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2014 Highlights

2014-HighlightsIt was another great year for the National Convergence Technology Center. We have asked the partners and grant staff for their highlights in 2014. Here is what they had to say.

Ann Beheler, Principal Investigator

A highlight of 2014 has been to see the collaboration of the National Convergence Technology Center and the National Information Security and Geospatial Technologies Consortium grow. Both grants focus on networking/IT programs and have made an enormous impact on our students, here at Collin College and our partner colleges across the nation. 

The NISGTC career coaches, job placement and tutoring have all significantly improved the opportunities for student success. And the CTC has provided many great experiences to give exposure to students in the program.

One example has been our work with Chelsea Fitzgerald. Both grants have helped Chelsea attain success not only in her academic career at Collin College, but with starting her career in the IT industry. Watch this video to hear Chelsea’s story and how the grants have helped her to achieve her goals.


Helen Sullivan, Director

I am thankful for the six new colleges we added to the Convergence College Network in 2014:
Gwinnett Technical College – Georgia
Houston Community College – Texas
Kellogg Community College – Michigan
Lone Star College – Texas
Sierra College – California
Sinclair Community College – Ohio


Mark Dempsey, Program Manager

We delivered two webinars to over 30 CCN faculty members – one in the spring on planning and implementing STEM summer camps, one in the fall on being aware of biased “micromessages” in the classroom.  This is new thing for us – and it’s our plan to deliver these kinds of webinars twice a year going forward.
Barring any unforeseen hiccups, this (our 5th one) will be the biggest Winter Working Connections ever.  From 16 states, we’re hosting 58 attendees, 10 of whom will be participating remotely, covering three tracks.  Typically, we consider Winter Working Connections to be our “smaller event” of 30 or so people, but this no longer seems to be the case.  This year, we’re essentially running a half-scale version of Summer Working Connections.


Jennifer McGarvey, Web Communications Editor

My 2014 highlights include traveling to several conferences, including the first ever Summer Working Connections North at Fox Valley Technical College and the second Summer Working Connections South at Florida State College at Jacksonville, as well as the MPICT Winter Conference in San Francisco, HI-TEC in Chicago and ATE PI in Washington, DC. Attending these conferences has given me the opportunity to meet some really great people, learn a ton of new things, connect with helpful resources and practice my photography in new cities. It’s been a great year!


David Keathly, University of North Texas

The Highlights for 2014 at UNT include receiving ABET Accreditation for the BA-IT program and another successful summer of AppCamps at Collin College and Cisco.


Eliazar Martinez, El Centro College, DCCCD

1. Attended a Latinas in STEM one day conference with over 250 students and approximately 100 parents.
2. El Centro College sponsored travel of one of our students to the HI-TEC Conference.
3. I presented at the Texas Technology Forum on Multiple Open Sources Cloud Platforms.
4. We are planning to bring evening classes in the topics of Hardware, Networking, Web Design and Microsoft Office to the West Dallas YMCA during the summer 2015.
5. Have purchased a couple Dell servers and will begin to offer VMware classes in spring.
6. We had a student volunteer and was videotaped as part of the ATETV marketing grant targeting Hispanic Women in Technology. 


Elizabeth Halweg, Fox Valley Technical College

Elizabeth’s highlights included having several student success stories published in college’s Focus Magazine, including one about an IT student who is working at the student help desk on campus.


Ernie Friend, Florida State College at Jacksonville

FSCJ has updated the entire Networking AS degree at the direction of our local Business and Leadership Industry Team (BILT).  Program updates include creating 6 stackable technical certificates embed in the AS degree.  We are also working on virtualizing all of our Microsoft courses to allow student access 24/7.  We have created a LinkedIn group that will be used to help students find jobs as well as give us away to communicate with current students and alumni.


Jon Hardesty, Collin College

1. New Cisco Networking Lab was acquired and the equipment installed at the Spring Creek Campus to increase our Cisco Course offerings.
2. The programs in Computer Networking, Cisco Computer Networking, Convergence Technology, and Information Systems Cybersecurity were redesigned to meet the state-mandated requirement that all AAS degrees comprise no more (and no less) than 60 semester credit hours.
3. New courses in Cloud Computing and virtualization were incorporated into the new Convergence Technology degree.
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