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Clemson Corporate Connections e-Newsletter

Clemson Corporate Connections

The Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) group within the Office of Development at Clemson University is dedicated to building and maintaining long-term relationships that benefit your company as well as the University and its students. The Corporate Connections newsletter is a quick update on some of the partnerships.


Clemson University professor Windsor Westbrook Sherrill, Ph.D., has been appointed associate vice president for health research at Clemson and chief science officer at Greenville Health System (GHS).

Clemson and GHS announced in summer 2013 the creation of a health-care research and education powerhouse that makes Clemson the primary research collaborator for the GHS Clinical University and a key partner in health research and education initiatives.Sherrill Windsor

Sherrill brings Clemson researchers and GHS clinicians together in a partnership that will impact health care locally and beyond.

Clemson’s health-related research and education programs are key to the partnership. With nursing and health science programs and other disciplines, such as bioengineering and genetics that have tangible health implications, the collaboration will help develop Clemson’s health-related initiatives.

Sherrill spent 10 years in health care administration before transitioning to academia. She brings a distinct perspective to this leadership role as well as her teaching and health-services research.

Sherrill has demonstrated a dedication to teaching throughout her tenure at Clemson, providing instruction to more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. She has taught courses in health-care management, health-care systems and finance, health-services research, honors and Creative Inquiry. She also taught in Clemson’s graduate programs in business administration, nursing administration and health architecture.

Sherrill helped lead the development of health-related educational programs at Clemson, including an undergraduate concentration in health-care management and Clemson’s health emphasis in the MBA program. Her scholarship on pedagogical innovation in health services received national recognition by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

Sherrill has led or collaborated on research that has garnered more than $2.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and other health-related foundations and organizations. Her work has been published in numerous publications, book chapters, professional reports and scholarly presentations.

Beyond the classroom, Sherrill has participated in health-related services on behalf of the university at the local, state and national levels. She has worked with the South Carolina Hospital Association, Picker Institute for Patient-Centered Care, the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and served on the national boards for the Association of University Programs of Health Administration and Academy Health. She is an alumna of the Pew Foundation Health Policy Fellows program directed by the Institute of Medicine. Since 2012, she has served as the director of the Clemson University Institute for the Advancement of Healthcare.

A Liberty Fellow for South Carolina, Sherrill received the National Scholars Program Award of Distinction in 2012. In 2008, she received Clemson’s Frank G. Burtner Award for Student Advising and the College of Health, Education and Human Development Award for Excellence in Teaching. Sherrill has served as a Senior Faculty Fellow for the Dixon Fellowship Program through Clemson’s Calhoun Honors College. She was inducted into the honorary Clemson University Class of 1939 in 2013, the highest distinction awarded to Clemson faculty.

Sherrill earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University and her master’s in health and business administration from the University of Alabama Birmingham. She received a Ph.D. in health policy from Brandeis University.

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An innovative international company in furniture and organic workspace design and products is partnering with Clemson University’s Watt Family Innovation Center, now under construction in the center of campus. The partnership is a comprehensive engagement in collaborative research activities, product use and demonstration, and philanthropic support.

Haworth Inc. has pledged a gift of $3 million to the Watt Center that includes $800,000 in research funding and a $2.2 million gift-in-kind of interior products.

“Haworth is a global leader in designing and furnishing interior workspaces that anticipate the future and reflect the company’s deep commitment to sustainability,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “We are thrilled that Haworth is our first Founding Innovation Partner in the new Watt Center.”

Headquartered in Holland, Michigan, Haworth is a private company led by three generations of the Haworth family. Haworth products include furniture, flooring, moveable walls, electrical and cabling support systems, and a touchscreen wall called “bluescape.”

In 2013, Haworth’s global sales were $1.42 billion. The company employs 6,000 employees in 126 countries, 650 dealers worldwide, 80 showrooms and sales offices, and 350 patents. Haworth’s research and design centers are located in China, Germany, Italy and the U.S.

This is Haworth’s first engagement with Clemson University. Franco Bianchi, who has led Haworth as president and CEO since 2005, visited Clemson University in November 2013 and has a strong relationship with Watt Center Director Charles Watt.

“At Haworth, we value continuous education and the innovative schools and programs in our communities that never stop exploring and teaching. Haworth is proud to support Clemson,” said Bianchi.

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The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) showed off its capabilities and automotive engineering students’ latest concept vehicle at an industry meeting.

Deep Orange 4 was shown publicly in its final form in August 2014 in Michigan.

The fourth generation of the concept vehicle program, called Deep Orange 4, is a BMW Manufacturing Co.-sponsored vehicle. It was shown for the first time to the public in its finished form at the CAR Group Management Briefing Seminar. The project has both a manufacturing as well as a product focus.

The vehicle is based on the BMW X3 and is defined as a versatile vehicle that targets the niche market of performance-oriented SUV customers who want both best-in-class utility and space, and an aggressive sporty design.Deep Orange Car

The development of the Deep Orange 4 vehicle involved a cost-efficient manufacturing plan that detailed how a theoretical low-volume model could be assembled without negatively impacting existing BMW production processes.

“The ability to integrate more low-volume models without incurring capital-intensive retooling costs and efficiency losses are keys to success in the future as we strive to respond to changes in market faster and with more flexibility,” said Rich Morris, vice president of assembly, BMW Manufacturing. “The students who worked on this phase of the project did an excellent job of keeping costs down while finding optimal integration opportunities.”

After successful completion of an in-plant analysis of all manufacturing technology areas, students addressed product design that included transforming the trunk compartment to an open-bed configuration with the utility of a pickup truck.

Suzanne Dickerson, director of international business development at CU-ICAR, said this was the first Deep Orange concept vehicle to focus on both unique approaches to manufacturing and transformative design.

“This project has a bit of dual personality,” added Dickerson. “It’s really the best of both worlds for our students to consider consumer lifestyles in the conceptual design process and examine the very practical elements involved in manufacturing in the most capital-efficient way.”

Students in Clemson’s graduate automotive engineering program are required to create and manufacture a new vehicle prototype. The program provides students with experience in vehicle design, development, prototyping and production planning. A prototype vehicle is developed each year with a new market focus and technical objectives. The competition is sponsored by a major manufacturer and a number of suppliers including Dow Automotive, Sage Automotive an others.