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ADT Makes Donation To Sower Business Lab

May 6, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Meredith Mohr

ADT's donation of five RFID Speedway Readers and 10 RFID antennas will enable the students in the Sowers Business Lab to read RFID tags as part of semester-long projects for assistant professor of operations management Pamela Zelbst's classes.

ADT Security Services, Inc. has made a donation of technology and equipment to Sam Houston State University’s Sower Business Technology Laboratory worth $20,000. This donation will enhance the lab’s activities, allowing professors to teach students in a simulated business environment.

“I believe this relationship with Randy Dunn and Ted McCaffery of ADT is as valuable, if not more valuable, than the initial donation,” said Pamela Zelbst, director of The Sower Business Technology Lab and assistant professor of operations management. “Not only does it allow SHSU to maintain cutting edge technology, but it also provides ADT and other technology-based organizations with technology savvy graduates.”

The donation includes five Impinj Speedway Radio Frequency Identification readers, a technology utilized in the business world for security, tracking inventory and controlling processes. ADT also donated 10 RFID antennas and multi-reader software.

“Connections like this bring in needed resources for our students and enhance the reputation of the lab, COBA and the university,” Distinguished Professor Emeritus Victor Sower said.

Zelbst said that the donation will allow professors to set up a networked RFID tracking system to simulate a retailing environment.

Over the past year, more than 75 business students have completed projects in the lab, and more than 700 students have experienced technology like RFID as a result of the Sower Business Technology Laboratory.

“We can do projects out of the lab, and we can demonstrate technologies to students,” Zelbst said. “The lab allows us to enhance the business student’s learning.”

As part of the lab, students participate in semester long projects such as building smart shelves, which can be used in a retail setting to control inventory levels, and doggie doors that will only unlock for the animal with the RFID tag. The College of Business Administration also partnered with Baylor University and Ohio University to track traffic flows at a Junior Symphony League holiday event in order to identify the most popular booths.

Each of these projects used the RFID technology, another reason why Zelbst said the donation was so valuable to the lab.

These projects teach the importance of teamwork and help build self-confidence among her students.

“Management is about making decisions and the courses we teach help the how to make better decisions,” Zelbst said.

ADT joins Avery-Dennison, AIG, Halliburton, IBM, Night Bright, and Venture Research, Inc., as external contributors to the lab.


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