Pizza My Mind by Burlington Medical

Last week’s Pizza My Mind was hosted by Burlington Medical. Burlington Medical specializes in making medical clothing that protects from radiation such as aprons, glasses, and caps. They also make drapes and other necessary items for a medical room. The company is active in more than ten countries including the US, UK, and Japan. Newport News houses one of their major production facilities so CNU students enjoy close proximity to the inner workings of the company.

Burlington prides itself on providing high quality custom products and service. The large majority of their products are measured custom for the specific customer to guarantee a comfortable fit. The most important focuses of the job are radiation protection for medical procedures such as xray and better support surfaces to prevent bedsores.

Innovation is the most important quality in a potential employee. New hires should also be humble, hungry for growth, and smart as specified by the presenters. Burlington is a market leader in scatter radiation and wants to keep growing and maintain that position. The company is growing fast so take the opportunity to get in before it grows even larger.

Student Question Section

To learn more see their site below.

SWE Escape Room Event

At the beginning of February, The Society of Women Engineers or SWE conducted an escape room event. The event took place in VA Beach and CNU students were driven their by a CNU provided van and accompanied by Dr. Lambert. After a group breakfast, the students split into two groups and both entered the escape rooms.

Professor Lambert and SWE students

The escape rooms themselves offered a chance to test problem solving skills in a stressful but low risk environment. The two groups were also in competition to see who could solve the room first. I spoke to two SWE students who were present at the event, Miya Washington and Monica Perez. Both expressed great enjoyment of the event and a desire to continue events of this type in the future. Monica went one step further and explained that she had the opportunity to meet many new girls who were a part of SWE and even shared classes with her.

These personal events give CNU students the chance to meet new people, face new challenges, and better understand the organizations that exist in order to help not just women engineers but all CNU students reach their potential. If this type of event interests you then check out SWE for yourself or any of the other numerous PCSE organizations available.

Read more about SWE here.

Pizza My Mind by MAXIMUS

MAXIMUS recruiter Thomas Griego led the Pizza My Mind presentation for last week. MAXIMUS is an international provider of consulting solutions and program manager that specializes in working for the government. The company is active in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the UK as well as other countries. MAXIMUS does not work for non government clients.

Griego beginning his presentation

The company is focused on providing innovative technology solutions to help improve government programs in order to allow citizens to better engage with their government. MAXIMUS currently has a strong reputation as a tax exempt non-profit organization funded by employee donations that are backed in full by the company. Competitive grant making programs are available. Currently the company is very successful in gaining grants as well.

The government prefers to work with Java, angular JS, HTML, and css among other programming languages. MAXIMUS software development hires are preferred to have experience in those areas.

The internship application date unfortunately passed very quickly after this presentation but for future reference MAXIMUS generally gives 45 minute interviews to new applicants. US citizenship is required. Applicants are normally asked to live in or around Reston VA during the summer.

Post presentation student questions

MAXIMUS is a very promising company who was very open to providing advice to future applicants even if that advice steers them away from MAXIMUS. If you’d like to know more check out their website.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Coveros

In case you missed Pizza My Mind presented by Coveros, a recap is below.

The presentation was led by Coveros CEO Jeffery Payne. Coveros is Payne’s second company and he is always looking to innovate. The company focuses on coaching organizations through the implementation and use of Agile development methods. The services include transforming to agile for the first time, new development under agile, DevOps implementations, as well software testing and security assistance.

Jeffery Payne addressing the crowd.

Coveros focuses heavily on two open source projects. SecureCl for DevOps automation and the test automation framework Selenified. Clients of the company include Liberty Mutual and Fannie Mae among many others. Notable projects include being brought in to help correct the infamous website and get it properly functioning as well as working with Abiomed team to transition them properly to Agile methodologies.

Employees at Coveros enjoy a relatively small company with a lot of room to grow personally through training and as a company. Coveros is looking to employ summer interns and full time employees. Long term employees at Coveros are able to access full financial details of the company as well as profit sharing in the event they company does well.

Coveros is based in the DC area and applicants are preferred to live in that area or close to it. Former Coveros intern Sadie Rynestad spoke highly of her experience at Coveros where she created an android app during her time there. She was trained in several of Coveros’ products and general junit and DevOps.

Jeffery Payne is an exceptional speaker and competent CEO who take new hires far. Consider Coveros.

Payne answering student questions

He can be contacted at

Pizza My Mind Presented by MITRE

This weeks Pizza My Mind presentation was led by MITRE Hampton Roads employee and software engineer Dorian Voegeli. MITRE does not work for profit. Instead, the company operates research and development centers funded by the federal government. As a result, MITRE is not allowed to create products by itself and instead only deal with products through the government.

Dorian Voegeli (center), Colin McRae (left), and James Tobin (right) address the audience

Currently MITRE operates research and development centers or FFRDCs in fields such as national security engineering, homeland security, advanced aviation systems, healthcare, cyber security, and more. The company also handles the social sciences as well as science and mathematics.

There are two primary campuses located in Bedford, MA and Mclean, VA. Smaller sites are located all over the country. Employees have access to technical conferences, programs to learn new skills, and possibly tuition help for advanced degrees. It is even possible to apply for funding for independent research while working for the company. Interns may enjoy intern cups or competitions.

CNU students and MITRE interns James Tobin and Colin McRae, both seniors majoring in computer science, spoke briefly about their time with the company. James was able to spend one summer at MITRE’s Tampa site to work on challenges for an intern competition. Colin, a senior at CNU this year, was able to get his internship by speaking to a MITRE employee who ran labs for CNU. Further stressing the importance of talking to people to get job opportunities. Voegeli was also capable of emphasizing the many useful opportunities that MITRE provides. The benefits are wide and may be worth looking into if you are looking for a place to work long term. The potential benefits for an aspiring PCSE major are high. It is an exciting company that you should check out.

PCSE students asking questions after the presentation

In order to apply to MITRE a 3.0 GPA is required as well as the ability to apply for US security clearance as a US citizen. Applicants for internships must be university bound and have some programming experience. Rolling applications begin in February and March while internships generally begin in the summer. Students are preferred to have experienced one functional and one object orientated language.

For more information go to their website.

Perfect Commerce Presents Pizza My Mind

Director of the Perfect Procure project and 10 year Perfect Commerce employee Barclay Schell leads the presentation for Perfect Commerce. He is joined by CNU alum Elliot Rieflin who has worked at the company for one year as a software engineer.

Barclay Schell and Elliot Rieflin (right) beginning the presentation

The company focuses on Cloud based procurement systems and e-commerce. It provides services many major companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Nationwide. Schell’s team consists of 4 CNU grads and one CNU intern so Perfect Commerce is very CNU friendly. These programming teams utilize an agile development approach to solve complex problems as efficiently as possible. One goal of the company is to build a library of Angular, a web framework built by Google for responsive Application Design, components across Perfect Commerce products. The frameworks created exist to create a visual component separate from the business logic.

Perfect Commerce has offices in many regions of the world so some flexibility in work location does exist. The company is very happy to hire CNU graduates so contact them in the future!

To learn more Barclay Schell can be contacted at or go to their website.

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

The past Pizza My Mind featured the return of Canon Virginia for their second presentation of the year. Canon heavily emphasizes heavy community and environmental involvement. Canon’s Anne Goldberg led the presentation.

Anne Goldberg leads presentation

The American branch of Canon does not actually make cameras. Instead the branch refurbishes and repairs existing cameras. Production of copiers, laser printers, and toner cartridges also take place here. Plastic injection molding is another process now done at the Virginia plant.

The Virginia site is becoming the regional Technical headquarters for Canon. New major areas are targeted as focal points for the future of the site. These areas include Automation and Controls Engineering, Business Development Engineering, Tool Engineering, and Recycling/ Materials engineering. Medical supplies and Engineering are also growing in prominence.

Internships begin in May. Students are given a specific project to work on during their placement. While they will meet the other interns the projects themselves are separate. Interns must be working towards an undergraduate degree and be classified as a junior or senior credits wise. They must also be 18 years old.

Employees at Canon have a well defined path to advancement and the ability to rotate positions every 6 six months for 18 months as part of the Engineering Rotation Program in order to experience a wide variety of work.

Canon offers a relatively unique internship in terms of structure and a chance to work in an important industry with passionate professionals. The presenters were strong at answering questions and providing info. The interview process has begun so apply now.

The Canon team addresses student questions

If you would like to know more about Canon please visit their website.

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Hello Captains,

Every so often Pizza My Mind offers a glimpse into our future as PCSE students in the form our very own alumni. On Thursday, October 26th, CNU graduate Kevin Somerville, a system manager at NASA, donated his time and energy towards informing the next generation of CNU students about NASA’s current ongoing projects.

Kevin Somerville addressing the crowd

CIRAS is an apparatus intended to be used as a way to build giant telescopes in space that are larger than what we can feasibly launch into space from land. It achieves this by building the objects in space instead. He also discusses a device created to redirect asteroids on a theoretical trajectory towards hitting Earth and a hyper sonic inflatable aerodynamic accelerator.

The decision to discuss specific projects really got students interested and asking questions. It is nice to learn directly from an expert what yype of work is being done at NASA that future employees could be a part of and develop.

NASA is unique in that all of its data is available to public. It is required by law that the information be released after a certain period of time. You will be able to work on projects will eventually have an impact on public developments. These projects usually involve future developments on space travel or managing time in space. How much more exciting can it get?

In order to apply for internships or full time positions you must go to Inters will work alongside other interns as well as employees. Internships last 10 weeks in the summer and fall and 14 weeks in the spring.

Kevin Somerville speaking to students after the event

For more information go to the link below.

PCSE Mentorship Program Kick-Off Event

PCSE Department Mentorship Program professional mentors and students 2017-2018

Christopher Newport University’s Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering’s Mentorship Program held their Mentorship Program Kick-Off event on Monday, October 9, 2017 on campus in the CNU Freeman Center. Student and mentors came out to learn more about the program and to meet face-to-face for the first time. “We would like to thank all of our professional mentors for volunteering their time, talent and expertise to mentor our female students and for making a positive difference. Without them, this program would not be possible.”, said Dr. Anton Riedl, Chair.

Below is a list of the involved mentors.

Erica J. Alston
Deputy Program Manager for Aerospace Research and Career Development (ARCD)

Suzanne Beckstoffer
Bayport Credit Union
Chairman of the Board

Karen Berger
Facility Manager, Langley Aerothermodynamics Laboratory

Erin Burdick, P.E.
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineer

Patricia L. Carbone
The MITRE Corporation
Director of Special Projects, Joint & Services Portfolio, NATO Portfolio Director

Dr. Nee-Yin Chou
CW Optics
President & CEO

Leah Colvin
Newport News Shipbuilding
Engineering Manager

Gabriella Dipini
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
Packaging Specialist, North America

Julie M. Dobschuetz
Arcadis US, Inc.
CD High Performance Director

Belinda Donavant
Canon Virginia, Inc.
Dir, Product Engineering

Jennifer Haddox-Schatz
Daniel H. Wagner Associates
Software Engineer
Maria Herbert
MCH Consulting Services, LLC
Consultant, Supply Chain and Logistics

Stacey Hodges
Canon Virginia, Inc.
Quality Director, Medical Products Group

Katelyn Kimm
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
Business Process Manager

Susanne Leonard
Newport News Shipbuilding
Mgr, Engineering

Lauren Matthews
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
Operations Group Manager

Deborah Morewitz
Newport News Shipbuilding
Director, IT Solutions Development

Cynthia Popernack
Canon Virginia, Inc.
Senior Engineer

Elaine E. Seasly
Contamination Control & Planetary Protection Lead, Systems Integration & Test Branch

Jenifer Solomon
Newport News Shipbuilding
Dir, Engineering

Teresa Urbaniak
Newport News Shipbuilding
Systems Engineer

Mary Beth Wusk
Program Manager, Game Changing Development Program

For more information, contact Dr. Anton Riedl, Chair and Assistant Professor at Christopher Newport University.

What You Missed At Pizza My Mind

Last Pizza My Mind was hosted Randy Vickers and Steven Moxley, members of the computer response team for the United States House of Representatives. Randy Vickers is a former DOD employee who works to prevent breaches on the representatives systems and to protect the entire network from potential security risks. Steven Moxley is an application security analyst who works under Vickers.

Vickers (right) and Moxley (left) beginning the presentation

Both men, as well as their team, are responsible for the technical security of all 435 members of the House of Representatives individual applications as well as the backbone of the entire infrastructure used by all employees.

Unlike most security jobs, Representatives have a right to privacy even within the security team on a much higher level than a standard employee. Campaign information is specifically protected by the constitution as well as private data, and data on speeches and debates. As a result permission must be acquired specifically from the relevant representative in order to take data outside of the building. This is a layer of complexity most security jobs do not possess on the same level.

The most notable challenge is the maintaining of the right of petition. Anyone has the right to address their representative through email which creates a large number of emails that must be monitored to prevent malicious code from getting through. For example when the emails are gathered and sorted they must be careful to prevent attempts to access data during this time. If malicious code is missed or if a representative opens something hazardous to the network then the email or file is quarantined and the file is blocked by the firewall if possible. In more extreme cases then the computer will be taken off of the network temporarily.

Steven Moxley presented a map of activity to the representatives website from all over the world. He emphasized that uses in other countries can be suspect as well as US access as most competent hackers are able spoof their location when attempting to access the website. It is these challenges that set apart the position from others. The list of potential threats can be daunting as well as an intriguing challenge.

Moxley showcasing a map of site activity

The balancing act of so many different types of sensitive data combined with insight into how difficult it is to maintain a simple constitutional right that most people take for granted is something I had never considered. Vickers gives a very interesting perspective on the inner workings of his response team and the struggles they must deal with to keep the House of Representatives running. This is the first chance most students have likely had in understanding how the back end of such a team works. If this interests you then it might be beneficial to ask future employers about their contracts and whether or not they may be a way to experience work at the House of Representatives. The vast majority of their positions are contracted so this is the best way to approach the possibility.

No paid internships exist at the moment but unpaid internships do exist if you live in the D.C. area. You can also visit their office individually if you would like to learn more.

Follow the link below to see the site for House of Representatives.