A former senior U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) official has been appointed by Governor Wes Moore to the Garrett College Board of Trustees.
Kurt Heckman, who served as DOE’s director of Secretarial Boards and Councils during the Trump Administration, replaces Dr. Brenda McCartney on Garrett College’s Board of Trustees. Dr. McCartney recently resigned from the Board to accept the position of interim superintendent for Garrett County Public Schools.
Heckman said he is looking forward to joining the Board of Trustees.
“I want to give back to the community and to the College that has given me so much,” said Heckman, who has lived in Friendsville since 2011. “The people of this county have given me more than I could ever repay.”
Heckman told of an event that illustrates the community spirit he’s experienced as a Garrett County resident.
“A great example is when we made hay the first time at the family farm in Oakland,” said Heckman. “Neighbors just showed up to help, without having to be asked, and some of them we didn’t even know until that moment.
“That’s how special this place is,” continued Heckman. “That’s how special the people of Garrett County are, and that is why I am happy to do whatever I can to give back.”
Heckman also recalled when Sycamore, his first company, opened a Garrett County office in the Garrett Information Enterprise Center (GIEC) on the College’s McHenry campus.
“The College welcomed us with open arms as the anchor tenant at the GIEC,” said Heckman. “We recruited students from Garrett College and have positive relationships with each of them to this day.
“I was able to recruit engineers into this area because of its beauty and wonderful culture,” added Heckman, “but also because of the Garrett County Scholarship Program that provides local students with free tuition.”
Heckman was a co-author in the DOE Secretary’s Advisory Board report on artificial intelligence. Prior to working in the Office of the Secretary, he served as a senior advisor in the Office of Science, where he promoted nuclear fusion, high-energy physics, advanced scientific computing research, and the general awareness of the DOE’s science mission.
Heckman was a presenter this past spring in Garrett College’s Joan Crawford Lecture Series, exploring the potential positive impact of fusion energy. He noted the important role Garrett College plays for its students and the community.
“Garrett College has the unique ability and opportunity to tune its educational services to the specific needs of Garrett County,” said Heckman. “I’m a great believer in the mission of Garrett College.”
Heckman hopes his experience as an aerospace engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur will bring a unique perspective to the Board of Trustees.
“It’s all about return on investment,” said Heckman. “I want to help maximize the benefit of the community’s investment in our students, and in our students’ investment of their time, talents, and treasure in a college education.”
“Kurt brings valuable experience in entrepreneurship, high-level administration, and STEM disciplines,” said Don Morin, chair of the Garrett College Board of Trustees. “I appreciate Kurt’s eagerness to join the Board and support the College in its critical educational mission.”
Heckman currently serves as president of vCalc, the online science and industry calculation site (www.vcalc.com), which manages a fast-growing calculator, equation, and dataset library. Heckman’s technical background includes large IT integration, program management, systems engineering, and software development.