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Spotlight on Riley Engle

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The School of Information and Telecommunication Systems (ITS) at Ohio University offers opportunities that are hard to come by. Graduate student Riley Engle knows firsthand just how beneficial these opportunities can be. As part of the School’s 4 + 1 Program, Engle was able to work towards his Master’s degree as an undergraduate student last year.

“They modify the curriculum to allow you to take graduate level classes to finish your graduate degree faster while also meeting your undergraduate requirements,” said Engle.

While he knows he is on the right path now, Engle initially began his college career at Ohio State University studying computer science. He felt that something was missing in his coursework and knew that he needed to try something else. He then looked to the ITS School at Ohio University.

“I took one class with Phil Campbell and he sort of took me into the program and made me feel like I was at home, which is really what I was searching for in my college major,” said Engle. “He pretty much helped me plan out my next two years the first day I was in his office.”

Engle has worked closely with other professors, such as Julio Arauz, where he has been able to get real experience on important projects. He is currently working on a project with Arauz looking at smart cities, machine learning, and big data and planning to come up with a Professional Project for his master’s degree that relates all of these areas. This type of interrelation is one of the reasons he is so passionate about ITS.

“We have policy classes, encryption class, things that get really down to detailed stuff that we’re going to see every day in the actual field, which I think is really cool. At the same time, there’s a general core of technology.”

Outside of school, Engle has had an internship with RoviSys in Aurora for the past two summers in both the IT and customer service departments. This has given him the opportunity to do both back end work as well as projects for updating networks. He has found that his experience in the ITS school has given him a strong working knowledge and was directly relatable to the work he was doing.

When asked to describe the ITS school, Engle stressed that, “There’s a lot more to it than what you think of when you hear the name. There’s so much you can do with it.”

Spotlight on ITS Student Ike Riesbeck

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Ike Riesbeck came to Ohio University believing his calling was on the stage of a theater. Today, he works behind the scenes, working with information systems to make live productions happen.

During his first year of college in the BFA Theater program, Riesbeck began hearing more about the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems. He talked to Doug Bowie, the ITS Network Admin.

“He told me about ITS and I was kind of entranced by it. The idea of these highly efficient systems for transmitting information and the fact that it relates to all the things I love doing in my free time,” said Riesbeck. He found that the ties to the internet, social media, and file transferring made him want to give the program a shot.

He finished out his first year as a theater student and then transferred to ITS. Over the summer he began working in Memorial Auditorium where he has found the connection between the ITS field and live event production. Riesbeck compared the way that microphones project a signal into an auditorium to the way you might think about telephone signals. Being in a theater setting while working with the systems that allow productions to succeed, he has found the best of both worlds.

Ike remembers speaking with an ITS grad during one of his first shifts who is now one of the Event Services administrators at Ohio University . “I asked him, ‘When do you use ITS in Event Services?’ and he looked at me and said, ‘Every single day.”

While Ike is new to the program, he is seeing similarities in the way information flows through auditorium systems every time he works. To him, one of the best things about the program is that it teaches critical thinking and problem solving, skills that can be utilized in any problem or situation.

Riesbeck appreciates the field of ITS and its complete permeability into any type of environment, “You’re using the things that the computer science and the electrical engineers build and you’re advising people how to use those things in the everyday world.” He highlights the network and business components of the field as something that many overlook.

When asked how he would describe ITS, Ike replied, “Do you want to know how the internet works? In turn, do you want to know how information works? ITS will teach you that.”

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