KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec 14, 2021) — Baron Wasden draws a straight line from his education at Kennesaw State University to the new job he will start in January, after graduating this month with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems.
Wasden spent his final semester completing a capstone project leading the creation of a 3D printing laboratory in the Michael J. Coles College of Business, and documenting the process so that others can follow the same roadmap to create their own labs. The entire project’s cost was $350,000.
“I oversaw every detail,” Wasden said. “And a lot of it was making sure the documentation for training throughout the rest of the University was complete and accurate, so that other colleges could use that documentation to then create the same 3D printing lab that we have in Coles College and then make minor adjustments and fit it to their needs.”
Wasden said his education at Kennesaw State, combined with training he received during six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, prepared him well to manage development of the 3D printing lab.
That project was an accomplishment Wasden could point to in selling himself to potential employers. Wasden said he presented his work on the project, along with its challenges and hiccups, as part of his interview with Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software company, and impressed managers there enough to land the job.
“They want to see how well you can handle those situations and see how well you can communicate,” Wasden said.
The new lab in the business college is part of the University’s expansion of 3D printing infrastructure across both its campuses. Wasden said more companies every day are searching for candidates with 3D printing experience.
Standing in the finished lab, Wasden said he was proud of the accomplishment, one that will make a difference for many students beyond his time at KSU.
“This is a legacy project,” he said. “This is an emerging technology that is being sought after in basically any manufacturing company. Companies want to be able to make parts for their equipment.”
Wasden’s work, especially in creating the guides for other colleges at KSU to create their own 3D printing labs, will expedite the University’s goal of expanding infrastructure and curriculum for the important emerging technology, according to Dominic Thomas, associate professor of information systems.
“It’s a campus-transforming project, because what’s happened is for many years, KSU has invested in 3D printing technologies. Many faculty want to be able to use tools like this for teaching and learning and in curriculum and research,” Thomas said. “What Baron brought to the table is a focus on, ‘What do we need to do to make this really work? Who do I need to talk to or work with or bring in?’”
Thomas said Wasden was persistent throughout his undergraduate program and made sure he and his colleagues in his various project groups were doing their best work.
“He shows up. He makes sure things move forward,” he said. “And he’s willing to be persistent with his peers, with the project and with stakeholders.”
– Thomas Hartwell
Photos by David Caselli
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.