CHENEY, Washington – July 23rd, 2018 – This week, GenPrime executives Buck Somes and Darby McLean attended the groundbreaking of Eastern Washington University’s new high-tech Interdisciplinary Science Center (ISC). The momentous event marked the beginning of a new era for the university’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (CSTEM) program. Buck and Darby, both EWU alumni, were invited to attend the ceremony by David Bowman, the university’s Dean of CSTEM.
GenPrime’s history with EWU extends well over the past two decades. In 1996, as a graduate student in EWU’s Biology department, Buck formed a life-changing alliance with a federally-funded research organization. “While I was working on my MS, the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI) was funding and incubating startup companies in Spokane,” recalls Buck. “I collaborated with a couple of professors from EWU and a local high-tech business owner to apply for SIRTI funding to start a business based on the research I was doing. We were successful in our application and in 1997 SIRTI initially funded and incubated GenPrime for 2 years. One of the requirements of the funding was that we had to maintain a collaboration with a university. EWU was the obvious and most fitting university with which to partner on the project.”
But the relationships don’t stop there. While EWU was integral in getting GenPrime up and running, the company’s CEO has made it his personal priority to give back. “Staying involved with the university keeps us tied to our roots,” Buck explains. “The students coming out of the CSTEM program are outstanding - smart, hard-working and eager to make their mark.” Additionally, both Buck and Darby contribute to the university as members of the CSTEM Advisory Board and the Bio-Safety Committee, and also spend time talking with and advising students on future plans, offering internships, and more.
Moving forward, GenPrime intends to stay involved with EWU from an academic counseling approach, continuing to work with students through advising, project collaborations, and providing internship opportunities & direct employment at GenPrime. Slated for completion in 2020, the ISC’s expected impact on the university’s CSTEM community will be tremendous. “The old EWU science building will always be near and dear to my heart,” says a reminiscent Buck, “but it really has been outdated. A new, state-of-the-art science building will help CSTEM thrive and grow into the future with all of the advantages that modernization can bring.”
For more information on EWU’s Interdisciplinary Science Center, check out this link to the university’s very own community newsletter.
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Authors: Jacob Masters, Market Analyst at GenPrime, Inc.; Buck Somes, CEO at GenPrime, Inc.