Tag Archive for CNU PCSE

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  joan.negron@swisslog.com 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 http://www.wagner.com/research-software-careers/ 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: careers.dominionenergy.com

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 verisign.com/en_US/company-information/verisign-careers/index.xhtml

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 www.ibm.com

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 hypersizer.com.

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

Tuesday Tea with Dr. Marissa Walker

On October 6th, the Physics, Computer Science and Engineering students and faculty had the pleasure of learning about Dr. Marissa Walker’s life and experiences. Dr. Walker teaches physics and astronomy, and this is her second year teaching at Christopher Newport University. She is also very involved in research on campus, specifically in LIGO. 

When Dr. Walker was born, her parents were missionaries in Botswana, Africa, where she spent a good portion of her childhood. Dr. Walker shared some of the cool things she experienced in Botswana including being exposed to a different language and culture, attending religious services in a different language, and being outside in nature, close to wildlife, in a place where she could see the stars because there was so little light pollution. After middle school, her family moved to Texas where she stayed through college. Dr. Walker attended Abilene Christian University for her BS in physics and Louisiana State University for her Ph D in physics. 

During high school, Dr. Walker was inspired to spend extra time learning about physics as she enjoyed the challenge and found that she understood it well. Her parents encouraged her to go into math and science, which was challenging as no one in her immediate family is involved in STEM, but they value higher education and know how to navigate it. Dr. Walker said her family is always there to support her. 

Dr. Walker pursued studying gravitational waves in graduate school because of interest in the subject. She found that reading about LIGO was always more interesting to her than other areas of physics, and it seemed worth it to pursue further studies. After graduating, Dr. Walker spent a year in California for postdoctoral research. After that, she applied to teach at universities throughout the United States. Christopher Newport University was particularly appealing due to the existence of a LIGO research team. Research is a collaborative process, so it is important to Dr. Walker to be around people working on similar projects.

Alongside teaching, Dr. Walker is leading research projects with students. The LIGO group is a very active on campus research group. If any students are interested in participating in this research, they can reach out to Dr. Walker via email: marissa.walker@cnu.edu.

Dr. Walker shared her experiences with feeling out of place. Coming from Botswana, and being a woman in a mostly male dominated field have contributed to these feelings. Dr. Walker offered advice for anyone who may be facing similar struggles, “Find people to talk to that you can relate to. Find someone you work well with that you can be yourself around. Make friends, and find a supportive network.” Dr. Walker reported that overall, she has had a good experience in the field with some excellent mentors and awesome research groups. 

Thank you Dr. Walker for sharing your unique experiences!