New leaders at the helm

March 16, 2017 — Momentum is building at Milwaukee School of Engineering. MSOE President John Y. Walz, Ph.D. will be inaugurated on April 29, 2017, and he has established his leadership team. Dr. Eric T. Baumgartner will begin his post as vice president of academics on July 15, 2017. Jeff Snow is the new vice president of development and alumni relations and he begins April 20, 2017. Sebastian “Saj” Thachenkary began in February as the executive director of marketing and community engagement. The leadership team is rounded out by Kevin Morin, vice president of operations; Dawn Thibedeau, vice president of finance and CFO; and Dr. Tim Valley, vice president of enrollment management and student life.

Dr. Eric Baumgartner

Jeff Snow

Saj Thachenkary

Baumgartner comes to MSOE from Ohio Northern University where he served as dean of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering. He also taught at UCLA and Michigan Technological University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame; a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati; a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Baumgartner previously was a senior member of the engineering staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he held leadership roles with the Mars Exploration Rover project that successfully launched, landed and operated the Curiosity, Spirit and Opportunity rovers on the surface of Mars.

Snow most recently has served as the director of college advancement for the University of Kentucky College of Engineering where he was responsible for planning and managing the college’s $110 million capital campaign. He is a skilled development professional with more than 20 years of experience in higher education. Snow previously held development roles at Valdosta State University, Georgia Southern University and the University of Central Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Valdosta State University; a master of education from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.

Thachenkary brings nearly 20 years of marketing leadership to MSOE. His experience spans several industries and he has experience in corporate communications, public relations, integrated brand and marketing strategy, business development and strategic partnerships. He comes to MSOE from Alverno College, where he served as director of marketing communications. Prior, he was the vice president of marketing communications for Johnson Financial Group and he was brand manager and marketing director for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,900 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 97 percent placement rate; and the highest ROI and average starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.

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JoEllen Burdue
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