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."
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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."
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November's featured IEM alumnus is Randy Sutton, Engineering Manager at Vulcan Engineering Company. Randy’s responsibilities include; completing design reviews, creating project control mechanisms, and initiating and refining standards for pricing and project control. Prior to joining Vulcan, Randy was a Project Engineering Manager with HMC Technologies in New Albany, Mississippi. A common thread throughout Randy's career has been a passion for process, more on that later.
Randy received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UAB back in 1991. Randy entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009. Randy is a member of several professional organizations including; ASPE and NCEES. Another interesting fact about Randy is that he is a Registered Professional Engineer in seven states throughout the Southeast.
Recently Randy shared some of his thoughts regarding his IEM experience. Here they are in his words:
"I felt much improved in several aspects, but certainly the greatest value I took away from this program was the confidence it built for me. I have a new found desire to believe, develop, and execute new plans both business and personal that I once would have dismissed, or made excuses to avoid. This confidence and expanded tool set has made me more keenly aware of my desires and capabilities. It indeed enhances my performance and maybe more importantly my motivational point of view.
My technical interests were jolted back alive in software engineering. My experience in project management made "Technical Project Management" very fun for me, I got to share a lot of insight based on my experiences. But I would have to say my favorite was probably Don Appleby’s "Strategic Management." It kind of brought it all together for me and reinforced my comfort level with ways to evaluate strategic thinking and decision making.
The human aspect of this experience snuck up on me. I did not expect to have so much in common and become so close to many of my classmates and instructors; it was truly a pleasure to be there, in the moment."
In "Business Process Modeling" Randy authored a well written and interesting article on flowcharts. Randy uses flowcharts in order to “foster understanding” and “bridge the gaps” when he has a process to explain.
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October's featured IEM alumnus is Alan Hill, Center Director and Regional Coordinator at the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). Alan’s responsibilities include: coordination, directing staff, marketing, and business development. Prior to joining ATN, Alan was a Senior Project Engineer/Senior Sales Engineer with Clarage Fans/Zurn Air Systems Division. A common thread throughout Alan’s career has been a passion for ISO, more on that later.
Alan received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UAB back in 1988. Alan entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009. Alan is a member of several professional organizations including: Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA).
Recently Alan shared some of his thoughts regarding his IEM experience. Here they are in his words:
"The greatest value I received from the program was its focus on management practices and principles. I especially liked the speakers that were brought in for the various classes. Insight into their management strategies was interesting and beneficial in my management development.
My favorite class had to be Strategic Management. Shortly before I pursued my IEM degree, I was promoted to Center Director. As part of my responsibility, I became more involved in my organization's strategic management process. This class provided me more insight and a better understanding of this process.
I had several unexpected things that I valued from the IEM program. One was a better understanding of information technology processes such as network systems, network security and software development. The other was the caliber of professionals the program brings in. I thoroughly enjoyed working on class projects with fellow students and found myself learning a great deal from these professionals."
Alan chose to partner with Janaki Peri for his graduate project . Alan was able to utilize his expertise with ISO in order to create a book entitled "A Practical Guide For ISO Quality Management System Implementation."
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