sealPurdue Education and Careers Briefs ____

June 1998

Purdue grad's invention will aid disabled students

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A color photo of Kirby Goedde and the school locker he developed is available. The photo is called "Mehta.Morganwinners."

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- What started as a good idea for a class engineering project may lead to a second career for new Purdue graduate Kirby Goedde -- before his first one has even begun.

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Goedde, who was awarded a degree in electrical engineering May 17, invented an automated school locker for disabled students while participating in a community service project.

The locker earned top honors and a $4,000 cash prize in Purdue's 1998 Burton Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition, where the judges urged him to "run, don't walk to the patent office," and "go national tomorrow."

Since then, the Evansville, Ind. , native has been meeting with patent lawyers, locating parts suppliers, planning a wedding, accepting a job to design flight-control software in Florida and preparing to launch a new company.

Goedde developed the locker to help a disabled Lafayette, Ind., student who had difficulty opening a school locker. The device uses a key-chain-sized transmitter and a special locking mechanism to unlock a locker from as much as 50 feet away. Soon after installing the locker at the student's school, Goedde had an order from the school corporation for 30 more.

"I'm definitely going to move quickly to get my business going now," he said. "This whole project started with an idea to help someone. It wasn't until I started working on the business plan for the competition that I realized I might have the makings of a real business."

Goedde's future father-in-law, who owns a machine shop in Shelbyville, Ind., will produce the devices, which can fit in any school locker manufactured in the United States. Goedde's fiancee, a 1997 communications graduate from Purdue, works at the shop and will help organize the production process. The two plan to marry in November. Goedde will manage his young company long-distance, and when not working for his new employer, Harris Flight Control in Melbourne, Fla.

"I hope to deliver my first order to Lafayette by the end of summer," Goedde said. "And I want to keep developing the locker. With any luck I'll find a school in Florida that will let me try out my new prototypes."

CONTACT: Goedde (812) 963-1725; e-mail,

Student looks forward to cool research opportunity

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A head-and-shoulders color photograph of Benjamin Hasse is available from the Purdue News Service and at the PurdueNews Web and ftp sites.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A forestry major from Purdue University will spend the first semester of his junior year on a frozen continent completely devoid of trees.

The National Science Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America have chosen Benjamin Hasse of Kingsford, Mich., as their candidate to spend next fall helping Antarctic researchers.

"No obvious connection to my major -- no trees in the Antarctic! But I should learn more about how I'll function in a harsh environment," Hasse said. Harsh is an understatement for the Antarctic, where the world's record low temperature was recorded -- minus 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit -- and wind gusts can reach nearly 200 miles per hour.

Every three years the National Science Foundation permits the Boy Scouts to designate an Eagle Scout to join its scientists, helping to fulfill the U.S. government agency's goal of providing students with research opportunities outside the classroom.

From October through mid-January, Hasse will travel to different research stations on the frozen continent.

He becomes the ninth Eagle Scout chosen for the Antarctic Scout Program. Paul Siple was the first, traveling with Adm. Richard Byrd's 1928 expedition at the explorer's request. Siple eventually became a researcher and one of Byrd's right-hand men.

"We chose Ben from 112 candidates and four finalists -- all outstanding students with proven scouting backgrounds," said John Alline, national director of Boy Scout training. "His natural curiosity about science and strong communication skills made him a standout. We also were impressed with his continuing service at a Lafayette homeless shelter."

Hasse said, "I don't have any specific scientific skills, but I'm told an extra pair of hands will be useful. I would be happy to dig holes in the snow or pull sleds myself just for the opportunity and adventure." Hasse, who is majoring in Spanish along with forestry, has maintained a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average during his two years at Purdue, and he is a Purdue Beering Scholar.

The Steven C. Beering Scholarships and Fellowships were created in 1986 by Purdue President Beering to attract students of the highest caliber. The award covers all college expenses, including fees and tuition, room and board, books and spending money.

Undergraduate recipients who maintain the required standards hold the Beering Scholarship throughout their time at Purdue and may convert it to a fellowship to pursue master's and doctoral degrees at Purdue.

CONTACTS: Hasse, (906) 774-6820; e-mail: ; and John Alline, (972) 580-7835; e-mail:

MBAs learn to 'make a difference'

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A color photo of Krannert volunteers clearing a Habitat for Humanity site is available. It's called Kelly.MVP.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University and other business schools around the country are using community service activities to teach leadership and a sense of community to students.

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For the third time in as many years, the approximately 100 graduate students involved in Krannert's Management Volunteer Program, or MVP, have won the national "MBAs make a difference day" award.

The "make a difference day" challenge is coordinated by the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lori S. Franz, associate dean and director of graduate studies in business at Missouri, says the friendly competition started six years ago in conjunction with the national make a difference day sponsored by the USA Today newspaper .

"Each fall we send out a challenge to the business schools in the Big 12 and the Big 10 to organize community outreach activities during the October make a difference day weekend," Franz says. "The schools have to document what they have done and submit an entry for judging by a panel here at the University of Missouri. We announce the national winner in the spring. Our hope is that participating in these projects gives the students a chance to connect with the community around them and to exercise their leadership skills by helping others."

At Purdue, the Management Volunteer Program was established in 1991 by graduate students with an interest in community service work. The organization is funded by corporate donations earmarked for leadership development activities.

Rose Kelly, a second-year graduate student in operations management and co-president of the Krannert volunteer group, says that in addition to feeling good about themselves, members of MVP benefit in practical ways.

"Getting out and helping others in a soup kitchen or day-care center gets students out from under the books and pressures of graduate school for a while," she says. "It's a wonderful way to learn to deal with all types of people, and it might generate a lifelong love for community service."

Kelly, who has volunteered as a literacy instructor at the Hanna Community Center in Lafayette, says she plans to continue to support adult literacy in her new position with Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.

The 1997-98 winning projects by the Krannert MVPs include:

  • Planting trees in West Lafayette.
  • Organizing a Halloween party for the children from Head Start.
  • Demolishing a house to make space for construction of a new Habitat for Humanity home.
  • Providing baby-sitting services for graduate students with children.

The Krannert group also was awarded the 1998 Dean Betty Nelson Service Award, sponsored by Purdue's chapter of Mortar Board. The award was established in 1996 to honor Purdue students and organizations that have excelled in community service.

CONTACTS: Franz, (573) 882-2750; e-mail,; Kelly,

Compiled by Sharon Bowker, (765) 494-2077; e-mail,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,


Kirby Goedde's automated locker device for disabled students is designed to fit any school locker manufactured in the United States. A key-chain-sized transmitter can unlock the special locking mechanism from as much as 50 feet away. Goedde, a Purdue electrical engineering graduate, won the university's 11th annual Burton Morgan entrepreneurial competition this spring.
Color photo, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Mehta.Morganwinners
Download here.

Krannert School of Management graduate students Cory Carter of Greenfield, Ind., Jason Stickles of Athens, Ala., and Randy Hountz of Sunman, Ind., (left to right, facing camera) help clear a construction site for Habitat for Humanity. Their volunteer work is part of a business school program that teaches leadership and community service. (Photo courtesy Krannert School of Management.)
Color photo, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Kelly.MVP

Download here.

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