September 25, 2018

  • From Graphic Designer to UX Designer

    In the tech world, UX designers are known as unicorns. They possess that elusive combination of visual design chops and technical skills. None of them grew up wanting to be a UX designer. Their job descriptions are all over the place, and companies can’t decide what to do with them. (So, they end up doing a little bit of everything.) UAT alumnus Brady Vontran’s path to UX design has been pretty typical because it has been atypical. When Brady arrived at UAT, he wanted to be a graphic designer. “It was a super vague goal, but at least I had…

  • Leading New Generations

    I hear all the time about how the young adults of today lack specific traits that have been deemed necessary for success in corporate culture by previous generations. I always find these comments humorous as every past generation finds a way to demean the younger generations for what they perceive as faults. As someone who has worked in traditional corporate culture, operated his own business and now teaches young adults in academia, I tend to favor the younger generations. Quality leaders should view these differences as opportunities to hone their skillsets and grow as mentors. The goal should not be…

  • 3 Tips for Growing Your Personal Brand

    The web service BrandYourself (check it out!), correctly identifies the three pillars of successfully creating a personal brand: Building a brand Building credibility/audience Targeting opportunities Thankfully, I have a background in marketing, public relations and strategic communication, so I know what I am talking about and can explain each of these pillars. Building a brand If you have come and seen me, you may have noticed that I usually begin student meetings with a simple prompt: Tell me about yourself. I meet with a lot of students, so this exercise isn’t just about trying to figure out who you are…

  • 5 Takeaways from Our First Stratospheric Balloon Launch

    A team of UAT students spent the summer designing a self-funded stratospheric balloon program to gather scientific data, test and demonstrate new technology and inspire the next generation of space explorers. Under the direction of former NASA program manager Nathan Eskue, students built, launched (and recovered!) a stratospheric balloon. Some things went right. Some did not. UAT students and faculty share their top 5 takeaways:   Define your vision. But make sure it is digestible. “If the group is unified in the end goal that they’re trying to solve, many communication issues are prevented because the team understands the big picture…

  • The U.S. Cyber War Needs More Soldiers

    In a small town in Alaska, a sophisticated cyber attack nearly wiped out the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough network servers with a virus cocktail of ransomware, a trojan horse, time bomb, Cryptolocker and dead man’s switch, according to reports by BleepingComputer and BBC. This attack forced the town’s businesses to dust off old typewriters and conduct business by hand until IT experts were able to get back online. While the use of machines that click clack is unsustainable in the digital world, the Mat-Su attack is just one example of the type of criminal activity happening in the public sector that…

From Graphic Designer to UX Designer

Sep 21, 2018

In the tech world, UX designers are known as unicorns. They possess that elusive combination of visual design chops and technical skills. None of them grew up wanting to be a UX designer. Their job descriptions are all over the place, and companies can’t decide what to do with them. (So, they end up doing a little bit of everything.) UAT alumnus Brady Vontran’s path to UX design has been pretty typical because it has been atypical. When Brady arrived at UAT, he wanted to be a graphic designer. “It was a super vague goal, but at least I had…

Leading New Generations

Sep 19, 2018

I hear all the time about how the young adults of today lack specific traits that have been deemed necessary for success in corporate culture by previous generations. I always find these comments humorous as every past generation finds a way to demean the younger generations for what they perceive as faults. As someone who has worked in traditional corporate culture, operated his own business and now teaches young adults in academia, I tend to favor the younger generations. Quality leaders should view these differences as opportunities to hone their skillsets and grow as mentors. The goal should not be…

3 Tips for Growing Your Personal Brand

Sep 12, 2018

The web service BrandYourself (check it out!), correctly identifies the three pillars of successfully creating a personal brand: Building a brand Building credibility/audience Targeting opportunities Thankfully, I have a background in marketing, public relations and strategic communication, so I know what I am talking about and can explain each of these pillars. Building a brand If you have come and seen me, you may have noticed that I usually begin student meetings with a simple prompt: Tell me about yourself. I meet with a lot of students, so this exercise isn’t just about trying to figure out who you are…

5 Takeaways from Our First Stratospheric Balloon Launch

Sep 5, 2018

A team of UAT students spent the summer designing a self-funded stratospheric balloon program to gather scientific data, test and demonstrate new technology and inspire the next generation of space explorers. Under the direction of former NASA program manager Nathan Eskue, students built, launched (and recovered!) a stratospheric balloon. Some things went right. Some did not. UAT students and faculty share their top 5 takeaways:   Define your vision. But make sure it is digestible. “If the group is unified in the end goal that they’re trying to solve, many communication issues are prevented because the team understands the big picture…

The U.S. Cyber War Needs More Soldiers

Aug 31, 2018

In a small town in Alaska, a sophisticated cyber attack nearly wiped out the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough network servers with a virus cocktail of ransomware, a trojan horse, time bomb, Cryptolocker and dead man’s switch, according to reports by BleepingComputer and BBC. This attack forced the town’s businesses to dust off old typewriters and conduct business by hand until IT experts were able to get back online. While the use of machines that click clack is unsustainable in the digital world, the Mat-Su attack is just one example of the type of criminal activity happening in the public sector that…

Arizona Cyber Security Sector Needs More People Faster

Aug 15, 2018

Not many people can say that their cyber security career began by breaking into their college’s computer system. But that’s exactly what happened to Sean Moshir, co-founder, CEO and chairman of CellTrust and pioneer of the multi-billion-dollar patch management industry. After a two-week suspension, the college allowed Moshir to continue and graduate, on the condition that he tell them how hacked their system.  Back then, knowing how to hack systems was a “bad thing that was kept in the shadows,” Moshir said. Today, “It’s a good thing, and people want you to know cyber security.  The Arizona cyber security landscape has…

From Game Dev Student to Game Developer

Aug 8, 2018

We recently invited UAT alumnus and ArenaNet 3D Environment/Prop Artist William Tate to share his career story with our game development students.   We complied Will’s top career advice for game artists and developers below: Set realistic expectations “Look at the front page of ArtStation. Is your work of the same quality? This is who your competition is,” Will said. He added that comparing your work to your peers is important but pointed out that college is a microcosm. He made clear that the real competition is “professional artists like me and some kid in China who has been making…