Archive for Uncategorized

Pizza My Mind Presented by NASA DEVELOP

Pizza My Mind was presented by NASA DEVELOP on September 17th. Presenter Adriana Le Compte is a NASA DEVELOP Fellow at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. DEVELOP is part of the Earth Science Division at NASA. This program enables participants to collaborate with NASA researchers, partner organizations, and state and local governments on a research project. Participants use data from NASA Earth observations in research projects to address local issues. There are 11 locations across the country, each with different focuses and different projects available. 

NASA DEVELOP core values include collaboration, service, passion, and discovery. Participants will work a 10 week term in which they research and study data to give meaningful feedback about the issue addressed in their project. Project examples from past years include a Massachusetts water resources study on the effect of beaver reintroduction to certain areas and flooding and a project in Philadelphia on health and air quality. 

To be eligible, you can be a current student or a recent graduate with a minimum gpa of 3.0 and interest in remote sensing, science, and a desire to learn. All majors welcome! There are three terms throughout the year in spring, summer, and fall. The deadline to apply for the spring term is October 9th!

Benefits of participating in NASA DEVELOP include growth in technical skills, experience in a professional workplace, team collaboration experience, and networking opportunities. Applicants can set themselves apart by showing passion and interest in the project they are applying to work on. 

Thank you to NASA DEVELOP and to Adriana Le Compte for presenting!

Tuesday Tea with Dr. Mohammad Almalag

The Physics, Computer Science and Engineering department at Christopher Newport University hosts an event called “Tuesday Tea” every Tuesday for students and faculty to meet, drink tea, and chat. This semester, the events are held virtually and feature a different international professor from the department each week. Students and faculty who tune in get to learn about their culture, which is a great way to foster diversity in an organic way. This past Tuesday, September 15, Dr. Mohammad Almalag shared about his life.

Dr. Almalag was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There, he grew up and attended King Saud University for his undergraduate degree in computer science. This was not always his intended major, however. When he first started university, he was studying pharmacy. Taking an anatomy class, Dr. Almalag quickly realized this was not what he wanted to do, so he followed his passion for computer science. 

After graduating, Dr. Almalag received a scholarship to come to the United States to get his masters at Ball State University and Ph.D at Old Dominion Univeristy, both in computer science. He chose teaching over several other job offers, because it is his passion, and “life is too short” so you should “do what you love.” Dr. Almalag’s current research projects include researching traffic patterns before, during, and after the pandemic and refining an algorithm for cloud computing. 

Dr. Almalag is very proud of his home country and culture. There are a lot of historical landmarks in Saudi Arabia including castles in mountains and scuba diving in the Red Sea that he listed as must see attractions. Having great respect for elders is very important, family is everything, and you can always know you have a great support system surrounding you. Dr. Almalag spoke longingly of the good middle eastern food he misses. 

Besides teaching and research, Dr. Almalag loves to grill and fix or build new things. He gave some great advice for students pursuing computer science: Make sure you like what you are doing and are putting in the work necessary. “Focus on your strengths.”

Thanks to Dr. Almalag for sharing his life experiences. 

Internship Spotlight – Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

Over the past summer, several students from Christopher Newport University worked at Automatic Data Processing (ADP) as interns. Seniors Jacob Boyles, Tyler Baldwin, William Dzubak, Chandler Eskey, Kailee Lesko, Liam Rowell, Erin Rutan, and Max Wayne spent six weeks of their summer working virtually from home as interns at ADP. The internship was originally scheduled to be 10 weeks in person, but was pushed back four weeks and switched to online due to Covid-19. ADP specializes in providing cloud based human resource management solutions. The interns each summer work on various projects under this umbrella.

Max Wayne, a computer engineering major, worked on an application development team alongside William Dzubak and two other interns. Their project was to create a script to auto-tag fields on Microsoft Sharepoint items with relevant user’s information. Tyler Baldwin, Kailee Lesko, and Erin Rutan worked together on the Intelligent Content Solutions team on a project to develop a webpage and independent components to improve and make the user experience friction-less. 

There were many challenges to overcome in this new virtual environment. Max reported that the most challenging thing for him was learning new Microsoft technologies necessary to accomplish his given tasks. This was all worth it for the enjoyment of working alongside teammates and seeing the weekly progress throughout the internship. Tyler, Kailee, and Erin had similar challenges, having little to no experience with the various technologies they worked with during the six weeks. The satisfaction of finally seeing things working was one of the highlights of the experience.

Max strongly recommends ADP. He shared that the “management and all the associates we got to work with were extremely friendly and helpful. Asking questions was never frowned upon. ADP is a very diverse and inclusive company that is very active in fighting against discrimination.” He got the internship through on-campus recruiting and connections to a CNU alum who recommended his application. It is like CNU’s Center for Career Planning likes to say: “You get jobs by talking to people!”

Pizza My Mind Presented by Raytheon Technologies

Raytheon Technologies presented Pizza My Mind on Thursday September 10th. Presenters Dr. Harry Johnson and Krystal Finch shared some information about their cool company and what opportunities they have available. Raytheon is an aerospace defense company that deals with a broad spectrum of technologies and subjects such as space, quantum computing, and all kinds of engineering. 

The company values trust, respect, accountability, collaboration, and innovation. Dr. Johnson was proud to talk about just how much Raytheon cares for its employees. Beyond caring for its own employees, Raytheon supports the broader community with volunteering opportunities for employees and support for non-profit organizations working to feed the hungry and bolster education. 

Raytheon responded to the changing work environment due to Covid-19 adeptly. The company switched to work from home and provided work chairs to employees to foster a comfortable experience for employees. They also have measures in place to keep employees that must return to working in person safe. 

Good news! Raytheon offers opportunities for recent graduates as well as internships and co-ops for current students. With locations all over the United States, there are opportunities to travel for those who are interested. Another benefit is potential student loan repayment. Raytheon is looking for all different majors, and internships often lead to offers for full time positions. The best ways to set yourself apart from other applicants are to network, know about the company and position you’re applying for and why you want to work for them, and have a high quality resume with a GPA of at least 3.0. 

Here is where to apply:

Thank you to Raytheon Technologies for presenting at Pizza My Mind!

Pizza My Mind Welcome to the Department

On Thursday September 3rd, we welcomed everyone back to Christopher Newport University with an introduction to the clubs and organizations in the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering Department. Each club president gave a little introduction to what they do and how to join. The PCSE department has many different clubs to offer from official organizations like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to clubs like the Linux User Group (LUG), the Cybersecurity Club, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Team (UAS) and many more!

The PCSE department also has the pleasure of welcoming new faculty members this semester. 

Dr. Samuel Henry, Dr. Mike Lapke, and Dr. Nazli Siasi have joined our wonderful faculty.

Several students paired up with professors this summer to do research as a part of CNU’s summer scholars program. Samith Chowdhury, Jack Lynam, Audrey Lawton, and Kyle Werntz shared about projects they got to research.

For the rest of the year, Pizza My Mind will be presented by guest speakers from various companies, so make sure you tune in every week to learn about different companies and job opportunities.

Thank you to everyone who presented!

Spotlight – Girl Scout STEM Day

On November 16, 2019 Christopher Newport University hosted a STEM Day for local Girl Scouts. This event took place in several classrooms in Luter Hall. The girls attending were third and fourth grade Girl Scouts. The girls were split up into teams of about ten and led through various activities by CNU student volunteers. These activities included an algorithm making lego activity, a conductivity circuit activity, a balloon activity that demonstrated the thrust of rockets, and an army man launcher building activity. These hands-on activities were a fun way to teach young girls how fun learning about science and technology can be. 

The Society for Women Engineers (SWE) played a big part in the success of this event. Members volunteered to give back to the local community and spark interest in STEM for young women. Hannah Allen, member of the SWE executive board, was the overall organizer of the event. In addition, throughout the day she made sure everything was running smoothly, checking in on each group and station to make sure people were in the right places and had what they needed. 

Hannah said one of her favorite moments was lunch because they had a pizza and Bill Nye viewing party, and it was a peaceful part of a fast paced day. She also spoke highly of the volunteers, praising their skills in interacting with the kids. Hannah remarked that third and fourth graders are often smarter than we give them credit for, so maybe in the future the event will include more challenging activities. 

Hannah spoke warmly of this event and definitely recommends that more students should get involved. The event will be held at the same time again this year, and Hannah intends to plan it again so it is in good hands. If you’re interested in volunteering or otherwise getting involved in future events, keep an eye on your CNU email inbox or reach out to Hannah Allen at closer to November.

Thank you to Hannah and all the volunteers who helped put on such an amazing event.

Pizza My Mind Presented by Kimley-Horn

Pizza My Mind was presented by Kimley-Horn on February 20th. Kimley-Horn is a multidisciplinary consulting firm with a wide range of services including aviation, water, parking, environmental engineering, forensics and many others. They have offices all over including offices in Newport News, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Reston, and Washington DC. Employees have opportunities to move to other offices based on what projects are available. 

Clients are the most important thing to Kimley-Horn. Clients include universities, city governments, businesses, companies like Verizon, Walmart, and the list goes on. The employees who work directly with the clients to keep them happy are prioritized to maximize client satisfaction. There are also support groups working around these teams to help them achieve their goal. 

Kimley-Horn offers lots of development opportunities for employees including both technical boot camps and non-technical workshops. They prioritize training throughout your job. Other perks to working with Kimley-Horn include bonuses, paid time off, retirement supplements. Kimley-Horn works to provide an environment for the employees to flourish. Not only that, but it is an employee owned company, so there are benefits that come with that as well. 

Go to to see what job opportunities they have today!

Thanks to our presenters from Kimley-Horn!

Pizza My Mind Presented by IDTech

On February 27th, the physics computer science and engineering department welcomed back IDTech to present at Pizza My Mind. IDTech hosts technology summer camps at universities all across the United States with locations in Virginia at the College of William and Mary, Norfolk State, University of Richmond, and University of Virginia. They offer a wide array of classes for children interested in technology. Employees have the opportunity to be camp counselors and teach classes to the kids. Class materials and the opportunity to indicate interests and choose what to teach are provided. 

Working as a camp counselor at IDTech is a good stepping stone to move toward a job in the tech field. Teaching others proves you have a solid grasp of a topic as well as enthusiasm for it and these are both desirable qualities to companies such as Bethesda, Google, Volvo, and General Motors. All the companies just listed hired former IDTech employees. The opportunities stemming from a job with IDTech are limitless. 

IDTech provides training in how to teach and interact with kids before the summer camps start, so you don’t have to worry if you’ve never done something like this before. They also offer competitive pay alongside provided housing and food. There are travel options among the numerous locations. Also provided are opportunities for professional development and other job opportunities beyond camp counselor within IDTech.

Additionally, IDTech was voted one of the top places to work for the majority of the past several years. They’re looking to hire many summer interns or camp counselors and also have some full time positions as well. Any interest in teaching or experience in school projects, gaming, or any cool tech projects you’ve worked on are all things that IDTech is looking for.

Apply at today.

Thank you to IDTech for presenting!

Spotlight – Spring Break Service

Christopher Newport University’s Spring Break lasted from February 29th to March 8th. This year, several students from the Physics Computer Science and Engineering department spent their spring breaks on a service trip volunteering for the community. Avery Logue, a junior pursuing an information science major and minors in both computer science and leadership, and Zayn Khurshid, a junior majoring in information science, traveled with REACH alternative breaks to different parts of Virginia to volunteer. The service trips began Sunday March 1st and ended Saturday March 7th, so these students gave almost their entire spring breaks volunteering. 

Avery was a trip lead on his trip to James River State Park. He spent the past two years volunteering on REACH trips to this Park alongside Logan Camp, another trip lead this year. At the park, Avery participated in miscellaneous jobs including clean up and maintenance work. The service trip happened to coincide with the opening of the park, so they were tasked with building gravel paths, repainting railings, blowing leaves off trails, reorganizing the visitor’s center, moving and splitting logs, and filling potholes around the park. Time not spent making the park presentable and accessible was spent playing games and bonding with other volunteers.

Zayn, who had served as a trip leader in the past, travelled to Lynchburg Grows in Lynchburg, VA. His service trip also featured a lot of physical work. He spent time digging, planting, composting, tearing down an old greenhouse, and participating in other odd jobs around the farm. 

On the Friday near the end of the trip, Avery’s group attended a barbeque lunch and participated in a table tennis tournament. There was much fun to be had in down time from the service work. Zayn admitted that his favorite part of the experience was being able to see the impact their work had on the community and people they were helping. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows. The outdoor work comes with the side effect of getting pretty dirty. On the way back to CNU, the van that Avery’s group was riding in blew a tire leaving them stranded on the side of the road. Luckily, a friendly police officer happened to drive by and stop to help.

Both students spoke very highly of this experience. They formed lasting friendships every year and created many fond memories to look back on. Not only that, but devoting your entire spring break to helping others can grant you a whole new perspective on life. Avery and Zayn both strongly recommend that other students take the opportunity to go on service trips and help local communities. These fun and rewarding experiences should not be passed by.

Thanks to Avery Logue and Zayn Khurshid for sharing about their spring break service trips!

IEEE_HKN Student Leadership Conference

Griffin Tritaik and Elliott Armstrong, members of Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at Christopher Newport University, attended the annual IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference in Boston, MA. This conference is held yearly for engineering students in leadership positions in their IEEE-HKN organizations. It is a great networking opportunity as students from all across the country attended.

At the conference, Elliott and Griffin had the opportunity to attend workshops to discuss ways to improve local organizations. Workshops offered information on student opportunities to get money for service based projects. Others provided potential capstone project ideas students may not have otherwise thought of. There they also met students from many other universities including Mississippi State, UCLS, Northeastern, NC State, and many others. Graduate Schools also had a presence at the conference where they gave information about what graduate school has to offer and the benefits of going. 

Elliott and Griffin talked about their favorite parts of this conference that included the opportunity to meet industry professionals who shared real life experiences. There were also many other students who shared similar interests and were excited to connect with other members of IEEE. In addition, there were many fun activities including a robot competition. The competition required the building of Texas Instrument robots to navigate a maze using touch and light sensors as well as race in a relay race. 

Notably, CNU’s HKN-IEEE organization was recognized as a Key Chapter for following the best practices of a successful chapter. Based on their amazing experiences, Elliott and Griffin recommended that those that have the opportunity in the future take advantage of it and attend this year’s conference in San Diego.