Archive for February 2016

What You Missed At Pizza My Mind


HAPPY MONDAY CAPTAINS! Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind seminar was presented by Virginia Beach-based STIHL, Inc. Mike McLean, a talent recruiter for the U.S, operations headquarters came to CNU to talk about what it’s like to work for a company that engineers and manufactures outdoor power equipment.

He started off by sharing a few notab​​le facts. STIHL is the #1 selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America. The company produces 263 products and celebrated 40 years in 2014. He also remarked about the Great Recession, when the country was on an economic decline and a number of companies had to lay their employees off. He said that STIHL was one of the exceptions and that STIHL never had to lay off their employees, even when times were tough. On the contrary, the company grew because there was never a time where grass didn’t need cutting! The company prides itself on controlling 55% of the world’s production in this field. They have four plants, located in Germany, Brazil, China and VA Beach.

Mike also showed a few company videos that highlighted STIHL’s culture and workplace environment.  The audience especially liked the patriotic Built in America video!!

Interestingly, STIHL, Inc. employs over 1,900 in Virginia Beach in a variety of positions from manufacturing, produce assembly, manufacturing engineering, sales, marketing and finance.  At the end of his presentation, Mike discussed STIHL’s current career and internship opportunities noting that students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply.  Internship opportunities are posted in February so be sure to check out their website if you are interested!!  Don’t forget to join us for this week’s seminar right before Spring Break!

News Release

News Release
February 11, 2016

Public’s Contact for publication:
Dr. Anton Riedl, Chair
Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering
(757) 594-7829

Media Contact:
Lori Jacobs
Director of Public Relations
(757) 594-7961

Note: Photo attached; caption information follows.
IMG_6468 IMG_6474



(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) — Over 50 students from Christopher Newport University gathered among faculty in the Luter Hall Atrium to watch a live press conference presented by the National Science Foundation to update the scientific community on the first detection of gravitational waves – or ripples in the fabric of spacetime – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

“It was a surreal experience to witness the announcement of such a major breakthrough in physics during my lifetime, while surrounded by those in my department,” says David Hamblin, a student in computer engineering and computer science. “It’s strange that this wasn’t something I read about in a textbook, but rather heard directly from the scientists.”

Caroline McElhenny, a Physics graduate and Masters student in teaching adds: “It is amazing how precise LIGO can take measurements, since gravitational waves are on such an incredibly small scale. I’m very excited to see more science done in this field and to see how much more we can learn about the universe. The scientists and engineers have done some amazing work to get us where we are now!”

“In five years we have been privileged to see two amazing announcements in physics: the discovery of the Higgs boson and now the detection of gravity waves,” remarks Professor David Heddle. “This is an exciting time to study physics!”

For more information, contact Dr. Anton Riedl,, Associate Professor at Christopher Newport University


What You Missed At Pizza My Mind


RISE AND SHINE CAPTAINS! I hope everyone had an incredible weekend and is ready to take today by storm. Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind was hosted by iDTech which is a summer technology camp for kids. Their mission is to “provide students with high-energy, hands-on technology education in a summer camp setting.” And that is exactly what they do! iDTech is the world’s #1 tech camp with over 150 prestigious campus locations nationwide. And to top it all off, not only do the campers love iDTech, but the employees do as well! iDTech has been voted a Top Workplace 6 years running by the Bay Area News Group.

Mark and Kim dove into their presentation and hit all the major points right off the bat. They started off by telling the audience what iDTech has to offer. Things such as competitive pay, networking opportunities, leadership development, room & board, and internship credits/hours. One of the interesting things about these camps is that they are located on college campuses in over 29 states. Meaning that perspective camp counselors have the opportunity to choose where they spend their summer!

iDTech is looking to hire programmers, proven leaders and on site managers, unity mobile developers, Robotics Engineers, Java & C++ programmers. Essentially, they are looking for people that have a wide skill set. There are five divisions that make up the company, iD Tech Camps, iD Tech Mini, Alexa Cafe, iD Programming Academy, and iD Game Design & Dev Academy. Another thing that distinguishes iDTech from other summer camps is their One Camper One Tree program. They have partnered up with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant one tree for every camper who attends their programs. Their ultimate goal is to plant 1 million trees and they are certainly on their way there! So far, they’ve helped plant 155,000 trees and expect to plant another 60,000 this year.

So what can you expect as an iD instructor? Long weeks, instructors usually work about 50-60 hours. You can expect to become an effective teacher and to build connections! The presenters showed a video about halfway through that showed a bunch of instructors talking about their experiences with iDTech and a bunch of them mentioned the amazing networking that came with the job. As an instructor, you can expect to gain a lot of real like skills that will help with resume building. Although the main focus of these camps is learning, it’s also a summer camp, meaning that these campers also want to have a lot of fun! Going off of that, instructors can expect to see gaming tournaments, be a part of outdoor activities and theme days!

Last but not least, they are looking to hire 1,600 people this summer with 24 spots currently waiting to be filled in VA!

Sophomore Signing Day

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope that all of you manage to find some sunshine on this rather gloomy day. Two days ago, I was too mesmerized by the button I was promised to read the fine print and signed my life away to our department. If you haven’t already guessed, this blog post will be about all things Signing Day.

What is Signing Day?

Signing Day is an event for all second-year students to officially declare their majors. The ceremony is held in the DSU where the Sophomores sign their Departmental registry to denote their field of study. The best part is, every student gets a button that they get to pin on their backpacks to show off their declared major to the world. This year, 91% of PCSE Sophomores attended the event, and that is where I had the opportunity to speak with Adam Fendley and Sadie Rynestad.


What is your major and why?
Adam: “Computer Science! I used to be interested in studying video production until I took a Computer Science class in High School. I’m not a very artistic person, so I realized by writing code I could create things that did exactly what I envisioned in my head, something I always struggled with in video. I used that high school class as a starting point and started contributing to a lot of open source projects on GitHub, and that’s when I started to see just how awesome code is. Our society has been fundamentally changed from the automation and information availability that programming (and the Internet) affords, and I want to contribute to that.”
Sadie: “I am a Computer Engineering major! I have known since the 7th grade that I wanted to be an engineer but wasn’t sure what type. Once I got to CNU, I took a few computer classes and realized that Computer Engineering was the path that I wanted to take. I haven’t looked back since and I absolutely love it!”
A lot of schools don’t have a Signing Day, what do you think about CNU’s choice to have a specific day for students to “officially” declare their major?
Adam: “I enjoyed Signing Day. It’s awesome to be able to officially put your name down, shake the hands of the professors and department staff, and feel like you’re apart of the family. I’ve received so much support from the PCSE department, so that’s a great feeling.”
Sadie: “I think Signing Day is an amazing way for CNU students to verify that they are now stepping into a huge new chapter of their lives. It really puts the future in perspective because it’s right in our reach. I think other schools should have a Signing Day too, because although its a quick ceremony, it means a lot to the students.”

What was going through your mind and what was it like to sign your name?

Adam: “I have a really awful signature.”
Sadie: “It was a feeling of relief once I signed my name because it reminded me that I am on the right track to reach my goal.”
What was your favorite part about signing day?
Adam: “There was a live band and that was pretty rad. Also, props to whoever designed the PCSE button. That thing is legit. It was nice to see a bunch of familiar faces and be able to celebrate together!”
Sadie: “My favorite part about Signing Day was seeing everyone dressed up, being in such a beautiful place such as the ballroom and of course, the cookies.”
All I know is that the PCSE department designed the coolest button of them all. Hope to see everyone at Pizza My Mind today, which will be hosted by iDTech!