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.

January 2010 - Alumni Spotlight - Eric Ray

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

January's featured IEM alumnus is Eric Ray, .NET architect with Vulcan Materials Company. Eric’s responsibilities include: providing technical leadership for all .Net initiatives in his group, design, construction, and maintenance of several interfaces and services used for integration, and providing oversight and support for projects being completed offshore. Prior to joining Vulcan in April of 2009, Eric was a Developer Team Lead at Time, Inc. /Southern Progress Corporation.

Eric received a BS in Computer Science from UAB back in 2003. Eric entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009. Eric is a professional speaker/presenter for several prominent conferences including; Alabama Code Camp, .Net University, and the .Net User Group. In addition Eric is a technical reviewer for Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.

Recently Eric shared some of his thoughts regarding his IEM experience. Here they are in his words:

"Having entered the program in the hope of career opportunity and advancement, the biggest surprise for me was the enjoyment and excitement I got out of the encouragement and education around entrepreneurship that is part of the program. I had never dreamed of starting or running my own business before entering the program and wouldn't have had a clue how to get started if I had. Gaining that knowledge was a very nice, albeit unexpected, surprise in addition to all the other valuable skills I was able to grow to benefit me in a traditional workplace.

In addition to increasing my marketability, what I learned in the IEM program has also given me the ability to evaluate and discuss projects and other work activities, not just from a technical perspective, but also from a return on investment and value added point of view. It has also given me a better understanding of how to recognize opportunities to improve leadership, business and software processes, as well as the knowledge and skills to execute on those opportunities.

Now that I have completed the program I am very grateful for the opportunity and can honestly say I grew tremendously from the experience. The program is comprised of truly exceptional staff who possess a wealth of knowledge in the business and IT leadership sphere. I regularly recommend this program to anyone I come across looking for professional growth."

Join Eric on LinkedIn.

December 2009 - Alumni Spotlight - Hasana Lawhorn

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the December 2009 IEM Newsletter.

December’s featured IEM alumna is Hasana Lawhorn, Engineer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.                                                         

Hasana received an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) in 2003. From there she completed a BS in Information Systems Technology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Finally, Hasana entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009.

Recently Hasana shared some of her thoughts regarding the IEM experience. Here they are in her words:

Q: What was the greatest value that you received from the program?
A: "I received a myriad of knowledge in various subjects from Project Management to Networking that has made me more marketable as well as more proficient at my job."

Q: What was your favorite class and why?
A: "It's difficult to choose but my favorite class was Information Engineering Technologies. It was a good balance between textbook knowledge and insight into current industry practices from experts."

Q: What did you get from the program that you did not expect?
A: "I did not expect to obtain a promotion. I also didn't expect to begin building the network of professionals that has been established. It wasn't easy, but being in the program has overall been a good experience."

Join Hasana on LinkedIn.