Archive for Erin Rutan

Pizza My Mind Presented by AUVSI Hampton Roads

The Physics, Computer Science, and Engineering department had the pleasure of hosting the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Hampton Roads on April 15. The AUVSI is a global, non-profit professional organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. The department was joined by presenters Daniel Wolfe, Chapter President in Hampton Roads, and Scott Bellows, Chair, Education and Outreach Committee.

The AUVSI partners with NASA and other professional organizations to work with unmanned air, land, and sea systems. Unmanned systems is a growing industry that is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world. Membership at AUVSI offers direct access to industry professionals to build connections and find internship and employment opportunities. 

AUVSI has a parent organization in northern Virginia that hosts informational webinars for free or a low cost. The Hampton Roads chapter hosts meetings with industry and government professionals who present about interesting and relevant topics. These resources and more are available to members of AUVSI. Students can get full membership with access to all the same resources as industry professionals and can also attend webinars and events.

Scott Bellows is the creator of CSIIP, a program to connect students with paid internship opportunities. The process involves a free one-time application that will allow students to be informed year round about opportunities until they graduate. For more information about the AUVSI Hampton Roads chapter please visit: for more information about the CSIIP program, please contact Scott Bellows.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Swisslog

On April 8, the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department hosted Swisslog at Pizza My Mind. Swisslog is headquartered in Switzerland and has offices all over the world with their North American headquarters located right here in Newport News, VA. Specializing in logistical automation for warehouses, Swisslog serves customers from retailers like Walmart and Target to medical companies like Pfizer. Swisslog is working to shape the future of intralogistics through data driven, robotic, flexible automated solutions to best serve their customers. Presenters Brian Stroup, Manager, Solution Architecture and CNU Alum, and Joan Negron, Human Resources Assistant, joined the department to talk about the opportunities available at Swisslog. 

Swisslog’s Software, Controls, and Integration Unit specializes in the non-mechanical and non-civil engineering portions of projects. This unit is the perfect fit for students studying computer science or computer engineering. Swisslog fosters a culture of diversity and great teams working together. Brian Stroup talked about having a multitude of opportunities to travel before COVID-19. He was able to meet with other Swisslog teams in other countries and attend trade shows to see what other companies are developing as well as present on Swisslog technologies.

Swisslog is looking for students to join their internship program who are studying computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, information systems, business administration, and physics. Internships are paid, and interns work alongside full time employees on real projects, solving real problems. Swisslog also has full time opportunities for recent graduates. 

Please reach out to Joan Negron at for more information about the opportunities available at Swisslog. 

Thank you to Brian Stroup and Joan Negron for your informative presentation about Swisslog!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Daniel H. Wagner Associates, Inc.

Daniel H. Wagner Associates, Inc. joined the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department to present at Pizza My Mind on April 1. Daniel H. Wagner Associates is a company that focuses on applying mathematics and technology to solve difficult problems such as multi-objective optimization, data fusion, mission planning, and more. They work alongside NASA and the US Air Force and Navy on projects involving unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, cloud computing using platforms like AWS or GovCloud, and modeling and simulation. The software created by Daniel H. Wagner Associates is widely used on systems such as Navy helicopters and guided missiles. Presenters James Eanes, Vice President, Teresa Lewis, Human Resources Administrator, Wiliam VanDyke, Associate, and Kyle Wagner, Software Analyst joined us to share about the culture and opportunities available at Wagner Associates. 

Working at Wagner Associates is challenging, but rewarding. The tools they develop go on to be used in military and commercial applications by organizations like the Air Force, NASA, Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Office of Naval Research (ONR). Wagner offers benefits including competitive pay, a 401k, paid time off, an expense account, tuition reimbursement, professional leave, and a casual work environment. They also offer employees health insurance, an employee assistance plan, family and medical leave, legal resources, and a retirement plan. 

Wagner Associates is looking for interns as well as full time employees for virtual and in person positions. Interns have the opportunity to get an offer for full time employment after their internship. Internships begin in June 2021 and give students the opportunity to contribute to their team as well as learn, gain experience, and network. Applicants must be US Citizens and are encouraged to highlight their strong academic record and problem solving skills. 

Please visit for more information.

Thank you to James Eanes, Teresa Lewis, William VanDyke, and Kyle Wagner for your informative and interesting presentation!

Microsoft Mentoring Program

This spring, PCSE majors Alexandra (Lexi) Burroughs, junior, information science, and Kayla Davis, senior, computer science, participated in a virtual mentorship program offered by Microsoft.  The opportunity came via email forwarded by the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering.

The 6-week program took place remotely on Microsoft Teams and consisted of weekly meetings with a mentor and a group of students from around the United States.  Microsoft employees served as mentors coaching small groups on strategies to navigate challenges both in and out of the classroom.  Through my interview, Lexi and Kayla shared their experiences and the highlights of the program.  Both commented favorably that it has been a positive experience.  They were able to develop their interpersonal skills alongside other students and at times, felt they were pushed out of their comfort zones and encouraged to reflect in order to improve their problem solving and teamwork skills. 

Additionally, both Lexi and Kayla noted that they were able to talk to other mentees about their struggles and realized that they were not alone as technical majors. They were able to build their networks by making friends with students from all over as well as connect with Microsoft professionals.

“This program has been incredibly helpful for building my soft skills that I can apply directly to my classes and internship”, said Lexi Burroughs.  Lexi plans to continue to meet monthly with her Microsoft mentor.  “This program is definitely worth the time and it helped me learn ways to be resilient and cope with adversity”, said Kayla Davis. 

PCSE students, be on the lookout for the next opportunity to apply to this awesome program.  Many thanks to Lexi and Kayla for taking the time to reflect on your experience in the Microsoft Mentoring Program.

Posted by: Erin Rutan, Computer Science, Class of 2021

Pizza My Mind Presented by Dominion Energy

On March 25, the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department hosted Dominion Energy for Pizza My Mind. Dominion Energy is a company that provides energy and power as well as natural gas to several states within the United States. They are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and have offices all around Virginia. Dominion has the third largest solar fleet in the United States, and has their goals set to reduce their carbon emissions to zero! Presenters Hillary Hall, Staffing Specialist –  Talent Acquisition, Trey Shuford, Engineer and Christopher Newport University Alum, and Lauren Lemelin, Student Ambassador and current Christopher Newport University student shared more about Dominion’s culture and opportunities. 

Dominion Energy’s core values focus on safety, ethics, excellence, embracing change, and being one cohesive company. With customers in 16 states, they work to bring energy to homes, businesses, and vehicles with electricity or natural gas. Dominion hopes to build a clean future. Diversity has always been a priority at Dominion, not only in the workplace, but with suppliers as well. Community involvement is encouraged, and resources are provided to employees to participate in diverse interest groups and volunteer. 

Interns at Dominion are offered many benefits and opportunities to grow. Not only are they paid for the 10-12 week internships, but interns may qualify for housing stipends to assist with relocation. Interns can work on professional development, shadow other departments or positions, and get involved in volunteer products. Internships are available to all different majors. In order to stand out, applicants should show off all the things they do like sports, extracurriculars, projects, interests, etc. on their resume. Part of the application process involves a series of short answer questions. Hillary Hall recommended putting effort into your answers, because these questions are read. 

Trey Shuford started as an intern at Dominion and transitioned into his full time position after graduating from CNU in May 2020. He encourages students to apply as he has had a great experience with Dominion! 

Employees at Dominion Energy receive full medical, dental, and vision coverage, a 401k, a non-traditional pension, flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement options, and the opportunity to engage in volunteer hours.  If you’re interested in becoming a part of Dominion Energy, check them out here:

Thank you to Hillary Hall, Trey Shuford, and Lauren Lemelin for presenting at Pizza My Mind!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Verisign

On March 4, Verisign joined the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department to present Pizza My Mind. Verisign is a global provider of domain name registry services and internet infrastructure. With the mission to “enable the world to connect online with reliability and confidence, anytime, anywhere,” Verisign enables internet navigation for many of the world’s most recognized domain names. Verisign’s main office is in Reston, Virginia, and they have data centers across the country as well as server spaces around the world. Presenter’s Sean Mountcastle (Vice President Engineering, Technology Services Group), Hari Sola (Sr. Engineer — Software Engineering), Dave Carney (Human Resources Specialist), and Kelly Donnelly (Senior Recruiter) shared more about the culture at Verisign as well as opportunities they have available.

Verisign’s core values include passion for the pursuit of continuous improvement, respect for others, integrity, taking responsibility for actions, and holding themselves to a higher standard. With many technologies worked on within the company, there are a variety of diverse rolls available. Verisign engineers strive to develop solutions, ensure reliability of key infrastructure, and drive innovation. These tasks are accomplished in an agile working environment. Interns can hope to accomplish the same goals. 

Interns are expected to be passionate about technology, willing to learn quickly, and have good programming skills. Verisign offers a lot of support for their interns and full time employees. Interns receive mentors and are given tasks that have a real impact on the company. To stand out, applicants can highlight personal projects and hackathon participation, demonstrate interest in the subject, and show curiosity and willingness to learn as well as attention to detail. US Citizenship is a requirement. 

Verisign is engaged in community outreach to promote diversity, and they are looking for diversity in applicants for both internships and full time positions. Once hired at Verisign, there is a focus on promoting from within as well as internal mobility. Benefits to working for Verising include tuition reimbursement, education reimbursement, and support for employees. Verisign reacted quickly to concerns for COVID-19 by switching to work from home, increasing mental health benefits and PTO accrual, giving employees more holidays, encouraging time off, and supporting their employees in a multitude of other ways. 

To learn more about Verisign’s opportunities, please visit

Thank you, Sean Mountcastle, Hari Sola, Dave Carney, and Kelly Donnelly for joining us at Pizza My Mind for the first time. We hope to see you again!

Pizza My Mind Presented by IBM

The Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering had the pleasure of hosting IBM for Pizza My Mind on March 11. IBM is headquartered in New York, and has offices across the United States. Their work includes artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, hybrid cloud, and other services. As a large company, IBM strives to make an even larger impact by combining people and technology to help out communities in need. They work to aid those impacted by natural disasters, as well as help to provide education, food, and health services. Presenter Tom McCreary, Client Technical Manager at the IBM Federal Office in McLean, Christopher Newport University Alum, and Chairman of the PCSE Industry Advisory Board, joined us to talk about the opportunities available at IBM.

A career at IBM allows you to experiment with technologies, industries, roles, and locations all without having to leave the company. IBM prioritizes diversity and inclusion. There are early career opportunities available for developers, designers, data scientists, and more. 

The IBM internship is a 10-week program in Washington DC with 50 positions available. Applications open in the fall, and applicants are expected to express interest in learning new things. The Internship program for Summer 2021 is full at this time, but they will begin taking applications for the Summer 2022 internship program in September. Interviews begin in January and include a trip to DC to meet other potential interns and give a presentation. 

To learn more about IBM, please visit

Thank you, Tom McCreary for taking the time to talk about IBM with us.  We hope to see you again next year!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Collier Research Corporation

On February 25, Collier Research Corporation presented Pizza My Mind. Collier Research Corporation is an aerospace engineering software company based in Newport News. Their flagship product is the HyperSizer software that is used for structural design in the aerospace industry. Additionally, they contract for companies like Blue Origin, Boeing, Bell Helicopter, and more. Presenter Charli Black (aerospace engineer) was joined by current Christopher Newport University Students and HyperSizer interns Emery Weist and Peter Glenn.

The HyperSizer software uses many technologies including Microsoft Access (Database), Fortran (Analysis Code), VB6 (Graphics), C++ (Plugins), and many other languages. Collier Research Corporation is currently in the process of porting the database to SQL as well as the analysis code to C# and C++. They are currently looking for software engineers proficient in C# or Java, WPF/Swing/other UI frameworks, 3D graphics development, Relational Database Management Systems, and/or C++. 

There are openings available for summer interns as well as full time candidates. Collier Research Corporation is a small company, so each employee has an important role and can see their impact. The atmosphere is relaxed, and everyone cares about their work. 

Emery and Peter have interned during their summers, and have both accepted full time positions with Collier Research Corporation. Emery shared that as an intern, his work had a big impact. He spoke of his experience sharing what he was working on with the CEO as he walked around the office. Peter shared a long list of things he appreciates about working at Collier Research Corporation including the small company size, the importance of his work, the atmosphere of collective success, and the supportive environment. Peter also gave advice to stand out as an applicant by linking your GitHub page or referencing personal projects you have worked on to show passion and initiative. 

For more information visit

Thank you to Charli Black, Emery Weist, and Peter Glenn for your excellent presentation!

Pizza My Mind Presented by Kimley-Horn

Kimley-Horn presented Pizza My Mind on February 18. Headquartered in North Carolina, this growing company now has more than 90 offices across the country. Kimley-Horn is a multidisciplinary consulting firm with a wide range of services including aviation, energy, environmental planning, forensics, parking, water, and many more. Presenters Ben Priddy (College Recruiter), Victoria Holmes (Environmental Analyst), and Jon Chambers (Electrical Engineer) joined us to talk about what Kimley-Horn has to offer.

At Kimley-Horn “teamwork is paramount to success.” There are numerous opportunities for employees to be challenged and grow. Kimley-Horn has a unique “shifting” program that allows employees to travel to other offices for short periods of time to help on projects where help is needed. New hires at Kimley horn are offered training and boot camps followed by professional development training opportunities for the next 6 years.

Kimley-Horn offers bonuses, paid time off, retirement contributions, health and wellness perks, ownership/stock opportunities, and many more perks. During COVID-19, Kimley-Horn has supported employees by shifting to work from home. Employees are offered flexible schedules to accommodate for things like kids participating in school from home as well. Each employee is supported to make sure they are comfortable and accommodated in these unprecedented times. 

Kimley-Horn is currently hiring for internships and full time opportunities. For more information please visit

Thank you for the fun, information filled presentation Ben Priddy, Victoria Holmes, and Jon Chambers.

Pizza My Mind Presented by General Dynamics Information Technology

General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) presented Pizza My Mind on February 11. GDIT is a subsection of General Dynamics, a company with locations all across the globe. GDIT serves as a defense contractor working in many areas such as artificial intelligence and applied machine learning,  enterprise IT, cyber, cloud, application development, and more. Presenters Jay Powell (Chief Technology Officer) and Amira Nguyen (Early Career Recruiter) joined us to talk about what GDIT does and what opportunities they have available.

One of GDIT’s initiatives is equality, inclusion, and diversity. They are actively working to foster a diverse culture within the workplace. GDIT offers a ten week paid internship program that will be 100% virtual this summer due to COVID-19. GDIT hires all skill levels and features a supportive training program for new hires. 

GDIT responded to COVID-19 by immediately sending everyone that could to work from home. Employees were supplied with ample collaboration tools, laptops or remote desktop access to their work environment. Meetings of more than 4 people were prohibited, and those in the office are expected to wear masks and social distance to keep everyone safe. They have worked to continuously support their employees through uncertain times.

For those interested in cybersecurity, there are many opportunities available at GDIT including pen testing, computer network defense, attack, and exploit, and many more areas of focus.

For more information visit

Thank you Jay Powell and Amira Nguyen for your wonderful presentation!