African American Women in Technology: Persevering Through Adversity

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In an age when we are launching new rocket designs into space, and sending information instantly over wireless channels, there is still a gender gap in the #STEM fields. The first computer programmer in the world was a woman named Ada Lovelace, and modern binary code was developed by a Navy engineer named Grace Hopper. Yet, there is still a whole community, spanning generations, of African American women who have moved us forward in STEM development and have received little recognition for their contributions. In this blog post we are going to celebrate the African American women who have used their intelligence and ingenuity to pursue their passion for science, technology, engineering, and math, despite adversity.

Katherine Johnson:
As recently portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures, Katherine Johnson was a genius mathematician whose calculations helped to get the first astronauts to the moon. When John Glenn learned that the calculations for his orbital flight in 1962 were being done by a computer, he refused to go into space until Katherine herself confirmed that they were correct. After 33 years working for NASA, Katherine retired in 1986, and 20 years later she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Henrietta Lacks:
Though she was not a scientist or doctor, Henrietta Lacks is still one of the most influential people in medicine to this day. On January 29, 1951, Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to diagnose abnormal pain and bleeding in her abdomen. Physician Howard Jones quickly diagnosed her with cervical cancer. During her subsequent radiation treatments, doctors removed two cervical samples from Lacks without her knowledge. She died at Johns Hopkins on October 4, 1951, at the age of 31. Ms. Lacks’ blood cells were able to multiply at rates that had never been seen before, or since and her blood cells were kept without her knowledge for research and are still being used in labs across the country today. The line of cells that there made from her sample were named the HeLa line, ironically to honor Henrietta. Jonas Salk used the HeLa strain to develop the polio vaccine, and since then her cells have contributed to over 10,000 patents. Unfortunately she never knew about her contribution to science and her family was never compensated by the labs that used her blood without permission for their research. For more information about her life and the importance of her contribution to science, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Lilia Ann Abron:
The first African American woman to earn a PhD in Chemical Engineering in the United States at the University of Iowa, Lilia Ann Abron has made incredible achievements in her field since she began her career in 1972. Abron founded PEER Consultants in 1978, an environmental engineering consulting firm that provides solutions to the problems of contamination of the environment. In 1995, Abron founded Peer Africa with the mission of building energy-efficient homes in post-apartheid South Africa. Peer Africa’s Witsand iEEECO (Integrated Energy Environment Empowerment-cost Optimization) Sustainable Human Settlement won the American Academy of Engineers 2012 Superior Achievement Award. To learn more about Abron’s achievements and community projects visit: thehistorymakers.org.
Dr. Donna Auguste:
A businesswoman and entrepreneur who specialized in software development, Donna Auguste is the genius behind Freshwater Software. Her company, founded in 1996, was created to offer companies the ability to monitor and track their presence on the internet. After she sold the company in 2000 she went on to found the Leave a Little Room Foundation, LLC, a philanthropic organization that helps to provide housing, electricity, and vaccinations to poor communities around the world. Despite adversity from her male peers and instructors, Auguste received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley and went on to become the first African American woman in the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University. For more information on Dr. Auguste visit her profile on the NCWIT website.
Dr. Alexa Canady:
Born in 1950, she was the first African American Woman in the United States to become a neurosurgeon. After almost dropping out of her undergraduate program, she gained the confidence to continue her work and went from being a zoology major to medicine. Though initially she was not taken seriously as a doctor, she quickly proved herself to her peers and was voted one of the top residents in her program. Dr. Canady was chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1987 until her retirement in June 2001. She also holds two honorary degrees, and received the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Teacher of the Year award in 1984, and was inducted into the Michigan Woman’s Hall of Fame in 1989.
Dr. Jeanette Epps:
Dr. Epps is an astronaut that was selected by NASA in 2009 after serving in the CIA for seven years. She has two doctorates, one for Philosophy (1994) and the other in Aerospace Engineering (2000) from the University of Maryland. The New York native was a NASA Fellow during graduate school and authored several journal and conference articles describing her research.
Evelyn Boyd Granville:
The second African American woman to receive a PhD in mathematics from an American university when she graduated from Yale in 1949, Dr. Granville was a pioneer in the field of computing. In 1952, Granville temporarily abandoned teaching to become a mathematician for the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., her work centering on the analyzation and application of mathematics toward the development of missile fuses. After joining IBM in 1956, she created computer software for NASA’s Project Vanguard and Project Mercury space programs. After leaving her position at NASA, she went back to teaching for 30 years until she retired in 1997.

There are thousands more women who could be added to this list, and we hope that this post inspires you to continue to learn more about the women who brought us into the modern technology age. Despite adversity, aggression, and subversion, these women refused to abandon their dreams of an education and a career in STEM. Their passion led to advancements in the field that are still making a difference today. Feel free to add to this list in the comments and tell us more about the women in the field who have inspired you!

 

The first degree conferred by Coleman University (when it was first named the Automation Institute) was to a young woman for Data Processing in 1964, and we have continued our mission for equality in STEM fields ever since. If you have been thinking about starting your career in Software Development, Cybersecurity, or Game Development we have classes that start every ten weeks, so you can pick when you want to start on your degree path! Give us a call at (858) 499-0202 to learn more about our degree programs and career services opportunities.

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Celebrate African American History Month in San Diego

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Coleman University celebrates African American History Month

Coleman University celebrates African American History Month 2018

February is not only a time to celebrate love and friendship, but also a time to reflect on the important events in African American history that have shaped our country. Through their contributions to art, music, technology, science, engineering, and thousands of other fields, African American citizens have helped make the United States what it is today. Despite hardships and institutional inequality, those whose legacy is a part of the foundation for African American History Month, moved our country forward into the modern age through their passion to learn, create, and to achieve their dreams. To start off this month of celebration and history, we have compiled a list of fun activities and opportunities to learn more about African American history and culture. Join your community in celebrating this month-long event!

Macy’s Museum Month:

For the entire month of February, at participating Macy’s stores and online, you pick up a free special pass that gets you half-off admission to over 40 museums in the city! The Museum of Man in Balboa Park and the Veterans Museum are great places to learn more about African American culture and influence in US history.

Visit https://www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org/museum-month for more information and to find out where to get your FREE pass!

San Diego Black Film Festival:

The Black Film Centre of San Diego, a local non-profit organization, is putting on its annual Black Film Festival showcasing films from African American actors, directors, screenwriters, and other members of the film community around the world.

Visit http://www.sdbff.com/ for information about this year’s movies and screening locations.

Now Showing—Black Panther:

Created by comic book legend Stan Lee, The Black Panther was introduced to Marvel readers in 1966 when the superhero appeared in Fantastic Four #52. Known as T’Challa, the protector and leader of a fictional African country named Wakanda, his superpowers come from his great intellect, intense physical training, and mastery of technology. Coming to the silver screen for the first time, The Black Panther will be released in theaters on February 16th 2018.

Visit the San Diego History Center (Free Admission):

From now through April 2018, the SDAAMFA will be exhibiting artifacts in collaboration with the San Diego History Center that highlight the art of African American artists who have a significant relationship to San Diego. Artists on display include Manuelita Brown, Ernest Eugene Barnes Jr. (deceased), Jean Cornwell Wheat, Albert Fennell (deceased), Kadir Nelson, Faith Ringgold, Charles Rucker (deceased), and Rossie S. Wade (deceased). The display is at the San Diego History Center located at:

Casa De Balboa,

Balboa Park 1649 El Prado,

Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101

KUUMBAFEST at San Diego Repertory Theater (February 22-25):

“This experiential four-day, arts empowerment, Afrofuturism focus mixed-media edutainment extravaganza for all of San Diego will be held at the Lyceum Theatre from Thursday, February 22nd to Sunday, February 25th, 2018.  This event features The Challenge for Change through Afrofuturism, Parade of History, the Royal Court Awards Ceremony workshops, dance, film screenings, cultural food competitions, youth programs, African Market Place, and more.”

Tickets available at: http://securesite.sdrep.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=12301

The Shank Theater Presents “A Raisin in the Sun”:

The Department of Theater and Dance at UC San Diego proudly presents a classic story written by Lorraine Hansberry who was an African-American playwright and writer and the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. The story of A Raisin in the Sun follows Walter Younger and his family who live in Chicago, each feeling confined by their physical home space and the social roles they’ve been assigned. When an insurance payout after the death of the family’s patriarch offers an opportunity to improve their lives, individual priorities and how they affect others come into question. Tickets range from $8.00 for students to $15.00 for general admission and can be purchased through this link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3052044

 

Coleman University is not only a technology-focused university; we are also a diversity-focused institution. Since 1963 it has been our mission to provide education and career resources to any student who has a passion to learn and a dream they want to achieve. By promoting diversity in the STEAM fields, we can help to bring more innovation and inclusion for the benefit of our national, and international, community. 

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Cybersecurity in History: The Elk Cloner Virus

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In 2017, Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that by 2019 a business will become the target of a ransomware attack every 14 seconds. The average budget for cybersecurity measures is expected to exceed $1 Trillion by 2021, and the number of open jobs for cybersecurity experts is fast outgrowing the number of available applicants (CSO Online). It seems that “cybersecurity” is a hot button topic today, but where did this trend start? Where did the first computer virus come from? In late January of 1982, a 15 year-old programmer named Richard Skrenta inadvertently created the first computer virus (outside of a lab) that spread through infected floppy discs “in the wild”. Ironically it was written as a joke!

The first computers, such as the ENIAC, were built at the beginning of the 20th century and were used mostly for computing large sums and for breaking codes during war time. These behemoth machines took up entire floors of buildings and required constant monitoring and maintenance. Over time these computers become smaller, faster, and more efficient, but they were still individual machines that worked towards a specific computing purpose. With the birth of the modern age of computing and the home computer system, programmers could begin experimenting with their own code and testing the limits of these inventions. Using his personal Apple II computer, Richard Skrenta began creating a boot sector virus to infect floppy discs and spread itself to any Apple II computer that booted up using the infected floppy disc by putting the virus into the computer’s memory. His virus would become the first in history to spread “in the wild” and exist outside of a computer laboratory; meaning that any floppy discs that were inserted into an infected computer, were immediately infected and could then pass the virus on to another system. The virus was essentially harmless and was intended to annoy its victims more than attack them. Elk Cloner was designed so that once the Apple II computer had been booted up 50 times after being infected, a poem would display on the screen:

Elk Cloner:

The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks

It will infiltrate your chips

Yes it’s Cloner!

It will stick to you like glue

It will modify ram too

Send in the Cloner!

Once computer developers began installing hard drives into computers instead of relying on floppy discs for memory, this type of virus was no longer effective. Today the threat of digital security is greater than an infected floppy disc that only affects the device you have in your home, and it can be much more detrimental to your system than an unwanted poem on your screen. In a report by ISACA it was projected that over the next 2-4 years there will be an estimated skills gap of almost 2 million in the field of Cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity industry is seeing a sharp spike in hacking attempts and recent scandals, such as the Equifax data breach in 2017, have shown that the cybersecurity needs of major corporations are not being met. Imagine what opportunities are waiting for you with a degree in Cybersecurity!  On average, a Cybersecurity professional will have a yearly salary of $116,000, almost double the national median income reported for 2016! If you have a passion for online safety and love a challenge, think of a degree in Cybersecurity as a part of your future and call us at (858) 499-0202!

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Faculty Spotlight with Joe Shoopack (Game Development)

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We are less than two weeks from Global Game Jam 2018 and this year is gearing up to be one for the record books! For this month’s Faculty Spotlight we interviewed one of our Game Development instructors, Joe Shoopack, in honor of the upcoming Global Game Jam. Joe has a lot of passion for gaming and enjoys teaching the next generation of great game developers! Thank you to Joe Shoopack for giving us an awesome interview!!

If you’re interested in the Global Game Jam there’s still time to register!
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the only Game Jam in San Diego for 2018!

  1. Joe, what was the first video game that you bought; why did you choose that one?

The first game bought for me was PONG for the home television system in 1975. The first console game I bought for myself was the Sega Genesis Mickey’s Castle of Illusion in 1990. It was a really creative platform featuring a level that flipped upside down and had some very cool looks to the levels.

  1. Name some of your top five favorite game releases in the past ten years. What makes a game noteworthy for you?

I would have to say, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinity, and Cuphead are three standouts I’ve really enjoyed playing since they were released. I like to feel completely immersed in a world, and all three of those games accomplish that in different ways.

  1. Are there any upcoming game releases that you are looking forward to?

I’m waiting for the release of The Last of Us II.

  1. What retro game would you like to see brought back for a modern console?

Rather than seeing an old game brought back, I’m more excited to see the emergence of interest in creating 2D sprite and tile mapped games. It’s been referred to as the Hi-Bit Era: 16-bit style games utilizing the wide screen and higher resolution, like Owlboy from D-Pad Studio.

  1. What drew you to making Game Development and Design your career?

I loved art and arcade games, and when I graduated from Brigham Young University in 1985 with a degree in Illustration, game careers for artists were just starting to become a viable possibility, so I naturally gravitated to doing art for games.

  1. Can you share some of your experience in becoming a game developer and what you are currently doing in the field?

I first started working on Atari 7800 and Sega Genesis Games at Blue Sky Software in San Diego. These were small development teams, so you had the opportunity to do both art and level design as an artist.  I worked there for about 5 years and contributed to Jurassic Park, World Series Baseball, a Ren and Stimpy game, The Little Mermaid and a bunch of others. After that I started working at Sony and worked on Gameday ’99 (a football game for the PC). I then moved over to a spin off company of Sony, called Sony Online Entertainment.  At Sony Online I worked on some very fun Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games like Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest 2.  I then became a Development Director for Art and started working in a broader capacity with all the games and artists at the company on games like DC Universe Online, Planetside 2, H1Z1, etc. I left in 2016 to work on an independent project and to start an adjunct teaching career.

Joe Shoopack Game Development Faculty Quote Coleman University

  1. What brought you to Coleman University to teach?

I started a professional mentor program when I worked at Sony Online that partnered with a local college where I visited classes and advised on student projects and portfolio development.  I really enjoy interacting with students and helping them get started in the game industry, so I started teaching as an adjunct professor.

  1. Any advice for potential and current students looking to make Game Development a lifelong career?

My biggest piece of advice is: be willing to work on anything and be one of the people that volunteer to do whatever it takes to get a game done, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.

  1. What’s the gaming industry in San Diego like? Is it a growing industry?

It’s pretty stable; although some larger companies have come and gone over the last 20 years. Amazon just opened a San Diego Studio this past year and I’m sure they’ll be growing. Also there are a lot more small independent developers now, which means there will be more pathways to enter the field of Game Development.

  1. Are you involved in the Global Game Jam? Or planning to attend or create a team?

I will be attending Global Game Jam, most likely as a resource visiting and helping out different teams.

  1. Why are events like Global Game Jam important for Game Development students?

It gives you an opportunity to meet some really creative peers and mentors and it’s an excellent opportunity to test your creative and development skills against a tight deadline while having lots of fun!

  1. What are some hobbies, outside of gaming, that you enjoy in your spare time?

Whenever I go on a road trip I take photos of old “roadside America” attractions that have been abandoned or are off the beaten path.  I especially like finding dinosaur and prehistoric animal sculptures. (See attached.)

 

If you are interested in learning more about our Game Development program and the opportunities available for you here in San Diego, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202 and schedule a free tour! 

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Cybersecurity is in Demand

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There are 1.8 Million Unfilled Cybersecurity Jobs in the United States,

So where are the Workers?

One of the fastest growing, and best paying, job fields in the United States is also becoming one of the least populated. According to the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², by 2022 there will be an estimated 1.8 million jobs in Cybersecurity that will go unfilled. This number increased from the initial estimate in 2015 of 1.5 million by 2020. So why are these jobs sitting vacant?  Will they be filled at all? One of the most significant causes is the documented lack of interest by Millennials in Cybersecurity. In a recent study by the Center for Cybersafety and Education, only 7% of those cybersecurity professionals in the field who were surveyed are under the age of 29, while the vast majority is over the age of 40. That large majority is on the verge of retiring, and that shift will only increase the number of open jobs in this field. But the field of Cybersecurity isn’t that hard to get into. With a degree in Cybersecurity, or even experience in software development or programming, this career path is one in which anyone with an interest in technology can succeed.

 

An article from Forbes Magazine claims that the Millennial generation sees Cybersecurity from a different perspective than their older peers (such as their parents and grandparents) because they have grown up living with computer and internet technology as part of their everyday lives. The concerns that face younger generation online, such as the security of cloud-based platforms, and password-protected sites, are much different than when the internet was first established. Ironically Millennials are MORE aware of cyber threats than previous generations, but they are less likely than Baby-boomers to take extra precautions to safeguard their information and documentation, especially on social media. On average, a Millennial will use 3-5 passwords for their various profiles in order to ensure security; however, that proactive behavior doesn’t seem to translate into an interest in Cybersecurity because this group tends to reuse the same password for multiple sites. Unfortunately there is not enough awareness of this career field in comparison to other technology-focused options to bring more students into the classroom. Compounding this lack of interest are the assumptions that Cybersecurity is the same as any other IT field and that there is no need to specialize, or that years of extensive training are needed to become a high-level security expert. Those assumptions are very wrong.

Every year in the U.S., 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled, and employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other cyber-security related roles, according to cyber security data tool CyberSeek

Many Cybersecurity specialists only need a few years of training in order to obtain an entry-level security position. The average salary for a Cybersecurity professional according to CIO, citing a survey conducted by Semper Secure, is around $116,000 annually (roughly $55.77 per hour). More specialized positions such as Chief Information Security Officer, or Lead Software Security Engineer, have an average salary of $200,000. That number is three times the national median income! In fact, many of the almost 1.8 million jobs in Cybersecurity are located right here in California. Companies such as Google, IBM, Cisco, and Facebook have a high demand for Cybersecurity specialists and that demand will only grow in the next ten years as cloud-based computing becomes more prevalent. Those cybersecurity specialists who take and maintain high level certifications such as the CISSP are more likely to achieve an even higher salary!

 

In order to make a career in cybersecurity more accessible, Coleman University created an expedited degree program of three years or less (depending on status and credits transferred) for a Bachelor’s of Science in Cybersecurity. Students earn their degree while also taking advantage of our Career Services department to find jobs in the field. Alumni also have the advantage of a lifetime of career services assistance from our experienced advisers.

 

If you have been looking for a more lucrative career, and have a passion for technology and making the online world more secure, think about Cybersecurity as your future! With the growing demand for professionals, and over a million potential jobs to choose from, this field has plenty of opportunity for those who want to take it. At Coleman University, we can make that goal happen faster, and with the help of our instructors who have years of experience in the field and in the classroom. Call Coleman today at (858) 499-0202 to schedule a tour!

 

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Celebrate National Trivia Day with Coleman University!

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January 4th is National Trivia Day and we want to share some fun facts about us! As you know, Coleman University was established here in San Diego in 1963 by Dr. Coleman and Mrs. Lois Furr. Our first building was in Downtown San Diego, and since our first graduating class; we have been making history in this amazing city. Check out our list of some of the top 10 most interesting trivia facts about Coleman University, and if you’re an alumnus, feel free to share your own trivia in the comments!

  1. Coleman’s original mainframe was named Kermit; the name was changed to Papa Bear in the 1990’s.
  2. Coleman University (then Coleman College) presented its first lecture about the internet and the World Wide Web in 1991. The internet was not even being accessed commercially at this point by users at home; that came later in 1995.
  3. In the 1990s Coleman was the home of the Computer Museum of America, whose mission was to collect, preserve, and exhibit historic computer equipment and artifacts.
  4. Coleman (then the Automation Institute) conferred the first degree in Data Processing issued by a private data processing institution in the state of California in 1963. The degree was conferred to Jean Thomas by Doctor Coleman Furr, our co-founder.
  5. Our second location was in Old Town San Diego, at 2425 San Diego Avenue. Today that location is now a storefront; you might not even recognize it with all of the changes!
  6. Over the years Coleman has had a successful track team and softball team that competed in events across San Diego.
  7. Our Co-founder, Dr. Coleman Furr, was a friend of Grace Hopper (the inventor of modern binary code for programming) and since the founding of our institution Coleman has always dedicated a hall on our campus in her name.
  8. From 1974-1976, Coleman College supplied 38-42% of all the initial Data Processing workers needed during the early days of building mainframes to begin automating City and County Government offices in San Diego.
  9. On September 12, 2015 the White House, through their “College Scorecard” software named Coleman University as a school whose students graduate on time, get good jobs and can pay off their loans quickly.
  10. On Jan 26, 2017 – Coleman University became host to “Hornet’s Nest,” San Diego’s first publically-available Indoor UAV drone flight, test, and training facility. It is open 11AM-2PM every Saturday in the B Building located on the West side of the campus.

Since 1963, it has been the philosophy of the Automation Institute, Coleman College, and Coleman University to bring career opportunities and accessible education to any and all people who wanted to learn. Technology was a passion for our founder, and that passion is still here today. We can’t wait to see what history we continue to make here at Coleman and in San Diego!

 

If you are interested in taking your own passion for technology and turning it into a career, call us today at (858) 499-0202 and we would be happy to give you a tour! (Tours are available in Spanish).

Become a part of our history, and look to your own future, at Coleman University!

Coleman University Technology Focused Careers

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Coleman University Supports San Diego Veterans Through the Warrior Foundation

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Since 1963, Coleman University (formerly Coleman College) has prepared its students for technology-focused careers and has also been dedicated to helping our community through support efforts such as sponsorships and donations. San Diego has one of the largest military populations in the country, and the veterans that live here are part of a strong community that needs the support of its neighbors. Coleman has been helping enlisted military and veterans achieve their own successes through education and providing essential career building resources. To further our mission to support our military community, Coleman has been working to develop new relationships with organizations in San Diego that have the same goal, like the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station. Coleman University President Norbert Kubilus and External Relations Director Rod Weiss visited the dedicated men and women leading and operating Warrior Foundation Freedom Station on September 1, 2017 for a special tour of their facilities.

On September 26, Coleman University donated a printer to the Freedom Station offices as way to show support to those who are working tirelessly to help our wounded veterans. The Warrior Foundation Freedom Station is a veteran rehabilitation community located at 1223 – 28th Street, San Diego, CA 92102. Disabled veterans and those suffering from mental health issues receive vital resource from this organization. Through various types of therapy, assisted living, and training opportunities, veterans are given the tools that they need to succeed. Freedom Station aids these heroes as they make the transition from defenders of freedom to productive members of America’s civilian work force.

On December 8 Coleman University was happy to support KFMB 760AM’s annual Warrior Foundation Radiothon, which raised over $935,000 dollars! Our External Relations Director, Rod Weiss was on set for the Radiothon and saw all of the excitement first-hand. Due to the generosity and kind spirit of our community, the Warrior Foundation Radiothon helped raise over $14 million since 2004 to send military heroes home for the holidays. The Radiothon also raises funds for the foundation to continue to aid in transitioning our military men and women (many of whom are going through rehab in San Diego) back to civilian life.

Whether it is supporting this Radiothon, or educating veterans for their civilian careers, Coleman University is dedicated to supporting the brave men and women who volunteer their lives in service to the United States.

 

If you are a veteran looking to further your education and start a path to a degree in technology, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202 or visit www.coleman.edu!

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Daybreak Games Welcomes Coleman Students to Their Studio in San Diego

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On December 4, Coleman University faculty member Joe Shoopack took his DSN343 (Game Story and Character Design) class, along with other interested Coleman Game Development students, to visit Daybreak Game Company in Rancho Bernardo. Through his connections to the company, he arranged for a panel discussion and presentation about game design and story narrative creation between his students and Daybreak developers.  Daybreak was founded in 2015, and since then they have been making their mark on the gaming industry.  Published games from Daybreak include EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, PlanetSide® 2, and DC Universe Online™. Team members and representatives from Daybreak have come to our campus in the past to speak with students and present workshops on what it takes to be a successful game developer.

Luke Sigmund, EverQuest Franchise Creative Director for Daybreak Games, hosted the event for Coleman students, and was one of the panelists along with four other senior members of the game story team. The presentation covered creating compelling narrative and character design, the relationship of game play and story narrative, the process of creating/designing story worlds for open world games, creating emotion with character interaction, and other related topics. In addition the Daybreak team held discussions with our students about how to find a job as a game designer and best practices for preparing for a career in the game development field. The panel-style presentation stimulated interesting discussion and was a valuable opportunity for students to meet and interact with professional game developers. Our students benefit enormously from the connections that our faculty have with the local game development community. This event highlights the great dedication our faculty has to helping our students learn not just in the classroom, but from professionals in their field who can offer their experiences as learning tools.

 

If you are interested in helping play, test, and give feedback on Daybreak game titles visit  https://www.daybreakgames.com/insiders/  for more information.

 

If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to earn a degree in Game Development and benefit from more opportunities like this, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202!
Classes start January 8, 2018 so there’s still time to register for the new year!

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How Do I Sign Up for the Global Game Jam 2018??

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We’ve already talked about the Global Game Jam on this blog; and the fact that this opportunity to compete in a global challenge with other gamers is one that can’t be missed. So now that we’ve peaked your interest, this blog will tell you what you should know about the #GGJ2018 and what to prepare for once you’ve signed up.

To start with, we want to tell you what your ticket purchase includes. The hosts of the Global Game Jam event at Coleman, the IGDA, have dedicated the funds from the event to providing food for the participants as well as other resources to help make this event as awesome as possible for all who attend! Starting Friday evening on January 26, 2018 participants will start arriving at the Coleman campus to set up their equipment and find spots to get settled in. You can bring in your own computers, laptops, and monitors to use for the weekend as well as any other special resources that you need to effectively code or design. Since the participants will be here from Friday night to Sunday afternoon Coleman University has not only provided campus space for this event, we will be making sure that there is a computer for everyone who registers. The point of this event is to mimic the conditions and stresses of game design and development so make sure that you come prepared to work hard, but we want you to be comfortable while doing it! So if you prefer to code in your bunny slippers, make sure to bring them along too.

What if you don’t have any team members lined up when you register? Well that is certainly no problem. Once the theme for the challenge is announced on Friday night, participants will then have the opportunity to discuss their ideas with others, and teams will form based on which projects participants want to join. The proposed projects will not all be videogame based because board games, card games, and any other styles of game are all welcome submissions. Since the submissions don’t have to be a videogame, participants who do not have coding experience are not excluded from being a part of this event. A passion for gaming and creating fun projects is the only requirement needed! The fun comes from the thrill of joining a team and bringing a great game to life in only three days.

Once teams have finished their projects, they will be submitted to the Global Game Jam site and published. Visitors to the site can still see games from previous years and even play some of them as well! For a game developer or designer, this can be a great addition to any resume and will add invaluable experience to help put you ahead. Being able to perfect your teamwork and problem solving skills while also creating a game from scratch is something that many recruiters look for in a potential hire. Why not put the Global Game Jam onto your resume this year?

If your family or friends are interested in seeing the event and coming by to show support, they are more than welcome! There will be visiting hours for friends and family, however, since time is limited and teams will have to work around the clock, visitors will not be able to stay overnight. We will also have special guests from radio station FM 94.9 on our campus live streaming and getting involved with participants. Hamby from the Casual Gamers podcast will be on our campus broadcasting from his Twitch channel, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on that! Head over to the official Eventbrite page for more information and the link to register as a participant: http://bit.ly/GGJ18Coleman. See you there! #GGJ2018

Turn your passion for gaming, coding, or design into a degree and a lifelong career! With a degree in Game Design from Coleman University, along with all the first-hand professional game development experience of our instructors, our graduates have the knowledge and the connections to build a solid career in game development and design. Call us today to schedule a tour and learn more about our programs at (858) 499-0202! Turn your “Dreams into Reality” now, classes start January 8, 2018!

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Faculty Spotlight: Ben Mead

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This month we sat down with an instructor from our Software Development Department, Ben Mead for an interview about his life in technology and his passions. From his early interest in technology, to his current role as an instructor at Coleman University, there is a lot to know about Ben! Read on to find out something new about one of your favorite instructors on our campus.

Have you always lived in San Diego? What was it like growing up in Southern California?

While at this point I’ve been in San Diego for most of my life, I can still wear shorts year round and sometimes find myself longing for a snow day. Nevertheless, this is the city I love and call home.

What was the first experience that you had with technology that inspired you to make it your career?

Growing up on Oregon Trail and the NES showed me there is a lot of fun to be had with electronics. However, it wasn’t until middle school during a Basic Apple class where I thought, “this is what I want to spend my time doing.” I thought it was so cool to write a program that could create a simple pixel police car and make it drive across the screen blinking its light along the way. I was instantly hooked on computers, as they provided me the satisfaction and feedback I needed as a young teen. It did what I what I asked it to do. It also let me know real quickly when I made a mistake, without judgment, and I could then fix it.

What is one of your favorite subjects to teach in your classes?

As a technologist by trade, I am able to bring an experienced perspective, from working in the industry, to my students. One of the benefits of teaching in the Cybersecurity program at Coleman University is that I get to relate each of the classes I teach to current event examples of how criminals and law enforcement are leveraging technology to work through their operational challenges. Additionally, I enjoy creating open forum conversations with each class as they work through team dynamics and coordinated obstacles, so that together they are able to produce an outcome greater than they would individually.

How do you think TV and other media have changed the way that people think about technology and hacking?

Hollywood and the media are hilarious with the way they portray technology and those who use it! They portray outrageous and beyond reasonable examples, ranging from exploding monitors in soap operas to typing the word “cookie” to stop a cookie monster virus. More often than not, the overdramatic misinformation takes away from the beauty of modern technology and the terrifying reality of what is happening in the hacking scene today.

Do you have one type of tech that you can’t live without in your daily life?

Convenience is a key reason anyone adopts a technology. I find myself pretty resourceful but my go-to convenience for work and play has got to be my smartphone. It grants me the ability to terminal in from anywhere and check out the latest cat gif (pronounced like a gift and not like the peanut butter JIF).

What activities or hobbies do you like that have as little to do with tech as possible?

The least tech hobby I’ve got is playing paintball. It’s just so satisfying laying rope down a lane and watching someone run right through it!

How long have you been teaching at Coleman? What’s your favorite class to teach?

The last two years teaching at Coleman have been a fun and enriching experience. It’s hard to pick one class that I’ve enjoyed the best, as each of them has been awesome in their own way.

Do you have any resources, like books or websites, that you recommend for good information about coding and programming?

I recommend that anyone looking for more information on learning coding and programming should talk to one of our Admissions Consultants about what they’re looking to accomplish and how Coleman University can help.

 

 

 

If you are interested in learning about all that you can accomplish with a degree in technology, call us today to set up an appointment with one of our admissions representatives at (858) 499-0202. We are here Monday through Friday to answer all of your questions and help you get started on the path to a lifelong career in technology!

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