University News

Engineering Scholarship Established at WIU-QC

January 27, 2011

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MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University-Quad Cities students interested in pursuing careers in engineering now have a new scholarship opportunity thanks to an agreement between Genesis Systems Group LLC, Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Engineering Program, and Scott County Schools. The Andy Zinn-Genesis Systems Group scholarship is designed to encourage, support and award students interested in a future career in the area of robotic welding systems and engineering.

Zinn is a faculty member in the Davenport School System and is the Director of the Vocational Welding Program. Genesis Systems Group designs, builds and integrates robotic arc welding systems, assembly automation systems and robotic tooling and material handling solutions. The scholarship is for an incoming freshman who is enrolled in Black Hawk College or Eastern Iowa Community College and continues his or her education at WIU-Quad Cities.

"Our goal is to invest in a program that supports students interested in the mechanics of engineering and ultimately capture and apply their technical knowledge in the workforce," said Joel Lorentzen, president, Genesis Systems Group."The mission is to attract talented students in the area of the manufacturing and implementation of robotic welding systems."

The $2,500 scholarships will be awarded annually and are renewable for four years. The value of each scholarship awarded is $10,000. Genesis Systems Group intends to award a four-year scholarship to one student each year for four years.

"We are pleased to partner with Genesis Systems Group, Scott County Schools and local community colleges to support the training of new engineering students," said WIU-QC Vice-President, Planning and Technology Joe Rives.

William Pratt, director WIU-QC School of Engineering added, "Genesis Systems is one of several forward thinking companies that see the need for a 'total community' solution to the high technology education requirements of this community in the 21st Century. We are proud to partner with them and our colleagues from the community colleges and the Scott County School System."

Zinn-Genesis Systems Group Scholarship requirements include: students must be graduates of a high school in Scott County, Iowa; students must complete the job shadowing program with Genesis Systems Group before high school graduation; students must be enrolled in Project Lead the Way courses or a vocational area of study (preference given to students with a course of study in both) and students must be enrolled in WIU's linkages program with EICC or BHC for the first two years of college, and must be enrolled in WIU-Quad Cities for the third and fourth years.

"We are delighted to partner with Western Illinois University-Quad Cities in yet another way that is beneficial to our students," said Patricia Keir, chancellor, Eastern Iowa Community College District.

"This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has the desire and is willing to work hard to attain an education. Genesis Systems Group is to be commended for their investment in higher education and our future workforce," added Rose Campbell, vice president of instruction and ITS at Black Hawk College. "The opportunity for these students to complete their engineering degree at WIU is another indicator of the collaboration that has developed among colleges and the community."

The Andy Zinn-Genesis Systems Group Scholarships will be available for the 2011-12 academic year.

For more information and scholarship applications, contact the Western Illinois University Scholarship Office at (309)298-2001 or or WIU-QC (309) 762-9481. Information can also be found at The application deadline is March 1.

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