Author Archives: Melissa Bruno

UNHM Professors to Hold Workshops at Girls Technology Day Event

On Thursday, March 14th, 2013 (better known as “Pi day”) Professor Mihaela Sabin and Michael Jonas will be holding two workshops at Girls Technology Day. The event is being held for the first time, and will be taking place at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. Over 200 girls, grades 8-10, are expected to participate in the event. Catherine Blake, Lecturer in Marketing from the University of New Hampshire who received her M.B.A from Harvard University, will be the keynote speaker.  The event will host ten workshops, of which the girls can choose four (including Cybersecurity, VEX Robotics, Careers in Technolgy Round Table, Cisco VoIP Lab, Making Ethernet Cables 101, and more) to experience first-hand what it is like to use a variety of different technologies in computing and engineering.

Students participating in Sabin and Jonas’s workshops can look forward to programming a multiplayer board game in the Greenfoot interactive Java development environment, and creating their own mobile apps for the Android operating system.

Visit NHTI to Host “Girls Technology Day”  for more information.

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UNHM Student Gains Valuable Experience from Internship with DEKA

sadie

Source: UNH Manchester News

In this economy where the jobs are sparse and the market competitive, it’s almost expected that college students will graduate with some sort of hands on, practical experience.

Alumni that participated in the Internship Program as undergraduates have reported higher starting salaries and higher positions available upon graduation than college students without previous experience.

For Scott Adie, a Computer Information Systems major at UNH Manchester, his internship with DEKA, a research and development corporation in Manchester challenged him.

“I had to learn a new programming language from the start,” he says. “I had never touched it before. And that entire summer I learned it and am very competent in it now. Now it’s one of the languages I use the most. So it really benefitted me.”

Adie’s summer internship worked out so well, his supervisors at DEKA asked him to come back for another internship in the fall.

“Internships get us into the real world, and give us a glimpse of what we are going to be doing,” says Adie. “And it prepares us even more than the University can because we’re dealing with co-workers, we’re dealing with deadlines, we’re doing projects, things like that.”

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Alumni Corner – Interview with Matt Vartanian

MattVartanian

We recently interviewed alumnus Matt Vartanian. Here’s what he had to say about his time before and after graduating from UNH Manchester!

Where do you work?

I am a Network Engineer at Philips Healthcare in Andover, Massachusetts. I work on a team that creates specifications for hospital networks running Philips patient monitoring devices. We validate and verify a wide variety of configurations for networks that carry real-time physiological patient data.

What do you like about your job?

I enjoy problem solving, and there is plenty of opportunity for that at my job! While I have key objectives and projects to focus on, I also have the freedom to think independently and focus on areas in our systems that I think need attention. However, I think the most rewarding part of my job is realizing that the documentation and consulting provided by my group improves the lives of patients in hospitals all over the world!

What advice do you have for current CIS majors?

Study hard! The curriculum at UNHM is excellently designed for providing a well-rounded platform from which to start. You increase your value to a company by maintaining a wide variety of skills. At my job, I have used skills I learned from courses focused on databases, object oriented programming, excel spreadsheets, and networking concepts. When you graduate with knowledge of the basics of software engineering, database management, computer networking and administration, you can apply for entry level positions in any one of them, and choose your focus later.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In a couple of years, I expect to become a Senior Network Engineer for Philips. This comes with greater responsibility and I expect to take on more challenging and exciting work during the years to come.

Was there anything you wish you had done?

I wish I had made time for math and basic electronics classes to supplement my CIS courses. Maybe I’ll return someday!

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Congratulations to December and September 2012 Graduates!

graduate-collage

Dean Rafieymehr awarding four of the nine BS CIS graduates with their diplomas.

Congratulations to BS CIS September and December 2012 graduates, Damir Ibrahimovic, Jeffrey William Knight, John Sjoberg Maddaus III, Eric Thomas Murphy, Paskale Odongo, Christopher Reekie, Jonathan W. Schultz, Thomas Michael Tierney, and Cedric R. Woodbury!

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Student Story – Alex Scripcenco

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Alex Scripcenco seen in front of the UNHM Pandora building.

by Erin Clark, English major

When you first meet Alex Scripcenco, you might be hard pressed to find a hint of an accent behind his excellent English. But for this graduate student, English is a second language after Russian and followed by conversational Romanian. Language barriers are just a small sample of challenges this student faces, but he is overcoming these challenges and taking full advantage of the opportunities here at UNH Manchester.

Scripcenco is in his second semester as a graduate student and is studying to get his Masters of Science in Information Technology (MSIT). After moving to the states from Moldova, Scripcenco applied to the new program in 2011 because his engineering degree is not recognized in this country. He was hoping to gain a good educational background, and had heard good things about UNH Manchester.

Scripcenco is currently working full time as a technical consultant for Sprint and taking grad classes part time. Someday he hopes to start his own business in IT consulting, but he hopes to work for a large company to gain experience first. Scripcenco chose this field because “it’s all about connecting,” and where education is such a huge investment nowadays, he wanted to be sure that what he was studying would be relevant now as well as ten years from now. Already, the field has developed tremendously since he graduated, and at times it can be challenging to catch up.

Despite the challenges, he is happy to be here and working hard. When I asked what the main differences were between the education here in America and back in Moldova, he said “back home, everything is much more traditional. Here, there are so many resources available because of the Internet. Everything is online, and you have more of a choice in what you can study here,” once again proving how great the resources and opportunities are at UNH Manchester.

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UNHM Students Visit Dyn to Learn About Internship Opportunities

Students from CIS 685 – Professional Development Seminar can be seen here in front of Dyn’s wall of IP addresses and domain names issued by the company.

November 27th, 2012– UNHM’s CIS 685 – Professional Development Seminar class took a trip to Dyn before potentially applying for internships at the company. The DNS, email, SMTP, and Domain Registration company, situated in Manchester’s Millyard, gave a tour to the class of mostly seniors.

Dyn is a company with a very vibrant culture, which was obvious immediately upon walking in the door, where a novelty “switch to the internet” could be spotted. The number of cool, quirky items did not diminish after the tour began–a Kinect could be spotted next to a ping pong table in the cafe area, and in the hallway just beyond that was a vintage arcade machine beautifully restored to display the Dyn logo, and a rock climbing wall.

There seemed to be no shortage of freedom and creativity among the company’s staff, and each employee’s work space was made unique with various decorations. Some employees could even be seen zipping from place to place on scooters. We spotted a few familiar faces, as Dyn has employed a number of UNHM alumni in the past, including Bethany Ross, who we recently interviewed about her experiences at the company.

We learned a lot about the company and what it’s like working for Dyn. Dyn consists of three major departments: engineering, IT, and marketing/sales. No day is the same, and the work is very fast-paced. Although the employees are given a good amount of freedom, they are also held to a certain degree of accountability–you may not be expected to be at your desk every minute of the day, but you are expected to get your projects done.

All in all, Dyn was a very impressive workplace and well worth the visit. The company is rapidly expanding and always looking for talent, and anyone who is interested in working for Dyn is encouraged to apply online.

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Alumni Corner — Interview with Alumnus Bethany Ross

Bethany, center-right, having fun with coworkers at her new job.

We asked Bethany Ross, an alumnus from the UNH Manchester CIS program, a few questions about her new job and her time spent at UNH Manchester!
Where do you work?
I am an eCommerce Support Representative at Dyn (Dynamic Network Services) in Manchester, NH. I provide technical support to close to half a million home users and small businesses with a specialization in billing and abuse.
What do you like about your job?
The environment at Dyn is unlike any other place I have worked. I get to wear jeans and tee shirts to work and play foosball. Another aspect that I love about my job is that I seem to learn something new everyday. It’s crazy to me that I spend 40 hours a week doing something that was a focus of only an hour of one of my CIS classes.
What advice do you have for current CIS majors?
Try everything and get involved! When I was a freshman I would have never seen myself doing what I do now, but I enjoy it. Also take classes in departments that aren’t CIS, you’ll learn things that are helpful in any field such as communication skills.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in a supervisory role doing something in the IT field. Hopefully I’ll be finishing a master’s degree by then too!
Was there anything you wish you had done? 
I wish I had gotten involved as an Orientation Leader earlier. I became an Orientation Leader partly to overcome my fear of talking to large groups of people that I didn’t know. Let me tell you, talking to 40 new students with all eyes on you is a quick way to overcome it. I also met faculty and students I would not have met other ways.
We like to stay connected with our alumni and get them involved with our community. How would you like to stay involved and share your professional knowledge and expertise with us?
I really enjoyed when former students came in and talked to current students, I would love to do that. Interesting part of that is, when I met with one former student in the Internship Experience class, she was actually working in the department at Dyn where I work in now. I would also like to get involved in anything that gets more young girls involved in technology, there is such a gender gap in the field. I was the only woman that graduated with a BS in CIS in May 2012, I would love to see that never happen again!

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UNH Manchester Holds Mobile App Development Program For Teachers

Teachers from NH work on developing a mobile app.

Last Friday, high school teachers from across the state were invited to UNH Manchester to learn mobile app development techniques in an event sponsored by the Career Development Bureau. Participants used MIT “App Inventor” on Motorola X phones running the Android operating system to develop and implement their first mobile app, a spin off of “Hello World” programs called “Hello Kitty.” Instructor Patrick Lagace, a Computer Science teacher at the Cheshire Career Center at Keene High School and adjunct faculty member at Keene State College lead the discussions for the creation of this simple app. Once completed, the app contained a picture of a cat which, when touched, would meow or purr. Upon shaking the screen, however, the cat would meow and hiss. About 30 people were enrolled in this free program, and attendees were given free lunch, as well as a hard copy of the book “App Inventor: Create your Own Android Apps,” by David Wilber, Hal Abelson, Ellen Spertus and Liz Looney.

UNH Manchester will offer a Mobile App Development course this Spring. CIS majors as well as anyone with an interest in mobile computing are encouraged to enroll.

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More Scholarship Opportunities Available For Tech Students In NH

Source: Globe Newspaper, Boston.com

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Students pursuing degrees in tech-related fields in New Hampshire will now be eligible for more scholarship money, thanks to an agreement between the New Hampshire High Tech Council and the state’s public colleges and universities.

The chancellors of the University System of New Hampshire and the Community College System of New Hampshire recently signed a memorandum agreeing to contribute matching funds to the tech council’s Kocher Scholarship Program.

The agreement will enable the council to award more scholarships at higher amounts. Awardees now will receive $4,000 scholarships. Applications will be accepted for the next round of funding from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28

Read the original article

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Reflecting on the Grace Hopper Celebration

The RockIT Science Celebration held on the last day of the conference.

On Tuesday, October 2nd, I left New Hampshire to attend The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Although this was not my first trip to Baltimore, the trip marked my first technology conference, which ended up being just as memorable as I had expected.

When asked recently what the best part of the conference was, I could not make an immediate answer. Of course, there were the small things–before even arriving in Baltimore I already had all three days of my trip planned out with the Grace Hopper Celebration mobile app, a useful tool for making schedules and  exchanging contact information which really showed off the programming skills of the people involved.

Everything was very well-organized, and every event that I attended ran smoothly and on time. The line for registration moved quickly, and even at its longest, one could expect to get their badge in half the time that it would take to get a cup of coffee at the Starbucks nearby.

The keynote speakers were fantastic, particularly Nora Denzel who spoke on Thursday morning. The sessions held covered a large variety of topics ranging from very general ideas that anyone could relate to, to very specific focuses that I had never heard of, but each session was very informative and usually got their participants involved. Whether you were an undergrad, completing the last year of your PhD, or already working, there was something for everyone.

The goodies given out by companies when picking up your badge and at the career fair and were very cool–some highlights include a bar of chocolate from Microsoft decorated with the Windows Phone, and an I ❤ Clean Code screen cleaner from AAC.

As important as all these things were for creating a great conference, however, the attendees were what really made this such a memorable experience. Every person I spoke with was friendly and professional, and no matter who they were or what their background was, they were all in their own way inspiring. I had more great conversations than I can count, and found that even if I missed a session because it was filled to capacity, I could more than compensate for this by just joining in on a conversation with the people around me. I spent hours speaking with professionals in the industry and other undergrads about working in the computer industry and how to find a career, and in a way, I learned much more from these spontaneous conversations than I did from the seminars that had been planned out long beforehand.

No matter what profession you are, I strongly suggest that you attend a conference that surrounds you with people who are similar to you at least once. Don’t wait until you’re already out of school if you can help it–there’s no better way to reassure yourself that your degree is worthwhile than to meet people who have already found success and happiness in the career you want to pursue.

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