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Working Professionals Head North To Clarkson For Unique Master's Degree

Potsdam, N.Y. – The challenges of global competition demand effective management of engineering and manufacturing resources. Having a highly skilled managerial workforce knowledgeable about international business practices, effective supply chain management and six-sigma quality principles is essential to a company’s success today.

Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., offers a master of science degree in Engineering & Manufacturing Management designed to accommodate working professionals.

This flexible, interdisciplinary program is the best answer for both companies and employees. Students are on campus for only five weeks in the summer; the rest of the time, they continue working and may take distance-learning courses offered through the Internet. Depending on how many distance learning courses a student selects, the program can be completed in as few as three or as many as five years.

“We come up here for five weeks and focus on the studies,” says James C. Barry, a senior manufacturing engineer at Eastman Kodak in Rochester who also has young children. “So, 47 weeks out of the year, I’m focused on my work and family and I’m not worried about school.”

But going to school just five weeks a year isn’t the only appealing aspect of Clarkson’s Engineering & Manufacturing Management program. Students are able to combine both technology and business concepts, utilizing the world-class engineering, business and science resources of Clarkson University.

“I initially started looking for something like an MBA and then I just found the flexibility of this program to be much more beneficial,” says Lee R. Nunziato, associate commodity team manager at Xerox. “I don’t need strict technology, but I also don’t need just strict business, so the combination really helps me.”

It’s a high-energy program, with talented students. The synergistic benefits of teamwork are seen right away. “I’m learning a lot through interaction with other students, working on projects and case studies,” says John F. Alissandrello Jr., manager and manufacturing engineer at Welch Allyn in Skaneateles, N.Y. “There’s many ways to solve problems, and no one company has all the answers, but when you get a group of us together and start interacting, it’s incredible the amount of information that’s put forth.”

Teamwork is part of every class, reflecting the way things are done in the real world.  “This whole program focuses on teamwork,” says Tammy S. Weldner, a materials manager at Xerox. “From the very minute you get here, you form teams and work on your projects. It helps with the learning process, especially working with teams of people from different companies.”

Global supply chain management is a major productivity issue in industry today. Companies that use tools such as extranets, management software, and data interchanges to streamline relationships with suppliers and partners are in the best position to maximize their market share. Clarkson’s Engineering & Manufacturing Management program emphasizes these strategies.
Marek Nykles, a site-sourcing leader for General Electric in Prague, Czech Republic, feels that the coursework is invaluable for success in the international business world. “It is very helpful because it gives you the kind of understanding and ideas that one should think about when doing business on a global scale.”

The Engineering & Manufacturing Management graduate program has been in place since 1964.  It typically enrolls 60 students each year, all of whom are sponsored by their employers. Students in the program come from major international corporations such as Eastman Kodak, Compaq Computer, Xerox, Corning, WelchAllyn, General Electric, Wyeth Ayerst Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, and many others.

Kreag Cotter, a small business specialist at Eastman Kodak, says he looked at other programs, but Clarkson was the one for him. “I looked at Purdue, I looked at Pepperdine, then I looked at Clarkson. And for what I wanted to get out of it, this was of the greatest value to me.”

For additional information about the Engineering & Manufacturing Management master’s program at Clarkson University, contact Professor Farzad Mahmoodi, director, at 315-268-4281 or Information can also be obtained from the Clarkson Web site at

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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