University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.
Did you know that 4.5 million Americans need a blood transfusion each year? That equals 43,000 pints of donated blood used each day in the United States and Canada. Luckily, one donation can potentially save up to three lives.
Some more facts about blood donation:
As you can see, donating blood is vital. Fortunately, it’s an easy way to give back and a simple process if you’re eligible. While only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent donate annually. Luckily, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) students and staff are doing their part to make up the 10 percent! Marc Benson recently visited the Bloodmobile to do his part. Students and employees stopped by in between classes to donate throughout the afternoon!
Whether it’s acts of community service or tackling the next big thing in technology, we strive to do honorable work every day. Our students are innovative, energetic and driven to always do their best. Our faculty are passionate academics and elite professionals who are focused on educating the next wave of innovators by leveraging their experiences to mentor students. Whether it’s helping students transition to campus life or look for work after graduation, we’re committed to providing support.
UAT is a community-focused campus. Through the efforts of faculty, staff, and student-run clubs, UAT is able to host events, like blood drives, to involve ourselves in community efforts. We value our place in the community and are working towards making a difference through various events and student-led projects. We support our community with honor and leadership.
Check out events happening around campus!
Day one of the beginner drawing class starts with students exploring many types of traditional media. Getting comfortable with Conte crayon, various types of charcoal and art pencils is their first assignment. The drawing class guides students through an introduction to the hardness scale for art pencils and a tutorial on how different hardness levels of graphite react to erasing and blending. The goal of this class exercise is to introduce students to manipulating foreign media. We can’t wait to see the art they create!
Check out the art degrees UAT offers.
To prepare for a life of creating technologies, UAT students use agile approaches, including scrum, as the backbone of essentially all of their project development activities. Agile Technology instructs students in agile methodologies, terminologies and roles. Students will practice agile within this course to prepare them for team projects throughout their time at UAT and in their careers after graduation.
In the popular course, Writing for Interactive Games, students learn native design by defining the character, the world and the events of the game. Security + Certification class teaches students to identify and address security threats, attacks and vulnerabilities. This year, students are most excited for AST101 The Night Sky, AST301 The Solar System, GAM352 Game Systems Design and VRT330 Augmented Reality Development.
Spotted! University of Advancing Technology (UAT) zombie fighters are having a great time! What is the most popular game of tag? College students would argue it’s Humans vs. Zombies, which is played around the world.
UAT’s campus is the perfect place for a high-intensity game of tag. With a field of grass situated between Founder’s Hall and the Commons, there’s room to run! Or, plan a sneak attack by hiding out in the New Technology Lab, Cyber Warfare Range, or the Motion Capture and Composite Studio.
Humans vs. Zombies is a survival game of tag. All players start the game as humans, and depending on the size of the game, one or two token players are chosen to be the Original Zombies. The Original Zombie eats (tags) the human players, who then turn into zombies. The zombies must eat the humans (at least one human every 48 hours), or they starve to death and are out of the game, resulting in a human win.
Luckily, the double tap rule isn’t a requirement in this game! Humans fend off zombies with socks, marshmallows and foam darts! The zombies win when all human players have been turned into zombies.
Gameplay Quick Rules:
The fun never stops at UAT. The next time you feel like playing a high-intensity game of tag, join your fellow UAT zombies.
Immerse yourself in more student life!
A student’s SIP is a reflection of what they learned at UAT, as well as production of a tangible project to showcase for future job opportunities. Although students and judges were not able to be physically in attendance, the presenters used their skills to feature their work through virtual means, utilizing technology as they would be required to do in real life.
Each presenter was allowed 10 minutes to present their product or service, how it works, and what their claim to innovation is. The presentations concluded with a Q&A session where the person or team was asked about their project, such as the challenges to bring it to life, their product’s current status and market-readiness, and their plans for monetization and/or the future of the product.
Professor Dapzury Valenzuela, Art Direction Professor at UAT, led the virtual presentations and was very pleased with how the students adapted. “I couldn't be prouder of our students and their presentations at the Spring 2020 SIP Showcase,” she said. “Not only did they continue their work amidst the challenges imposed by social distancing, they finished off with strong, innovative projects that exemplify what UAT is all about—creating with technology.” She continued, “Our existing digital systems paired with the dedication of the faculty and staff made this one of the best SIP fairs yet! I am grateful for the opportunity to facilitate and guide young minds towards the future because we need it now more than ever.”
The following are the SIP projects presented by program:
Name: Christopher Swinney
SIP Title: IDScanGo
Project Description: IDScanGo will take digitized versions of the most commonly used documents in a dealership and use a bar code on an applicable ID to autofill all applicable information. This would take the 30-minute purchase process and cut it down to two minutes.
Degree Major: Network Security
Name: Robert O'Connor
Project Title: Encrypter
Project Description: Encryption and Integrity tool built using Python 3.
Degree Major: Network Security
SIP URL: https://robertoconnor.weebly.com/
Name(s): Jose Colunga and Colin Leavy
Project Title: CreditChain
Project Description: A credit system implementation backed by Hyperledger Fabric, a Blockchain platform. It provides transparency in a distributed system and removes the need for high risk information (e.g. social security numbers).
Name(s): Jace Alexander and James Rodgers
Project Title: Mind Sculptor
Project Description: A piece of software that is able to configure a network of computers to be vulnerable to different attacks on a network while also managing the look and feel of the virtual machines to allow for people to feel like they are in a live fire environment.
SIP URL: https://881uwu.github.io/sip.html
Name(s): Dennis Entsie
Project Title: Voomerang Anti-phishing
Project Description: A detecting and investigative tool against phishing threat and spam from emails.
Degree Majors: Network Security and Technology Forensics
Name: Daniel Serrano
Project Title: Voomerang
Project Description: The virtual email reader that blocks phishing emails.
Name: Jade Bolman
SIP Title: Space Launch: A Kyrene District Collaboration
Project Description: UAT has worked aside a group of STEM Focused eighth graders from multiple classrooms to use maker space technology to conduct experiments that will be built in to the UAT Space Program's payload. After the high-altitude balloon launches, these middle schoolers will be able to collect data from their experiments and build it into their regular course curriculum.
Degree Major: Business Technology
Name: Jacob Hannah
Project Title: Captcha! Camera Rental
Project Description: On-site autonomous camera rental station.
Degree Major: Digital Video
SIP URL: https://editor.wix.com/html/editor/web/renderer/edit/e2932d01-c4f6-418f-a23d-4ba339246f40?metaSiteId=f41ffa1b-78d8-4709-9485-9364fbcbf531&editorSessionId=984b2760-1a98-43e1-8079-2cb05c5e28c2&referralInfo=dashboard
Names: Alexandra Raipe and Ramon Velazquez
Project Title: Project Hectate
Project Description: A traditional and 360 short film where no matter where you're looking something is happening.
Degree Major: Digital Video
Name: Samael Newgate
Project Title: Combat Sports App
Project Description: An app focused on combat sports that provides a one-stop source for all combat sports news.
Name(s): Jason Johnson (Lead Developer), Zach Thompson (Front End), and Trevor Kinard (Tech Lead)
Project Title: Project Athena: a revolutionary front-end interface for neural network training.
Project Description: The worlds most advanced neural network training interface.
Degree Major: Advancing Computer Science
SIP URL: https://zathom.wixsite.com/athena
Name: Hakim Ottey
Project Title: Adaptchar
Project Description: A Neural Network-based project that allows the player to train their party members by just playing the game.
Name: David Reyes
Project Title: Spider Swarm
Project Description: An independent spiderbot with facial recognition capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) to determine friend or foe.
Degree Major: Advancing Computer Science
Name: Samuel Aaron Cooper
Project Title: Sinfonia
Project Description: “Sinfonia” is a game/program that teaches the user how to play the piano through rhythm game styled challenges while using the piano keyboard as the controller.
Name: Brandon Michelsen
Project Title: Project Aeolus
Project Description: An Arduino-compatible, hobbyist-friendly guided parachute system for high-altitude projects.
Degree Major: Robotics and Embedded Systems
Name(s): Justine Grauel and Ethan Page
Project Title: Our Minds
Brief Description of Project: An augmented mental disability simulator allowing users to interact with and experience mental disabilities.
Name: Christopher Koon
Project Title: Proficiency Skill Sphere Map
Project Description: Proficiency Skill Sphere Map is a proficiency leveling system with a sphere map to create a nearly infinite number of possible character outcomes.
SIP URL: https://www.koon-programming.com/sip
Name: Jacob Pigg
SIP Title: Ægir
Project Description: Ægir is a completely scalable large body water system featuring a mesh generation and tiling system, custom adaptive and reactive shaders, and a GPU particle system for splashes and mist. The system adapts to any environment its placed in by generating a depth and flow texture which influences the movements of the water surface in the shader.
Degree Major: Game Programming
SIP URL: https://www.jacobpigg.com/aegir
Name: Connor Bish
Project Title: Revise.WAV
Project Description: Revise.wav is a musical system that changes depending on the player’s stats and abilities.
Degree Major: Game Design
Name: Kenneth Frueh
Project Title: Battery UI
Description: A user interface that is controlled and limited by player choice and each HUD icon has its own value and level of information.
Degree Major: Game Design
Name: Nicholas Hodes
Project Title: PosTear
Project Description: Arts and crafts-based puzzle mechanic that can turn set pieces into destructible solutions.
Name: Daniel McWhorter
Project Title: Pixel Easy
Project Description: Pixel Easy converts static or animated 3d objects into omnidirectional pixel art.
Degree Major: Game Art & Animation
Name: RaLen Watson-Davis
Project Title: Match Maker
Project Description: Match Maker is a 2D fighting game with memory matching.
Degree Major: Game Art and Animation
SIP URL: https://ralenportfolio.weebly.com/
Name: Andrew Van Winkle and Victoria Arroyo
Project Title: Principles of Art
Project Description: Principles of Art is an educational game made for prospective animators looking to learn the principles of animation in a fun and interactive manner.
Degree Major: Game Art and Animation
Congratulations to all of the students on their excellent work!
If you are interested in becoming a future innovator at UAT, start the process now. Apply today at www.uatfastapp.com.
Justin Anthony is a Navy veteran and UAT graduate. After running across his name in the Omaha World-Herald, we thought we'd check in to see how he feels about his education and experience at UAT, as well as his career since graduation. Read on to find out more about Justin!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, where I am from is hard to pinpoint. I spent my first early years in Colorado, moved to Nebraska for a while, joined the Navy and went all over the world, then back to Nebraska for a while. So, maybe Nebraska? I don't FEEL like I am from here, but it's the last place I've lived, haha.
When did you attend UAT and what did you study?
I got accepted to UAT right as I deployed to Iraq back in 2009. About 5 or 6 years later I graduated with a bachelors in Virtual Modeling and Design with a 3.98 GPA. See, it took me longer because I had to take frequent breaks due to deployments and that sort of thing.
What was your favorite class?
My favorite classes were the Data/Scientific Visualization classes with Professor Spencer (who is no longer at UAT), and the 3D modeling classes. Professor Spencer in particular pushed me to my limits, and then just beyond them. He helped me whenever I needed it, and went above and beyond to ensure I came out of these classes with something I could really use. See, I love 3D modeling, and the data visualization classes helped me put art to use in mediums other than games or movies. Those 2 classes, along with Human Computer interaction, and UI/UX courses, set me up for a new career outside of the military. Thank goodness too, because the Navy didn't help me with any of that at all.
How do you think UAT is different from other schools?
It wasn't just the knowledge and skills I gained from UAT, but a passion for technology, too. I quickly became a software engineer after graduating, putting most of what I learned to the test. Chief among these skills was the ability to learn new material quickly. I had to be able to do that to graduate, since I was 100% remote and active duty. The pace of learning stuck with me, and has been a driving factor in everything I do.
What have you done since graduating? Do you feel UAT prepared you?
With my love for tech, the ability to consume it quickly, and a passion for keeping a pulse on emerging technologies and methodologies I was set up perfectly to have a life-long career in technology. I'm not only a software engineer, but I've been developing video games, dabbling in robotics, and looking for new opportunities to do something cool with colleagues I still keep in touch with from UAT.
How does the latest tech make a difference in today’s career market?
The latest career market in relation to technology is evolving very quickly. There is a lot of demand for talent in tech fields, and although there are enough people to fill those roles, employers are becoming very competitive to get the best into their ranks. The tech field is not easy to excel in unless you're truly passionate about it. UAT will undoubtedly fuel that passion, whether it currently exists within you or not. Before I started, I just wanted to be an animator. Coming out the other side I felt more like a generalist that can dip into any arena in the tech field that strikes my fancy. There is a lot of demand for specialists, but generalists like myself are more rare, and more sought after due to their ability to lead multiple teams comprised of different skill sets.
So, thanks, UAT.
Thank YOU, Justin! We are proud of your service and achievements, and glad that you shared with us. As an educational institution, our best moments come from hearing that our students are successful in their chosen career path.
Find out more about what Justin’s current work in a recent article from the Omaha World-Herald.
Have a story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At UAT, we work hard to provide a helpful transition to veterans. Advance your civilian career, complement your military skills or pursue a fresh path in advancing technology. Whichever path you choose, UAT is committed to your success. Find out more at https://www.uat.edu/military, and get started by filling out our Fast App at https://uatfastapp.com.
Did you know UAT has their own version of Shark Tank, coined Tech Tank, where students pitch their hypothetical business ideas to a panel of real-world potential investors, business owners and entrepreneurs. The goal of Tech Tank is to see who can give the best pitch, arrive the most prepared and encourage the panel to invest in their idea.
This year, Tech Tank saw four projects from three different BUS200 classes. “As the creator of this event, I was very happy with the presentations and the preparedness of the students’ presenting,” remarks Dr. Mark Smith, “They held their own, answered tough questions and took the criticisms well under pressure.”
Gold Award Winner—Ace of Spades presented by Christopher Hernke, Artificial Intelligence
From Professor Cimarossa’s class came Ace of Spades. The project is an entertainment-based restaurant and bar with the main selling point being a POS system built off hard plastic playing cards that can track the tabs of the customers. Restaurant guests can order and pay from the POS kiosk systems and set limits for bill size with the individually linked cards.
Silver Award Winner—Demeter’s Watch presented by Marissa Williams, Game Art & Animation
From Professor Valenzuela’s class came Demeter’s Watch. The project is a home gardening sensor that tracks plants’ health through an application. This sensor notifies the plant parent when their plants need sunlight, soil, water, etc.
Bronze Award Winner—Eyes Breaker presented by Marc Benson, Advancing Computer Science
From Professor Vita-More’s class came Eyes Breaker. The project is a social interaction application that helps socially anxious and introverted people find others in close proximity who are looking for conversation. The app prompts the user with common interest points and offers suggestions on how to "break the ice" and start a conversation.
See more innovation projects!
Pictured front row: Blanca Vasquez, Antonio Newman, El Rois. Middle: Michael Durst, Jorge Martinez, Aramis Wero. Back: Donovan Potter
The Provost Challenge is a University of Advancing Technology (UAT) tradition. The next generation of technology innovation begins the day students set foot on campus at the UAT.
"When you're a new student, most, if not all of you, have ideas of something you've always wanted to build and UAT is your sandbox to build it,” explains Dr. David Bolman, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at UAT, “What's really fun about this challenge is that it is very open-ended. You can build anything you like."
We offer a technophile’s dream environment where innovation and passion for advancing technology are synthesized with the best faculty and technology resources.
With the widespread popularity of the space Western, The Mandalorian, a Star Wars galaxy-based show, it’s no surprise that the combination of Baby Yoda and the Provost Challenge inspired these students to create. The students quickly teamed up and got to work to create a game within the first 12 days of the semester. By incorporating Mando'a, the Mandalorian language, they created a sound-based experience that reflects the feel of what life as a Mandalorian should be.
UAT offers a unique learning environment centered around advancing technology and taking technology education and innovation to the next level with synchronic™ learning. Only at UAT will you find such an extraordinary focus on advancing technology curriculum with the resources to empower student innovation centered on advancing technology degree programs. The mentor relationships between our students and faculty prepares the students for a successful college career and to overcome challenges after graduation.
Discover the wide variety of technology innovation from our brilliant students. Dig into our advancing technology degree programs by meeting the passionate and expert faculty and staff, or by checking out our degree program blogs and awesome alumni.
What are our students working on? See other student projects.
Pictured: Ricky Eredia with a lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrec
Drew Foster, UAT adjunct instructor, enjoys bringing live animals into the classroom. In classes such as Conservation & Zoos and Animal Diversity, the use of hands-on, live animal demonstrations is the best way to foster appreciation for animals.
The lesser Madagascar tenrecs, also known as lesser hedgehog tenrecs (pictured), are small nocturnal animals covered in spines. Since their eyesight is poor, they have super sensitive whiskers and well-developed senses of hearing and smell. These little animals grow to between 5.5 and 7 inches in length and weigh 4 to 7 ounces.
Found in southern Madagascar, tenrecs live in coastal regions, dry forests and semi-desert areas. Here, when seeking shelter, they look for cavities in trees to make dens. When living in the wild, these creatures forage through fallen trees for invertebrates and small animals. They can live for 8 to 10 years in the wild, and about 14 years in human care.
In addition to engrossing lectures, bringing animals into the classroom gets students excited and allows them to make real connections with the animals they are learning about. In-class animal demonstrations supplement the lectures and foster greater understanding of wildlife!
Learn more about UAT’s learning model.
Live animals are hard to pass up in lecture, but Professor Foster isn’t the only one offering cool courses. Students are stoked for Space Expedition—a course where students create a stratospheric satellite program, developed by UAT and operated by students. In industry Innovations, students explore methods used to innovate while exploring a new proprietary framework. Students will test the framework in real time as they complete class assignments and projects.
Another thriller is Comic Art History. The class is a whirlwind tour through the art of comics, how visual stories are told and the literary elements of comics. Students start by learning the parts of a comic and the magic of storytelling. Then students explore the earliest visual narratives (from the Bayeux tapestry to Trajan’s Column) to see what these ancient stories have in common with contemporary comics. From there, students will see the modern comic evolve from broadsheets to early newspaper comics and eventually to the comic books we know and love today.
What class are you looking forward to?
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) celebrated our veteran students, friends and family on Veterans Day at the UAT campus amphitheater. The service, dedication and sacrifices made by the men and women serving our nation in the United States military are recognized by staff, faculty and students at UAT. The appreciation event included students writing thank you cards to send to active military.
UAT is a community focused home away from home. Get the most out of your college experience—check out other events happening around campus!
As James Allen says, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” Everyone at UAT is grateful for the protection the United States military provides and the sacrifices made by those serving. We are proud of all our military students and extend thanks to those who’ve served and are still serving.
UAT is a military friendly campus! Whether you are active duty, a reservist or a veteran, UAT provides a variety of program offerings, learning options and financial aid opportunities that support you in achieving your educational goals in a way that meets your needs.
UAT has ongoing relationships with several organizations to provide the best experience to our military students. UAT is a member of the Arizona Veterans Association and is GI Bill®* and Yellow Ribbon approved. Our SyncFlex model provides a flexible approach to learning to accommodate any stage of life.
“On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.” – Dan Lipinski
Advance your civilian career, complement your military skills or pursue a fresh path in advancing technology. Whichever path you choose, UAT is committed to your success.
Learn more about the unique opportunities military veterans have at UAT.
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Elijah McKay is President of the campus Nerf Club and a Founder's Hall Resident Assistant (RA). RAs are new students’ best friends. They help students with the transition to university life and their educational journey at UAT. RAs are known to be an information hub for academic matters, campus activities, administrative procedures and campus and community resources. Elijah enjoys being an RA because he can help bring people together.
UAT supports rich student life experiences through student clubs and organizations. These student clubs and organizations enhance UAT's friendly and technology-infused environment. No matter your technology passion and free-time preferences, UAT is the place to meet new friends with similar interests. Nerf Club is one of many clubs and campus activities students enjoy.
Just picture it—you’re a kid, NERF gun is in hand and pointed at your best friend. There was no feeling more powerful! With a long and fun-filled history, NERF has been supplying the action for kids and college students alike. Watch out! Foam-rubber ammunition is coming your way (seriously, NERF produces around 445,277,777 darts per year).
Elijah is one of many UAT students who is making the most out of their college experience. His advice for current and future students is simple, “Join a club!” Elijah says, “It’s the best way to find like-minded people and experience friendship.”
Elijah’s friends in Nerf Club definitely appreciate him and his Nerf Sub-Series Whiteout Longstrike! It’s Nerf or Nothin’! Lookout for Elijah and Nerf Club members around campus! Or don’t just look out for Nerf Club members… maybe duck as well.
Fun is one of UAT’s values and it shows! We’re not afraid to have a ridiculous amount of fun no matter where we are—on campus, in class or at work.
Start having fun and find your friends at UAT!
This week, they made a big move on the masses, as a large amount of the population is working from home, and sites/apps like Zoom are growing in popularity to keep coworkers connected. The FBI is warning that hackers have been “zoombombing” calls—essentially hijacking conference calls—and some of these unwanted callers have even known to leave some pretty offensive stuff on your screen. And this warning is real; it happened to a UAT employee, who fortunately wasn’t the one hosting the call.
At UAT, Zoom is useful, but definitely not our main platform. Microsoft Teams and Canvas LMS are our primary platforms for distance learning. We use a myriad of others as well, including Discord, Slack and Zoom. We mostly use Zoom for special purposes, and not for normal class activities. With that said, we are careful with our links… password-protecting meetings, managing participants, keeping a close eye on attendance, controlling who can share a screen, etc. So, let’s talk a about some common mistakes people make when using Zoom and tips to avoid becoming a victim to hackers.
First of all, assume what happens in Zoom does not stay in Zoom. Keep that in mind for every call and don’t use it for sensitive information. Along that same mindset, don’t link your Zoom account to other social sites like Twitter. In fact, it’s really smart to create a new email to use only for your Zoom account; don’t use your main email, and definitely don’t login with Facebook.
If you’re the host, the responsibility truly lies on you to take the extra precautions. Make sure to select the option for private and create a password for all people on the call—or else anyone can have access to it. Check and manage the attendance and match it to who should be in the room. For guests, you can control access by using a waiting room to verify who they are. For UAT, we only allow the host to share their screen, which prevents the bad content from creeping in. In addition, don’t click links in the chat that you don’t trust, the same as in email, and consider using the site in a browser versus downloading on your desktop.
As always, it’s important to keep your computer up-to-date and as secure as possible. Never wait on installing updates, and make sure to have security installed on your computer. Sophos, AVG, Norton, and McAfee are all good options for Internet security, and also make sure to consider security requirements when selecting vendors. For example, if end-to-end encryption is necessary, does the vendor offer it? Finally, ensure your VTC software is up to date. These patches address security vulnerabilities within a program or product.
To sum it up, while we know there are global security and privacy concerns with Zoom, we have enough institutional prowess to navigate the concerns to ensure we are protected, and it is still a great tool for what it’s good for.
See President Pistillo featured on AZ Family News discussing Zoom safety here:
And find out additional tips at:
Designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education by the US National Security Agency, UAT offers an ethical hacking degree that’s highly recognized by industry and government entities alike. You can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Network Security, or a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security. Take the first step by completing a FastApp today!
By Lisha Dunlap, Sr. PR Assoc., Media & Influencer Relations.
As if dealing with a pandemic isn’t difficult enough for most of our nation, 2020 has presented a new challenge for families—homeschooling. While many are adjusting to working from home, most are also trying to figure out how to be a teacher, too. And if that just isn’t enough stress, there are those who are also functioning as working-adult-student-parents.
Whew. Let that sit for a moment.
Fortunately, these badasses are making it work. Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t frustrations and occasional break downs—it means they’re giving it their best and not giving up—so we’ve asked some of our UAT faculty and staff to let us know how they’re keeping up as parents slash employees slash educators slash students, and this is what they had to say.
Our daughter, being very young and an only child for the time being, requires fairly constant attention and guidance in her daily activities. Therefore, when our daughter's daycare suddenly closed, thankfully my husband was also approved to work from home so that we could navigate this challenge together. We quickly created a schedule where we alternate responsibilities throughout the day. One parent is a primary employee and the other is the primary parent/teacher for 2-3 hours at a time. This enables us to work at peak times for our work schedules and also keep our daughter's schedule as consistent as possible. Since she is capable of playing alone for short bursts, when a parent is primary to our daughter, we are still able to be attentive, responsive to messages, emails and calls for work to some degree. In the evenings after our daughter goes to bed, we make up work for an hour or two and I also do my schoolwork until as late as I can.
Navigating this has definitely been a challenge and I've had my ups and downs. My biggest advice if you're struggling is to reach out to your employer. UAT and my manager have been incredibly understanding as all other parents are going through these same challenges. I have been approved to work hours outside of our normal schedule and appreciate that my manager is able to trust that I will still get my work done in return for the leniency and flexibility. My manager also helps me navigate this by staying in communication with me on my progress, expectations, goals, agenda, deadlines and keeps me aligned with priorities. UAT also knows I am working toward my education goals and that by supporting me through with flexibility will enable me to be a less stressed, more productive, and more capable employee with new and enhanced skills.
Secondly, reach out to your professor if you are also a student. I am currently in challenging classes learning amazing new technology skills but they require focused time to work on projects and I happen to currently be shorter on time. After stressing about potentially not finishing my assignments on time, I had to have a heart-to-heart with myself and come to the realization that I needed to shift my expectations. I simply cannot do it all at, but I most certainly can continue forward. I reached out to my professors to explain and requested an extension on my larger assignments due this week. They responded stating that they would be more than happy to work with me during this time, and reminded me that many of us are experiencing this together. I am relieved and glad I made my well-being a priority so that I can be capable of taking on another day.
While we’re all navigating this challenging time, we still need to be the best we can be for ourselves, our employers, our families, and our education. Give yourself a break, do what you can when you can, ask for help when you need it, and try to make the most of each day.
Stace Dixon and her daughter, Charlotte.
In our house, we have used this as an opportunity to show how the real world works by being inclusive of our activities. For instance, while I was setting up the Zoom and Twitch software over the weekend for Game Jam presentations, my oldest connected, streamed, and help me test settings and setup of the environment. This exposed him to technology as well as how businesses and educational institutions are coping with remote working. He also monitored the twitch stream during the live event, being a part of the team that put on a successful event for other students.
Education is more than just the formal aspects of school; it is about adapting to what life throws at you. This is an opportunity to show your kids how to cope and adapt as your environment and working conditions change. You can model balance, work ethic, and healthy work habits that they would not see otherwise.
Other elements that can be brought in deal with empowering your kids. If you are getting into homeschooling or following a remote curriculum from your school, there is opportunity to allow your kids to make their own schedule, managing their time and resources to complete the work while keeping other aspects of their life in balance. One of the biggest elements kids can lose from missing the structure of school is a feeling of everything spinning out of control. Allowing them to take control of the situation and be a part of the solution to move forward in uncertain times will be a life lesson they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Turn this into a time that you spent more time with your kids, supported their needs, and guided them through. They will remember the positive aspects you provided and will be better off because of it.
Tyler Walling, Parent of 2 boys (kindergarten and 2nd grade), Student in the UAT Network Security Bachelor Program, Registrar/PDSO
Both my wife and I try and get up around 5:30 to get in a bit of uninterrupted work before the kids wake up around 6:30.
We try and keep them on some sort of schedule similar to school start time at 8:30. After breakfast and cartoons, we take them on a walk around the park or on a bike ride to get going.
When we get back, we start working on school assignments with one of us taking one kid apiece, so they get individual help while we are still able to work alongside them. After homework, we currently just “play it by ear” and see what the kids are wanting to do.
Things we’ve discovered along the way:
I think the most important thing to take from this is to enjoy the time you do have with your family and make the most of it.
Tyler Walling's two boys.
Ashley Fuentes, Parent of a 3-Year-Old Daughter, Sr. Student Services Coordinator
For me, communicating boundaries and limits with my 3-year-old, Violet, is key. She needs and wants attention, so I give it to her in the morning, during lunch time and after work instead of throughout the day like I normally would. She doesn’t always cooperate, but we are learning together. Work is a priority for me, just like school should be for each student. Create a schedule, and stick to it. Make it fun for your kids and families so that we are truly all in this together!
This quote from Walter Anderson speaks to me:
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.”
Ashley Fuentes and her daughter, Violet.
Brandi Beals, Parent of 4 daughters (Junior at a STEM high school, 7th grader at an arts school for ballet, preschooler and a 1-year-old), Manager of Student and Academic Services
When taking breaks or mini walks, involve the kids. Do something fun so they do not feel the stress and anxiety of what is currently happening.
Do not try to homeschool kids, they feel the stress and anxiety that causes the parents and actually makes things worse.
I will often sit side-by-side with my 4-year-old throughout the day. I will create lined paper for her and give her letters, numbers or words to practice writing. I will work while she does her work. When she is done, we review it together. After that, she gets to play as a reward.
When in meetings, the kids will often want to say “hi”. They look at my computer, see everyone, smiles, then walks away to do their own thing. Involving them with what I am doing helps them realize it is not interesting to them, they give me the time I need and then focus on them when I am done.
Remember, everyone is dealing with the pandemic in different ways. My struggles are not more or less significant than anyone else, they are different and unique to me.
Brandi Beals' four daughters.
Herb Mathers, Parent of 1 daughter (1st Grade), Digital and Inbound Marketing Manager
We are in this together. Be quick to help others and don’t be too prideful to ask for help. Here are some recommendations from my daughter’s school:
In the morning my wife does writing exercises with her to be able to recognize numbers and letters.
My daughter usually has gymnastics 2 times a week, so I have converted the garage into a little gymnastics studio for her to play for a few hours. I have also converted my daughter’s bike into a stationary bike so she can ride her bike at home. We usually go for a walk around 6-7 as the sun starts to set.
Mark Smith's daughter, Mariana.
If you’ve gotten anything from this (other than the exceptional advice), is that every parent—and every routine—is completely different. Our lives are all unique, and right now, every situation is, so pull what you can from others to help yourself, but ultimately you will find your own groove. As for me, I’m a parent of a 3rd grade boy, with a husband in school, and the Sr. PR Assoc., Media & Influencer Relations at University of Advancing Technology. Every day has its own challenges, but it also has a lot of good in it, too. I’ve cried. I’ve made jokes. I’ve read books, inspirational quotes, and anything I can get my hands on now that Amazon has stopped nonessential delivery. I’ve run, I’ve walked, and I’ve tried to find a quiet place for yoga. I’ve had my son work very hard on schoolwork some days, and little on others. I’ve even tried crafts.
But what haven’t I done? Quit. Or even considered it. Bad days are okay, and as Pinterest would say, a bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. At UAT, we know being an adult student with a million other home, work, and parental responsibilities is hard, but we believe in you, because YOU CAN DO IT. Remind yourself of that as many times a day as you need to, and know that we are here for you. Student Services is just a call away for a good pep talk, and your instructors are ready and willing to help you make this work. Show us what you’re made of.
Now go hug your kid. A good hug fixes lots of things.
For more information on our advancing degree programs and our SyncFlex program that allows you to pursue your degree virtually, call one of our Admissions Advisors at 877.828.4335 or email email@example.com.
Our students are preparing to be holly jolly for the holiday season!
Each year, UAT students gather in Founder’s Hall to decorate for the holidays. This year was no exception! From snowmen to tinsel, students made sure that anyone strolling through the common area would feel the holiday spirit.
You can find Founder’s Hall at the center of UAT’s vibrant Residence Life Community. Located on campus, Founder’s Hall is just a minute’s walk across the quad from classrooms, the New Technology Lab, Motion Capture and Composite Studio, the Commons, the theater, Café and more! Founder’s Hall is full of friends. Meet your neighbor technophiles, innovators and future industry leaders who have found their home away from home here.
Pictured: Robert Hellyer and John Balog
Securing the top of the tree takes Robert to great heights.
Pictured: John Balog and Bailey Nielsen
Tinkle, tinkle, tinsel! No tree is complete without a little (or a lot!) of tinsel. Bailey is getting to work.
Pictured: Benjamin Branch
Check out Benjamin Branch surrounded with holiday spirit in front of the UAT tree. The tinsel present is just for you!
Pictured: Izzy Sanchez and Natalie Johnson
Who knew Natalie plays the brass! Whether it’s “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls,” UAT students are having a jolly time with jams while decorating.
Pictured: John Balog, Izzy Sanchez and Benjamin Branch
All of the lights! So many lights… Catch Izzy, John and Benjamin lighting up the tree.
Pictured: V Greffin
Don’t forget the tree topper. V Greffin saves the day with Frosty!
Our Residence Life Community is conducive to learning while maintaining a fun, friendly and familiar place to live and grow. UAT strives to support students by building community, creating connections and having fun. The Residence Life staff does this through lighthearted activities, such as decorating for the holidays.
Local High School and College Students Team Up at UAT for 24 Hours of Innovation
This Saturday, November 9th, students of all coding skill levels in the Phoenix area will gather on the campus of University of Advancing Technology (UAT) for CodeDay. This is a 24-hour event hosted nationally by SRND, where students are immersed in coding, build games and apps, learn a variety programming languages, participate in a cyber competition, attend workshops, present projects, and compete for awards and code-master bragging rights. The event is held three times a year to promote interest in programming and related STEM studies at a young age.
“Phoenix is seeing a 40% growth in tech jobs, so CodeDay attracts students that may have 0% interest until they’re exposed through events like this. We want to fix the pipeline issue with having enough tech workers to fill the demand that’s coming to the Phoenix area specifically”, says Jacy Smith, a well-connected local entrepreneur, Business Development Specialist for Perimeter83, Professor at UAT, and a long-time CodeDay Phoenix organizer, who UAT interviewed to gather insights to share with the local Phoenix community to boost awareness for future CodeDays.
CodeDay Phoenix events have brought in and connected up to 240 students at past events. Since focusing in on improving the quality of experience for students, the organizers have worked hard to strategically balance the three events throughout the year, and are expecting around 120 bright minds for the last CodeDay in 2019.
CodeDay is generally attended by high school students, but middle schoolers, college students, and anyone under 25 can register to attend. It’s a great event for student programmers, artists, actors, and anyone that is interested in tech to come and participate.
Jacy emphasized that CodeDay is also a huge supporter of contributing to the increase of Women in STEM fields and Women in Tech. On average, around 40% of CodeDay attendees at each event are female, which is a great accomplishment for a tech-centric coding event. Jacy and her fellow CodeDay organizers work hard to keep the events demographically balanced, diverse, and inclusive. CodeDay national provides the organizing committee a dashboard to give them detailed insights on who is attending, and that’s how they are able to be proactive in promotion and recruitment efforts.
If you want to hone and test your coding or game design skills, learn a new programming language, app development, or practice public speaking and working with a team, and if you’ve never had any experience with coding but want to learn, CodeDay is the perfect place to go for a fun and fast deep-dive.
This weekend’s participants will arrive early on Saturday morning to get fueled up at UAT’s cafe, settle in, and then the kick-off begins in UAT’s innovation theater. Students will be greeted, the mission and opportunities of CodeDay will be presented, inspiration will be delivered, and teams — including any students that have attended alone — will get connected to one another. Following the kick-off, participants will attend workshops such as ‘Intro to Coding’, ‘Big Data’, ‘Project Management’, and more to get the fundamentals they need to begin their projects.
In the evening, students will team up to compete in an exciting, nation-wide cyber security competition, ‘Capture the Flag’. At 10:00 pm, halfway through the event, there will be a lively game tournament. Throughout the early morning, students will continue to work on game and app development projects and will be judged at Sunday’s awards ceremony at 10:00 am to then conclude the event.
For attending, other than the many awards that are given out, students earn a certificate and real-world production experience they can utilize for their resumes and portfolios.
CodeDay is one of a few local resources for Phoenix students to come together and experience tech in a well-organized, real-world production environment; get exposure to coding, programming, and local tech talent from around the world; get access to potential mentors; learn about internships with companies; and be exposed to incredible community tech resources like UAT’s 100% STEM university campus.
“Getting students together to experience the combination of creativity, tech, innovation, and trying something new is what CodeDay is all about.”, stated Jacy Smith.
Within 24 hours, students are able to learn coding and new programming languages, compete and create projects in the topics of cyber security, video game production, and app development, hone skill-sets like design and project management, and pick up soft skills like leadership, collaboration, and public speaking. Another take-away is the opportunity to make friends and get kids connected to people within the tech community to support their growth and help get them where they want to go in life. The opportunity and impact for any one individual can be incredible and life-changing.
“Watching students have confidence to come in without knowing anything about coding and make something into a project that they present to judges on Sunday morning when they’re exhausted, but so excited about the work they’ve accomplished, what they’ve learned, and the opportunities ahead, is really something to see and be a part of, and why I continue to help put on this event. I’ve never missed one.”, said Jacy Smith.
Jacy shared several inspiring accounts of coding innovation she’s seen take place at past CodeDay Phoenix events over the last five years. Once, a group of middle school students who had never coded before won the ‘Best in Show’ award (most prestigious award at CodeDay) with a retro game they designed. At another event, a group of talented Physics students made an advanced calculator with a new programming language that they had learned at that very CodeDay, and it blew the judges and mentors away. Occurring before the widely-used ‘Neighborhood’ app was developed, a group of all female students built a similar app designed for those within their local communities to connect and easily report problems and discuss topics going on in their neighborhood in order to get issues resolved more quickly.
To get an idea of how CodeDay impacts students outside of the event, many that have competed have embarked down successful pathways they may not have had the opportunity to lead without an experience like this. Whether they’ve transitioned to advancing tech studies in high school, are earning their undergraduate or graduate degrees in STEM majors at elite tech universities like UAT, have created their own tech start-ups, or have gone on to be successful in high-paying and in-demand tech careers, they’re working toward filling in the tech-talent gaps that are currently and will continue to be an issue in the workforce.
For example, a returning CodeDay female participant currently enrolled at the Phoenix Coding Academy has started a non-profit that benefits local kids in need of school supplies and hygiene products. After high school, several students have been recruited from CodeDay events to college tech internships with progressive companies such as State Farm. And as one example of a career path, one previous CodeDay Phoenix participant is now a prime cyber defense expert for American Express, one of the largest banking organizations in the world.
CodeDay continues to provide these amazing events and opportunities to promote interest and provide opportunities to students because of organizers like Jacy Smith and her CodeDay crew, as well as hosts like UAT, who is well-known in the community for moving the needle and getting kids excited about STEM careers through its advancing technology campus and innovative degrees, as well as sponsoring tech companies like State Farm, that provide mentors and volunteers from the local community.
“UAT has hosted CodeDay for us for several years and is one of the easiest and most advanced tech event spaces to work with in Phoenix,” said Jacy. “I’ve been working directly with them [event committee at UAT] for the last four years, and CodeDay is how I originally heard of UAT and got connected in its amazing tech community. It’s a really innovative campus and makes for an optimal CodeDay experience.”
State Farm has steadfastly provided industry experts as mentors and volunteers to CodeDay Phoenix, donates technology such as laptops for students to use at the events, and supports CodeDay significantly at the national level, allowing these events to continue across the nation.
Tech companies can join in to support the event by contributing to CodeDay Phoenix in small amounts like $250 or more, which also provides free marketing exposure. Tech companies can also provide tech mentors and volunteers to help with coordination and support students throughout the event, provide judges and/or promote internship opportunities with their company, and more.
The local community, tech-savvy or not, can volunteer by encouraging kids to register to attend, or adults can take on tasks like cooking for the attendees, making sure students are staying hydrated, taking registrations at check-ins, collecting waivers, and taking on a shift of supervising within the 24-hour event.
To get connected and support future CodeDay Phoenix events, please reach out to the organizing committee here!
Erin Ali, an alumna of UAT, has been a Producer in the gaming industry for twelve years. She is a Senior Producer at Turn 10 Studios working on the Forza Motorsport team. Erin has worked in production previously at other companies such as Blizzard Entertainment (Battle.net, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II) and Monolith Productions (Shadow of War) with twelve game launches in addition to multiple global product launches. She most recently spent the past two years working at Twitch with the Developer Experience team on Extensions and the Twitch Developer Site.
As I've navigated my career, I've found a number of tactics and advice that I've used throughout. I've also engaged with a mentee on some advice I've given on the matter as well. I was hoping to format the presentation around 'tools' that students can think about using as they also go through their career that can help throughout. For example, your voice (speaking up/asking for what you need), balancing scale for what you know you need in your career early/late (so how do you prioritize a good manager, content or team as usually you can't get a perfect score for all three every job you take) and other ways to help!
Fall semester is right around the corner and in just over a month new freshman will arrive on campus excited, nervous and full of ideas and expectations. One of UAT's best attributes is its ability to make everyone feel welcome and like family. Our campus isn't full of fast food chains and shopping malls, but it's jammed packed with tech and intelligent, creative people not only attending but also making UAT their career and home for educating other like-minded individuals.
UAT Provost Dr. David Bolman (left) recognizes the dedicated Experience Leaders (EXL) who make new students feel welcome on campus. Because they successfully completed one full year of service, they are receiving a coveted letter of recommendation from Provost Bolman that will go into their portfolios. EXL leaders are enthusiastic, outgoing student leaders who apply and are selected by UAT to help familiarize new students with the campus, share insights about life at UAT, work on-campus events, and help them begin to feel connected and at home.
Along with EXL members, you can also find other student workers giving tours, working the front desk and other departments on campus. Almost every Monday you will see UAT staff and faculty walking around with black UAT shirts that say mentor. Each Mentor Monday students are encouraged to engage with faculty and staff outside of the classroom setting and learn more about "the real world" or career paths in tech, or even how to make the best ramen bowl on Thursdays in the UAT restaurant.
There's a reason why alumni come back and sit in on classes often and how quickly that anxious freshman feeling is only a memory. So if you're new on campus this fall and you don't know where something is or you have a question -- just ask someone.
Beginning to feel welcome already? So what are you waiting for? Take a tour today. uat.edu/tour
UAT Graduate 2010
Internal control assurance processes and procedures, security governance, risk and compliance… these are a part of Terra’s daily life. With a career in IT advisory and consulting services, Terra has worked everywhere from the Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification (DoD DIACAP) and Federal Information Systems Control Audit Manual (FISCAM) to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
Because of her passion for security efforts, Terra is constantly improving her skills, education and opportunities. University of Advancing Technology (UAT) prepared Terra for her dynamic career in cyber security. Classes like Legal Issues in Technology and Identity Access Management gave her the knowledge foundation she needed to be successful in this career path.
Talking on compliance, Terra says, “Compliance is not a static word, and it takes a dynamic spirit to keep all the wheels turning.
Are you interested in a career in network security? Learn more about UAT’s Cyber Security degrees.
Have you run into this orange feline before? Max, the campus cat, is commonly seen prancing through the Quad. Because of his frequent visits, students decided to adopt him! Max loves lounging around in the grass, rolling in the gravel and following students for belly rubs and savory treats.
Next time you cross paths with Max, don’t forget to pet him and give him some love.
Major: Master of Science in Cyber Security
From the start, Candace has been interested in technology because of all the possibility it poses. Coming from the healthcare industry, Candace has first-hand experience with protecting private information for patients and healthcare providers. Wanting to grow and looking for some change, she decided to head back to school to pursue a Master of Science in Cyber Security.
Candace is excited to be going back to school, and says, “I have a lot to learn, but I’m hooked. It’s an exciting field.” She is eager to gain skills in detecting and analyzing data with defense implementation.
Candace has a yearning to constantly learn and University of Advancing Technology (UAT) encourages her to create and grow within her education. When she is not in school, Candace loves hiking and hanging out with her children, husband and dogs. Candance is inspired by her brother, Casey, who had always supported the underdogs and believed that you can’t live life in fear.
Since he was a child, Malik loved creating things. He started out building Legos and experimenting with chemistry, now he wants to create worlds within games. Malik is fascinated with how quickly technology advances, especially when comparing what was considered high-tech as a child to how rapidly technology changes now.
UAT stood out to Malik because of the degrees offered and the type of students that attend the school. Malik is a board, video and card game enthusiast, so being surrounded by people of similar interests was very important to him. Being encircled by technology-wired people lends to learning something new with every interaction.
Malik has many fond memories of playing game with his family and those games are what have inspired him to study gaming. He reflects, “Playing games, like Super Smash Bros. 64, for the first time with my dad and brothers made me want to create that same feeling of fun and enjoyment for someone else.”
Zachary has always been interested in business. He would like to become a successful entrepreneur and views technology as a way to get there. His interests may not lay with hacking or coding, but he’s keen to start adapting business processes to technology.
Zachary found UAT through family friends and is constantly impressed by the wealth of knowledge he encounters when interacting with his teachers and peers. At UAT, Zachary feels that everyone wants him to succeed. Aside from business courses, he is looking forward to taking a few of the audio and visual classes UAT offers.
Zachary is inspired by legends like Nigo, Tyler the Creator and George Miller. These men have motivated him to pursue making beats, manipulating audio and running a successful business intertwined with music. Zachary believes Tyler the Creator “really just gave the people a different kind of music to listen to. It inspires me to put work into something new every moment of every day.”
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) boasts of many interesting clubs, including Kendo Club! Kendo is a type of traditional Japanese martial art that originated from swordsmanship. Through the combination of physical activity and teachings of self-restraint and discipline, students learn the basics of swordplay and respect for the opponent. Practices are every Friday night and comprise of activities such as defending against a constant attacker, armored first strike and verbal lessons.
Kendo is unique in the way that each practitioner develops their own style of swordplay. The current Kendo instructor, Allison, says, “You could spend your entire life training in one style, and when you get to a competition, you will fight somebody you’ve never seen before, and you have to learn to adapt to how they fight.”
Check out all the clubs UAT has to offer, and don’t forget to join friends at the Kendo club on Fridays.