Ignite Program Gains New Directors

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Directors Hired for the new IGNITE-Business and IGNITE-STEM programs


Lipscomb Academy is excited to offer two new IGNITE programs for business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). 


Next year Lipscomb Academy will offer four IGNITE programs to help students begin to choose a career path that is right for them. These engaging and informative programs are sure to be a success. 


The new IGNITE-Business program will be led by Jerry Woods. A senior vice president and financial advisor at Pinnacle Financial Partners, Woods has worked in the banking industry and business consulting for more than 30 years. He earned an undergraduate degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in financial management and accounting from the University of Toledo. 


Woods’ business focus has been concentrated on the needs of family-owned and closely-held businesses, advising those organizations in various stages of their business cycles in areas of cash flow and capital management, leadership development, operations management, enterprise value maximization and succession planning. He and his wife of 36 years, Gwendolyn, have two children, Alex, a junior at Lipscomb Academy, and Tori, a freshman at Lipscomb University.


“A focus of the IGNITE-Business program is to expose students to various disciplines of business such as accounting, financial management and markets, management, marketing, and technology,” said Woods. “We will explore how these disciplines are utilized in various industries n middle Tennessee and around the world. We will explore these disciplines and industries with the help of university faculty and students as well as a host of business leaders in Nashville who will discuss their journey in business including their education, careers, and their walk with the Lord through their lives.”


Woods said the program will also include social events and discussions about successful entrepreneurs and leaders throughout history.


“Our goal for IGNITE-Business is to walk out business from a Biblical perspective of service, stewardship, and administration, all for the glory of our Lord,” he said.


Other IGNITE programs include IGNITE-Health Science and IGNITE-Civics and Law.


March 15th is the early decision deadline for IGNITE applications. Applications will be accepted until April 1, but those applying before the March 15th deadline will be given priority.


For more information visit http://www.lipscomb.edu/academy/filter/item/0/25534.


The new IGNITE – STEM program will be co-directed by Bob and Gayle Ward.  Bob Ward received his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech, his master’s from William and Mary and his doctorate from the University of Virginia.  He has worked as a computational mathematician at NASA during “Man on the Moon” era, as the researcher/deputy Associate Laboratory Director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and finished his career as a professor and Department Head of Computer Science at University of Tennessee (Knoxville).  His career focus has been in solving mathematical problems in science and engineering using computers.  Gayle Ward received her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech, her master’s from the University of Virginia, and her EDS from the University of Tennessee.  She served as a high school administrator at the Oak Ridge schools for over thirty years.  During that time she was the coordinator of the STEM program which received first place in “First Robotics in the Eastern USA.”  Her educational experience in the areas of math, physics, engineering  and her experience coordinating student job shadowing and internships will be vital to the IGNITE program.  Bob and Gayle are both very excited about the IGNITE-STEM program.  Some potential activities for the program include the following: Exploring careers in STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) at Lipscomb University, an overnight field trip to Oak Ridge National Laboratory & the University of Tennessee, day field trips to local industries utilizing STEM careers, experience with robotics such as developing and programming simple actions, and demonstrations of current & visionary innovations in science, engineering, and technology.