October 21, 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…

Building a Bridge at Geek Camp

Feb 26, 2018

For a young adult with autism, the college experience can seem like a scary encounter instead of an opportunity to learn amazing things. To help provide a less intimidating bridge from high school to college, Southwest Autism Resource & Research Center (SARRC), New Way Academy and UAT partner together each summer to hold a weeklong summer camp for individuals age 16 to 26 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This college summer tech camp helps these students navigate through the social aspect of attending classes, living in the dorms, eating at the campus cafe, participating in activities and more. It’s possible…

Carve Your Niche

Feb 26, 2018

With a chunk of clay in hand, a game artist’s imagination can run wild. The Sculpting class offered for UAT Game Studios artists gives students practice in character creation by allowing the artist to determine the look, shape and feel of the asset with their hands. Students use skills they have learned throughout the Game Art and Animation curriculum such as texturing, perspectives, dimensioning and more to create a realistic character with physically accurate biology. This project is helpful in illustrating how a character would interact within a video game world giving the artist a insight on ways to make…

Summer Sizzles with Cyber Security

Feb 26, 2018

Opportunities in Cyber Security heat up during the summer with well-known industry events like Black Hat and DEF CON! Each summer, UAT Cyber Security students can apply to work as paid volunteers at the iconic Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas. No, they aren’t there to party! At Black Hat, they gain industry experience in setting up networks, WiFi connections, routers, switches, and much more. This internship alone can open so many doors for students looking to network and break into the industry upon graduation. The day after Black Hat ends, DEF CON begins and many students stick around to…

48-Hour Film Challenge

Feb 26, 2018

Students, you have 48 hours. The mission is to include one specific prop and one required line of dialog in your film. Now, go make a movie! UAT Digital Video students are up for the challenge! They’ve had lots of practice competing in the Inter-College 48-Hour Film Challenge as UAT hosts the event each spring trading off with Grand Canyon University (GCU) to host in the fall. As you can imagine, the rivalry is strong with these two schools as students brainstorm the most creative, outstanding film concepts to bring to the table at each competition. The friendly competition inspires…

Nerf Warz

Feb 26, 2018

The life of a UAT student revolves around classes, projects, internships, jobs and friends, all of which are important aspects of a well-rounded college experience. Since students stay so busy, it makes fun events and clubs like Nerf Warz all the more enjoyable. UAT students and alumni jump at the chance to run around campus with plastic Nerf guns shooting soft darts at each other in a childlike war game fashion. Nerf Warz is like playing a video game in real life without needing extra lives to play on. Nerf Warz is also a great way to get to know…

Antimatter Security LLC

Cyber Security Alumni to Hold 2-Day Training at Black Hat Under New Startup Antimatter Security, LLC

Feb 22, 2018

Cyber Security alumni have created a startup company for penetration testing called AntiMatter Security, LLC. The team consists of William Peterson (Network Security, Technology Forensics), Stephen Chicosky (Network Security, Network Engineering), Kenny Welch (Network Security), Roger Brambila (Network Security, Advancing Computer Science) and Roger Allen (Network Security, Advancing Computer Science) all who earned their degrees from UAT. These students have been to Black Hat Briefings as paid volunteers in the past. This year, they will return to the conference as trainers teaching two 2-day classes they developed called “Attacks Over GSM With Project Mayhem.” Participants will immerse themselves in the world…

Putting a Drone to the Test

Feb 20, 2018

On this calm, sunny day at UAT, Digital Video students are using this time to practice take-off and landing… of what you might ask. Well, today, they are piloting a drone! Film students utilize a range of technology including drones affixed with cameras and microphones in order capture the desired footage to tell their story. A drone can assist in filming aerial shots on set which can be impossible to create without an aerodynamic device capable of flight. At UAT, it’s common to see student film crews with fancy camera equipment like drones working in groups on campus to create…