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Faculty member shares innovation expertise internationally


A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member recently shared with an international audience her insights on the importance of innovation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In two virtual sessions for a United Arab Emirates entity, Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology, advocated for organizations to embrace an “innovative mindset.”

Anita R. WoodBoth of the presentations – one as part of a panel and the other as the lone speaker – were produced and offered by Beacon Red, a subsidiary of Edge, a UAE-owned conglomerate. Edge seeks to revolutionize the UAE’s defense industry by bringing innovative technologies and services to market with greater speed and efficiency. Beacon Red provides end-to-end training to the UAE national security establishment.

Wood’s sessions defined an innovative mindset, the steps for creating it, how to incorporate it, and the heightened importance of doing so following a crisis, such as the pandemic.

“History has always shown us that nothing is the same after a crisis, so we must prepare,” said Wood, who participated from Florida. “An innovative mindset is critical in defining what the new normal is and to allow organizations to move into this new era.”

Beginning her 17th year of teaching at Penn College, Wood holds a bachelor’s degree in computer and information science from Temple University, a master’s in food science from Penn State, a master’s in instructional technology from Bloomsburg University and has completed coursework for a doctorate in information security from Nova Southeastern University.

Wood has earned the Innovation Engineering Black Belt credential from Eureka Ranch, an international innovation think tank and training company, and has taught innovation courses at Penn College since 2016. Independently, she has mentored several innovation projects, including two that have resulted in provisional patents.

“It’s exciting that Penn College faculty are being contacted internationally for the innovation expertise that we provide our students,” Wood said. “That is quite the compliment.”

The college offers a minor in applied innovation and a certificate in applied innovation leadership.

For more about those programs and majors in the School of Business, Arts & Sciences, call 570-327-4521.

For information on degrees offered by the School of Engineering Technologies – including information technology – call 570-327-4520.

The college is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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