Wednesday, October 28

IT-oLogy, 1301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC

A massive digital transformation is taking place in society and the pace is only accelerating.  Industries, as well as organizations and individuals, are being impacted in ways never imagined.  What are examples of this transformation?  How is it having an impact?  Why is it important?

This year’s Trends conference will focus on the overall digital transformation taking place in society and the associated security issues that come along with it.

To register: https://it-ologytrends2015.eventbrite.com

IT-oLogy has worked closely with the National Center of Women and IT (NCWIT) for many years. One of the many successful NCWIT programs is Aspirations in Computing Awards (AiC) AiC is a recognition program for high school girls at both national and local levels. The Charlotte WISE program is excited to lead the local NC AiC for the sixth consecutive year. Last year more than 2800 high school women from across the nation applied for the award. Two of the 35 national winners were from North Carolina and eighteen more NC women were recognized at the local level celebration.

The NCWIT AiC Award honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. This multi-tiered competition includes recognition at the national level (sponsored by Bank of America) and at the local level (sponsored by Microsoft). Applications for the 2016 Award for Aspirations in Computing are open from September 1 to October 26, 2015 (8:00 p.m. EDT).

Share the information and encourage high school women to apply. It is a wonderful opportunity that provides a life long network of support. Find out more at www.aspirations.org/participate/high-school.

IT-oLogy is pleased to announce that the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing has opened for applications from high school-aged girls. The Aspirations Award was created to encourage the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in technology fields.

Winners are acknowledged for their outstanding aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. Students can find more information and register at https://www.aspirations.org/user/register.

The application period begins September 1, 2015 and will close November 9, 2015 at 11:59 pm.

Although women represent more than half the professional workforce and earn more than half of all undergraduate degrees, they hold just 25% of all computing occupations and earn only 18% of undergraduate computing degrees. This Award, part of the Aspirations in Computing Talent Pipeline Program, closes the gender gap in technology by identifying young women with computing aspirations and achievements and encouraging them to pursue technical careers. The Aspirations in Computing Program provides young women with prizes from national and local sponsors, recognition in their communities, opportunities for scholarships and internships, and access to a community of like-minded, up-and-coming technical women.

The Aspirations in Computing Awards South Carolina affiliates are IT-oLogy, Winthrop University and Columbia College.

Planning for the 2016 BDA is well underway. More than 60 volunteers are engaged in marketing, the program, awards and nominations, judging and sponsorships. The celebration will take place the evening of March 1st at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The BDA recognizes IT innovation in the Charlotte region, builds community around technology and positions the community to better engage and students for IT careers.

Nominations open in late September. The nine celebrated awards are: 1) Human Capital 2) Community Outreach 3) Student Innovator 4) Cool Innovation 5) IT Entrepreneur 6) Business Value – Corporate 7) Business Value – Small 8) Business Value – Medium and 9) Business Value – Non-profit.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Kay Read, kay.read@it-ology.org.

IT-oLogy Charlotte has all types of volunteer opportunities for professionals, community advocates, college students and retirees to engage with middle and high school students. In-school opportunities offer you the option to lead a session or series of sessions, speak to a class or at an assembly, spend 20 minutes with a student, serve as an e-mentor and more. Just a few minutes of your time goes a long way!

The monthly Cyber Saturday sessions for Middle School and High School students offer you volunteer opportunities from registering/ welcoming students to leading a session, helping in the sessions. We encourage you to share your passion for technology and your professional experiences with the students. Your excitement is contagious and we need your help in creating awareness around the many exciting careers in IT across all industries.

The next step is to contact Kay Read, kay.read@it-ology.org.

Since we celebrated teaching our 100th student what seems like such long ago we are now looking beyond and to our great lineup for Fall classes. We are continuing strong in the Upstate with our Cyber Studio Classes and hope to reach more children in the coming months. Thanks goes out to Nicholas McElveen who instructed a group of 25 children in our first fall class on August 29th. He is a wiz at Scratch and the children enjoyed learning from him. I received Nicholas’ name thanks to Stanley Zea both who work at Clemson CU-ICAR. We are excited that other instructors have come forward and volunteered their time thanks to the many connections that Stanley has provided IT-oLogy Upstate.

Along with our wonder volunteer instructors I wanted to shout out to ECPI Greenville who so graciously allowed us to use their space once again for our Saturday classes. Thanks to the campus President Karen Burgess, as well as Michael Baker, Director of Admissions and Donna Swanger for helping me coordinate the room and event.

Our next class will be held on Saturday, September 19th as we will cover HTML. We are so proud of our recent class attendees and their successes and hope we are able to reach many more students in our classes in the coming months as well as expand our reach to other areas of the Upstate. If you would like to be a part of our success, volunteer in the classroom or as an instructor, or are able to provide classroom space in the Upstate please contact Lisa Calhoun at lisa.calhoun@it-ology.org. The remainder of our fall schedule will be posted shortly – please remember to look us up on Eventbrite and search “IT-oLogy Upstate” to reserve your space early.

For many years, prolific writers and wise scholars have used phrases to capture a known phenomenon where timing of two separate activities come together to produce a successful outcome.  The phrase that I have used for the last twenty years or so is:  At the intersection of capability and opportunity lies the road to success.  Success is always defined by the opportunity, however the capability is defined by the preparation, the quality and the alignment of individual people taking action in order to meet the requirements of the opportunity.

 I would like to use this message to describe what this phrase means in the context of the IT-oLogy mission of advancing IT talent and closing the IT skills gap in this country.

In order to see that this preparation and capability building by an individual is directly correlated to certain levels of opportunity and is best described as a scaled continuum.  For the sake of following the examples we’ll use a scale from 0-30, where 0 represents an individual (student or adult) who knows nothing at all about information technology and 30 represents the pinnacle of a career in the profession (Chief Information Officer or Chief Digital Office).

 These 3 examples are somewhere between 0-5 on the  continuum

Example 1 – a student comes to an IT-oLogy camp or Cyber Saturday and learns how to take a PC apart and put it back together and make it work.  Then when an opportunity come at home or at school, the student seizes the opportunity and has the confidence to potentially solve the problem.

Example 2 – a person comes to a 3D printing workshop delivered by IT-oLogy and they 3 learn 3 things.  They learn design and innovation, they learn it takes software to drive the printer and they actually produce tangible output.  Then when the next problem arises that takes critical thinking, the person knows how to think it through.

Example 3 – a student or adult participates in the hour of code, developed by Code.org and facilitated by IT-oLogy and at various levels, they learn how to write software code.  This is like learning a language to communicate with computers, with the digital world.  The confidence building and the power of knowing software drives business prepares them for a detailed assignment in computing.

 The next examples are somewhere between 5-10 on the continuum.

 As high school students pick carer pathways, they now have multiple tracts that line up with categories of IT jobs and occupations and allows for some focused areas of study.  This can also be true as adult career changers use IT-oLogy Cyber Studio to determine their aptitude and areas of interest and continue skill building, including writing complete programs or smartphone apps.  The opportunity is that credit, certification and credentials are developed prior to entering higher ed or applying for that first job.

 The next examples are between 10-15 on the continuum.

Whether an individual enrolls in a Computer Science or IT degree program or just takes the courses in IT-oLogy’s CoursePower 18 hour minor in Applied Computing, the next level of capability is underway and more fully recognized by business partners looking for IT related skills.  This step is the basic building block for hands on opportunities like work based projects and meaningful summer internships.  Individuals with portfolios of capability place their resume out on IT-oLogy’s IT-Gateway and gain reach to companies across the country posting their entry level jobs and internships expecting greater pools of talent available through their involvement in the IT-oLogy consortium.

 The next examples are between 15-20 on the continuum.

The maturity process continues and some candidates begin to pursue developing innovative technology idea with others.  Many at this stage in the continuum get connected with a mentor from industry and potentially become a mentor to high school students in a near-pier program like IT-oLogy and the STARS program.  Also at this stage, more and more individuals choosing IT as a career may find themselves recruited to become part of an apprenticeship program.

The next scenarios are somewhere between 20-25 on the continuum.

When individuals apply for full time entry level positions in the IT profession, they use the preparation from being IT-oLogists and graduates with real world experience, and meet or exceed the criteria employers are looking for in a qualified workforce, thereby reducing startup costs and improving time to productivity.  Let us not forget that these IT jobs are some of the highest paying jobs and that the demand is significant.  Everyone involved benefits from the improved supply chain process.

As maturity occurs in the profession, some will start companies of their and certainly advancement is the norm for those in the IT profession.  IT-oLogy helps ensure that people stagy current by delivering programs and support for companies, user groups, other organizations.

These final examples are found with the experienced IT professional staying current and continuing to achieve new levels of success in their career and are between 25-30 on the continuum.

Examples are promotions to leadership roles and gaining highly specialized technical roles, possibly managing an IT area and equipping themselves to be in line for an executive position in IT.  IT-oLogy delvers conferences and Executive education to fuel this type of advancement in the IT profession.

 The CALL to ACTION is simple.  Participate in the process and seize the opportunities by being prepared and equipped and connected through IT-oLogy to recognize the possibilities when they come along. For employers, the return on investment in supporting and engaging in this process is recognized in hiring metrics, marketing and visibility for the company, but most importantly in the successful delivery of on time, high quality IT solutions.

IT-oLogy President, Lonnie Emard

Congratulations Greater Columbia BDPA HSCC Team for placing 3rd in the country at the 37th National BDPA High School Computer Competition held in Washington, DC.

August 18th – 22nd, 2015

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Pictured: National BDPA Vice President, Mike A. Williams; Briana Abraham, Braxton Robinson, and Jalil Peterman

The three HSCC team members did an outstanding job representing the State of South Carolina, Greater Columbia BDPA Chapter, Dutch Fork High School, Keenan High School, and River Bluff High School. The team members: Briana Abraham –Graduating Senior from Keenan High school and attending George Mason University Fall 2015; Braxton Robinson – rising Junior at River Bluff High School; and Jalil Peterman –rising Junior at Dutch Fork High School will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to be applied to any college of their choice.

For two consecutive days, 17 HSCC teams were engaged in an intense competition consisting of oral, written and programming requirements in which each team had to give a presentation to the judges within a limited time. The Greater Columbia HSCC team did a phenomenal job with just 3 team members when the majority of the remaining 16 teams consisted of 5 members.

Congratulations to Michael Friday of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of SC for receiving an Individual Epsilon Award for Community Service.


Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was the featured Town Hall speaker on Wednesday at the 37th National BDPA Conference, which was also a highlight for the students.

The Greater Columbia BDPA HSCC instructors are: Wayne Pankey, Alex Rabinovich, and Kelvin Robinson; GCBDPA High School Computer Training Program Coordinator and National BDPA YTC Project Manager: Jamesetta James; GCBDPA Chapter President and National BDPA VP of Membership Management: Mildred Allen. IT-oLogy, AgFirst, BlueCross BlueShield of SC and BDPA members sponsor the Greater Columbia Chapter.

The BDPA National High School Computer Competition, (HSCC), was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga. has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It’s all designed to introduce our Youth to the field of Information Technology, encourage them to seek higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals. BDPA chapters across the country offer website and database design classes to middle and high-school students. In addition to technical subjects, students are also exposed to soft skills training, current technology topics and speakers from various professions. BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates) is an internationally recognized organization of IT professionals whose goals include preparing young people who are interested in becoming the next generation of ‘Information Technology Thought Leaders’ in academia and corporate America. The regional and national HSCC competitions are part of the BDPA science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) pipeline summarized in its motto, ‘From the Classroom to the Boardroom’.

Join IT-oLogy and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce for a free special teacher training session on Saturday, September 19. Teachers will be teaching teachers how to deliver focused training modules for high school students. No experience necessary! The course is for teachers in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties.

To register: www.charlestonchamber.net/cybersaturday

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IT-oLogy Upstate celebrated teaching our 100th student in early July and are going strong continuing with our Cyber Studio Summer Classes. We are on our way and looking forward to our next ‘100 students taught’ milestone. I want to thank our great volunteers that have helped us in each class set up and tear down computers, get our laptops from facility to facility, assist with registration and support the students when they have questions or need help. Those volunteers are Jonathan Kilgore, a junior from USC Upstate, and Cole Calhoun from J.L. Mann High School. Our volunteer teachers have been Doug Glenn, Michael Hess and Steven Scheib.  All of these volunteer teachers were so very patient and have helped so many children further their interest in the IT field and learn introductory IT skills.

IT-oLogy Upstate is so fortunate to have the opportunity to work together with all of these wonderful volunteers. Last but not least, we are grateful to ECPI University Greenville for providing us classrooms that meet our needs for teaching all of our wonderful students. Our children have been so fortunate to learn so much in such a short period of time. During the month of July we have completed modules in HTML, Light Bot 2.0, Blockly, Codecademy and most recently a marathon session in Python.

It is such a wonderful experience to see how these children are enamored at their own success in solving problems, writing their own code, learning a new programming language and having so much fun all at the same time. We are so proud of their successes and hope we are able to reach many more students in our classes coming up in the fall. If you would like to be a part of our success, volunteer in the classroom or as an instructor, or are able to provide classroom space in the Upstate please contact Lisa Calhoun at lisa.calhoun@it-ology.org. Our fall schedule will be posted shortly – please remember to look us up on Eventbrite and search “IT-oLogy Upstate” to reserve your space early.

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