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Meet ITS Visiting Professor, Brandon Saunders!


Visiting Professor Brandon Saunders

Saunders has taught the class “Internet Engineering” at Ohio University for three semesters over the past three years. He is now a visiting professor for the McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems. Within that position, he teaches “Intro to Information and Telecommunications”, “Internet Engineering”, and co-teaches a class on IPv6 deployments.

By internet standards, IPv6 is a new technology. The original internet was based on a technology called IPv4. IPv6 is a new version, but the change is no easy task. “You’re basically recreating the internet while it’s in motion,” Saunders said. The class talks about the complexities of adding the IPv6 function to an existing network.

Students who take the internet engineering class will have an advanced understanding of the technologies needed to deploy computer networks for small and medium businesses, as well as small internet service providers. After completion of the class, students will have the basic knowledge to be able to learn the remaining skills to work in any portion of the internet.

Before teaching, Saunders was an entrepreneur focused mostly in software developments. Prior to that, he worked for Ohio University as a network engineer where he deployed much of the university’s network infrastructure.

Saunders has always had an interest in computers and computer networking. “Getting a broad section of things working together to do interesting tasks is always what I’ve done,” Saunders said. He wants to help students pick up the skills and traits needed to be successful in the field of ITS.

“A lot of people have the viewpoint that the internet just works, it all just happens, it’s magic, or it’s a great big box that things fit into. It’s not. To make the internet operate correctly requires people with a very broad set of skills,” Saunders said. This is true more so today than ever before. Saunders believes ITS focuses on people having a broad set of knowledge that can be applied to solving problems required to running the internet.

Meet ITS Associate Professor, Julio Arauz!


Professor Julio Arauz

Arauz has been teaching at Ohio University since 2009. Before that he taught for two years in his home country of Ecuador and worked at the NEC Network labs in Germany. He decided to return to teaching because he missed the flexibility to research topics that he personally finds most interesting, such as the Internet of things, machine to machine communication, predictive systems, self-organizing systems and education and self-organizing systems and networking.

Professor Arauz teaches classes in networking, such as Data Networking and Wireless Telecommunication Networks, which include hands-on labs in the ITS lab space in the Schoonover Center.

One of Dr. Arauz’ research interests is advancing telecommunications education toward innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.  He recently started working with the City of Athens on integrating a smart city. A smart city incorporates technology with the city’s operations. “This technology has power to change the city and community,” said Arauz.

Arauz believes that smart cities are responsive cities that enable civil engagement. Basically, when community members interact with the city, they feel more connected.

The project has been in the works for over a year and may take two to three years to implement. There are not many similar projects in the works around the country.

He wants future students to see the real application technology has in the world. Smart cities are the future and “yeah we teach that.”

Spotlight on John Dolovacky


Through the ITS School, students and alumni are finding more and more ways to blend distinct interests together. For John Dolovacky, that process came from combining live event production and information systems.

Dolovacky originally came to Ohio University as an audio music production major. After taking a break from school, he came back to the university to obtain an ITS degree. He had known about the program since his freshman orientation, but it took some time for him to make the switch.

“I’ve always been interested in computers and technology and music. I really enjoy the AV (audio-visual) industry and ITS seemed like a really good tie-in with that,” said Dolovacky.

While still a student finishing his degree, he began working as the full-time Assistant Technical Director at Baker University Center. Still in this position, he works with AV installation, maintenance, and programming for all of the event spaces that Event Services oversees. He works to configure and set up networks so that access points can communicate with each other.

Another key thing Dolovacky works with is security. “Security is a very hard area but it’s growing really fast,” he said. He emphasized that many audio consoles for live events have iPad apps but there are rarely passwords. This lack of security means that hackers could break into the network. He plans to continue looking into security issues as a student in the Master of Information and Telecommunication Systems (MITS) program.

Dolovacky began learning about security through a class with Professor Philip Campbell, saying that he learned what to look for and what he needed to do when configuring a network. He believes the classes offered through the program have been incredibly beneficial in real life application.

Student groups also proved to be a great learning tool. “BNIC (Bobcat Network Innovation Center) was also really beneficial. I used to work with machines every day.”

He believes that his ITS background has given him the opportunity to really excel in his field. “A lot of people think that the ITS program is strictly computer stuff. In reality, the program is the study of how devices talk and communicate between each other and more along the lines of what’s really going on in the wire or in the air and how the data is transmitted through that.”

Spotlight on Riley Engle


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


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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