Thursday, February 28, 2008

Final Call for Papers | BDPA IT Showcase

Soulclap to Perry Carter for this information!

Bracketology 2.0

BDPA IT Showcase Marches to Math Madness!

Open Enrollment--2008 IT Showcase!
© Jupiter Images

Computer Models + Bracketology = Field of 65

The NCAA's Rating Percentage Index (RPI) was created in 1981 to provide supplemental data for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committees to evaluate the best teams for at-large selections and seedings within regional 'pods' in quests of championship brackets. The RPI is intended to be used as one of many resources available to NCAA committees in their selection, seeding and bracketing process. Nonetheless, the RPI merely is an evaluation tool complimenting the subjectivity of each committee member.

Even today, complex algorithms and computer models cannot accurately evaluate qualitative factors such as games missed by coaches or key players, travel difficulties, team performances within the last twelve games, or emotional aspects of specific games. Someday, expert systems may be able to accomplish this goal--but how?

High school and college students already know this equation. Now is the time to really do the math! Do something innovative about IT. BDPA is looking for students in high school, junior college, trade schools, or universities who may not only serve as Chairmen and Chairwomen of 'The Boards' and command respect on the courts, but are ready to hoop-IT-up by earning awards, scholarships, and internship opportunities simply by writing a very short paper and telling a panel of judges about IT. Industry mentors are available for the assist.

Parents, teachers, and coaches, are asked to download our March 2008 issue of
bdpatoday, and review its IT Showcase Handbook enclosure with any student. Then, have him or her identify any profitable or costly activity directly related to the multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment industry, and go for the slam dunk! Use our IT Showcase to write about a new or favorite technology, an advanced math concept, or explain an improved software (simulations, graphics, or statistics) application used to help teams or leagues in any sport become more competitive. What would IT take?

Ballers! Your Final Call for Papers is March 28, 2008.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Barbara Ellis Appointed to BETF Board of Directors

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF), a tax-exempt non-profit organization that provides financial support for education and technology programs of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), today announced the appointment of Barbara Ellis as a member of the BETF Board of Directors. Ms. Ellis is a seasoned IT executive with more than 30 years experience in strategic planning initiatives.

"I am excited to work with Barbara in her new role as a Board member to continue delivering value to BETF stakeholders, students and sponsors,” said Wayne Hicks, BETF executive director. "She comes to us highly recommended by her peers in the industry. Barbara’s executive experiences with IBM over the past 30 years as well as her current entrepreneurial efforts make her uniquely qualified to assist BETF. BETF is fortunate to have her in this leadership role."

During her career with the IBM Corporation, she held management and executive positions in IBM Global Services, Sales and Distribution, Information Systems, Finance, Manufacturing, Business Transformation and e-Business initiatives. Barbara led global strategic transformation initiatives for IBM in the areas of Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management,, IBM Technical Support, and Sales.

In addition to her functional responsibilities, Barbara was also a leader in IBM’s highly acclaimed diversity imperative for the advancement of women serving as Co-Chair of the IBM U. S. Women’s Task Force, with a particular emphasis on initiatives for Multicultural Women. In 2004, Barbara established her consulting business, Barbara J. Ellis Consulting, LLC. She now consults with clients to achieve bottom line results through the implementation of strategic priorities and objectives.

“I accepted the BETF Board appointment in order to provide scholarships and other funding for the education of disadvantaged children in our community,” said Ms. Ellis. “I look forward to seeing the practical application of our funding mission over the coming months.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Judaea Lane: MetLife Volunteer Service Award Nominee

BETF nominated Judaea Lane, BDPA New York chapter president, for the MetLife Volunteer Service Award. Our hope is to earn up to $5,000 volunteer grant as a result of Judaea's efforts with BDPA. Many corporations have volunteer grant programs. Our foundation would love to work with you if such is the case at your company. Please check it out and let us know.

In the meantime, we thought we would share our nomination narrative for Judaea. The question that MetLife Volunteer Service Award Committee wanted us to answer was a simple one: What impact as your nominee had on your organization's work and the community?. Our answer was as follows:

Judaea Lane served as president of the BDPA New York chapter in 2007. Her chapter is one of 50 BDPA chapters that my organization serves as fiscal agent. As such, I observed the impact that Ms. Lane had on BDPA and her community.

One measurement of her impact on BDPA New York chapter is membership growth. Her chapter grew by over 50% in a single year, ending the year as the second largest BDPA chapter in the nation. Judaea and her leadership team achieved this success because of dedication and focus placed into delivery of the organization’s mission – providing programs and services that advance the careers for people of color in the information technology industry.

The time commitment and overall value to her chapter is impossible to ignore. She hosts the monthly board meeting at her office. She chaired the board meetings and issued meeting notes on a timely basis. She serves as an ad hoc member of each department. She supports the newsletter with articles. Her contacts were critical in obtaining large corporate sponsorship commitments from Merck & Company, MetLife, UBS Investment Bank and others. On a national level, she represented her chapter at each of the quarterly board meetings. She was a registered attendee at the 2007 Nat'l BDPA Conference. Locally, she provides consistent support to the VP-Finance on chapter books & records. Judaea helps in the membership database reconciliation. She has been a presenter at a number of our monthly program meetings. It is impossible to overstate the importance that Judaea had in the success of BDPA New York chapter over the past year.

Judaea epitomizes the philosophy, “
Each One Reach One, Each One Teach One”. She led her chapter to implement a comprehensive Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The SITES program allowed the chapter to reach their goal to “Bridge the Digital Divide” by reaching out to minority youths and offering workplace exposure via monthly workshops, advanced technology training opportunities and team-building skills. As a result, the New York community had creative and innovative students in the educational system with opportunities exhibit skill sets with caring BDPA New York chapter volunteers who are experienced IT professionals.

The signature program completed by Judaea’s chapter last year was local community outreach program for youths known as the High School Computer Competition (HSCC). HSCC provides outlet for corporations, students, educators and parents to come together in a valuable community efforts. Volunteer IT Professionals introduce high school students to various aspects of IT which include web application development and programming logic. The program also emphasizes the development of life-long learning skills such as team building, logical thinking and presentation.

Judaea tirelessly worked in 2007 to obtain funding necessary to pay for an all-expenses-paid trip for five students from the New York chapter program to compete in the 21st annual National BDPA High School Computer Competition held in Washington DC. These high school students attended workshops on Personal Development, Academic Development, Youth Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. The young people networked at corporate-sponsored luncheons and receptions, visited educational places in Washington DC; and networked with other talented high school students from around the nation. The five NY-area students did well in the 2007 National Competition, which consisted of a timed computerized written exam, oral questions and the development of a web application per specifications.

If it for these reasons that, I am proud to nominate Judaea Lane for the MetLife Volunteer Service Awards.

Anyone want to second our nomination?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

HSCC Alumni Student Khalia Braswell is National Academy Foundation Winner

Khalia Braswell is a High School Computer Competition (HSCC) alumni from our BDPA Charlotte chapter. She competed in national competition held in Washington DC last year. We were pleased to learn that she continues to excel in her senior year at a high-tech magnet program at Philip O. Berry Academy of Technology. Braswell is a student in the Academy of Information Technology at Berry, and Wachovia just hired her to work part-time on its network engineering team while she finishes school.

“It’s a huge opportunity and a way for me to get a step ahead on my future,” said Khalia.

That’s not all. Khalia’s experience in the academy helped her get into two top universities, opportunities to win scholarships and a trip to New York City to meet leaders from some of the world’s top companies. Khalia has been accepted to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech. She’s still waiting to hear from Georgia Tech.

Khalia interned with Wachovia last summer on the bank’s network engineering team. As part of the job, she partnered with the project manager, writing updates for project plans and updating the team’s Web site.

“Now Wachovia’s offered me a part-time job, so I can learn more and get real experience,” said Khalia.

The Wachovia internship could also help Khalia pay for college. NAF offers college scholarships to outstanding students. Khalia wrote about her internship and was one of three students invited to participate at the National Academy Foundation Gala Dinner in New York City Dec. 10. She is shown in this photo with American Express CEO Kenneth Chennault.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call,” she said. “I had never been to New York before!”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The $100 Laptop Computer (Richmond)

BDPA Richmond is the 3rd largest chapter in the nation. One reason is that they provide monthly program meetings for their members, sponsors and supporters. They meet tonight to talk about 'The $100 Laptop Computers!' that are being distributed to school-age children around the world. Children in the developing nations within Central America, South America, Africa, Middle East and Asia are taking advantage of this program.

Guest speaker Bill Manns will share background on the non-profit organization, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). This organization sees this as a critical step in eradicating poverty. New technology ideas intrigue Mr. Manns and over the past year, he sought to learn more and to share knowledge gained about OLPC and Open Source systems with BDPA Richmond. Mr. Manns has more than 25 years of business development, leadership and information technology consulting experience. He is President/CEO of Associated Computer Professionals. Mr. Manns has been a BDPA member since the early 1990s and served as President of the Richmond Chapter in 2001-2003.

Here are the logistics for the meeting:

Date: Tuesday – February 26, 2008
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: Genworth Financial
6620 West Broad Street, Building 4
Richmond, VA 23230

For more information contact BDPA Richmond by email or phone (804.751-5171).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Technology Job Fair (Dallas)

BDPA Dallas chapter is the 13th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter leadership is serious about the BDPA mission to advance the careers of African Americans from the classroom to the boardroom within the information technology (IT) industry.

BDPA Dallas chapter and El Centro College join forces to host a Technology Job Fair. Dallas Metroplex employers are converging on El Centro and you need to be there. Dress professionally, bring plenty of resumes and talk with area employers about the career opportunities available for IT professionals.

Participating employers include:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • City of Arlington
  • City of Garland
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transport
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • and many more...
One of the exciting aspects of this Technology Job Fair is that Kai Dupe will be a featured speaker on the Second Life virtual revolution. Kai gave this presentation at the 2007 National BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC. It was very well received by the participants.

Here are the logistics for the Technology Job Fair:

Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Time: 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Place: El Centro College
801 S. Main Street; Dallas TX 75202

If you have questions or wish to discuss further you can reach out to Mike Henderson on (214) 860-2066 or click here to register.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

HSCC Academy Kick-Off (Charlotte)

BDPA Charlotte chapter announced their HSCC Academy on Saturday, February 23rd. Students are invited to participate in a 10 week program to learn 3-tiered web development using ASP.NET, VB.NET, and MySQL from Charlotte’s top IT professionals. The HSCC Charlotte Academy focuses on career development skills necessary to be successful in today’s competitive environment.

Five students will be selected on the HSCC Charlotte national team to compete at the BDPA Technology Conference for thousands of dollars in college scholarships. These five students win an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta, GA on August 6-9, 2008 to participate in the national competition. Click here for flyer with details on the HSCC Academy.

Here are the logistics for the kick-off:

When: Saturday, February 23, 2008
Time: 10:00 am
Cost: $50 registration per student.

Where: Wachovia E-Commerce Learning Lab
201 S. Tryon Street (Above Dean and Deluca)

If you have questions or wish to discuss further, you can contact Aaron Johnson. He can tell you about scholarships available to cover the $50 registration cost.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why Does Twitter Exist?

I'm slow on the uptake with most technology. I don't have a Blackberry. I never use the camera or text features on my cell-phone. My daughters set up an I-Pod Shuffle that I received at a national conference a few years ago. I'm just slow on this stuff. So, it comes as no surprise that I don't get the point of Twitter. I don't see a business reason for using it ... and I can't imagine that others much care that I'm 'just chillin'.

Do you have a Twitter account? Click here to see mine.

Can you give me a clue? Why do you use Twitter?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can You Provide Videogame Programmer Career Advice?

One of our HSCC alumni asked me the following question,

"Do you know of any programs that promote/support minorities and women entering the videogame industry? I will be going to the University of North Carolina (Charlotte) in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Science and a Certificate in Game Design and Development. I want to become a Lead Videogame Programmer.

I'm very excited about deciding to do so, and want to give myself as much preparation for the industry as possible. I would have loved to attend the Game Developers 2008 Conference in San Francisco this week, but unfortunately I am too young to be admitted inside. If you find out about any such programs, may you please announce their existence for other minority/female students like me? Thanks again for your reply."

BETF-Blog Readers, do you have any thoughts you can share in the COMMENTS section below?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Merchandise Allocation: Aligning Technology and Business Priorities for the Customer (Atlanta)

BDPA Atlanta chapter is the 8th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter understands that many of us spend a great deal of our disposable income on consumables. As such, we might benefit from an 'inside' look at how major retailers handle their Information Technology departments. You are invited to learn learn how customers benefit from Macy's retail IT solutions. Dean Compton is a leader at Macy's who will talk on the topic, "Merchandise Allocation: Aligning Technology and Business Priorities for the Customer".

In his corporate IT role, Compton oversees development and delivery of solutions to improve the capabilities of Macy's merchants to create a better shopping experience for their customers. His areas of responsibility include merchandise financial and assortment planning, buying and ordering, allocation and replenishment, reporting and analytics.

The meeting will take place on Macy's property:

Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Place: Macy's Systems and Technology
5985 State Bridge Road
Duluth, GA (678) 474-2000

I hope that all of our Atlanta-area readers are able to attend this event on February 27th. If you have questions or wish to discuss further you can leave a REPLY below or by phone (770.828-0603) or by email.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2008 BDPA Strategic Direction (Detroit)

BDPA Detroit is the 7th largest chapter in the nation. They want to network with African Americans and others in Motown's information technology industry. A networking event is scheduled for Thursday, February 21, 2008 at Techtown. The 2008 BDPA Detroit Leadership Team is available for power networking with chapter members and supporters. Learn more about the strategic direction of the chapter for 2008 and beyond.

Here are the logistics:

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm (refreshments); 7:00 pm (meeting starts)

Location: Techtown
440 Burroughs
Detroit, MI 48202

It is worth noting that an informal Afterglow gathering takes place at the MGM Grand in the "U Drink Me" Center Lounge. For more information you can contact the chapter by email or phone (313.438-3519).

BDPA Member Shapes the Future of Voting

Juan Gilbert has been a BDPA member since his college days at Miami (OH) University. He is now Dr. John Gilbert ... having earned his Ph.D. in computer science and becoming an associate professor at Auburn University. Juan is the academic advisor for the BDPA IT Institute. It goes without saying that we are very proud of what Juan has done ... but, even more excited about the future for this young brother.

Our United States Congress called Dr. Gilbert to testify next month on The Future of Voting. One of the hot issues in congress is the security and accessibility of voting technology. Everybody wants a better voting system so that we don't have elections stolen in Ohio or Florida ever again. Juan and two other scientists will share their most recent research and hands-on demonstrations of their voting technology.

I encourage our DC-based readers to attend this forum if you have ability to do so. The forum will include a lengthy Q&A session where participants will be encouraged to play the role of a hacker and ask "what if" questions.

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, breakfast will be provided
Place: Room 1310, Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

If you can't be in Washington DC ... feel free to use the COMMENTS section below to ask Juan any questions about voting technology. He'll respond if you have questions or comments.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Performance, Image and Exposure (PIE)

Convergence of Enterprise and Gaming Technologies (Philadelphia)

BDPA Philadelphia chapter is the 6th largest chapter in the nation. One reason that Philadelphia is our defending 'Chapter of the Year' is because of the challenging monthly program meeting calendar.

The chapter's program meeting this month focuses on the convergence of enterprise and gaming technologies. Chuck Stewart is the owner and CEO of Computer Techies, a firm that offers network infrastructure design and maintenance, and support and training for computer technologies. Computer Techies provides synergy between technology and business through technology solutions. For 10 years, Computer Techies has provided support for small businesses in the Tri-State (PA, NJ, DE) area with technology solutions to fit the growing demands of small business computing.

Also, BDPA Philadelphia and McKesson Corp will present scholarships to Jonathan Hernandez and Marcellus Sims for their demonstrated leadership and active participation in the HSCC. Jonathan and Marcellus are both HSCC Alumni.

Logistics for the event:

Date: February 20, 2008
Time: 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Location: CIGNA Insurance Building
2 Liberty Place - 16th Street
(between Market & Chestnut Streets)
Philadelphia, PA 19101

You can RSVP or ask questions to the chapter on (215) 844-3235. Any thoughts or questions on the subject of this program meeting? Any Philadelphia area blog readers?

Project Management Exam Prep (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter is bringing back one of their most popular workshop series from last year ... Project Management Exam Prep.

Jeff Jenkins (PMP) directs the Cincinnati chapter's Project Management Special Interest Group (PMSIP). PMSIP members will lead intense, hands-on workshop activity for anyone planning to take the PMP exam this year.

The workshop will occur on five consecutive Saturdays from March 29th through April 26th. The focus of the PMSIP workshop series will be:
  • the nine knowledge areas of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®);
  • how to become a member of PMI®
  • how to study and prepare for the exam
Here are the logistics for the event:

Cost: $300/members or $375/future members

Location: The Kroger Company
11450 Grooms Road
Blue Ash, OH

The class outline is contained in the workshop brochure. For more information on this professional development opportunity, contact Gerald Smith, PMP on (513) 325-6513.

As an aside, if you don't live in the greater Cincinnati area, you should look for similiar opportunity offered by the BDPA IT Institute. Are there any PMP candidates out there interested in learning more about this workshop series?

Town Hall Meeting (New Jersey)

BDPA New Jersey is the 12th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter is listening to members, friends, and associates in order to continue to deliver programs and services that are fit for use! One way that they listen is through a town hall meeting on February 25 at the Plaza Atrium room at Prudential Financial, Newark, NJ. You are encouraged to bring good ideas, constructive feedback, commitment, and energy.

The town hall meeting will focus on:

  • 2007 successes
  • 2008 Event Calendar
  • Chapter Bylaws
  • Chapter Report Card

Dinner will be served. Here are the logistics:

Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm

Place: Prudential Financial Plaza Building, Dryden Hall
751 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102

If you have any questions please contact Goldie Bonney (VP-Membership Management) on (973) 416-7356.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Election Results * BDPA Detroit (2008-2009)

I met Anquanette Clegg during the planning and execution of the 2005 National BDPA Technology Conference held in Detroit, MI. Her passion for BDPA led to her election as president of the BDPA Detroit chapter. BDPA Detroit chapter is the 7th largest chapter in the nation. Please take a moment to read the message that Anquanette shared with her chapter members, supporters and sponsors.

Anquanette plans to work with the incoming chapter Board of Directors to lead BDPA Detroit chapter to its mission and objectives by delivering programs and activities that are designed to take our members "from the classroom to the boardroom". The 2008-2009 BDPA Detroit chapter Board includes:

You can reach out to Anquanette Clegg on (313) 483-3519. Please use the COMMENTS section to share some BDPA-Love with these brothers and sisters that have stepped into leadership roles with one of the greatest BDPA chapters in our history. Doable?

Early Bird Registration for BDPA Technology Conference Ends 2/29/08

BDPA would like to remind its members and prospective attendees that the early bird registration deadline of February 29 for the upcoming 30th annual BDPA National Technology Conference is fast approaching.

The conference will be held August 6–9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, GA. Attendees who register before February 29th will pay the following rates:
  • Members: $250
  • Non-Members: $350

After February 29th the rates increase to:
  • Members: $500
  • Non-Members: $700
The national conference offers an excellent opportunity for participants to network with other information technology professionals, acclimate themselves with the latest technology advances, careers and professional development opportunities.

Here are some important notes for you to keep in mind:
  • Early bird registration fee must be received no later than February 29.
  • Only conference registrants will be able to attend workshops and events.
  • Conference badges must be presented to gain entry to workshops, receptions, etc.
  • Please note that accommodations are not included in the registration fee.

Please reach out to our Conference Team by email or phone (800.727-2372) if you have questions or wish to learn more.

Message from Charlotte Chapter President

Charles Moore ascended to the presidency of BDPA Charlotte chapter last month. His chapter, founded in September 1988, is currently the 15th largest chapter in the nation. Charles shared his vision for BDPA with his membership. We bring you his comments:

BDPA Charlotte Friends and Family,

I would like to share with you my vision and expectations of our chapter as we embark on what will be a renaissance period for BDPA Charlotte. If I think back as to why I joined BDPA 5 years ago, the reason was very simple. I wanted to keep moving forward and keep giving back. Those two things are the reasons for my commitment to the BDPA and it’s mission. As you read this, our minority communities are falling further and further behind in the skills necessary to keep up with the rapid changes in the world of technology. The gap that is developing as a result is known as the great digital divide.

As IT professionals in Charlotte, I feel that it is our responsibility and duty to aid and assist where possible in bridging this digital divide. We must direct our efforts at serving the community, keeping the community educated, and keeping our community employed.

While we are doing this however, we must keep ourselves educated on the latest and greatest technologies and processes and be the leaders we are destined to be as a chapter. Remember, we are not only competing locally in our industry, but also on a global level. I hope that you consider this a call to action and plan to join me and the Charlotte Board of Directors over the next 2 years in fulfilling our responsibilities.

During my time at Winston-Salem State, I was doing well in my studies and I felt as if I was doing what was just enough to make a positive contribution to society. In the back of my mind, however, I always felt as if I could do more, and that I needed to do more….Well, it wasn’t until I was pulled aside by a mentor at Winston-Salem State, that I learned that you get out of life what you put in to it. I was told that unless "you keep moving forward and keep giving back to help others move forward", then your greatest potential will never be truly realized. I really did not understand what that meant until I began working with the HSCC program here in Charlotte through the BDPA. To see students learn the necessary skills to bridge the digital divide and gain internships and become graduates of high school and college, that is when I realized what my mentor was referring to.

Now as President of the Charlotte Chapter, my focus is to ensure the same thing continues to happen with our students and also with adults and our community in general. I hope you will use the BDPA to help you fulfill all the potential you possess while helping others in the process. If you are interested in joining us, please contact me or anyone on the Charlotte Board of Directors. We are eager to have your help and your skills. Your contribution of time and effort will be just as invaluable to others as the rewards you will receive by giving back to our community.

I look forward to working and serving this great community over the next 2 years. Never hesitate to contact me to let me know your thoughts.

Charles Moore, President
BDPA Charlotte
Phone: (704) 654-8114

Care to share any words of encouragement for our brothers and sisters in Charlotte?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

Monique Berry is president of BDPA Philadelphia chapter. Her chapter is the defending BDPA 'Chapter of the Year'. She shared the following insights to her chapter members, sponsors and supporters:

As President of the Philadelphia chapter, I am often asked if our members are engaged. It's a valid question and the truthful answer is, "Sometimes."

I, as well as the Executive team, work full-time like you. We realize that you lead busy lives with work and family responsibilities, so we're thrilled when we offer a program that generates above average program meeting attendance.

At the same time, we know we can offer more useful, relevant and technical programs: and to do that we look to you for your comments, questions, observations and suggestions.

We've noticed a steady rise in the number of visitors to our web site and a correlating increase in our membership. Increasing our membership base is a step in the right direction, but a more important step is to have an actively engaged membership.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Philadelphia chapter will be hosting the BDPA National Board of Directors meeting in Philadelphia the weekend of May 2, 2008. Our goal is to showcase our members, sponsors, programs and city; demonstrating why the Philadelphia chapter is the 2007 Chapter of the Year.

I am also thrilled to tell you that our youth technology program begins on Saturday, February 16, 2008. We will train up to 25 high school students in our 2008 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The SITES program in Philadelphia is divided into three components: Computer Camp, Youth Technology Seminar Series, and High School Computer Competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our corporate sponsors Deloitte & Touche for providing the training site and CIGNA for providing the laptop computers the students will be using.

Volunteering offers you wonderful opportunities for professional development and personal growth. If you are looking for ways to enhance your career, consider the following benefits:
  • Volunteering offers incredible networking opportunities.
  • Volunteering helps you retain and sharpen old skills.
  • Volunteering is the perfect place to develop new skills.
  • Volunteering offers opportunities to practice skills in a relatively risk free environment.
  • Volunteering can help you expand your horizons and explore new career options.
  • Volunteering give you the satisfaction of knowing you are doing good and being involved in your community.
  • Volunteering gives you visibility.
  • Volunteering can be energizing/renewing.
  • Volunteering can create leaders.
  • Volunteering demonstrates workplace skills/management skills/customer service skills/leadership skills that can be documented in a resume.

We have a number of initiatives planned for this year and ask you to get engaged by volunteering. Even if you have only a few hours a month to spare, you can make a significant difference for BDPA by offering your time and energy one of the areas that need help below.

We look to exceed your expectations so please reach out and tell us what they are. Stay tuned, and be sure to check the chapter website often. We are always an email away.

Thank you for all your support as members.

Monique F. Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia
Vision: Partnering for Continued Growth!

Monique took the time to share her thoughts. Please share some BDPA-Love with her in the COMMENTS area!

Black Family Technology Awareness Week (Baltimore)

Soulclap to Mario Armstrong for sharing update on a great event in Baltimore, MD. Bro. Armstrong is a syndicated technology talk show host (XM radio ch. 169 M-F 9p-10p EST / Sat. 3p-5p EST), tech media entrepreneur and public speaker.

Mario wrote,

"Wayne, great to hear from you! Wanted to make sure you and the BDPA folks are aware of this Saturdays major Black Family Technology Awareness event, entitled 'Dream, Create, GO!' - a technology event and inspirational tech show for youth.

It's Free, open to the public and a great way to inspire, educate and entertain middle & hi-school aged students as to why they should pursue academics and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. This is not a boring lecture but an interactive event with a dj, light show and hands-on demonstrations. This Saturday we are changing kids lives and giving them the excitement and the roadmap to be a success in tech fields."

It's all happening this Sat. Feb. 16th at the Baltimore Convention Center from 10:45a-1pm. Download or view the event flyer or visit the website for more details.

Let us know in the COMMENTS area if you are participating in BFTAW events in Baltimore or anywhere else in the nation this month.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Message from New York Chapter President

Judaea Lane is my colleague on the National BDPA Board of Directors. She brought a sense of optimism and positive energy to the BDPA New York chapter that hadn't been seen for many years. The results have been staggering. Under Judaea's leadership the chapter is now the 2nd largest chapter in the nation!

Take a moment to read a message shared by Judaea with her chapter members, supporters and sponsors.

Dear BDPA Family,

Happy New Year! On behalf of the Executive Team of BDPA New York, I want to thank you for your continued support for our chapter. It is a great opportunity to serve the New York community as there are far too few organizations like BDPA who were pathfinders paving the way for African Americans in the job market. Over 30 years of advancing careers, BDPA is still a major force supporting African Americans in the information technology industry. BDPA New York, incorporated in 1982, remains committed to excellence and a willingness to give more to our community. Our mission will be to ensure that our community is given tools to compete so that they will be given the opportunity to learn and become skilled in the areas of Information Technology and Business.

Professional Development - Our professional development forum is an opportunity for guest speakers to address our members on their professional knowledge, experiences and important trends in information technology.
These program meetings are held every 3rd Thursday of each month. Networking begins at 6PM and refreshments will be served. Please don’t forget to bring your business cards. The events are free, however we ask that you RSVP. You can RSVP for this event by phone (212.802-5342) or email. Please join us as we welcome the following guest speakers:
  • Thursday, February 21st, Randall Mosby, MOMA’s Manager of Network Services - He will share with members his key role in implementing the museum internal network and technology upgrade. Also he will address the major issues one must consider to ensure smooth network operations. This event will take place at Con Edison, 4 Irving Place between E. 14 & E. 15th Streets, Union Square Area, New York City.
  • Thursday, March 20th, IT Professionals have been invited to spend the evening with the Executive Team of UBS, one of the world’s leading financial firm. The guest speaker is Maxim Samo, Director of Information Technology Infrastructure. The topic for the evening is Data Centers – Overview and Challenges. Maxim will address the major issues corporations consider to ensure smooth data center operations. This event will take place at 1285 Avenue of Americas at 51st Street, New York, NY. Also for those members who are interested in career opportunities, please reference UBSjob postings on our site.
Collaborative Partnerships -
  • Please join UBS and Women in Technology International (WITI) for an evening of networking to benefit Dress for Success, an organization that empowers low income women to succeed in the workplace. The date is Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 6pm - 8pm and the logistics is 1285 Avenue of the Americas. Space is limited.
  • Join our sister chapter, BDPA New Jersey, as they celebrate its past and sharing its vision for the future by hosting its Annual Awards Banquet. The purpose of the celebration is to recognize sponsors and individuals who have dedicated their time and resources to BDPA programs and services. The theme of this event is "Celebrating Our Past and Soaring into Our Future". Visit BDPA New Jersey’s website for additional information.
  • BDPA students are invited to participate at the Career Day 2008 at Riverside Church. This free event takes place on Saturday, February 2nd from 9AM to 3PM at 91 Claremont Avenue. To register and learn more call 212-870-6828.
  • National BDPA seeks experts and dynamic presenters to share their knowledge and expertise in technology through interactive sessions. NOTE: In order to submit an abstract, you will have to access our membership database system. Please either use your existing member account or create a non-member account in order to submit your presentation abstract. They are accepting abstracts in two forums: Student Forums and Professional Forums. For additional information visit National BDPA website.
Volunteer Opportunities - The biggest joy in belonging to BDPA comes from being able to give back to the organization and the community. BDPA’s success rests squarely on the shoulders of member volunteers. If you have 5 hours a month to give back and make a difference, please sign up for the following committees:
  • Education and Community Outreach - We have approximately 25 students in our SITES program. Trainers are needed to share technical and business expertise. Kudos to Denworth Billy, CEO of Bolt Solutions and our VP of Membership Management. Denworth will present to students in the month of February on the topic of Biometric Engineering. If you are interested in joining this community please contact Denise Hamilton, Director of Education & Community Outreach.
  • Professional Development Committee - This committee coordinates forums of focused discussions where guest speakers are invited to address our members on their professional knowledge, experiences and important trends in information technology. In addition these forums also provide an opportunity to develop business relationships, make new acquaintances and network with other professionals of New York in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. The forums are held every 3rd Thursday of each month. If you are interested in joining this community please contact Evelyn Poole, VP of Membership Services.
Thank you BDPA Member John Brathwaite for taking photos at our last holiday event.

In closing I want to share a quote by Dr. Benjamin Mays "It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in not having a goal to reach for." If you have a goal to reach for, consider joining our chapter so that we can help you make it happen.

With BDPA love,
Judaea Yarde Lane, President
BDPA New York Chapter
Motto: 'Advancing Careers from Classroom to Boardroom'
(212) 802-5341

Please take a moment to leave a COMMENT with some BDPA-Love for Judaea and the others in our BDPA New York chapter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Youth Technology Programs (Philadelphia)

BDPA Philadelphia chapter will train up to 25 high school students in their 2008 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The SITES program in Philadelphia is divided into three components: Computer Camp, Youth Technology Seminar Series, and High School Computer Competition.

BDPA provides a positive beacon of hope for our youth and high school students as they are introduced to various aspects of Information Technology, including advanced research on IT topics, web application development (Basic HTML, FrontPage, SQL, PHP), web application programming, logic and advanced computer concepts.

The 25 young people selected will participate in weekly programs that begin on Saturday, February 16, 2008 at the downtown office of Deloitte located at 1701 Market St. Philadelphia, Pa. All sessions begin at 10 AM and will end no later than 2 PM. Participants should meet Hayward West in 1st floor lobby at 10 AM.

All interested students should sign up for the program right away. Contact Hayward West if you are interested in volunteering as an instructor or assistant.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Culminis Newsletter (Feb 2008)

The latest issue of The VOICE is now available online.

The VOICE is a monthly publication dedicated to monitoring and reporting on the health of the IT ecosystem. Please share this link with your peers and anyone you think may be interested in reading more about the IT community.

Culminis is currently soliciting feedback from the IT Pro community. Please take the survey which is located inside The VOICE or send any comments about Culminis to They welcome all feedback from the entire IT Pro community.

Click this link to read this month’s issue:

Make your VOICE heard! Did you see anything in the newsletter that others should immediately read or review? What say u?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

DigiGirlz High Tech Summer Camp

Microsoft is now accepting applications for their 2008 DigiGrilz High Tech Summer Camp. This program is a great learning opportunity that was developed to provide girls with a better understanding of what a career in technology is all about. This exciting three to five day experience provides opportunities to learn about careers in technology, talk with Microsoft employees about their life experiences, and enjoy hands-on computer and technology workshops.

DigiGirlz Summer Camps will be held this year in the following eight locations:
  1. Charlotte, NC
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Fargo, ND
  4. Irvine, CA
  5. Las Colinas, TX
  6. Redmond, WA
  7. Stony Brook, NY
  8. Washington, DC
Students in the 7th thru 12th grade are eligible for this program. Click here if you have more questions about this summer camp.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Intrapreneurship in Corporate America (Chicago)

BDPA Chicago chapter is the largest chapter in the nation. One reason for the chapter's success is consistent and appealing program meetings. The meeting this month is no exception.

IBM Tivoli software provides intelligent infrastructure management solutions that help customers understand and proactively manage the business value of their IT systems in an on demand world. Tivoli software provides integrated views for managing and optimizing critical IT systems with policy-based resource allocation, security, storage and systems management solutions.

Lee Hall, co-founder of Tivoli, will the guest speaker. He will give insights on the software as well as insights on what it takes to be an 'intrapreneur' in Corporate America. Mr. Hall presently holds the position of Tivoli Americas Business Automation Sales Leader for IBM. With over twenty years of experience in technology sales, he has generated multi-millions of revenue for each of the companies with which he has been associated. Additionally, his accomplishments include management in strategic team environments and individual and group consulting to improve organizational systems.

Date: February 15, 2008
Time: 6:30 pm

71 S. Wacker Drive, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606

Contact BDPA Chicago chapter on (312) 575-8503 if you have questions or wish to discuss further. Have you used Tivoli software in the past? Are you an 'intrapreneur'? Are you a current or former member of BDPA Chicago chapter?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Technology Awareness Workshops (Southern Minnesota)

Black Family Technology Awareness Week activities are taking place all over the nation. BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter ... home of the defending national HSCC champions ... is sponsoring an event open to the whole community in Rochester, MN. The BTFAW events include:

  • PC Project and Giveaway
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department - Mobile Command Post Station
  • BDPA Southern Minnesota Workshop
  • IBM Persvasive Technologies (including Ruggedized Thinkpad)
  • Lego Mindstorm Robotics Workshop
  • Mayo Clinic Technology Workshop
  • U of MN APEXES - Electricity/Electronics Circuits & Robotic Arms
  • Quiz Bowl
  • All Day Raffle Drawings & Prizes
The logistics of the event are:

Hawthorne Literacy Center
704 4th Avenue SE
(507) 287-1475

Date: Saturday, February 16
Time: 9 am - 2 pm

For more information you can reach out to Tabby (507.253-1572), Chinwe (507.253-6634) or Toni (507.253-6660).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

BDPA Leader Marcus Mack Dies In Costa Rica After Saving Boy

Friends, family and BDPA associates are mourning the loss of a past BDPA Southern Minnesota leader who saved the life of a 10-year-old boy off the coast of Costa Rica, but couldn't make it to shore himself. Thirty-five-year-old Marcus Mack was vacationing in Costa Rica on Feb. 7. He was playing in the water with his friend David Tines (BDPA So Minnesota past president), Tines' 10-year-old son, and the girl of another friend when a wave sucked the group under water.

Tines says Marcus went to the aid of Tines' son D'Angelo. He grabbed the boy by the waist and threw him toward the shore. The boy, his father and the girl all made it to the beach.

But Marcus never made it to shore.

David Tines says Marcus is a hero who saved a boy's life instead of worrying about his own.

Marcus attended several conferences so many BDPA members may remember him. He is the father of three young children so a fund has been set up to help support his family. Donations can be sent to:

'The Mack Fund'
Edward Jones
4057 28th St. N.W., Suite 400
Rochester, MN 55901

The story of his heroism is told in more detail here and here. Please keep his family, David's family and the entire Southern MN Chapter in your prayers.

Call for Presenters * 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference (Deadline: 2/15/2008)

BDPA is reaching out to all experts and dynamic presenters to share their knowledge and expertise in technology through interactive workshops to be held at the 30th annual BDPA Technology Conference in Atlanta, GA on August 6-9, 2008.

Your presentation can be made to either students (high school thru college age) or adults (IT professionals) at the conference. Click here for an overview of each forum as well as other details on both our student and professional forums. You may submit multiple abstracts within a forum or you may submit for both forums.

Important dates to remember:
  • Submission Deadline: February 15, 2008*
  • Acceptance/Regret Notification: March 14, 2008*
  • Full Presentations Due: April 11, 2008
You will need to review the following document to complete an Official Call for Presenters submission:
  • The Call for Presenters Overview (PDF) - This document lists topics of interest, workshop formats, specifications, fee waivers and other terms and conditions necessary for a successful submission and subsequent presentation.
  • The Call For Presenters Submission Form - This online form is the official submission form. This form should be completed in its entirety for your submission to be successful. Submissions that do not meet the stated requirements or deadline will not be considered.
NOTE: In order to submit an abstract, you will have to access the BDPA membership database system. Please either use your existing member account or create a non-member account in order to submit your presentation abstract.

For additional information and questions, please contact or call BDPA HQ office on (800) 727-2372.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Black Employment Rate in IT Industry Goes Up

Soulclap to BDPA Detroit for reaching the 100-post milestone and for sharing information on employment statistics of African Americans in the IT industry. Employment among African American IT professionals rose by 10.3 percent in 2007, reaching levels not seen since the Internet boom. Still, the percentage of blacks among all employed IT workers is lower than it was at the beginning of the decade.

African Americans held 267,000 IT managerial and staff jobs in the United States last year, representing 7.1 percent of employed business-technology pros, according to a CIO Insight analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Click here for the rest of the story

Any thoughts on this information? I see that more and more companies are posting career opportunities in the BDPA Talent Management System and the BDPA-Jobs YahooGroup. Is it noticeable on your end as well?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Network Management (New York)

19,500 visitors celebrated the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) $425 million dollar renovation of its new facility. However IT members worked behind the scene to ensure the technology infrastructure ran smoothly.

Join BDPA New York chapter as they welcome Randall Mosby, MoMA Manager of Network Services. Mr. Mosby will discuss his key role in implementing the museum internal network and technology upgrade. IT departments that provide the network for email applications, Internet access, and databases are as vital to museums as they are to any business, though they remain largely invisible to visitors. "Data is the most important thing in any network." says Mosby, listing personal and systemwide software, databases, and payroll programs as key elements. "I had to work on the migration of data, plus the implementation, administration, and building of servers, net devices, storage capacities, and the new wireless capability." To further complicate matters, the museum remained open in a temporary location during the renovation.

The job turned out to be no small task. Mosby led the team responsible for making sure the existing networks and technology infrastructure functioned smoothly while the staff was moved to another borough during the renovation. He had to upgrade the old network to specifications, oversee the building of a new network and infrastructure, and then smooth the transition between the two as the staff gradually moved back to the Manhattan office. Come hear Mosby discuss these network management challenges in person.

Here are the logistics:

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2008
Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Where: Con Edison
4 Irving Place between E. 14 & E. 15th Streets
Union Square Area, New York City.

Refreshments will be served. You should bring resumes as there will be IT recruiters in attendance as well. It is extremely important for you to RSVP so that BDPA New York chapter officials can confirm your seating. You can RSVP by email or by calling (212) 802-5341.

Any thoughts to share with BDPA New York here in the COMMENTS section of our blog?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Preparing for College Through Blog Technology (Memphis)

BDPA Memphis is a member focused organization that delivers programs and services for the professional well-being of its stakeholders in the Memphis and Mid-South area by providing training, support and networking opportunities. The Feb 2007 program meeting hosted by BDPA Memphis chapter combines information on blogging with tips on preparing for college.

Did you know that blogging is becoming a popular tool to connect with individuals throughout the world to provide valuable and meaningful information. Blogging allows you develop a portal or a public area on the Internet for subscribers or viewers to retrieve information. Blogging also eliminates mounds of emails by creating a housing space for vast information and forces individuals to utilize technology.

The guest speaker this month is Callie Herd, a Senior Programmer Analyst at FedEx Services is the creator of a blog called Planning & Preparing for College. She created her blog with the intention of utilizing the Internet to create a college preparation infrastructure platform for sharing information.

Callie is also the Memphis coordinator for the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools, on the board of directors for Memphis Challenge, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and a past member of the Youth United Way Parent Advisory. She is also the founder of IAM - Inspiring Academic Motivation. She received her A.A.S. degree from Southwest TN Community College and her B.A. degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Memphis.

Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Time: 5:30pm - 7:00pm

J.E. Walker House
1109 Mississippi
Memphis, Tennessee 38126

Are you considering blog technology for your business or personal life? Do you have any questions or information that you would like to share with BDPA Memphis chapter in the COMMENTS section?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

BDPA Legacy: Curtis Jenkins

Soulclap to EMTM for sharing this story with us. If the result of an Executive Master's in Technology Management (EMTM) education is a transformed career, what comes next? For EMTM alumni, the next phase of the journey is outward to their communities — specifically, to young people in need of their own opportunities. Curtis Jenkins ('01) turned his skills and experience gained in EMTM to create a personal legacy of giving and empowerment.

Curtis Jenkins, EMTM '01, an IT project manager at Rohm and Haas in Philadelphia, PA, devotes an exceeding amount of energy creating opportunities in the sciences for under-served children.

Jenkins first got involved with the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), an organization that works to bridge the digital divide for minorities, in 2002. "At the time I was in transition, searching for employment and networking. I attended an awards function in which high school kids were receiving scholarships. When I saw the looks on their faces I knew I wanted to be at the forefront of an organization that helped kids get scholarships."

After some years of service to the organization, Jenkins became president of the Philadelphia chapter in 2006. He says he found Dwight Jaggard's leadership course extremely useful when it came time to assume an executive position.

At BDPA he has helped students and professionals with BDPA's mission of the "classroom to the boardroom," and has worked with corporate sponsors to provide IT training and training members to gain International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification. He has also been able to live out his dream of offering student prizes, scholarships and public exposure.

"EMTM allowed me to build relationships with people who worked in corporations, and many of them ended up helping support some of our programs."

For Jenkins, who was born and raised in North Philadelphia with economic hardship, the opportunity to help young students is invaluable. "This work is a passion of mine. I always wanted to be a bridge and help others in my neighborhood."

As he neared the completion of his presidential term in the fall of 2007, Jenkins was honored to learn that the Philadelphia Chapter won the organization's Chapter of the Year award.

Another shining moment came recently, when he arranged for his own company to donate 95 computers to Wireless Philadelphia, which provided the computers to welfare-to-work adult students participating in a nursing certification program. "People were actually crying when they received the computers," he says. "Any opportunity we can give — even if out of 50 students you end up with three who go on to break the proverbial glass ceiling — it's a success."

BETF-Blog Readers, care to share some love with Curtis here in the comments section?