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Wichita State announces NetApp as first partner in new tech cluster

Monday, April 14, 2014 | Share

On the heels of the Kansas Legislature’s approval of $2 million to help fund a new Innovation Campus, Wichita State University announces that NetApp is the first partner for the Innovation Campus and new tech cluster.

NetApp, a California-based Fortune 500 company with operations in Wichita, will collaborate with WSU on a new center that will act as a hub, or connecting point, for network storage solutions companies.

As announced earlier this week, the center will be led by Ken Russell, director of intellectual capital and an organization strategist for Cisco Systems, who will arrive in Wichita in late May. The center will be located in Don Beggs Hall, which is currently undergoing renovations to accommodate laboratory equipment, and will relocate to the proposed Innovation Campus upon its completion.

“The vision we have is for the Innovation Campus to utilize 21st century technology and weave together university research, technology transfer, graduate and undergraduate education, and new business innovation and entrepreneurship in one site,” said John Tomblin, vice president for research and technology transfer. “The new NetApp center will be the first of many industry partnerships through the Innovation Campus. As a core part of the WSU mission, we expect the Innovation Campus to be an economic driver for the region and for Kansas.”

NetApp expects to provide the center with projects and the modern industry-standard tools necessary to complete them.

“The ability to work on these types of projects will greatly enhance the experiential learning opportunities for students to supplement the traditional educational learning experience,” said Tomblin.

“The new center will give students the opportunity to work with enterprise-class storage and data management technologies and obtain the critical skills necessary to address the increasing complexity of data management,” said Joel Reich, senior vice president of the E-Series Products Group at NetApp. “NetApp is proud to help further the WSU mission and to support the community through the Innovation Campus.”

High-tech work environment

NetApp is focused on providing faculty, staff and students with a contemporary high-tech work environment and on extending its culture to the center—a culture that encourages teamwork and synergy and has landed NetApp on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in the United States for 12 consecutive years.

The new center is only the beginning of the redefined, strengthened relationship between NetApp and WSU. NetApp University Relations selected WSU as a strategic recruiting partner for the company’s internship and full-time university graduate hiring programs.

NetApp University Relations also began holding monthly colloquiums developed to familiarize the university community with its programs, culture, and internships.

“Few faculty and students realize the extent to which NetApp brings opportunities and benefits to the campus and the community,” said Tonya Witherspoon, director of WSU’s Media Resource Center, and a driving force behind the new relationship.

NetApp is committed to hiring university graduates and interns in Wichita and around the world each year. NetApp interns are competitively paid and receive living expenses where applicable. They also are given important projects to work on and receive other benefits, including the opportunity to learn from NetApp executives.

The next colloquium will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, at the National Center for Aviation Training. The event begins with refreshments and networking.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature NetApp’s Brian Padfield speaking on big data. Faculty and students will be present. Registration for this event is now closed. 

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Created on Monday, April 14, 2014; Last modified on Monday, April 14, 2014