Let the Gaming Begin

Gaming. For some people this means Pac-Man in an arcade in their teens. For others, such as the Gaming Club at ECPI University’s Virginia Beach campus, it means the opportunity to create its own role-playing game. The club set out to create “Truth Sayer,” which is set in medieval times and follows a person who is attempting to discover why the world is in ruins. Ultimately, he discovers it is because no one tells the truth, that there are no truth sayers.

It began with a group of students who had participated in a few workshops and stayed after class a few additional hours to work on the development of the game. After being self-taught in Unity, John Di Bona, now an ECPI graduate, taught his fellow students the program. Unity is a game development program, and it was because of John’s experience with the program that he is now employed at MYMIC, a high-technology business specializing in training analysis, simulation, modeling, and computer visualization solutions for the military. “Even though I’ve graduated I still participate as I want to see this thing through since I initiated the process,” said John.

There are now about 20 students who have contributed. “We want people who have a genuine desire to create a game and not just because it is in their field,” explained John of the team. “It is a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun.”

“It’s been a huge learning experience with the skill set needed often exceeding our experience, but we learn as we go,” said John. The entire process will take about 12 to 18 months with the ultimate goal to sell the game for the personal computer or Macintosh.

http://www.wrendercreations.com/

 

“I’ll build an app for that.”

After six years in the Air Force, Eric Richardson wanted to transition to civilian life by completing his education. Who better to ask for advice than his father who suggested ECPI University after graduating himself in the 1960s. Eric enrolled in the Web Development program at the Richmond Campus’s Moorefield location in Virginia using his VA benefits. Two years ago he began the process and he completed his last class to obtain his bachelor’s in September. He has already landed an exciting job with Willow Tree Apps.

“I liked the core programming classes that included Java and C# (pronounced C sharp for the less tech savvy),” said Eric. “After I got the hang of it, I knew that is what I wanted to do.” After Career Services assisted with an introduction to Willow Tree Apps, Eric earned employment over lunch with Michael Prichard, the founder and Chief Technology Officer.

Willow Tree Apps was founded in 2007 and is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were one of the first companies to launch an iPhone app, and its Spotasaurus app is often featured in Apple’s television and print advertising. “I’ve been attending weekly meetings while I’m still in school prior to making the move,” said Eric. “They have a west-coast start-up feel with an open, friendly atmosphere. It is going to make a great environment.”

Eric admits that the year-round schedule at ECPI was challenging but really appreciated the small class sizes. “I was able to ask questions and actually get a response,” explained Eric. “There was more interaction that the typical school environment.”

Youth Career Center Celebrates One-Year with Support from ECPI

On September 22 the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads celebrated its one-year anniversary. The center provides career guidance and workplace readiness skills training to Hampton Roads youth. On average, more than 50 people walk into the career center located in Pembroke Mall daily. In its first year, the center has made more than 12,000 connections.

Kevin Paveglio, ECPI’s Virginia Beach Campus President and Matt Albano, MCI Virginia Beach Campus Director participates in the check presentation at the Youth Career Center.

ECPI University and its school of health science, Medical Careers Institute, have been working with the center since its opening in September 2010. In celebration of the anniversary ECPI donated $25,000 in support of the center operations and services.

Not relying solely on mall traffic the center partners with Hampton Roads high schools to bring students on field trips to the center during the day. One of the student’s favorites is the Virtual Youth Career Center which allows students to create avatars to access online information.

Art as Communication

Who doesn’t love a good field trip? Students of Principles of Speech class in Raleigh, North Carolina were treated to a field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art that cleverly reinforced their in-class lessons covering verbal and nonverbal communication. Instructor Gloria Hicks said, “I love to use field trips and guest speakers to enhance our learning experience. An art docent and former art teacher put together a presentation specifically for our class, entitled Communication on Canvas.”

The trip amplified the learning experience as the sculptors and painters used nonverbal communication to send all types of messages through their work. “Art is a form of communication,” explained Gloria. “Many of my students had never visited a museum before and were mesmerized by what they saw and didn’t want to leave.”

Front row from left to right: Angela Marshall, Sandra Kucmierz, Anna Tarleton, Chris Smith, Jasmine Terry and Anthony Sala. Back row from left to right: Renee Gordon, Claude Brice, Amber Anthony, Bradley Spray, John Whitesides, Crystal Ray, Ms. Gloria Hicks, Instructor, Tyrone Tarvin, Joseph Macon and Monte Willis.

ECPI Continues to Be Recognized for its Service to the Military

Again for 2012, ECPI University has been designated as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs. The magazine targeted to military personnel transitioning into civilian life, included ECPI University in its 2012 Military Friendly Schools list. The ranking honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students.

“Those serving our country have unique needs and ECPI University has proudly been serving them for 45 years,” said Bob Larned, Executive Director of Military Education at ECPI University. “We do everything possible to assist military students in getting their degree, including our military distance learning partnerships with every branch of the military and our unique partnership with the Wounded Warrior Program to provide on base training with our Information Assurance Training program.”

The 1,518 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. According to the magazine, schools are making the grade by offering scholarships and discounts, veterans’ clubs, full-time staff, military credit and other services to those who served. The 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data driven survey of more than 8,000 schools nationwide. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools across the country.