Clark State Community College’s Chief Information Officer Matt Franz has been nominated for the IT Executive of the Year Leadership Award from Technology First. Technology First is an IT industry trade association that strives to transform the Dayton region into a well-connected information technology community. The Technology First Leadership Awards recognize the contribution of information technology students and professionals ensuring a vibrant Dayton community.
“I’m honored by the nomination and am in a group of well-established IT executives in the Dayton and Miami Valley region,” said Franz.
Franz and the Clark State IT team have partnered with CampusWorks, a company dedicated to helping higher education overcome business and technological challenges, to increase the efficiency of the College’s IT division. “One of the main goals of the project was to increase the support and value IT can provide to the entire campus community,” said Franz.
Franz was nominated for the IT Executive of the Year Award by Vincent Zicolello, senior IT executive with CampusWorks, Inc. “Matt was instrumental and led his team in completing and implementing projects,” said Zicolello. “He oversees and directs the overall operations to ensure maximum operating efficiency of systems, equipment, procedures and overall cost effectiveness of information technology operations.”
Franz has been with Clark State for nearly two years. He said he was surprised by the nomination. “I come to work and try to enable my team of hard working professionals to create new ways to serve our faculty, staff and students,” he said. “My goal is always to provide a premier level of support to everyone. We are working hard on that every day. It is an honor to be recognized as a part of that process.”
Franz said he is passionate about his work and likes to uncover the same passion in others. “Passion fuels motivation and innovation,” he said. “Focusing on learning from our improvement opportunities and leveraging past successes is something we work on each day.”
Clark State received a second nomination for the Emerging Tech Team Award. The award recognizes an IT college student team that exhibited excellence while delivering a capstone project. Shaun Foor, Bill Johnson, Keith Carrier and Alex Fryman make up the Clark State student IT team nominated by Riverside Research;an independent, non-profit organization chartered to advance scientific research in the public interest and in support of the United States government. Dan Heighton, professor in Computer Networking and CyberSecurity, led the team.
The students spent a ten-week summer internship on the project in the summer of 2014. “The purpose of this project was to create a virtual test bed environment within a VirtualBox system that can be used by industry researchers to test the security of our nation’s SCADA systems,” explained Foor.
Cathryn Balas, co-principal investigator for a Clark State grant from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) for cybersecurity, said business partnerships for opportunities with Riverside Research and other companies is vital to keeping Clark State students and faculty aware of challenges and needs in the IT industry. “The model that Clark State has developed for teams of faculty and students working together as externs and interns on cybersecurity industry challenges provides unique opportunities for Clark State to prepare its students for a career defending the cyberinfrastructure of our country,” she said. “Students completing the program are working throughout our region in this growing career field.”
The Technology First Leadership Awards event will be held on May 14 at the University of Dayton Flight Deck. All Clark State nominees will be in attendance.