Friday, November 30, 2012

CSEdWeek Twitter Conversation Information

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation encourages all of our donors, supporters and blog-readers to take part in a 45-minute national conversation on the critical issue of K-12 Computer Science education via Twitter. This unique Twitter conversation takes place on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 6:00pm ET as part of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek).

A national panel of thought leaders in the field will be tweeting with the hashtag #CSEdWeek, driving conversation around important issues and answering questions. Participants will include technical professionals, industry thought leaders, faculty, K12 educators, students and more!

Computer science fuels the future—help us fuel the conversation.  We need to 'win the future' in the information technology industry ... and computer science education is a part of the winning solution. You can learn more at

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Computer Science Education Week (Dec 9-15, 2012)

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) (December 9-15, 2012) is a week-long celebration when thousands of people celebrate computer science education. The week focuses on the need to build strong computer science education programs in schools to ensure that the nation has the skilled workforce it will need to develop future solutions. CSEdWeek is held each year during the second week in December in honor of Grace Murray Hopper, an outstanding pioneer in computer science, who was born on December 9, 1906.

Getting involved is easy and fun! You can do something small in your home, coordinate with a youth organization or partner with a local business to create a community-wide event, among many other ideas. Are you wondering where to start and how to plan it? CSEdWeek has a toolkit to help you organize an event that fits your needs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: BDPA Leaders Gather for 2011 Awards Banquet in Washington DC

SOURCE:  BDPA Foundation Flickr Photostream

Message from BDPA Richmond Chapter President


Christopher Parker
We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! One huge thing that we are thankful for is the return home of James Byrd this Saturday, 11/24. While James was in the hospital, the National BDPA vice president Dr. Craig Brown, sent flowers on behalf of BDPA, and the Richmond Chapter delivered a card and reading materials. James was visited by current and prior members, and we are all happy that he is doing much better!

The joint BDPA and NSBE LEGO robotics team competed at the Virginia FIRST LEGO League Qualifier at L.C. Bird High School on 11/3. The kids and trainers did a great job, and we look forward to the bright future that lies ahead for our youth due to programs like LEGO robotics that prepare our youth to be competitive in technology at an early age.


It's that time of year again! Richmond Leadership Network (RLN) Annual Holiday Party 2012 on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at the Omni Richmond (Downtown) Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219 7PM - 11PM. Business Professional/Coctail Attire. Come join the RLN and BDPA for the traditional RLN Holiday Party. Advance ticket price $20, At the door $25.

As a member of RLN, BDPA is providing 10 free tickets to current members and those who have volunteered this year. If you would like a ticket, please send an email to by December 7th.

To purchase other tickets, go to


After filling two key executive board member positions (VP of Communications and VP of Strategy), we will be holding an Executive Board meeting in December to plan for a chapter strategy session at the beginning of the year that will be open to all current members, past members, volunteers, and those interested in becoming a part of the chapter. We were not able to bring in the I.T. Risk Management and Security expert in Q3 to talk to the VSU college chapter and Richmond I.T. professionals. A key to allowing his company to fund the travel depended on our ability to coordinate with the students, and we could not complete the necessary logistics and align schedules. We hope to reserve this topic again for next year. The website project team is gathering content as we prepare to redesign our site for 2013.

Please listen to my BDPA iRadio Show interview that took place on November 27th.

Christopher Parker, president
BDPA Richmond Chapter

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BDPA iRadio Show: November 27, 2012

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. The show on November 27th was our 39th episode of the our Internet Radio Show that began last summer. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio

The guests on the November 27th show:

 Ruthe Farmer - Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Center for Women in IT - Ruthe is a nationally-known expert on the issues impacting women in the IT industry. She is NCWIT director of strategic initiatives … which is a major player in the annual Computer Science Education Week that takes place next month. Finally, Ruthe was instrumental in arranging for NCWIT to host a corporate reception at the 2013 BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC. This reception will honor successful women in IT … particularly women of color. We look forward to hearing Ruthe's insights on the BDPA iRadio Show. Her twitter handle is @ruthef  

Chad White - Vice President of Membership Management, National BDPA - Chad serves as the national vice president of membership management. His business area is responsible for recruitment and retention of members into BDPA on a national level. He ensures that our suite of membership benefits is powerful enough to attract IT professionals from across the nation to support BDPA programs, scholarships and services. Chad works for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). HCSC has won many BDPA accolades for its extraordinary corporate sponsorship on a local and national level. He can share some of the reasons that HCSC is such a good corporate sponsor for BDPA. We look forward to hearing what he has to say on the BDPA iRadio Show. His twitter handle is @NationalBDPA

Christopher Parker - Chapter President, BDPA Richmond - Christopher Parker is president of one of the most active BDPA chapters in the nation. His chapter has a legacy for educational programs that impact on the lives of K-12 students including ambitious robotics programs for elementary and middle-school students. On an individual level Christopher is one of the most generous donors to the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation in 2012. We look forward to hearing his story on the BDPA iRadio Show. The BDPA twitter handle is @NationalBDPA

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Education Startup Revolution

Young entrepreneurs take note: as the next post describes, jumping into the education space may be one of the smartest decisions in today’s market. Guest blogger Emma Collins builds on prior posts about IT business opportunities by walking through some of the most important features of the so-called “edupreneurial” landscape and highlighting a couple of new ventures worth paying attention to. Ms. Collins is on staff with MBAOnline, a web magazine for students considering Internet-based education. More information about the MBAOnline's 2012 ranking report, which was just recently published, is available from Emma’s main site.

The Rise of Edupreneurs and the MBA’s 
Infiltration of the Education Market

There was a time not so long ago when education was pretty straightforward. States regulated schools, and students learned according to set curricula; in college, the lecture-lab-exam format was all but universal. The advent of the Internet really has done a lot to shake that up. So-called “disruptive” education technology, whether promoted by large corporations or small businesses and innovators known as “edupreneurs,” has radically changed the landscape for better or worse. Classes are offered online. Apps make it easier than ever before to take notes, manage student debt, and communicate with teachers and professors. Elementary and high school classrooms are increasingly relying on digital technology. That infiltration is on the horizon is not disputed; the lingering question, though, is to what end.

Bringing Education to the Digital Space

Many of the earliest education technology entrepreneurs were corporations. Their main goal was to find ways of using the Internet to turn the hunger for knowledge into palpable profits. Early pioneers in this space—University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and Capella University among them—received a lot of praise for making higher ed more approachable, not to mention cheaper, than it had ever been before.

As so often happens with such things, though, the market was soon flooded with imitators. The rise of “diploma mills” and illegitimate institutions tarnished the reputation of online schools in a hurry. “There is nothing wrong with schools providing a service and making money from it. And there are a number of for-profit colleges that provide a valuable education and much-needed opportunity to their students. But there are too many for-profit colleges that pressure students to enroll and make promises they cannot keep,” the Chicago Tribune said after evaluating some of the problems of modern online learning.

New Ventures and Market Need for Fresh Ideas

Online universities are still thriving, but are usually only appropriate for a limited sector of society. As technology has improved, however, so has innovators’ creativity and interest in finding new “ins” to the education space. Though it may seem somewhat contradictory, the education market is actually a big one for growth right now. On the surface, there remains a lot of suffering when it comes to budget constraints and international assessment ratings. In many respects, though, these flaws work as a sort of “bait” for crafty innovators.

Unlike for-profit corporations, many rising ventures have been created with the primary goal of actually improving things. “Many of these business owners pair a desire to prosper financially with a genuine sense of mission,” TIME magazine reported in a 2012 survey of new edtech ventures. “They aim to ‘disrupt’ education in productive ways, to introduce tools that will transform the way we learn just as other technologies have transformed the way we work, the way we communicate and the way we entertain ourselves.”

Looking Forward: Promising Ideas for the Future

Some of the newest start-ups aim to remedy defined gaps or existing problems in education. Tioki is one of these. This company uses an online platform to give schoolteachers a uniform and highly visible platform through which they can market themselves and look for competitive work. The site is free for credentialed educators to join, and offers not only an interactive jobs board but also a real-time network of other educators that can be mined for advice, coaching tips, and job leads. Tioki was founded by tech entrepreneurs Brian Martinez and Mandela Schumacher-Hodge, both of whom hold advanced degrees in business and management.

There is also a lot of promise in ventures that look to do something entirely new, like Codeacademy. The academy is free to any interested Internet user, and essentially promises to teach the basics of computer coding and network management through a series of self-paced video lectures and tutorials. It was founded in New York by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, self-described hackers looking for a way of turning their passion into a useful skill for others.

The entrepreneurial side of education seems to be growing every day. While there remains some skepticism when it comes to the longevity or overall value of many of the newest services out there, there is little doubt that changes are coming. According to most reports, we are now only at the beginning of the wave—which sets things up for an interesting future indeed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Week in BDPA (Nov 25 - Dec 1)

BDPA offers strong programs in 45 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 

You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events

Friday, November 23, 2012

HSCC Testimonial: Jamarr Hill (BDPA Detroit, 2003-2004)

Jamarr Hill was a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Detroit chapter to compete in the National BDPA HSCC championships held in Philadelphia (2003) and Dallas (2004). He graduated from Martin Luther King High School before studying for a marketing degree at Wayne State University. Jamarr is the owner and chief executive officer of his own company, Balla-Status, Inc.

I would like to thank Mr. Wayne Hicks for the opportunity to share some experiences that I had as a proud alumni of BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC). From the moment we tested to see where our skills were, I knew that I would love my journey. I was blessed to have wonderful teachers and excellent sponsors. I learned Java (the best programming language to date) and was able to piece together something that made me feel empowered, creative and cutting-edge. I don't know if BDPA knew it, but they were really preparing me for the future as web applications and design was in its infancy at that time.

After learning a new language and then learning to play a role. We were introduced to an environment that made the inner geek in me smile from ear-to-ear. We traveled to Philadelphia for the 2003 national HSCC championship. There seemed to be thousands of high school aged pioneers at the hotel. We were all there, not just to win, but to learn and grow.

Looking back on those years allowed me to see that I was being steered in a direction that affected my college choices, career choice and life choice. Thank you BDPA. I owe you all my happiness.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to be able to share these HSCC testimonials for posterity. We appreciate Jamarr and the hundreds of other young men and women who have participated in almost 30 years of HSCC championships! We can use your help with funding college scholarships for young people like Jamarr.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Elections: BDPA New York (2013-2014)

Renetta English
BDPA New York chapter held its bi-annual elections at its November program meeting in accordance with its bylaws. The results of that election provided the following results:
There were no nominees for the president-elect vacancy. The chapter is still looking for any qualified member interested in any appointed or elected leadership positions.  If you have questions or wish to discuss further please reach out by email ( or phone 212.802-5341.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grant Award: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America ($5,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that we received a $5,000 grant award from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). The funding will be used the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program operated by our BDPA Cincinnati chapter.

This is an especially rewarding grant award because BETF executive director Wayne Hicks, BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Clarence Larcarte and BDPA Cincinnati chapter corporate advisory council chair Patrick Nelson met jointly with representatives from the TEMA funding team as part of this process. The people we met with were Northern Kentucky university graduate students who were learning about philanthropy at the same time that they were helping TEMA evaluate a number of grant proposals. That face-to-face meeting is a great equalizer for nonprofits that aren't as well-known as some others ... and we are very grateful to TEMA for giving us that opportunity.

The notification for the award came by e-mail and stated in part:

Dear Wayne,

Your grant application to Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) for support of BDPA Education and Technology Foundation's SITES Program was reviewed at TEMA's November Contributions Committee meeting. The committee has approved your grant request in the amount of $5,000. Before we will be able to process your request for payment, we will need a completed, signed W9.

The Northern Kentucky University Mayerson Project graduate students did a good job of presenting your grant application to our Contributions Committee. Dollar amounts awarded are strictly at the discretion of the Committee and are based on other requests received and the amount of funding dollars available. Because you were so kind to participate with the Mayerson Project students, they would like to invite your organization to attend the Mayerson Awards Ceremony on Thursday, November 29th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at NKU's Student Union.

Thank you for the important work you do in the community and for your support of Toyota.

Nila Wells
TEMA Contributions Program
25 Atlantic Avenue
Erlanger, KY 41018

BDPA Cincinnati chapter plans to use the funding in support of its upcoming 2013 Computer Camp. That program is now 'co-sponsored by TEMA' for the next calendar year!

We still need support to provide college scholarships to the seniors on next year's High School Computer Competition team in Cincinnati. Won't you consider joining TEMA as a supporter? You can 'make it so' by visiting our Brandon Berry Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BDPA iRadio Show: November 13, 2012

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. The show on November 13th was the 38th episode of our Internet Radio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio

The guests on the November 13th show:  

John Saunders III - Chief Program Officer, Institute for Responsible Citizenship - The Institute for Responsible Citizenship prepares high-achieving African American men for successful careers in business, law, government, public service, education, journalism, the sciences, medicine, ministry, and the arts. John T. Saunders, III (I ’05) is Chief Program Officer. He is a native of Lynn, Massachusetts and attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he participated in the distinguished Commonwealth College honors program and earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. After graduating from UMass in 2006, Saunders enrolled in a Master’s degree program at the Robert H. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and graduated in 2008. Immediately following his graduation from NYU, he moved to Washington to begin his work with the Institute. Saunders was a member of the Institute’s second class, attending the 2004 and 2005 sessions. We look forward to hearing his story on the BDPA iRadio Show. His twitter handle is @ir4c  

Goldie Bonney - Chapter President, BDPA New Jersey - BDPA New Jersey is the 4th-largest chapter in the nation. Under the leadership of its president, Goldie Bonney, we have watched the chapter become a national powerhouse with powerful programs for young people and IT professionals. One of the unique programs hosted by BDPA New Jersey is its annual ‘Families in Technology Day’ complete with workshops, booths, games and a give-away of hundreds of laptop computers. Goldie wants to share plans for her chapters upcoming banquet as well as its 2013 HSCC program. We look forward to hearing her story on the BDPA iRadio Show. Her twitter handle is @afrikan_qween

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Create Good Chemistry to Improve Corporate Sales

Many BDPA leaders ask me for tips on increasing corporate sales revenue through sponsors. Much of my success in corporate sales for BDPA can be traced to my relationships with corporate champions.

How a corporate champion (or sponsor) feels with you is a big part of whether they will buy or not. Most people avoid hiring someone they are uncomfortable with. Sometimes clashes in personality are unavoidable. But in most cases, there are things you can do to create good chemistry between yourself and a corporate champion.

Obviously, it is important to try and be friendly and courteous to your sponsors. It's really quite simple. Smile and look them in the eye. If you are respectful to your sponsors and help them feel cared about, you will often see the same reaction in return.

Show an interest in what your sponsor is interested in. If I find some aspect of their project particularly exciting or interesting, I try to show that excitement. At the very least, you'll give the sponsor some encouragement -- something most of us could use.

Treat each as an individual. A corporate champion can tell whether you are truly interested in helping them. Try asking them about themselves. Show your sponsors you wish to know them on a personal level as well as a professional one.

Make sure that you listen. No matter how smart, right, or good you are, sometimes it's best to just be quiet. If you talk too much you may come across as overconfident and possibly arrogant. Many sponsors cannot stand someone who doesn't listen to their questions or concerns. If you put the sponsor before yourself, you're sure to have a better chance of making that sale!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This Week in BDPA (Nov 11-17)

BDPA offers strong programs in 45 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 

You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events

Saturday, November 10, 2012

High Tech Solution to Low Tech Cities in Crisis

Guest Post by Bree Hernandez.  Ms. Hernandez is a researcher and writer from the Seattle area, please contact her if you're interested in working on a post:

According to many recent reports -- some of which have been analyzed on these pages -- the future of jobs in the U.S. is likely in technology. This means that investing in science and computer education is smart both for students and local communities. In today’s post blogger Bree Hernandez, who writes predominantly about how to get into college, takes a look at how graduate programs in the IT sector may have the potential to help boost cities’ economic profiles while also improving job prospects for graduates.

Using Masters Programs to Attract New Companies Could be Exactly What Ailing Cities Need
Technology has been mounting a slow ascent in the American job market, and may actually be the saving grace this country needs to emerge from the slump of the past few years. More jobs are being created in the computer science and tech sectors than in any other, and cities that place an emphasis on high-tech ventures are seeing much faster economic recoveries than are those that remain focused on industries of the past—straight manufacturing, for instance, or market retail. In nearly all cases, the cities experiencing the biggest tech “booms” are home to universities with robust computer science programs, particularly at the masters and PhD levels. There is certainly an argument for sponsoring these sorts of programs in order to revitalize nearby economies.

Entrepreneurial students will often stay nearby post-graduation and start new ventures; existing tech companies are also attracted to areas with wide swaths of trained workers. There is a better argument for a Microsoft or a Facebook to open offices in an area where there is a broad pool of interns and new graduates to hire than someplace with little going on, tech-wise—when the talent is already there, setting up shop is often no harder than filtering through resumes and making hires. Relocating personnel tends to be much harder.

Growth of Tech Jobs in New Economy
Many of the new jobs being created today are classified as “technical.” Information technology officers, network architects, and coders are in very high demand—in fact, many companies are having a hard time actually filling the slots they have for many of the most involved jobs. The training required is often intense. Those with graduate degrees in tech-specific areas are accordingly sought after.
Across most sectors of the economy we see the number of jobs shrinking,” Pamela Passman, a former corporate vice president at Microsoft, told National Public Radio back in 2010. “We see jobs in the IT sector growing—not as much as in past years—but there still is growth.
That growth has continued to expand, but it is not ubiquitous. Most of the time, these jobs—many of which are very high-paying and come with astounding advancement potential—are centered in certain job “hubs.”

Finding the Jobs, and Understanding Why They Are Where They Are
California’s Silicon Valley has long been the go-to region for this sort of work, and companies like Apple and Google are thriving there. The area is fed by powerhouse universities like Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley, but also attracts top innovators from all over the world.

When Forbes magazine in 2012 compiled a list of the “best cities for tech,” however, the Valley was not at the top of the list. “Even though the current boom has sparked an impressive 8% expansion in the number of tech jobs in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan statistical area over the past two years, and 10% over the past decade, the area still has 12.6% fewer STEM jobs than in 2001,” the report said. San Jose ranked 7th; nearby San Francisco came in at 13th.

Seattle and its surrounding suburbs took first place.
Its 12% tech job growth over the past two years and 7.6% STEM growth beat the Valley’s numbers,” Forbes said. “More important for potential job-seekers, the Puget Sound region has grown consistently in good times and bad, boasting a remarkable 43% increase in tech employment over the decade and an 18% expansion in STEM jobs.”
The Seattle metro area is home to both Microsoft and Amazon, as well as a growing number of tech start-ups and high-powered entrepreneurial ventures. Larger corporations often have the potential to recruit nationally, but smaller ventures often look to nearby universities as feeder programs.

The University of Washington: A Case Study in Tech Creation
Seattle’s University of Washington has invested tremendously in its tech curriculum, which many believe is one of the leading reasons for the region’s jobs boom in this sector. The Washington State Legislature in 2012 approved a budget boost for the school’s computer science division, and grants from private companies—Amazon included—have given the school profound strength at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. More students are enrolling in these programs, and are leaving with the expertise local businesses need to grow and thrive. Many of the jobs new graduates find are directly in the IT sector, but not all are. Technical training has a way of bleeding into other industries, making manufacturing and even agriculture smarter and more efficient.

Birmingham: A Contrast in Priorities
Cities without strong university computer science programs tend to lack the high-tech jobs that are spurring the economy in so many places. Birmingham, Alabama is one such place. Birmingham’s economy is centered on traditional industries. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but it may be leading to stagnation where new jobs and growth are concerned.
We’re adding enough jobs to tread water but not to make much progress in bringing down the slack that remains,” Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp. in Birmingham, told Bloomberg in early November. “The labor market is consistent with the middling growth we’ve seen in the overall economy.
The city’s primary university, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, has a strong college of Arts and Sciences, but is not well known for its tech sector. Its top-ranked graduate programs are all in the health sciences. While useful surely, these will not encourage high-tech companies to look to Birmingham as any sort of hot-spot, at least not anytime soon.

Cutting-edge technology programs are not the only way for cities to crawl out of the recession, but they do hold a lot of promise. Committing to train the next generation to take jobs in the high-tech sector has proved smart for Seattle and cities up and down both coasts—Washington, D.C., Boston, and the San Francisco-Bay Area included. With so many opportunities in technology, it makes a lot of sense to lay the early groundwork for future investments now.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grant Award: CompTIA ($5,000)

CompTIA's Unified Communications Community voted a $5,000 grant to the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF), one of more than 30 tech-related charities that received a combined $100,000 from the Creating IT Futures Foundation in 2012. The Unified Communications Community focuses on best practices, business fundamental education and resources for companies engaged in the creation and delivery of rapidly-developing technology. The group is in the development stage, designed to provide networking opportunities among thought leaders from this segment of the industry. The Unified Communications Community focuses its efforts on building business specific education programs and creating member-driven initiatives to reach their overall objectives.

BETF plans to use the CompTIA grant award in support of our Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund. We are building that scholarship fund to reward up to 25 high-performing students in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition championship being held next year in Washington DC.

BETF will continue to try to raise enough money so that we can truly reward these remarkable young 'uns. CompTIA has done its part. Perhaps you are willing to support us with a secure online donation of your own. What say u?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

BDPA Twin Cities Students Strive for 'Aspirations in Computing Award'

Sifora Tek-Lab is a junior at Eastview High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gabriella Knight is a freshman at the University of Minnesota. Both of these young ladies have been part of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program hosted by our BDPA Twin Cities chapter over the past three years. In fact, Sifora was part of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team that took home 5th place in the 2012 National BDPA HSCC championship held recently in Baltimore.

Sifora is on far-right as member of 2012 HSCC Team

We are very proud to note that Sifora and Gabriella are both competing for the national 'Aspirations in Computing Award' given out by the National Center for Women and Information Technology.  The award goes to deserving young women that are engaged in a variety of technology programs ... such as SITES. Both young women were recently supported in their 'Aspiration Award' efforts by the IT community in Minneapolis.

Learn more from the following video of an interview conducted by local television station, KARE-12 back on October 20, 2012:

Please take a moment to POST YOUR COMMENT as encouragement to these two remarkable BDPA student members!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: American Airlines CIO Monte Ford

SOURCE: BDPA Flickr Photostream

BDPA Corporate Sponsors (November 2012)

There are 98 corporations ... large and small ... who have invested in BDPA on a local or national level in the past year! We are very proud of the growing number of corporations that have discovered a powerful return on investment in the areas of:
  1. Recruitment of diverse American-born IT talent
  2. Retention of current diverse IT talent
  3. Community outreach
  4. Supplier Diversity access to qualified minority business enterprises
  5. Increased Market Share and brand awareness
Check out the list of our corporate sponsors:

Who is missing from this list? What corporations would you like to see BDPA approach about sponsorship in the coming weeks and months?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This Week in BDPA (Nov 4-10)

BDPA offers strong programs in 45 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed! You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events

Saturday, November 3, 2012

President Profile: Perry Carter (BDPA Washington DC)

Perry Carter is a one-person dynamo! He is a true super-hero in BDPA history. He began his BDPA career as an organizational activist during his college years at Temple University. Later he was an icon at the national level as both the editor of the first-ever BDPA Magazine, 'I+Plus' and later as the 2007 National BDPA Conference director. He maintained his zeal for documenting BDPA programs, scholarships and services in writing as the founding pulbisher of the monthly newsletter, 'bdpatoday' which has been published for a number of years. Finally, It is worthy to note that Perry is the longest-serving president in the history of our BDPA Washington DC chapter.

We figured it was time to share a presidential profile of Perry Carter on our blog!

Perry Carter is director of Technical Alliances and Outreach with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). He leads the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Group in Hanover, Maryland where he supports small business strategic thrusts and ISR capture planning with small business partners, colleges, universities, and labs for CSC's mission partners.

Perry has been the president of the BDPA Washington DC Chapter, a 501(c)(3) integrated project team charged with developing stronger IT/Cyber workforce pipelines across all vertical markets and industry sectors since 2008. His focus within BDPA is public relations and government relations programs for community-based STEM-IC (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics--Intelligence and Cyber) programs, advanced computing competitions (Cyber Challenge, IT Showcase, and High School Computer Competition), corporate communications, and cyber security outreach initiatives with industry partners.

Favorite Quote: "The best way to predict your future is to create it!" ~ Abraham Lincoln

Prior to CSC, Perry was regional vice president and chief information officer for Tec-Masters, Inc. (TMI), in the Mid-Atlantic region. In this leadership role he captured Navy and Marine Corps contracts and successfully funded multiple Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor–Protégé Program agreements and subcontracts with other government agencies. He also supported TMI's engagements that brought together small and mid-sized businesses and Historically Black College and University/Minority Serving Institution to service DoD DoD and other government agencies.

After graduating from Temple University, Perry served as a Data Systems officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was an application developer, software quality assurance analyst, and VP/IT Director for SBA 8(a) small businesses. In other career roles, Perry served as an instructor at Marine Corps Computer Sciences School; director of Small Business Programs for Perot Systems Government Services; National Public Affairs Officer for NNOA; and a tutor with Joint Educational Facilities.

Perry is a remarkable role model for IT professionals both in Washington DC and around the nation! Please take a moment to REPLY to this blog post with your insights and observations about Perry Carter!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Future Face of Technology: Courtney Lucas (Fayetteville State University)

Fayetteville State University was introduced during a HBCU panel discussion at the 2012 BDPA Technology Conference. As such, we are pleased to introduce to one of the 'Future Faces of Technology' - Ms. Courtney Lucas! [SOURCE]

Fayetteville State University’s Center for Defense and Homeland Security (CDHS) student nominee Courtney Lucas, has been accepted into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) CONVERGE 2.0 Program. MIT’s Converge Program was first offered in 2004 with the mission to invite a cohort of outstanding underrepresented and underserved undergraduates to the MIT campus for a fall (pre-admission) graduate preview weekend. The CONVERGE Program focuses on a select group of students in which 15 students from across the nation are given the opportunity to visit the campus during the first weekend in November. To be considered for the program, a student must be nominated by faculty, staff, or administration and meet the following criteria:
  • 3.8 GPA or greater
  • Multiple research experiences
  • Graduating senior
  • Engaging student who takes initiative
The Center for Defense and Homeland Security was proud to nominate Ms. Lucas who has displayed her outstanding academic ability and skill,” Dr. Curtis Charles, CDHS Executive Director.
Ms. Lucas is a graduating senior (May 2013) who majors in Biology and she is a native of Fayetteville, NC. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wake Forest University, has served as a research assistant at FSU and Wake Forest, mentors high school students, and also serves as a North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar (NC-LSAMP). The LSAMP is a competitive program, designed to prepare minority students who are underrepresented in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
I have known Ms. Lucas since she was accepted to the LSAMP program in fall 2011. During her interview for the program she demonstrated strong communication skills and her credentials reflected her unflinching desire for academic pursuit,” Dr. Daniel Okunbor.
It is wonderful to be able to share another 'Future Face of Technology' with our blog audience. Feel free to REPLY to this blog post if you want to celebrate Ms. Lucas or tell us about other people that we should be honoring in the future!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, Nov 2012)

The lifeblood of any nonprofit association is its membership. Success with organizations like BDPA can be distilled into three words: MEMBERSHIP. MEMBERSHIP. MEMBERSHIP.

If you accept that truth then it is worth the time to honor those local BDPA chapters who are demonstrating success in their efforts to recruit and retain members. Let's take a look at the ten largest chapters in BDPA-Nation:
  1. Chicago - president, Pamela Sexton
  2. Atlanta - president, Felicia Jones
  3. Philadelphia - president, Eileen Gadsden
  4. New Jersey - president, Goldie Bonney
  5. Cincinnati - president, Clarence Larcarte
  6. New York - president, Renetta English
  7. Los Angeles - president, John Malonson
  8. Dallas - president, Stacy Stewart
  9. Southern Minnesota - president, Melcon Hinds
  10. Washington DC - president, Perry Carter

The top two chapters - Chicago and Atlanta - are members of the 'BDPA Century Club', which means that they have over 100 members. One of the common denominators for each of these chapters is that they place a high premium on the delivery of quality programs and services to their members. These chapters work hard to ensure that there is a strong return on the $100 investment that each member makes thru annual dues.

Historical perspective - Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Nov 2009)

What are your thoughts about the value of BDPA membership? What can your local chapter do to improve the value-proposition for you on a personal or professional level?