KU Edwards biotechnology program director Randy Logan receives Workforce Innovation Award

At this year’s Innovation Festival, Randy Logan received the Workforce Innovation Award from BioKansas for his work developing the university’s biotechnology program.

Randy Logan teaching in a lab coat with students watching.

Randy Logan, director of the KU Edwards Campus’ biotechnology program, has received the 2023 Workforce Innovation Award from BioKansas, an organization dedicated to the growth of the life science ecosystem in Kansas.

“I was thrilled to receive the Workforce Innovation Award, but the credit for these accomplishments really belongs to the team, which includes Jack Treml and all the science faculty at KU Edwards,” said Logan, a professor of biotechnology.

Logan also praised Stuart Day, KUEC vice provost and dean of the School of Professional Studies, who “has always been a strong supporter of the biotech program and our innovative education projects.”

Day said the biotechnology program is strongly in tune with the needs of employers in the Kansas City metro area — and Logan has been a driving force behind that effort. 

“He and his colleagues have worked hard to ensure that biotechnology students are equipped with both the qualitative and quantitative skills required to thrive in the workforce,” Day said. “This award is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Logan’s efforts.”

The Workforce Innovation Award honors groups and individuals who have excelled in fostering innovation and expanding the scope and quality of the Kansas STEM ecosystem.

Logan was recognized at BioKansas’ second annual Innovation Festival at Crown Center. The event featured presentations and workshops from scientists from around the region about research and STEM-sector employment, along with music performances and a night market. 

Thanks to Logan, the biotechnology program has integrated initiatives such as a science communications course, facilitating paid internships and resume workshops, and organizing visits with regional employers and industry professionals. These efforts have resulted in a more well-rounded program with real-world application and training. 

In addition to serving as program director, Logan is committed to teaching a full course load and mentoring his students in their capstone projects, which play an important role in developing students' ability to function autonomously and effectively in a research laboratory. In recognition of this, Kansas City area bioscience companies have begun to financially sponsor the program’s independent student research capstones and the faculty's community outreach initiatives.

“Companies like Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Catalent, Likarda, and Boehringer Ingelheim have been instrumental in helping our faculty pilot real-world capstone research projects that allow biotech students to work on industry-relevant projects,” Logan said. “These projects provide a unique opportunity for students to closely interface with industry experts and receive continuous mentorship from KU faculty.”

The biotechnology curriculum is designed to prepare students for their future careers by building technical competencies that align with the talent needs of regional and global bioscience companies. As a result, the program has cultivated a reputation as being the “go-to place for top-notch technical talent.” 

Learn more about KUEC’s biotechnology program. 

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