Tressel, Ewing eyeing partnerships from Israel trip


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel will take off to Israel on Tuesday.

He is making the trip in an effort to create a partnership between universities in Israel and YSU and the Youngstown Business Incubator.

“We are always trying to find out what’s best for the students,” Tressel said.

YSU’s collaboration with YBI allows students visiting YSU, both internationally and nationally, to see what the Youngstown community offers, rather than just the university.

“Students can see all the things we have to offer rather than just take classes,” Tressel said. “We can get into creative discussions about how our students can learn here or there. We ask, ‘What are some ways we can fit the needs of the students who want to get study abroad experience?’ We’re always trying to creatively come up with ways to have students be with us.”

Barb Ewing, chief operations officer for YBI, is joining Tressel on the trip. She said the trip provides opportunity to expand and develop relationships with Israeli students and companies.

“It’ll be interesting to see what kind of long-term relationships we can establish,” she said.

A main focus of the trip is on those who work in additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing – or industrial 3-D printing – is a process by which digital 3-D-design data are used to build up a component in layers by depositing material.

“A lot of advancements in technology have been made by Israeli companies,” Ewing said. “It’s a space they know well.”

She was most impressed with Tressel’s take-charge attitude with the trip.

“I think the leadership President Tressel is showing and understanding the importance of additive manufacturing is really catalytic for us,” Ewing said. “We are really fortunate to have a president willing to invest so much of his own personal time and presence at helping make things real. Certainly going on a trip like this is a strong statement about the importance of technology and an entrepreneurial innovative culture here.”

Neither Tressel nor Ewing anticipates any negative feedback or backlash from their trip due to cultural tensions.

“I have been in economic development and the political realm to know certainly people have strong feelings and they may express concerns – which we respect – but we are looking at this as a real opportunity for us to move forward,” Ewing said.

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