October 22, 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…

Making Mobile Apps for Medical Students

Jul 27, 2018

Garrett Reuscher gets a kick out of surprising dental hygienists when he refers to his teeth by their number. Garrett has picked up a lot of medical terminology since he started working as an educational applications developer at a Western University of Health Sciences university, where he develops games and simulations to train medical students. Garrett primarily works with Unity, a tool he learned while earning two bachelor’s degrees in game programming and advancing computer science at the University of Advancing Technology. He works with a team to make apps and games for a variety of platforms, including WebGL, mobile…

Demand for Robotics Engineers Is Growing, and It Pays Well

Jul 25, 2018

In the depths of the Antarctic Ocean, robotic scientists deployed autonomous robots where no human has gone before with the goals of uncovering the speed of ice loss, obtaining samples of “salinity and temperature, oxygen and some optical properties of the water, [and predicting] future sea level rise,” according to CNN. The field of robotics stretches far beyond the lair of the Emperor Penguin. Roboticists utilize emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to create smart robots that provide companionship to the elderly, help with search and rescue, crawl into small spaces, fix airplane engines, cook your food, entertain…

Wearing Many Game Development Hats

Jul 20, 2018

When Austin Shamp started playing and making video games, he never imagined his passion for game development would lead him to the world of professional bull riding. As the Head of Operations for 8 to Glory, the official game of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Austin oversees marketing, monetization, post-launch maintenance and all communications with PBR. “Essentially, I am a producer. Three Gates is a relatively small studio, so I wear many hats,” Austin said. Austin earned his bachelor’s degree in game design and master’s degree in game production in management at the University of Advancing Technology, where he worked…

How does Blockchain Impact Privacy?

Jul 18, 2018

Blockchain believers hail the distributed ledger technology as a transformative means to enhance trust and transparency. But how does it impact privacy? Cyber Security Expert and UAT Adjunct Professor Damian Chung empowers his students to develop blockchain solutions for real-world problems. Despite his enthusiasm for blockchain technology, he still preaches caution: “Companies looking to implement blockchain solutions will have to consider how much anonymity and privacy is required so that the proper architecture is designed. The more restrictive the environment, the lower the user adoption rate. Naturally, a permissioned blockchain would have less nodes but contain better privacy. Even in…

Tips for Networking Your Way to a Job

Jul 16, 2018

Eighty precent of jobs are not posted online. So how do you find those open jobs and the hiring managers? An over-looked way to network with industry professionals or like-minded individuals is to join a group. Hiring managers specifically look for people who proactively contribute to their community, present at events and mentor others. But the benefits of joining a group go beyond just networking. Groups give you the social life that many people may leave behind due to their commitments to work/family/school.   Story time! The first thing I did when I moved to Arizona was join a group that would provide…

Online Schools Help Adults Make Midlife Career Changes

Jul 13, 2018

Changing your career midlife can feel daunting. Living in the age of automation forces people to reskill and retrain, resulting in significant career changes. In fact, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report, approximately 14 percent of the global workforce may need to alter their occupation as automation and digitization transforms careers. To support these transitions, online schools provide a pathway for adults to change and develop new careers. Midlife Career Change Benefits Experts agree that most people who change their careers midlife have success. According to another report published by the American Institute for Economic Research, 82 percent of people…

Social media: More than Doggos

Jul 11, 2018

The world has never been as connected as it is right now. You can log on to any social media platform and connect with friends, celebrities, athletes, industry professionals, and even brands (sup, @Wendys?). In 2010, social media played a major role in mobilizing people and igniting mass social movements such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. Recently, Facebook came under heavy scrutiny for its role in the spreading of disinformation in the 2016 US Presidential election. Whether it’s seen as a savior or the bane of people’s existence, social media is so engrained in who we are…