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Learn from our Summer Working Connections Guest Speakers

Regular blog readers are by now well familiar with the National Convergence Technology Center’s (CTC) annual Summer Working Connections event. Faculty from across the country that attend Working Connections select a specific IT track and then spend five days taking a deep dive into that topic. The goal is to immediately implement what they’ve learned in the classroom by either updating an existing course or developing a new course. What happens in those Working Connections classrooms is vitally important to helping keep IT classrooms up to date and students learning the most up-to-date and in-demand skills.

Aside from the usual 9am-5pm track lectures and labs, Working Connections also offers attendees short lunch presentations on a variety of special topics. Before the pandemic, these presentations happened in the lunch room in the cozy confines of the Collin College conference center in Frisco, Texas. But even after the event was moved online in 2020 and 2021, the tradition of the lunch keynote endured.

All of these presentations are posted on the CTC’s website so others might benefit from these guest speakers’ expertise. Zoom recordings offer a great way to repurpose event content for expanded reach and impact beyond those in attendance.

Below are lunch presentations from this past July.

  • Carlos Contreras, Americas Region Senior Director of AI and Digital Readiness for Intel, discussed Intel’s new AI education program. Watch the lunch presentation here or learn more here.
  • Two executives from Splunk – Vice President of Global Enablement and Education Ecosystem Eric Fusilero and Senior Manager for Education Delivery Chris Visaya – discussed the expanding job market for data scientists and how the Splunk Academic Alliance can help your IT program. Watch the lunch presentation here.
  • Our very own Ann Beheler and Christina Titus discussed the “IT Skill Standards 2020 and Beyond” NSF project grant. The ITSS project is convening employer experts across the country to identify essential skills for the most in-demand IT jobs. Educators can strengthen their own IT program by leveraging the ongoing results of this work here. Watch the lunch presentation here.

The CTC also welcomed some interesting lunch speakers at the 2020 edition of Summer Working Connections.

  • Jon Lundquist and Peter Carswell from Columbus State Community College discussed “Challenges in Building the Mobile App Degree Programs” and shared how they built their new mobile app degree program. Click here to watch the presentation and learn how they built this degree.
  • Jim Boardman from Palo Alto Networks discussed Cybersecurity Academy Certifications. Attendees discovered that there were 900 Cybersecurity Academies in 69 countries and that they were “open to any degree or diploma granting accredited institutions.” Click here to watch the video.
  • Laura Chappell of Chappell University discussed the Interplanetary Internet that helps NASA communicate with probes and landers on other planets. It’s a very technical – and very popular – presentation. Click here to see the whole thing.


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