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Ian Lim and Keathan Fertig placed third at the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium (MICS) robotics competition. Teams were tasked with designing, building, and programming a robot to locate, retrieve, and accurately shoot a three point basket. Teams were scored based on the number of valid baskets made within two minutes.
The assistant director of eCampus, Steven McGahan and CSIT Chair and professor Dr. Sherri Harms created a capstone course to introduce social media as a useful tool for business and self marketing. The course includes the history, politics, and sociology of social media and concludes with a social media marketing campaign. Local businesses took part in the project, including Mosaic, the Red Cross Fort Kearney Chapter, Kearney Children's Museum, and others.
Congratulations to Michael Odell, Gerardo Quintero, Ben Bomberger, and Abi Pofahl for their first place performance at the "Tilt-a-Hurl Too" robotics competition hosted by the artificial intelligence class.
Congratulations to the UNK CyberDefense students, especially CSIT students Oliver Avande, Doug Perez, Devin McIntyre, and Michale Odell.
In March 2015, President Obama announced the TechHire Initiative, a campaign that encourages businesses and communities to quickly train people for high-paying technology jobs (www.whitehouse.gov/issues/technology/techhire). Kearney, NE is among 20 communities involved in the campaign. Dan Hoffman, the COO of the nonprofit venture development organization Invest Nebraska, said that Kearney is a good fit for the program because of the area’s “entrepreneurial ecosystem. It has a great university, and I think that it is positioned right at a crossroads in Nebraska for developing more of a technology-based economy.” In collaboration with the State of Nebraska, Buffalo County, and Kearney, Xpanxion and Invest Nebraska have worked to build partnerships with local training institutions to ensure that individuals who successfully complete their programs are connected with IT jobs – like software development and quality assurance work for clients such as The Weather Company, Sony, Red Hat, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. Through this initiative, Kearney will launch a technology incubator that will support high-growth software startups in a rural environment, bringing ideas to a low cost area with access to reasonably priced talent in rural Nebraska.
Mary Vaughn (CS, 1978) will receive the Distinguished UNK Alumni Award
Vaughn has an extensive background in computer science technology. She is president of Metargy Inc., currently supporting Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is also author of “The Gruntled Employee: A Holistic Approach to Creating Happiness and Success at Work,” which provides training programs for individuals and organizations to be happier and more successful.
For a number of years prior, Vaughn worked for Computer Sciences Corp., where she managed 1,200 employees and was responsible for a $150 million annual profit center. During that time, she was an account executive for Internal Revenue Service, United States Postal Service, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DuPont, BHP Billiton, AT&T and Sun Microsystems.
Her career also includes work with ETA Technologies, where she was responsible for ensuring quality systems in place for technology developed to support NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Vaughn has been honored with excellence awards for service provided to AT&T and Sun Microsystems. She volunteers with veteran support groups that support service members, veterans and their spouses by conducting Gruntled University Development, Personal Empowerment and Relationship Management workshops. She currently provides workshops to homeless veterans and those with traumatic brain injuries.
Angela Emrick-Hollman (CS, 2001) and her husband, Travis Hollman (2000), of Kearney, will receive the Young Alumnus Award
Travis and Angela Hollman started a web development business in 2000 while finishing their degrees. In 2008, Hollman Media was formed and the company hired its first employee.
Today, Hollman Media employs 10 developers, programmers and designers building award-winning websites and innovative mobile applications.
The company’s WeatherThreat.com closings and alerts system has been used millions of times in the past decade. Hollman Media is currently working with Nebraska researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to produce a free application aimed at helping cattle producers identify the real-time risk potential for their livestock. The application allows producers to be proactive in mitigating stress to their livestock.
The company is also working on “The Kearney App” that is a collaboration among UNK, the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney Visitors Bureau and several other institutions in the Kearney community.
Work has resulted in recognition of a number of awards, including the 2014 Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Award. They used the money from that award to create a new digital intern program at UNK.
Angela also teaches in the Information and Telecommunications Department at UNK. Travis is an adjunct faculty member.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) Department of Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) offers the only Information Technology (IT) Bachelor of Science program in Nebraska. Students can choose between three areas of emphases, System Administration, Web Development, or General IT.
The UNK IT major with an emphasis in System Administration prepares students for professional system administration careers. These high demand professionals are needed to run and secure the day-to-day computer operations for organizations in every industry. One of the main responsibilities of a professional system administrator is to identify computer systems’ vulnerabilities. It is critical that the UNK IT program teach students how to address this complicated problem, through hands-on experiences. Unfortunately, the industry standard tools are very expensive.
Nessus® is the industry’s most widely-deployed vulnerability, configuration, and compliance scanning software. Nessus features high-speed discovery, configuration auditing, asset profiling, malware detection, sensitive data discovery, patch management integration and vulnerability analysis. With the world’s largest continuously-updated library of vulnerability and configuration checks, and the support of an expert vulnerability research team, Nessus sets the standard for speed and accuracy. Nessus is a product owned by Tenable Network Security, Inc. The lease fee for enterprise edition of this software is $5000.00 per a year.
Through a proposal written by CSIT faculty member, Shahram Alavi, Tenable Network Security, Inc., kindly agreed to waive the cost of the lease for the Nessus Enterprise software for 5 years. This agreement is worth a total of $25,000 and provides students in System Administration and Computer Security courses with the use of state of the art software in preparation for their careers as system administrators.
Intel generously provided ten Intel® Galileo hardware development boards to the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) Department of Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) as part of their Intel Galileo University Donation Program. UNK’s proposal, written by CSIT faculty member Shahram Alavi, focused on how the Galileo hardware would be used to introduce CSIT students to different architectures and operating systems.
The Galileo computer is circuit board that’s a little larger than a credit card, and uses Intel’s low-power Quark processor. The board is a competitor to the popular Raspberry Pi open-source PC, and is Intel’s first open hardware development board. The Galileo retails for $60.
Intel believes that students everywhere deserve to have the resources and skills necessary to become the next generation of innovators. In the press release for the Intel Galileo University Donation Program, Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich stated, “Through our ongoing efforts in education, we know that hands-on learning inspires interest in science, technology, engineering, and math."
UNK CSIT students will be able to use the Galileo boards in several CSIT courses, such as Operating Systems and Computer Organization. They also can be used to learn ARM assembly language and in research projects such as in robotics, sensor networks, or embedded systems.