Archive for October 2016

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Hello Captains! Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind event was hosted by Midnight Status, a company that develops software and software solutions. The name “Midnight Status” refers to when gamers would attend a midnight release for video games. Great excitement and enthusiasm for entertainment is what fuels this company. They’re not just a gaming developer. They help clients with their IT needs and develop apps for business, government and entertainment purposes. Their services range from design work such as graphic design, 3D modeling and web development, to solutions such as cloud-based enterprise architectures, modeling/simulation and mobile advertising. They’re also pushing the envelope in innovations such as augmented reality and virtual reality.

Our host, Jeremy Alessi talked about a few of their successful accomplishments, in particular, the Tunnel Traffic app (2010) and Airspin (2012), a flight simulation mobile app game. You can find these apps in the App Store and at one time they were rated number one. Midnight Status also has a video chat where you can live stream gameplay. Interested in an internship or connecting with the Game Developing Community? Contact Jeremy at


Check out Midnight Status website for more information:



Spotlight: Adam Fendley

Adam Fendley, a junior Computer Science major and PLP ambassador here at CNU, will be spending the spring semester abroad, studying at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Hagenberg Campus. He is also the lucky recipient of the Ernst Mach Grant, which will help defray the cost of studying abroad.

Adam and his father in Rosenheim, Germany.

Adam and his father in Rosenheim, Germany.

How did you find out about the study abroad opportunity?

“I found out about the study abroad opportunity through the PCSE department last year, when there was an email sent out about the potential to study in either Rosenheim, Germany or in Hagenberg, Austria. I responded to the email and set up a time to meet with Dr. Riedl who has organized both of these exchange programs, and we thought that the opportunity in Hagenberg would be a good fit for my Computer Science studies.”

What was the application process like?

“The application process was very easy because the relationship between the two universities had already been established by Dr. Riedl, and he helped tremendously in guiding me through the process. Some of the more difficult aspects of the application were deciding what classes I could take and how they would apply to my progress at CNU.”

What made you decide to study abroad?

“I had known for a long time that I wanted to study abroad in college, and I have been particularly interested in the Germanic countries because my dad spent several years in Germany after graduating from college. Hearing what his experience was like I knew I wanted to do something similar, and having the opportunity to learn German here and then go spend a semester in Austria is amazing to me. I’m planning on using the full 6 months allotted on my visa to travel Europe, and I hope to have a lot of new experiences. While there’s a lot of things I’m missing here while I’m gone, I’m really excited to do something new.”

Can you tell me about the scholarship you’ve been awarded?

“The scholarship I was recently awarded is the Ernst Mach Grant, I applied for the grant in March of last year, and got a lot of help from the university in Austria in the application process. Dr. Riedl and Dr. Flores were kind enough to write letters of recommendation for me, which was a huge help. In June I was notified that I had been awarded the grant, which will be a 940 Euro / month supplement to my studies there.”

Do you have any advice for others going through these application processes?

“I think the biggest thing is just to decide that you’re going to study abroad. I made that decision Freshman year and went looking for opportunities, and eventually came upon this one. CNU makes the actual paperwork pretty simple, so you don’t have to worry too much about the process. My next challenge will be transportation logistics, but as it gets closer it just gets way more real and exciting!”

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Mark Liljeqvist, a Systems Engineering Director at Swisslog, speaks to a student.

Mark Liljeqvist, a Systems Engineering Director at Swisslog, speaks to a student.

Hello Captains! Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind Event was hosted by Swisslog, a global company focusing on automation solutions for hospitals, warehouses, and distribution centers. Swisslog employee, Bill Leber gave a brief opening statement on the company’s solution providing philosophy before passing the mic onto speakers on behalf of each of Swisslog’s core departments.

The first speaker, Mark Liljeqvist, is a part of Swisslog’s System Engineering and Consulting branch. Employees in his field will specialize in making strategic decisions related to supply chain aspects and picking to correct technologies to get the job done efficiently. The primary technologies used by Swisslog include their in house software Warehouse Manager and other technologies such as QuickMove, ProMove, and related hardware.

Jonathan Harmon then took the stage to discuss his branch of the company, Controls. Controls allows for a large amount of experience with low level hardware and high level software through in office testing of layouts for new projects. Most of the testing is done through emulation of the site in question. The controls branch also offers significant travel opportunities in multiple countries for those interested.

Third on the list was Kahmeil Brown with the Global Help Desk. Work at the Help Desk is heavily based around monitoring customer sites and assisting in root analysis of potential down times. 99.7% of all issues are resolved remotely to offer the freedom to work in multiple locations. The help desk is also a major starting point for other career paths within the company including project management positions, data administrators, and analysts.

Finally, Bill Stewart, of the Software engineering branch, closed the presentation. Stewart discussed a recent reorganization into the North American Software and Controls Hub which will provide many new opportunities for CNU students! In the software engineering section of the company Warehouse Manager 6 will be the most used software which allows a large amount of customization for specific projects to use as they please. Manipulating WM6 is a major focus of any position in software engineering.

Swisslog is currently looking for interns to work on projects in groups throughout the semester and following summer. They have hired CNU students in the past so make sure to look into them especially if you are a junior or senior as they take priority during the hiring process. Swisslog is also hiring full time employees. Check out their site for more info.

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind


Mandy Rogers presenting at the seminar

Hello Captains!  OnThursday, October 6th, the PCSE department hosted Northrop Grumman for Pizza My Mind.  Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide.  We were lucky to be visited by a former Christopher Newport alumna, Mandy Rogers and Vice President of the Intelligence Solutions Business Unit, Ms. Ginger Wierzbanowski.

Northrop Grumman is a very large defense contractor but they are also involved in their local community.  Half of the company is based on technical work and the other half is focused on leadership. One of their biggest outreach missions was the creation of prosthetics for individuals who cannot afford them. They are also involved with gaming, cyber intelligence and biometrics. Northrop Grumman’s Biometric Ecosystem is a comprehensive range of biometric intelligence solutions currently being used for military, law enforcement, counterterrorism and border control.  In addition, they work on collaborative projects partnering with over 60 different companies including Lockheed Martin, MITRE Corporation and BAE Systems just to name a few.


Haley Currence speaking with Mandy Rogers

Mandy Rogers graduated in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science.  She started interning at Northrop Grumman during her junior year.  She became a part of a rotational program within the company and has worked in more than 10 different states.  Teamwork, Mentors, and a little failure got her to where she is today.  Mandy stated, “One has to embrace their failures in order to succeed”.  What she valued most about CNU is her liberal arts education. She believes that is what makes her a better employee and critical thinker.


Jonah Lazar speaking with VP. Ginger Wierzbanowski

Ms. Wierzbanowski is the Vice President of Intelligence Solutions Business Unit. She has extensive expertise in both domestic, international space, defense policy, and military intelligence.  Before working at Northrop Grumman, she served in the Air Force for 20+ years. She highlighted the importance of being a well-rounded individual and noted the importance of having communication skills.  “Make sure you know how to communicate or no one will listen to your ideas if you can not sell them”.

Northrop Grumman is now accepting applications for summer internships and full-time jobs.  If you are interested, students should go to:  Please come out to the next Pizza My Mind so you do not miss great presenters like Northrop Grumman!  Pizza My Mind is hosted every Thursday at 12:20 p.m. this semester.  See you there!


Inaugural Womens Mentorship Program Kick-Off


Two students meet their Mentor for the first time

Hello Captains!  On Monday, September 12th, CNU’s PCSE Department hosted its Inaugural Mentorship Program Kick-Off reception.  The event took place in the Luter Hall Atrium where students and mentors came out to learn more about this new program, and to meet each other face-to-face for the first time.  The initial group consisted of only female students and mentors as the program came from an idea from the newly established SWE, Society of Women Engineers chapter last year.


Dr. Nicole Guajardo speaking at the event

The Dean of the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Nicole Guajardo gave a warm welcome to all and remarked about the importance of students taking advantage of opportunities such as the Mentorship Program to enhance their educational experience.

The Mentors come from a wide variety of known companies such as NASA, Newport News Shipbuilding, Canon, Riverside Hospital just to name a few and most hold positions such CEO and Managers in their respective fields. At the kick-off event we learned that the mentor/mentee relationship can be as formal or as informal as we see fit. A few suggested activities included conversations over coffee, a campus visit at CNU or to the Mentor’s place of business, resume critiques or even good book recommendations.


Sadie Rynestad with her new Mentor from Canon

What are the benefits of having a Mentor?  Mentors share their knowledge and experience and provide students with encouragement, insights and possible career advice.  They can provide a realistic perspective of the workplace and offer advice, knowledge, and networking tools to the student.  Not only does the Mentee benefit from this program but the Mentor can too.  For many, mentoring can offer a great satisfaction by helping a student reach their professional goals and sharing their knowledge with eager students.

The PCSE Department hopes to open this program to all PCSE students next fall.  As stated above, there are many benefits of having a professional Mentor.  You don’t want to miss the sign up next fall for this great experience!