Spotlight – Girl Scout STEM Day

On November 16, 2019 Christopher Newport University hosted a STEM Day for local Girl Scouts. This event took place in several classrooms in Luter Hall. The girls attending were third and fourth grade Girl Scouts. The girls were split up into teams of about ten and led through various activities by CNU student volunteers. These activities included an algorithm making lego activity, a conductivity circuit activity, a balloon activity that demonstrated the thrust of rockets, and an army man launcher building activity. These hands-on activities were a fun way to teach young girls how fun learning about science and technology can be. 

The Society for Women Engineers (SWE) played a big part in the success of this event. Members volunteered to give back to the local community and spark interest in STEM for young women. Hannah Allen, member of the SWE executive board, was the overall organizer of the event. In addition, throughout the day she made sure everything was running smoothly, checking in on each group and station to make sure people were in the right places and had what they needed. 

Hannah said one of her favorite moments was lunch because they had a pizza and Bill Nye viewing party, and it was a peaceful part of a fast paced day. She also spoke highly of the volunteers, praising their skills in interacting with the kids. Hannah remarked that third and fourth graders are often smarter than we give them credit for, so maybe in the future the event will include more challenging activities. 

Hannah spoke warmly of this event and definitely recommends that more students should get involved. The event will be held at the same time again this year, and Hannah intends to plan it again so it is in good hands. If you’re interested in volunteering or otherwise getting involved in future events, keep an eye on your CNU email inbox or reach out to Hannah Allen at hannah.allen.17@cnu.edu closer to November.

Thank you to Hannah and all the volunteers who helped put on such an amazing event.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Kimley-Horn

Pizza My Mind was presented by Kimley-Horn on February 20th. Kimley-Horn is a multidisciplinary consulting firm with a wide range of services including aviation, water, parking, environmental engineering, forensics and many others. They have offices all over including offices in Newport News, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Reston, and Washington DC. Employees have opportunities to move to other offices based on what projects are available. 

Clients are the most important thing to Kimley-Horn. Clients include universities, city governments, businesses, companies like Verizon, Walmart, and the list goes on. The employees who work directly with the clients to keep them happy are prioritized to maximize client satisfaction. There are also support groups working around these teams to help them achieve their goal. 

Kimley-Horn offers lots of development opportunities for employees including both technical boot camps and non-technical workshops. They prioritize training throughout your job. Other perks to working with Kimley-Horn include bonuses, paid time off, retirement supplements. Kimley-Horn works to provide an environment for the employees to flourish. Not only that, but it is an employee owned company, so there are benefits that come with that as well. 

Go to www.kimley-horn.com/join-our-team to see what job opportunities they have today!

Thanks to our presenters from Kimley-Horn!

Pizza My Mind Presented by IDTech

On February 27th, the physics computer science and engineering department welcomed back IDTech to present at Pizza My Mind. IDTech hosts technology summer camps at universities all across the United States with locations in Virginia at the College of William and Mary, Norfolk State, University of Richmond, and University of Virginia. They offer a wide array of classes for children interested in technology. Employees have the opportunity to be camp counselors and teach classes to the kids. Class materials and the opportunity to indicate interests and choose what to teach are provided. 

Working as a camp counselor at IDTech is a good stepping stone to move toward a job in the tech field. Teaching others proves you have a solid grasp of a topic as well as enthusiasm for it and these are both desirable qualities to companies such as Bethesda, Google, Volvo, and General Motors. All the companies just listed hired former IDTech employees. The opportunities stemming from a job with IDTech are limitless. 

IDTech provides training in how to teach and interact with kids before the summer camps start, so you don’t have to worry if you’ve never done something like this before. They also offer competitive pay alongside provided housing and food. There are travel options among the numerous locations. Also provided are opportunities for professional development and other job opportunities beyond camp counselor within IDTech.

Additionally, IDTech was voted one of the top places to work for the majority of the past several years. They’re looking to hire many summer interns or camp counselors and also have some full time positions as well. Any interest in teaching or experience in school projects, gaming, or any cool tech projects you’ve worked on are all things that IDTech is looking for.

Apply at www.IDTech.com/jobs today.

Thank you to IDTech for presenting!

Spotlight – Spring Break Service

Christopher Newport University’s Spring Break lasted from February 29th to March 8th. This year, several students from the Physics Computer Science and Engineering department spent their spring breaks on a service trip volunteering for the community. Avery Logue, a junior pursuing an information science major and minors in both computer science and leadership, and Zayn Khurshid, a junior majoring in information science, traveled with REACH alternative breaks to different parts of Virginia to volunteer. The service trips began Sunday March 1st and ended Saturday March 7th, so these students gave almost their entire spring breaks volunteering. 

Avery was a trip lead on his trip to James River State Park. He spent the past two years volunteering on REACH trips to this Park alongside Logan Camp, another trip lead this year. At the park, Avery participated in miscellaneous jobs including clean up and maintenance work. The service trip happened to coincide with the opening of the park, so they were tasked with building gravel paths, repainting railings, blowing leaves off trails, reorganizing the visitor’s center, moving and splitting logs, and filling potholes around the park. Time not spent making the park presentable and accessible was spent playing games and bonding with other volunteers.

Zayn, who had served as a trip leader in the past, travelled to Lynchburg Grows in Lynchburg, VA. His service trip also featured a lot of physical work. He spent time digging, planting, composting, tearing down an old greenhouse, and participating in other odd jobs around the farm. 

On the Friday near the end of the trip, Avery’s group attended a barbeque lunch and participated in a table tennis tournament. There was much fun to be had in down time from the service work. Zayn admitted that his favorite part of the experience was being able to see the impact their work had on the community and people they were helping. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows. The outdoor work comes with the side effect of getting pretty dirty. On the way back to CNU, the van that Avery’s group was riding in blew a tire leaving them stranded on the side of the road. Luckily, a friendly police officer happened to drive by and stop to help.

Both students spoke very highly of this experience. They formed lasting friendships every year and created many fond memories to look back on. Not only that, but devoting your entire spring break to helping others can grant you a whole new perspective on life. Avery and Zayn both strongly recommend that other students take the opportunity to go on service trips and help local communities. These fun and rewarding experiences should not be passed by.

Thanks to Avery Logue and Zayn Khurshid for sharing about their spring break service trips!

IEEE_HKN Student Leadership Conference

Griffin Tritaik and Elliott Armstrong, members of Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at Christopher Newport University, attended the annual IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference in Boston, MA. This conference is held yearly for engineering students in leadership positions in their IEEE-HKN organizations. It is a great networking opportunity as students from all across the country attended.

At the conference, Elliott and Griffin had the opportunity to attend workshops to discuss ways to improve local organizations. Workshops offered information on student opportunities to get money for service based projects. Others provided potential capstone project ideas students may not have otherwise thought of. There they also met students from many other universities including Mississippi State, UCLS, Northeastern, NC State, and many others. Graduate Schools also had a presence at the conference where they gave information about what graduate school has to offer and the benefits of going. 

Elliott and Griffin talked about their favorite parts of this conference that included the opportunity to meet industry professionals who shared real life experiences. There were also many other students who shared similar interests and were excited to connect with other members of IEEE. In addition, there were many fun activities including a robot competition. The competition required the building of Texas Instrument robots to navigate a maze using touch and light sensors as well as race in a relay race. 

Notably, CNU’s HKN-IEEE organization was recognized as a Key Chapter for following the best practices of a successful chapter. Based on their amazing experiences, Elliott and Griffin recommended that those that have the opportunity in the future take advantage of it and attend this year’s conference in San Diego.

Pizza My Mind Presented by UiPath

On February 13th, UiPath presented Pizza My Mind. UiPath is the fastest growing Enterprise Software company in history. Based in New York, UiPath has locations all around the world. This company offers software that automates processes so that real people can get more relevant work done in the time that is freed up. The software uses RoboticProcess Automation (RPA) that offers automated solutions for less cost and cuts down on the amount of time the process takes. To simplify, the software is a robot that makes life easier and saves you time. 

UiPath offers an Academic Alliance Edition of the RPA program to universities. This program is available for students to make robots to execute simple tasks for them. There are also platforms people can go to view other robots that other students have created and share their own robots with other students.

UiPath does offer summer internships, but they are a small company so these positions are limited and competitive. Good ways to stand out are showing experience in automation and RPA. Having experience with the tools offered by UiPath is also a great way to stand out to other companies or partners of UiPath. 

See https://www.uipath.com/ for more information about what UiPath has to offer, and check out job opportunities at https://www.uipath.com/company/careers/jobs.

Thank you to the presenters from UiPath! 

Pizza My Mind Presented by Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton presented Pizza My Mind on January 30th. Based out of Norfolk, Va, Booz Allen Hamilton is a digital tech solutions company that provides digital solutions, consulting, and analytics. Alongside presenters Aaron Harris (Lead Technologies) and Ryan Adair (Senior Lead Technologist), there were many CNU alumni including Technologists Colton Derr, Matthew Honecker, Ian Miller, Tyler Smith, Lead Technologist Jackie Fernandez, and Staff Technologist Adam White. All the presenters that joined us came from the Norfolk location, but Booz Allen Hamilton is a global company with locations in Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and more.

The presenters talked about the benefits of working for Booz Allen Hamilton. These benefits include the ability to guide your career track. You decide what you want to do or learn and the company will work with you to help you learn and switch positions. It does not matter what degree you have going in, you are encouraged to pursue the path you’re interested in. The work at Booz Allen Hamilton is project based, so there is a lot of variety in what you can do from project to project which is great if you are a person who likes variety. 

The internship offered at Booz Allen Hamilton is called the summer games program and offers interns exposure to real projects and the ability to work alongside full time employees. There is a lot of freedom in the way you can go about the project, and at the end of the internship you present to company higher ups in DC. Interns have a high likelihood of receiving a job offer after the internship. The community is really supportive and questions are encouraged so that everyone can work together to solve problems. 

There are positions available for internships and full-time positions. They are looking for strong problem solving skills and a well-rounded skill set.

To apply go to https://careers.boozallen.com/.

Thanks to Booz Allen Hamilton for presenting at Pizza My Mind!

Pizza My Mind Presented by HyperSizer

Presenters Charlie Black, Simon Baar, and current CNU student Emery Weist from HyperSizer hosted Pizza My Mind on January 23rd. HyperSizer is actually software that the Collier Research Corporation uses to analyze and optimize structures for customers such as NASA, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing. They are headquartered right here in Newport News. 

Hypersizer would be super cool to work with. The software is used to model planes, rockets, and drones. Another perk is the small company environment. The office is a big open room which allows and encourages open communication between all members of the company. In this setting, it is very easy to talk to coworkers about problems and ask questions. The company encourages learning as well and offers financial support to employees to take classes and pursue learning opportunities. Another perk is the flexible schedule allowed as long as you’re getting your work done.

Candidates for internships or full time positions should be willing to take on a challenge. Things HyperSizer are looking for include proficiencies in C# or Java, C++, 3D graphics development, experience with UI frameworks, and relational database management systems. They are looking for juniors and seniors to fill open summer internship as well as full time positions!

To apply, check out https://hypersizer.com/about/join-our-team/.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Marathon Consulting

Marathon Consulting presented Pizza My Mind on January 14th. Marathon is an Information Technology consulting company founded and based in Virginia Beach. In 2016 they were voted the best place to work, and have been in the top 20 best companies to work for since 2011. Marathon is not a government contractor; Instead, they serve mostly mid- range businesses in a variety of projects.

The benefits of working at Marathon Consulting are numerous including health care, paid time off, professional development, and in some cases PC purchase reimbursement. After you’ve been with the company for a year, they give you a one week training course to keep you learning and cultivating relevant skills. 

Marathon Consulting offers both full time positions and internships. They are looking for skilled candidates who are balanced, committed, and hardworking. Full time positions like Junior Technical Advisory Member or Junior Application/Web Developer are available as well as seasonal internships, so there is a little something for everyone. Go to www.marathonus.com to apply today!

Thank you, Marathon Consulting, for presenting Pizza My Mind!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Genworth Financial Inc.

Pizza My Mind was presented by Genworth Financial Inc. on January 16th. Genworth is a financial/insurance company headquartered in Richmond. The presenters, Meygan Joyner, Data Scientist and Matt Thompson, Lead Data Scientist gave an excellent presentation on artificial intelligence and deep learning. They discussed topics such as classification vs. regression, supervised vs. unsupervised learning, graph fits, modeling data, neural nets, and problems commonly run into in the data science world. 

Genworth is looking for interns and full-time applicants. With small teams, employees at Genworth have freedom to do what they want while using cutting edge tools. Interns are given real, high level work and many opportunities to grow and learn. Internships last 3 months, are paid well, and there are awesome benefits like housing stipends for those who live far and chances to explore Richmond and contribute to the community. As far as full-time positions, Genworth has an IT development program that is excellent for college graduates. This program is an opportunity to learn and eventually move to a department of the company you want to work in (like data science).

Go to www.genworth.com/careers to apply!

Thanks to Genworth for presenting!