BARTLETT, TN, October 27, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Gregory Earl Maksi, Ph.D., P.E., a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Dr. Maksi celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected based on current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all considered during the selection process.
In 2007, Dr. Maksi retired with tenure as the Professor and Chair of the Engineering Technologies Department at Southwest Tennessee Community College (STCC) in Memphis, TN. The Tennessee Board of Regents respectfully honored him with a 40-year Dedicated Service Award for his professional career, including 33 years at State Technical Institute at Memphis (STIM) before it was merged into STCC. He also received the highly regarded lifelong distinction of Professor Emeritus granted by STCC. However, Dr. Maksi is not fully retired from supporting technical education. He readily contributes to STCC by serving on the STCC Industrial Advisory Council, and by annually sponsoring the Dr. Gregory E. Maksi STCC Scholarship for Engineering Technology (ET) Students. Of course, Dr. Maksi keeps current with today's world of advanced technology and its trends for the future, so that he can advise and consult competently in dealing with education, business, and government.
Throughout his career, Dr. Maksi was respected as a man who walked his talk. He graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1961) and a Master of Science in Industrial Management (1964), as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi (1983). In addition, he was a Registered Professional Engineer of the State of Tennessee (1976-Present), and he also had certifications in the areas of quality engineering (ASQC); occupational safety and health standards (OSHA); computer-integrated manufacturing (Amatrol); and computer-aided design (Autodesk). His actual engineering experience came as a mechanical engineer at Ellicott Machine Corporation (1961-1962), and a project engineer at Celanese Fiber Corporation (1964-1967).
While working with Celanese in 1965, Dr. Maksi volunteered to become an adjunct instructor to teach applied mathematics to potential millwrights in evening classes at York County Technical Institute. To his surprise, he found that he had the capability to make a significant difference in people's lives, and he became greatly moved and inspired. By chance, an opportunity came for him to become a faculty professor and to help build a unique type oftechnical institute in Memphis. He would have the freedom to create and to develop an engineering technology program from scratch. Inspired by his positive experience with teaching at York Tech, Dr. Maksi felt that he had found his calling.
As a result, Dr. Maksi made the career change from engineering to engineering education in 1967, when he was hired by STIM's Engineering Technologies Department as Associate Professor of the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) Program. In 1971, he was promoted to the Chair of the Industrial Engineering Technology (IET) Program, and by 1992, the MET and Industrial Maintenance Programs were added under his supervision. During this period, Dr. Maksi received local, national, and international acclaim for the design he and his students devised for purifying and recycling wastewater in a typical home. The U.S. State Department recognized this achievement and considered using his design to assist in aiding "developing countries" around the world. This recognition also resulted in STIM creating the Environmental Engineering Technology Program and offering training with special emphasis courses to assist the local industry in solving its environmental problems.
A new era began for Dr. Maksi when STIM merged into STCC in 2000. He was selected to be the Chair of the Engineering Technologies Department consisting of the ET Associate Degree Programs of Architectural, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical, and Telecommunications. Under Dr. Maksi's leadership, each of his seven programs was accredited (2003-2007) by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), the most trusted national accreditation board in the USA, whose accreditation was mainly used for recognition in employing students, transferring college credits, and funding college grants. In addition, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools also approved Dr. Maksi's ET programs. Due to the quality of his programs, almost 100 percent of his graduates were employed with jobs in their field of study and realized premium salaries because they were trained with leading-edge technology. Such training included coursework in 2D computer-aided design (CAD), 3D computer modeling, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), robotic programming, and fiber optic communication.
Certification, as well as accreditation, meant quality to industry and business. Therefore, Dr. Maksi's ET faculty and adjunct instructors were certified and had master's degrees in their areas of study, and his lab technicians were certified in their fields. The advanced ET labs had the highest national certifications with their CAD software, CAM machines, and robotic systems certified by nationally recognized authorities such as Autodesk, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and Amatrol. Local company employees could then earn national level certifications on these CAD/CAM software programs to upgrade their skills without traveling to distance cities. Associate degree ET students could also earn national level certifications on the latest CAD/CAM software programs as well. These certifications combined with associate degrees were highly regarded by companies so the graduates of Dr. Maksi's programs were in high demand. Monies for his leading-edge software and equipment mostly came from national organizations which only granted ET programs that were ABET accredited, and had their instruction personnel along with their lab facilities properly certified. Under the directorship of Dr. Maksi, the Tennessee Board of Regents recognized the quality of his programs and annually funded the Center of Emphasis to provide for advanced technology for training local and regional industry.
An enthusiastic and tireless educator, Dr. Maksi also taught 17 years as an evening adjunct professor in the Master of Science Operations Management Program (OMP) of the University of Arkansas, located on the Millington Naval Base near Memphis (1988-2005). This program was designed primarily to fulfill recognized needs for graduate education for military and civilian personnel of the Armed Forces, and managers of industrial organizations in the Mid-South. At that time, it was the largest Master of Science degree program offered by the University of Arkansas. To supplement his OMP classroom instruction, Dr. Maksi formed a working agreement with the STCC and the OMP administrations to utilize and demonstrate his advanced ET lab facilities at STCC. The hands-on experience in these STCC labs significantly enhanced his OMP courses, and consequently, the high-level recommendations of the military and Mid-South industrial and business managers resulted in their increased enrollment. At the same time, Dr. Maksi could give his ET programs with their highly developed labs special exposure to these managers. This resulted in many of them encouraging their employees to enroll into STCC's ET courses to upgrade their expertise. Furthermore, the managers also hired his graduates, served on advisory committees for his programs, and taught as adjunct faculty for his technical courses. This industry involvement inspired Dr. Maksi's students to do their best and gave them an opportunity to obtain relative first-hand knowledge of the industrial world.
Dr. Maksi's top priority was obtaining gainful employment for his students, and he frequently worked with Mid-South industrial company managers to accomplish this. He actively campaigned for working partnerships with management, offering to help train the quality employees that they needed. He offered these managers, or their representatives, the opportunity to participate in the improvement of courses, the recommendation of laboratory facilities, the special training of faculty, and the implementation of co-op school/work programs. Dr. Maksi wholeheartedly believed that if local companies significantly had a part in developing his ET programs, their management would feel more confident to hire his graduates, to support his recommendations for grants, and to endorse his curriculum proposals to the state government.
Expanding his technical educational experience to a national level also benefited Dr. Maksi. He conducted seminars for engineering and technology teachers of mostly 4-year colleges and universities, from the USA and other countries, who were enrolled in the prestigious Chautauqua Courses sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Not only was Dr. Maksi recognized, but it was quite a distinct honor for a two-year technical institute to host a Chautauqua Course. With the aid of hands-on laboratory facilities at STIM, Dr. Maksi and his team demonstrated highly technical industrial applications and discussed educational challenges in developing a "World-Class Workforce" (1997-2001). Many of his ideas became embraced by scholars in technical education not just locally, but nationally, and internationally. But more importantly, Dr. Maksi expanded his own technical education expertise and learned new ideas to upgrade his own ET programs.
Cultivating strategic partnerships became a major factor in the success of Dr. Maksi's ET programs, because he effectively networked with local and national industrial and professional organizations. One extremely beneficial experience was his interconnecting as the West Tennessee Coordinator within the Tennessee Educational Alliance for Manufacturing. His purpose was to coordinate alliances with industry, government, universities, two-to-four-year colleges, and specifically Oak Ridge Laboratories for sharing resources to enhance global competitiveness using advanced manufacturing technologies. To further develop his connections, Dr. Maksi was also a very active member in the following influential professional societies: Society of Manufacturing Engineers, American Society for Quality, Memphis Joint Engineers' Council, and the American Technical Education Association. His special associations and alliances with industry, societies, foundations, and government led to his participation and collaboration in grants worth millions of dollars in equipment, software, and scholarships. Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Autodesk, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, National Science Foundation, Tennessee Valley Authority, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, and the US Department of Labor were some of his grantors.
One special example was the Biotech $1.8-million grant to STCC from the Department of Labor to train the local Memphis workforce and meet the growing demand of the Biotech employment market. Key partners with STCC in this initiative were Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the local Workforce Investment Network, and Memphis City Schools. Dr. Maksi supervised the curriculum development and training operations for his ET associate degrees and one-year certificate programs concerned with the biomedical manufacture of orthopedic, neurological, and medical devices. A major existing problem had to be solved. To attend college, most young people who wished to earn a two-year technical associate degree were working at non-technical, low wage jobs gaining neither practical nor technical work experience. It took most of the students at least four years to complete a two-year technical associate degree, and at least half of those who started the program did not finish. The cost of education was too high, and the time span too long for their technical degrees to be relevant in the rapidly changing high-tech biomedical world.
Under Dr. Maksi's supervision, the Engineering Technologies Department at STCC devised a high-tech, step-by-step, co-op school/work process. It consisted of a seamless series of industrial endorsed curriculums combined with technical work experience designed to economically and effectively train qualified young people for the high-tech biomedical world. After earning a high school diploma along with an industrial-endorsed ET certificate (6 courses) on dual enrollment, a high school graduate would intern with a biomedical employer and continue career education, while earning wages and gaining valuable biomedical experience participating in a co-op school/work ET associate degree program. A student could also receive additional aid by qualifying for available ET certificate and associate degree scholarships. Within three years, the student could earn the ET associate degree and be well trained to continue full-time employment in the biomedical field. This dual enrollment and co-op school/work combination proved successful as Dr. Maksi's ET programs provided technically experienced skilled technicians to biomedical employers helping them meet the growing technical demand.
As an ardent outspoken advocate for world-class technical education, Dr. Maksi made more than 100 speeches and presentations at professional societies, public schools, colleges, councils, and associations. He also wrote numerous publications in educational, business, and technical magazines, journals, and newspapers. A few of his publications were: "In Step with Biotech" (2006); "Just-in-Time Technical Education" (2004); "Manufacturing New World- Class Technicians" (2000); "Challenge for Technical Educators" (1999); "Building a Better Labor Pool" (1997); "Partnership of Industry and Technical Education" (1996); "Technical Education Today for Tomorrow's Jobs" (1993); and "A Design for Recycling Wastewater in a Home" (1971).
For his innovations in technical education and his dedication to making a difference in people's lives, Dr. Maksi was admirably honored locally, nationally, and internationally. He was recognized by the World Future Society as an Educator for Tomorrow, and by Epsilon Pi Tau, an International Honorary Society for Professionals in Technology. Other honors he received were the National Outstanding Teacher Award by the American Technical Teachers Association (ATEA) (1998); Mississippi River and Gulf Regional Outstanding Teacher Award by ATEA (1997); Distinguished Engineering Educator by Memphis Joint Engineers' Council (1986); NISOD National Distinguished Higher Education Leadership Award (1997); Outstanding Engineer by Mid-South Society of Manufacturing Engineers (1998); Top Innovators in Higher Education Award by Microsoft Corporation (1996); Empire Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals in Education (2006); Who's Who Among Teachers Who Made a Difference in Students' Lives (1994); Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering (1999); and Marquis Who's Who in the World (2007).
For more details on Dr. Maksi's achievements, recognitions and Marquis Who's Who listings, please visit www.ltachievers.com.
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