UW-Stevens Point, Sentry selected as economic development award finalist
For the Gazette
STEVENS POINT — The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and partner Sentry Insurance were selected as finalists in the University Economic Development Association 2018 Awards of Excellence.
The UEDA Awards are designed to validate and promote programs that focus on developing economic prosperity in their communities and beyond, and to encourage their adoption by other institutions and communities. Program categories include Innovation, Talent and Place and the intersections of these categories.
UW-Stevens Point and Sentry were named finalists in the Talent category for their information technology cooperative initiative. Since launching in 2016, the Sentry IT Co-op has hired more than 30 Department of Computing and New Media Technologies students, offering competitive pay, flexible hours and a longer duration than traditional internships.
In addition to offering students real-world experience, the program has attracted new businesses to downtown Stevens Point, increased awareness of UW-Stevens Point to prospective students outside Central Wisconsin and inspired a new cooperative program at Church Mutual Insurance in Merrill, Wis.
“It is really exciting that Sentry Co-op is considered among the best examples of talent development programs as voted by our peers across the country,” said Jenny Resch, interim director of the UW-Stevens Point Office of Economic and Community Development. “The Awards of Excellence categories are competitive, and being a finalist is recognition of our high-quality program.”
A strong partner, Sentry contributed $4 million to endow two UW-Stevens Point faculty positions that were key to creating an undergraduate degree program in data analytics. It has funded scholarships and supported undergraduate research at the university.