacturers”

Adam Hoeksema, Executive Director, Bankable

Adam serves as the Executive Director of Bankable, an Anderson, IN based Small Business Administration (SBA) lender that makes loans from $500 to $250,000 to IN small businesses that are unable to secure financing from a traditional bank. Adam has managed the loan program from its inception in 2010. Bankable has closed over 1,700 loans totaling over $49,000,000.  Adam is an entrepreneur at heart and loves working with fellow entrepreneurs to launch and grow their business.

“Busting Myths around Work-Based Learning…Yes, You Can!”

Elizabeth Meguschar, Assoc. Chief of Workforce Education and Training, IN Dept. of Workforce Development

Beth Meguschar currently serves as Assoc. Chief of Workforce Education and Training with the IN Dept. of Workforce Development. Beth and her team strive to ensure that quality career training programs are offered throughout the state. Her team manages the Eligible Training Provider List that represents training programs eligible for WIOA funding and manages the Office for Career and Technical Schools, offering accreditation to non-credit bearing propriety institutions. Her team also champions the important work of Career Coaching throughout the state and is soon to launch a website that features best practices and a multitude of valuable resources for those working to assist others with making more informed career and career preparation choices. One important resource in that repertoire is the on-line Indiana Career Explorer. For nearly two decades prior to joining the DWD in 2017, Beth served as a school administrator in a variety of secondary schools, including urban, rural and suburban settings. She loves the intersection between education and workforce and recognizes that success can only be achieved where the two forces work together toward a common goal.

“3D Printing: Teaching, Design, and Manufacturing”

Kyle Squillace, Technology Acceleration Specialist, Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Kyle has 14 years of experience working in manufacturing environments including automotive supply chain, consumer product, and rapid prototyping facilities. His past positions include: Quality Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, and Operations Manager. While at Impressive Prototypes, he led expansion efforts in on-boarding additional additive manufacturing equipment while training personnel in other areas including CNC Milling and Laser Cutting.

In his current role, he is responsible for developing and leading the Technology Acceleration practice to assist manufacturers in incorporating advanced manufacturing capabilities into their operations. He delivers a portfolio of digital manufacturing training and consulting services in areas such as collaborative robotics, additive manufacturing/3D printing, manufacturing automation, reverse engineering, and CAD/CAM systems.

“Intro to Grant Writing”

Kyra Zylstra, Future of Work Coordinator, Sustainable Muncie

Kyra Zylstra is the Director of the Future of Work Muncie, which includes the Muncie Technology and Engineering Network and Muncie Makerfore at Madjax. This unique and creative role exemplifies the work of the future by focusing on person-centered workforce development, strategic collaboration, and the co-creation of projects and initiatives through community partnerships. Kyra has spent more than two decades investing in the Muncie community through poverty elimination efforts, education, and community development.