Posts Tagged ‘4 + 1 Program’

Spotlight on Nationwide Insurance Hackathon

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From left Nathan Bailey, Jim Gay, and Ryan Kemper (not pictured-Brandon Smith and Matt Christian).

Nathan Bailey BS ‘18, Ryan Kemper BS ‘18, and Brandon Smith recently participated in the annual Nationwide Enterprise Hackathon in Columbus, OH.   All three are Nationwide interns; Nathan Bailey and Ryan Kemper are also members of the ITS School’s Mentorship Program and  4 + 1 Program.

The Nationwide Enterprise Hackathon is a fun and engaging event where associates organize into teams. Each team competes to develop a working prototype in a condensed period of time. Teams are encouraged to creatively tackle relevant business problems.

“This event truly embraces Nationwide’s innovation culture,” says Matt Christian BSC ‘99.  “In the past several years we’ve even seen our business partners present.  They are helping shape the problem statements the teams are formulating solutions around and answer benefits questions when in judging rounds,” he said.

“We’ve also seen infrastructure, risk management, and architecture associates getting involved.  Our IT organization has really embraced it as a great way to collaborate with their peers while producing positive outcomes for Nationwide,” states Christian. Matt Christian is an ITS alum and in IDL-Marketing, Collaboration, and Communication, Infrastructure and Operations at Nationwide.

Christian helped organize infrastructure support for the 17-hour event, bringing AWS and Azure platform support resources, Computer Support, ID Administration, Network, and Code Repository support.  Vendors on site included: Oracle, Box, Mongo DB, Amazon, and Microsoft.

“We provide support for anything the teams need in order to continue the innovation journey these teams are on throughout the course of the event,” says Jim Gay. Jim Gay is the VP of Infrastructure Delivery for Nationwide, and ITS Advisory Board member, who served as a Judge.

Fifty-six teams consisting of Nationwide associates developed ideas that could benefit Nationwide associates (employees), members (customers), or the business.  There is no guidance on what kind of ideas that can be generated.

  • Ryan Kemper was a participant on a team built a SQL query builder and chat bot.
  • Brandon Smith was on the logistics team helping deploy monitors to all the team tables at the Hyatt’s Regency Ballroom as well as with the network setup in the Ballroom (Nationwide provides all wireless connectivity – Hyatt only provides bandwidth).
  • Nathan Bailey was one of the lead engineers that deployed network equipment, wireless controllers, and more than 20 Access Points that supported the 300 participants in the Ballroom.  He also worked with Hyatt’s Network team to deploy bandwidth to the room prior

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.”

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