Raleigh Faculty Member Wears “Super Geek” as Badge of Honor

CIS faculty member Erla Beegle is no regular geek; she’s a bona fide Super Geek. That’s what the Kramden Institute calls volunteers who lead Corporate Community Service Days. A longtime partner with ECPI’s Raleigh camps, this nonprofit organization refurbishes computers that would otherwise be discarded and donates them to schools and middle-school children in economic need.

Under the guidance of a Super Geek like Erla, companies “rent” Kramden for the day with a tax-deductible donation and then send employees who help refurbish the computers. When they’re finished, those once discarded machines are ready to hum back to life, complete with Microsoft Windows 7, web browsers, and anti-virus installed. Thus far, Kramden has distributed over 10,000 computers in its quest to bridge the digital divide.
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App Camp in Chesapeake, Virginia

Virginian-Pilot Reporter Hattie Brown Garrow came to cover ECPI’s App Camp at the Chesapeake Conference Center today. In conjunction with the Chesapeake Technology Business Consortium and Chesapeake Public Schools, the university is providing instruction during a week-long, intensive course on mobile apps.

Students participating in this free program learn how to build an app, develop solutions for potential problems and create graphics for the interface. Led by ECPI University Associate Dean of Education Technology Gerry White, they will also learn how to make a basic game for mobile devices that is downloadable so they can play it with their friends.

The ultimate goal, however, is to ignite student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by making these subjects fun. “You never know, this sort of experience just might lead a student down a very rewarding career path,” says White. “When you show them the practical applications of something they once considered abstract, it creates a fertile ground for learning.”

Girls Get IT – Moorefield Campus Uses Group to Educate and Encourage

One of the top paying career fields is Information Technology and it’s no secret that it is and has historically been, a male dominated field.  With inspiration from a program originally created by Cisco®, ECPI is taking full advantage of its CIS Department Head and female role model, Mrs. Iantha Finley-Malban, to create their own original program called “Girls Get IT”.

A little play-on words for a program that exposes young women to the amazing world of Information Technology, this program consists of a small panel of female professionals from the industry sharing their experiences with young ladies.  Discussing anything from why they chose the field, to what their education was like, to what role they play, and how they got to where they are today, the young girls have an interactive dialogue with strong female leaders in their area.

After discussion and questions, participants are broken up into groups.  Each group is given a unique IT issue to discuss and try to solve, with one of the professionals helping them brainstorm, after which everyone comes back together as a group and shares the newly learned information.  ECPI also provides pizza during the small groups to continue the energy flow!

The students end up leaving energized and excited about the possibilities of their future, the panelist are equally enthusiastic about encouraging another generation, and ECPI has a blast sponsoring the event, creating strong ties between the campus and the community.

MCI Students Impress at Richmond Health Fair

ECPI University’s School of Health Science, Medical Careers Institute (MCI), recently provided some vital assistance to a local employer, Colortree in Richmond, Virginia.

Colortree’s human resources department contacted ECPI with the goal of establishing a wellness fair and health screening to allow its employees to choose which health insurance would be most appropriate based on individual needs. Nearly 200 employees attended and the event created a great synergy between the University’s Emerywood and Moorefield locations.

Colortree was so impressed by the professionalism of the students that they have decided to make the wellness fair an annual event. Plus, Colortree’s insurance company has now requested that MCI’s Medical Assistant Department conduct wellness screens with other its other customers as well.

ECPI Sponsors STEM Robotics Challenge

ECPI University sponsored Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ STEM Robotics Challenge which took place today at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

The almost 400 students from Virginia Beach schools participating in the STEM Robotics Challenge included Christopher Farms, Landstown, Linkhorn Park, Lynnhaven, Princess Anne, Strawbridge, and Thoroughgood Elementary Schools; Kempsville, Plaza and Virginia Beach Middle Schools; and Bayside, Cox, Green Run, Kellam, Kempsville, Landstown, Ocean Lakes, Princess Anne, Salem, and Tallwood High Schools as well as the Advanced Technology Academy and the Technical and Career Education Center.

In addition to our sponsorship, ECPI University faculty members Lance Blevins and Ed Konowicz (seen in photo) served as judges. There were  many bright young people at the event and ECPI was proud to participate!