Posts Tagged ‘ITS’

Say Hello to Graduating Senior, Ryan Hill!

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The school of ITS is home to a number of students dedicated to furthering their education and skills in all things IT related. A prime example of this is graduating senior, Ryan Hill.

Ryan Hill is a senior in the program, originally from Lancaster, Ohio. Before he made the switch to ITS as a sophomore, he was a Computer Science major.

“I was always interested in hardware and networking, but I originally wasn’t pointed in the right direction,” said Hill. “After my freshman year, I realized coding isn’t what I wanted to do, and with some help from both my CS advisor and Phil Campbell, I made the switch.”

Once he transferred into the program, Hill was immersed in an educational program filled with computer networking, security and infrastructure information. “I have taken all of the required classes, along with the multiple security electives and internet engineering,” said Hill. “I think this program does a good job of laying the foundations for IT, which is very important.”

Outside of class, Hill has also experimented with virtualization, thanks in part to the direction given to him by Doug Bowie during Bobcat Network Innovation Center (BNIC) meetings.  “I have pretty much purchased a good portion of the same equipment that the university’s data center uses. I have everything from servers to storage area network devices,” said Hill. “This home project experience helped me land an internship with the City of Athens.”

In this job, Hill performed a number of IT tasks, including (but not limited to) – desktop support, computer networking, upgrading and patching environments and managing the city’s VR environment. Ultimately, this experience prepared him to intern with Progressive Insurance, where he continued working with virtual environments, as well as physical data center work, and tier 3 support.

“When you’re looking at 50 to 60 thousand employees needing support across the United States, it really brings home the fact that you’ve gained a really valuable amount of experience,” said Hill.

As a result of his successful internship, Hill has been offered a full time position with Progressive Insurance, starting this summer. Hill has one final comment about ITS: “The thing I like about this program is that the faculty and staff are always there for you. I am really looking forward to following the developments of the program after graduation.”

Say Hello to MITS Student, Punit Basnet!!

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Meet Master of Information and Telecommunication Systems student Punit Basnet, from Kathmandu, Nepal.

Basnet, who graduated in 2015 from the PEC University of Technology in Nepal with a degree in electrical engineering, worked several years in his home country before deciding to attend Ohio University.  “I held a couple of positions, one as a drive test engineer for signal quality for the national telecom network provider and as an associate engineer for a radio station,” said Basnet.

Basnet came to Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, in August of 2017, to further his education with a graduate degree in a field related to telecommunications.   “I heard that some of the best graduate institutions in the world are in the United States,” said Basnet. “Upon further research, I discovered that Scripps [within Ohio University] was one of the top-notch colleges in the States for all things communication.”

Fortunately, the leap of faith that brought Basnet to the U.S. and Ohio University has paid off – he has received a valuable education involving challenging and fulfilling graduate assistant work plus the research he was able to do on his own project.

“Outside of my classes, I have been working on my graduate project, which is a mixture of my grad assistant work with Professor Kruse and my own research,” said Basnet. “This project deals with graphing sensor data from a remote perimeter with delayed connections. Data from these sites will be collected and analyzed in a network monitoring software which will generate reports for scientists.”

Basnet has also been involved in other ways:  volunteering for ITS events such as ITS Day and the Lonsbury Memorial Golf Tournament, as well as troubleshooting ION software for NASA with ITS faculty.

This level of involvement created a passion for the program.   “I like the mixture of challenging courses. The Professors, like Dr. Roycroft, really care about the students and I’ve never met people like them before,” said Basnet.

After graduation, Basnet plans to work in the IT field within the United States, with plans to eventually return to Nepal to apply his education and work experience in his home country. Best of luck, Punit Basnet!

Spotlight on MITS ’19 Student, Nana Ekow Taylor

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The school of ITS provides a challenging and industry conscious curriculum that produces many talented individuals in the workforce. Reflecting this are the wide range of companies many ITS undergrad and grad students work for upon graduation; examples – Nationwide, Progressive and Huntington. However, one grad student by the name of Nana Ekow Taylor, has received a position at a company like none other, Facebook.

Taylor is a grad student in the ITS program, originating from Accra, Ghana. Before coming to the United States, January 2018, Taylor was a telecommunications and software engineer for various companies. However, despite his success in the industry already, Taylor decided to pursue his master’s degree.

“After working a couple of years in the industry, I realized there was a trend of new developments and I felt that I needed to acquire some new knowledge and skills to remain relevant,” said Taylor. “Having said this, I thought to pursue higher education as a means of achieving this”.

Throughout his graduate experience, Taylor has taken a course load that has supplied him with a wide range of knowledge with industry concepts. Along with this, he has worked with Professor Aruaz on some of his projects as an graduate assistant. All of this knowledge and experience led up to Taylor’s application to Facebook.

“It was pretty straightforward. Once I turned in my application, I got an email from a recruiter and I was given a shot,” said Taylor. “After that, there was a series of 4 interviews, some technical, others personal.”

Upon interviewing, Taylor’s experience with telecommunications, programming and project management was what set him apart from other candidates. This ultimately resulted in his job offer and acceptance.

“It was a pretty exciting day,” said Taylor. “I always wanted work experience in the U.S., but I never expected a company like Facebook. I am very happy for this opportunity”.

Taylor will start his position after the end of Spring semester. He will be relocating to California, where the HQ of Facebook is located.

Spotlight on the Bobcat Network Innovation Center (BNIC)

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Created in 2013, BNIC, or the Bobcat Network Innovation Center, is an organization within the School of Info and Telecom Systems that provides students hands on experience with valuable industry tools and practices. This experience comes in the form of 2 sets of labs that can be accessed via Google Drive. The labs cover the concepts of VMWare and Active Directory, concepts that are important to industry professionals.

“BNIC was designed as a space to cultivate and develop the critical knowledge of important industry technologies. In turn, this has led to a lot of positive feedback from IT Professionals both inside and outside Ohio University,” says Bowie.

Bowie has been a network administrator, primarily for the ITS program, since 1997. His main role is to provide support for the lab environments, whether that be VMWare, Windows Active Directory or IoT. With his impressive knowledge of all things IT, it was not a challenge for Bowie to create some labs and presentations for the ITS students.

“The Dean of the Scripps College of Communication put out a call for a more creative approach to student experiences. I envisioned an environment where students could innovate more rapidly and with room to grow that knowledge. I decided to create labs for students and make special time in the Schoonover 004 lab to explore,” says Bowie.

BNIC has developed over the years into an informal environment where students can come in and deep dive into whatever technology topic they are interested in. This has lead to a number of students bringing their hardware to the organization such as Gaming PC’s, Raspberry Pi’s and even servers.

Not only are students getting involved, but faculty, alums and other staff as well. Brandon Saunders, visiting professor in ITS, is a frequent attendee of BNIC who lends his extensive knowledge of IT and a helping hand. Corey Shafer, OIT Linux administrator, has come to a meeting and demoed competing VM hypervisors. Finally, Craig James, an ITS alum working for Buckeye Rural Electric, comes to nearly all the meetings and talks to students about the active environment that he runs for his company.

“The thing I love most about BNIC is how unpredictable it is. There is something new every time that we meet and it excites me just thinking about it,” says Bowie.

Meet ITS Professor, Dr. Andy Snow!!

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ITS is an educational experience that offers a wide variety of industry perspective to students in both its bachelor and masters programs. Most of this perspective is provided by the numerous expert faculty members teaching its courses, including Dr. Andrew Snow.

Dr. Snow is an extremely versatile and talented industry professional, who has experience in a variety of different roles, spanning several areas within IT and Telecommunications. These roles include (but are not limited to): US Army Signal Corps Officer, US Navy Microwave and Optimal Fiber Transmission Engineer, General Manager, Department Director, Vice President and President for a variety of consulting & systems integration firms.

Preceding his expansive industry experience, Snow received both his bachelor’s and master’s in Electrical & Electronics Engineering at Old Dominion University. Then, twenty years later, once he had discovered his passion for telecommunications, he went back to school at the University of Pittsburgh for his PhD in Information Science and Telecommunications.

After receiving his PhD, Snow brought his expansive industry and educational experience to the School of Info and Telecom Systems, at Ohio University. Here he teaches a number of graduate and undergraduate classes which include: Understanding Internet Technology, Lifecycle Management of Information and Telecom Systems, Research Methods, and Strategic Issues in Information and Telecom Systems Technology and Policy. When asked about his passion for teaching ITS he says, “I like the melding of telecommunication technology, policy and management that is in this program”.

In addition to teaching, Professor Snow likes to conduct outside research and lead a number of IT projects. The subject areas he is currently interested in include network survivability and IT & Telecommunications project management.

With all of this experience in IT and telecommunications, both in the industry and academia, it is clear that Snow has a lot of passion for the field. When asked why he thinks that ITS is important, he has this to say, “IT and Telecommunication networks are the glue that holds this new information economy together”.

Spotlight on ITS Alum Sami DeVille Messerle ’09

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ITS Alum Sami DeVille Messerle ’09

We love hearing from our alums! We asked ITS graduate Sami DeVille Messerle some questions about her time at Ohio University, her current job, and of course, the field of ITS at Ohio U

Hometown: New Philadelphia, OH – now New Orleans, LA

When did you graduate from Ohio University’s McClure School of ITS? Fall 2009

Degree(s) held: B.S. Communication – ITS

Current job? Technical Operations Manager for Mignon Faget, Ltd, a jewelry design house in New Orleans, LA with a small chain of brick and mortar stores and online web store. I am a one person shop, and oversee helpdesk, network administration, database administration, web server management and web design, vendor management, and almost literally anything that plugs into a wall. I love working for a SMB because I get to really flex my skills and pursue kind of any part of the IT world that interests me, from graphic design to PCI compliance.

What skills did you learn in your undergraduate program that you use in your current job? Basic networking and administration concepts, encryption and security best practices, how to source tools and white papers to stay up on the latest technologies, and overall what a career in IT can really mean – it doesn’t have to be a help desk or highly structured office job. The range afforded to me in my current career has a lot to do with the wide variety of information technology concepts and business administration skills that I was exposed to during my time in the ITS program.

Best ITS class taken during undergrad? This is a difficult question. I got a lot out of Phil Campbell and John Hoag’s classes while I was there, as far as a baseline in IT knowledge goes. Phyllis Bernt’s IT Compliance class is still immediately helpful to me when navigating legal stuff in my current job. Andy Snow’s project management class also gave me the tools and confidence to tackle large scale IT projects, one of which I am undertaking right now.

Advice to current undergraduate ITS students? Take advantage of the networking, clubs and the programs available for certifications now. I always disregarded advice like this while I was a student, but if I could have a do-over for the extracurricular part of my college education I would do it.

What would you say to potential students looking at the McClure School of Information and Telecommunications? I would say go for it – the program vastly expanded my skill set and the way that I learn new skills and made me immediately hire-able, which is not always the norm when choosing a major.

Favorite thing about Ohio University/Athens? I miss the food and drinks! Hanging out at Jackie O’s, Cheese Stix and the Roadside at Lucky’s, Thai wings with blue cheese from Red Brick, fried chicken from Miller’s…these are the things I daydream about when I’m missing Athens.

Meet ITS Visiting Professor, Brandon Saunders!

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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 Aráuz!

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Professor Julio Aráuz

Dr. Aráuz has been teaching at Ohio University since 2009. Before coming to OU he taught for two years in his home country of Ecuador and worked at  NEC Network labs in Heidelberg, 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 and self-organizing systems.

Professor Aráuz 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. Aráuz’ research interests is advancing telecommunications education toward innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.  He recently started working in projects related to responsive cities. A responsive city is one in which technology is used to improves people´s life in meaningful, measurable ways. This is often in opposition to the term smart city, which these days refers to the indiscriminate use of technology regardless of the actual benefit on pressing urban issues.

He wants future students to see the real potential that responsible use of technology in cities can have in the world. Responsive cities and responsive communities are the future and “yeah we teach that.”

Spotlight on John Dolovacky

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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

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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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