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Avetec and Clark State Featured in Washington, D.C. at the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Conference | 11/03/11
Two Clark State students were selected by the American Community College Association to attend the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) conference October 26 through 28 along with Avetec’s Executive Director of Education Cathy Balas and Clark State Information Technology and Cybersecurity faculty member Dan Heighton. The students pictured in front of their cybersecurity project posters are Don Wheeler (left) and Ben Schneider (middle). They were interviewed by Gordon Snyder, Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the Information and Communications Technologies Center.

“We learned so much during our internship in the summer of 2011,” Schneider commented. “Our work was at both Avetec and at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. We found out what it is like to work in a professional research environment and gained both technical and business experience that will enhance our career opportunities.”

Ben Schneider was also selected as one of seven students nationwide to speak at the conference. Ben is pictured here as the 5th student from the left speaking to over 800 NSF principal investigators.

Companies interested in intern development can contact Avetec’s Education Department for information or email Cathy Balas at

The internship path to employment | October 31, 2011
Last summer, Todd Shroyer, an Urbana resident and student at Clark State Community College travelled to Washington State to intern at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) in Richland.

The internship was made possible through the Cybersecurity program at Clark State in partnership with Avetec, funded by a three-year Applied Technologies Education grant from the National Science Foundation from 2009 to 2012. The ten-week internship offered students from Clark State a chance to gain professional and technical skills in the workplace through a faculty embedded internship at PNNL.

Dan Heighton, a Professor at Clark State and one of the embedded faculty members, commented: "Internships are an important aspect of a student's personal and professional development. Engaging students like Todd in this type of high-tech, research-based experience allows for the development of knowledge and skills that would not happen in a regular classroom environment. Past Clark State students who have been involved in these internships return to Ohio with new perspectives on the value of education and enhanced career opportunities."

Shroyer, who will graduate in June with a degree in Cybersecurity and Network Administration from Clark State, said, “My internship really opened my eyes up there to the way things are moving.”

Shroyer says the ten-week program that focused on high performance clustered computing at PNNL helped him get his foot in the door to the type of work he will encounter in his career field and introduced him to a handful of new technologies.

“I grew both professionally and personally,” adds Shroyer who explains that he not only gained technical business skills from the experience, but took away some valuable lessons from team building and time spent with his professors and fellow interns. “We fed off each other’s knowledge and learned a lot from each other.”

Upon return from Washington, Shroyer interned briefly at Avetec, working on a variety of information technology projects and challenges.

Cathy Balas, Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development at Avetec comments what a wonderful success story Todd represents for the Cybersecurity program at Clark State.

“Todd Shroyer has been an excellent help here since the start of the quarter. He has handled many day to day [information technology] issues, fixing nagging problems that no one else has had time to do,” said Balas. “He has also dug into two big projects which were out of his usual comfort zone, looking at some specialized software and helping with a website set up.”

Shroyer’s internship experiences have proven to be invaluable. Last week, Shroyer accepted a job offer from the Honda Research Center where he will be continuing his work in information technology and cybersecurity.

Companies interested in intern development can contact Avetec’s Education Department for information or email Cathy Balas at

Avetec Interns recognized locally and nationally for research funded by the National Science Foundation
On Wednesday, April 6, a film crew for Boston public television station WGBH-TV came to Avetec to profile Kristen Edwards, one of Avetec’s second-year interns participating in the National Science Foundation-funded internship program. The program is a two-year partnership between Avetec, Clark State Community College and Central State University that immerses students in the fields of cyber security and high performance computing.

“The grant allows Avetec and Clark State to set up interesting opportunities, unique in the sense that faculty and student teams are involved to work in the industry and engage and realize projects there,” said Cathy Balas, Avetec’s Executive Director of Education.

Clark State faculty Dan Heighton and Ronda Black are the instructors for the program that will run on Wednesdays until July. The other interns working along with Kristen Edwards are Mike Adkins, Amy Boggs, Matt Cardosi, Joshua Schrader, Benjamin Schneider, Todd Shroyer, Jacob Steiner, Derick Stephens and Donald Wheeler.

The news crew began the day setting up in Avetec’s simulation room where they interviewed Edwards who is attending Clark State cyber security classes and double majoring in math and computer science at Central State. Footage was also captured of the entire group of interns who were preparing a variety of computer equipment for use during their internship. The equipment includes laptops and pad-based computers for student use, as well as specialized systems that will be used to build the high-performance clustered systems.

After filming at Avetec, the afternoon was spent shooting a group interview that included Avetec intern Jacob Steiner, the only other second-year intern in the program; instructors Dan Heighton and Ronda Black; Cathy Balas, as well as Edwards and her family.

While downtown, a reporter and photographer from the Springfield News-Sun also came to interview the group for a news article. The article from the News-Sun ran the following day and is available on their website at

The story from WGBH-TV will be shown on national TV this summer.

Avetec Interns Present Research Findings at Showcase | 08/12/10
Twelve Clark State Community College and Central State University interns presented research project findings on high performance computing, convergence technologies and simulation projects during an intern showcase at Avetec today. The internship program was designed to expose students to high performance computing (HPC) environments with an emphasis on developing knowledge and skills in setting up clustered computing environments as well as convergence technologies, integrating voice, video and audio onto IP-based data networks.

"Internship programs like this help students understand the importance of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields in today’s technology-oriented workforce," said Stacia Edwards, Director of Workforce Development for the Ohio Board of Regents, the governing body of Ohio’s higher education institutions. "For Ohio to move from a manufacturing-based economy into one that is technologically driven, higher education needs to work closely with technology companies to help students prepare for the global marketplace in which Ohio operates."

The dozen internships were supported by numerous organizations including Avetec, Central State University, Clark State Community College, Microsoft, Intel, Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions and the National Science Foundation through grant # 0903228. The interns’ findings will help show how varying technologies work with each other to enhance technology security. Participating interns were chosen from Clark State’s Computer Networking and Cyber Security-Information Assurance Program and Central State University’s Computer Science program.

"The combination of this hands-on internship and the corresponding classroom program is showing great promise in engaging students and faculty together in learning new technical skills," said Cathy Balas, Executive Director of Education at Avetec. "These are the skills our students need to succeed in a 21st century business environment."

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Microsoft® and Intel® to Support Local College Internship Program with Avetec’s DICE Program | 06/30/10
This summer, a dozen Clark State Community College and Central State University students will take part in a new model of computer science internship training led by Clark State Community College and Avetec. The internship is being supported by Microsoft®, Intel®, Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions and the National Science Foundation (NSF-ATE Award #0903228).

June 21-August 13, eight Clark State and four Central State University students will intern at Avetec, where they will conduct hands-on HPC, convergence technology and simulation projects to learn technical computer system skills.

The internship curriculum aims to expose students to High Performance Computing (HPC) environments and develop knowledge and skills in setting up a clustered computing environment; installing and configuring Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008; managing, maintaining and troubleshooting Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008; and applying these skills to science, engineering and mathematic problems.

“There is a tremendous need for students to come out of college with HPC skills, spanning administration to applications,” said Dr. Stephen Wheat, Intel’s senior director for HPC Strategy. “We view this partnership as a model that can be developed, proven, and proliferated to help fill that need, while preparing future leaders in computer science and computational science, all the while bringing the benefits of HPC to everyone.”

Clark State received a two-year National Science Foundation grant of $145,000 (NSF-ATE Award #0903228), a part of which will be used for this summer’s classroom instruction and hands-on learning. With support and direction from Avetec, Microsoft and Intel, the students will learn to administer Windows HPC Server 2008 and create projects which will be presented at the conclusion of the internship. In addition, interns will learn about convergence technology, such as voice-over IP (VoIP) technology for phone systems. In addition, three Clark State faculty members will participate in the project with the students, gaining hands on industry experience to take back to their classrooms this fall.

Instructors plan to take students to several academic and commercial HPC laboratories and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Defense Shared Resource Center.

The interns have already been selected from Clark State’s Computer Networking and Cyber Security-Information Assurance Program and Central State University’s Computer Science program.

The program will conclude with a Microsoft Regional HPC Showcase at Avetec in August during which students will present their project results and network with and academic and enterprise HPC and marketing professionals and local business leaders.

Avetec Chief Information Officer Al Stutz has a vision to turn this pilot program into a model that will certify qualified HPC administrators from associate degree programs in HPC-Technical Computing.

“We have all the tools in this region to develop this pilot into a working model that will serve the ever-evolving HPC community and provide opportunities for the next generation,” he said. “There is a large demand for people with these skills.”

A Visit to Pacific Northwest National Laboratories | 04/26/10
Cathy Balas, Avetec’s Executive Director of Education and Dan Heighton, Clark State Community College professor recently spent time at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories planning student internships and faculty externships working through a National Science Foundation grant. Clark State students and faculty will build skills in cyber-security and high performance clustered computing.

NSF Mentor Links | October 30, 2008
Dan Heighton and Jane Cape from Clark State Community College and Cathy Balas from Avetec are among the ten American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) grantees for the 2008-2010 MentorLinks program. Avetec and Clark State will work together to develop a new curriculum and Associates degree at Clark State for cybersecurity technician training. MentorLinks is operated by the AACC through a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant.

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