From Intern to Subject Matter Expert, Riverside Research Workforce Development Initiatives Paying Dividends in Dayton

DAYTON, OH –Riverside Research, a not-for-profit scientific research company with facilities in Beavercreek, Ohio, is furthering the education and careers of Dayton-area students through several community outreach and workforce development initiatives. Partnering with many local colleges and universities, Riverside Research provides academic course instruction in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, scholarships, and internship opportunities with intention to supply the community with a qualified technical workforce.

Jim Godby, a native Daytonian, is a direct product of these efforts. Now a member of Riverside Research’s professional staff, Godby previously spent a cumulative seventeen years in the industrial automotive and aircraft fields. He had been simultaneously pursuing a degree in quality engineering at Sinclair Community College for six months when he and about 100 fellow employees were laid off as a result of the 2009 recession. This turn of events caused Godby to switch to an advanced technical degree in hopes of attaining secure employment and a means of supporting his wife and three children.

Godby’s new career path led him to an internship at Riverside Research where he took part in the company’s inaugural work study program with Sinclair and Clark State Community Colleges. As an intern, Godby became a certified Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) Systems Tool Kit (STK) Rocket Scientist and was encouraged to interview for a part-time position with the company. Now a full-time member of the Professional Staff, Godby supports the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in their efforts to maintain national security. He has held this position for the past two and a half years, while completing his bachelor’s degree and pursuing his master’s in information technology program management.

“I am honored to work alongside so many excellent colleagues in support of the DIA,” said Godby. “To be able to contribute to the efforts of the nation is thrilling and I can’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.”

Most recently, Godby returned to his alma mater to teach a familiar subject - Systems Tool Kit. Not only is Godby going back to his scholastic roots, he is leveraging the Riverside Research-developed electronic textbook (e-text), “Remote Sensing: A View through Mechanical Eyes,” to aid in educating the future technical workforce. Developed by the company in 2011, the e-text allows students to interact with STK by integrating visually stimulating videos and realistic scenarios that show how math is applied in STEM professions.  

“The difference between teaching with and without the e-text would be equivalent to the difference between night and day. It makes it very easy for a professor to teach because it is structured and provides the concepts, examples, quizzes, and tests,” said Godby. “It offers an interactive way for the students to learn about remote sensing because it includes embedded videos and scenarios that fully illustrate the concepts.”

Godby’s professional journey from Sinclair student, to Riverside Research intern, employee, and now adjunct professor at Sinclair, demonstrates the progression Riverside Research envisions for their community outreach and workforce development initiatives. By furthering the education of STEM students through internships, Riverside Research is at the forefront of Dayton’s STEM development and positioned to provide a future pipeline of opportunity for technical talent. With appropriate knowledge and experience, Riverside Research hopes that STEM students will become STEM professionals, equipped to impart their knowledge and guidance to the next generation of community leaders.

“I’m proud of the fact that my company has developed these types of tools and is involved with educational initiatives in the community,” said Godby. “Obviously, I benefitted from these programs, so I’m elated to be able to continue them.”