August 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Michael Mayhew

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the August 2010 IEM Newsletter.

Our August featured IEM alumni is Michael Mayhew, Senior Systems Engineer with BBVA Compass. Michael’s responsibilities include; designing, building, implementing, and supporting all internet facing systems, including Internet Banking. Prior to joining BBVA Compass in 2008, Michael was an Analyst/Programmer at Dataperk.

Michael received a BS in Computer Information Systems from Herzing College. Michael entered the IEM program in the fall of 2008 and graduated in 2010. Recently I spoke with Michael about what motivated him to enter the IEM program. Here is what he had to say about his experience:

“I entered IEM because I was feeling a little complacent and wanted to shake things up. IEM appealed to me because it had a real-world feel. As I went through IEM, I was challenged to find my true passion and this was something that I struggled with for months. I struggled because I thought my true passion had to be something different than my day job. After months of soul searching, I realized that I am one of the few people who got it right the first time. I love what I do!

"After that, things started to click. IEM makes you start seeing opportunities where you used to see brick walls. I started using this to my advantage at work and in my personal life. Right after graduation, I was offered a promotion and a very challenging new role. IEM has also given me the confidence to take my new found ideas and solutions to upper management which has yielded great results. Not only do I have executive-level sponsors backing my initiatives, but I have exposure to executive management that I didn't have before."

"Aside from my day job, I started thinking about my technical skills and background and how I could use those to my advantage. My skills in Internet technologies and system administration led to me start ChainHost, a hosting company specializing in shared and VPS hosting. This was a challenge because I wanted to create a fully automated, hands-off, hosting platform. After months of research and integration, ChainHost is exactly that. Whether you're signing to host a website, e-mail or a virtual server, your order is processed, checked for fraud, authorized for payment and your services are provisioned in the appropriate system all automatically without any human intervention. This gives me time to focus on the more important aspects of the business such as advertising, networking and brand recognition. I just recently met my goal of turning a profit within three months of the launch date.”

Feel free to contact Michael via phone at 205.588.6970 or by e-mail at

Join Michael on LinkedIn.

July 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Meridith Vinson

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the July 2010 IEM Newsletter.

July’s featured IEM alumna is Meridith Vinson, Senior Project Manager with Merge Healthcare. Meridith’s responsibilities include; supervising and developing new radiology and cardiology implementation projects, client upgrades, and 3rd party integrations. Prior to joining Merge Healthcare in 2005, Meridith was a Project Manager at Medmined, Inc.

Meridith received a BS in Business Administration - Management Information Systems from Auburn University. Meridith entered the IEM program in the fall of 2008 and graduated in 2010. While in the IEM program, she helped co-found the IEM Alumni Organization.

Meridith decided to enter the IEM program because she was looking for her next challenge in life. Originally she thought that an MBA program would be the way to go, but she just couldn't get excited about it. After attending one of the IEM informational sessions, her interest was piqued and she immediately enrolled.

Like many of her classmates, Meridith really enjoyed the introspective nature of the IEM program. She really took the time to question what she wanted out of life and her career. With exposure to entrepreneurship she has realized that there is more to life than "living in cubicle nation" and that one day starting a business might be in her future. In her own words, "My undergrad degree prepared me for the corporate world. The IEM Masters program prepared me for a career path that I can mold according to what I want and love."

Finally Meridith shares the following advice for anyone considering the IEM program today: "My advice to anyone considering the program is to go to one of the informational sessions or talk to anyone who has been through the program.  There were times when I wondered what I had gotten myself into and I hated missing out on social events because I had to study.  But in the end I am so glad I stuck with it and finished.  Just as in life, you get out what you put into the program.  I made some really great friends, plumped up my resume, got involved in community networking groups that I never would have otherwise, and my eyes were opened to all sorts of new opportunities in the job market.  The IEM program met and exceeded my expectations."

June 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Jill Moller

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the June 2010 IEM Newsletter.       

June’s featured IEM alumna is Jill Moller, Senior Application Developer with Altec Industries. Jill’s responsibilities include: working with internal customers to identify business problems and developing strategic technical solutions, requirements gathering, system design, and development for enterprise systems. Prior to joining Altec Industries in April of 2007, Jill was a Technical Consultant at CGI.

Jill received a BS in Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude) from The University of Alabama back in 2005. Jill entered the IEM program in the fall of 2008 and graduated in 2010. While in the IEM program, she served as Project Manager for the 2009 IEM Summer Seminar and co-founded the IEM Alumni Organization.

Jill and her husband, Erik, have been married for three years. They keep busy with their 2 dogs, Molly and Sadie. Jill has lived in many locations including: Annapolis, MD, Valparaiso, IN, Indianapolis, IN, Memphis, TN, Tuscaloosa, AL, and now Birmingham, AL.

Jill's hobbies include home improvement, reading, and running. Jill recently completed her second half marathon.

Join Jill on LinkedIn.

May 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Todd Collier

This alumni spotlight was originally published in the May 2008 IEM Newsletter, and was republished in the May 2010 spotlight. 

March's featured IEM alumnus is Todd Collier, senior system analyst with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In his role as a senior system analyst he is responsible for a number of medical record applications that put UAB's hospital system into the digital age. One thing that you might not realize about Todd's role is that most of his development work is done in COBOL. With the trend today away from mainframes, Todd has staked a claim to an untapped niche for recent graduates.

Todd completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Auburn University back in May of 2001. During his tenure at Auburn he maintained an impressively high GPA which gained him entry into the prestigious Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Computer Science Honor society. Todd entered the IEM program with the class of 2007 and again graduated at the top of his class.

Todd stays busy by helping out with various local user groups and community events. This year he is serving as the logistics chair for the upcoming TechMixer University event. Yes, if you want to get to know him better he is actively searching for committee members. In addition Todd is a founding member of a Lawson User group for the states of Alabama and Georgia.

In his free time, Todd enjoys spending time with his family; including his wife Rebecca, son Ashton, and their newly adopted dog, Camilla. Todd is a huge Auburn fan and loves to go to the games. When he isn’t being a spectator Todd is busy coaching football, basketball, and baseball for his son's teams.

April 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Waymon Short

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the April 2010 IEM Newsletter.

April’s featured IEM alumnus is Waymon Short, Automotive Diagnostic Test System Engineer with Mercedes-Benz Technology NA, LLC. Waymon’s responsibilities include; developing, coordinating, and integrating new hardware and software, evaluating and defining electrical testing needs. Prior to joining Mercedes in January of 2008, Waymon was an Electrical and Computer Engineer with Comcast Cable.

Waymon received a BS in Electrical Engineering from UAB back in 2006. Waymon entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009.

According to Waymon, “I entered the Information Engineering and Management program because the program offered both a business and a technical blend. I believed that the IEM program would be a natural fit for me because I wanted to be able to enhance my technical knowledge and gain the ability to properly portray my professional experience to others.”

"The biggest surprise of the IEM program was the curriculum," he continued. "The blend of technical and business courses provided diversity and flexibility in a demanding, high–level graduate program. I thoroughly enjoyed the mixture of team building and individual exercises. Additionally, I believe that each client will improve upon weaknesses and develop new skills because the curriculum is specifically designed for clients of various backgrounds. The curriculum is not centered on one single theory or methodology. Instead, it's focused on molding clients and equipping them with fundamental skills that are needed in order to become cross-functional future leaders," Waymon said.

Today Waymon is benefiting directly from what he learned from the IEM program. According to Waymon, "The IEM program has made me who I am today. I constantly rely on the experiences and the information that I obtained during my studies. I've gained the confidence and ability to quickly adapt to the rapid changes that often occur in an engineering environment. I've also gained the ability to effectively communicate and work with my colleagues towards a common goal. The program has given me the ability to break through the 'glass ceiling' and reach heights that were unreachable."

March 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Jerry Smith

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the March 2010 IEM Newsletter.               

The featured IEM alumnus for March is Jerry Smith, Program Chair with ITT Technical Institute. Jerry's responsibilities include: performing classroom instruction, quarterly performance evaluations of faculty members in his department, and analyzing key performance indicators to help improve student retention and drive additional enrollments. Prior to joining ITT in September of 2006, Jerry was a Systems Specialist with Regions Bank.

Jerry received a BA in History (with a minor in Philosophy) from UAB back in 2003. Jerry entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009.

Jerry chose to enter the IEM Program for career advancement within the world of Information Technology. He was very interested in the encapsulated, lock step weekend program because it fit with his work schedule the best.

IEM has benefited Jerry's career in many ways. Skill-wise he utilizes the process management, project management as well as general organizational skills from the many group projects almost daily in his current role. According to Jerry "It's the intangibles that I carry with me the most. The way I view my career, but more importantly the way I help shape the future careers of my many students."

Some interesting facts about Jerry: he holds a Six Sigma Green belt and he served in the United States Marine Core Reserves from 1993 until 1999.

Join Jerry on LinkedIn.

February 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Jeremiah Goodson

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the February 2010 IEM Newsletter.

February's featured IEM alumnus is Jeremiah Goodson. Jeremiah is a Systems Engineer with Energen Corporation / Alagasco. He joined the company while working on a BS in Computer Science and has worked in various capacities for the past 17 years. He works in the Microsoft platforms, concentrating on System Management.

Jeremiah was drawn to the IEM program because of the IT / Business Management aspects it offered. The program didn't so much get him out of his comfort zone as help him expand it. Building presentations and speaking in front of others provided one of the programs' greatest lessons. Additional benefits have been in the areas of Project Management and Employee Relations. Although apprehensive of the Entrepreneur aspects of the program, Jeremiah found many lessons about selling ideas and showing the ROI of ones self and projects to be beneficial.

Completing his MS in the IEM program provided a significant milestone in Jeremiah's life this year and coincided with serving as President of the Energen Leadership Association.

Jeremiah's life is rounded out by his wife of 21 years, Jeanne and his children Jase and Jenna.

Join Jeremiah on LinkedIn.