February 27, 2020 / Vincennes University Information Technology Symposium and Showcase exposes high school students to life-changing “disruptive technology”

Information Technology Symposium and Showcase photos

VINCENNES, Ind. – Hundreds of high school and college students interested in cyber security, and other areas of information technology attended an Information Technology Symposium and Showcase at Vincennes University on Feb. 26.

The theme for the second annual event was Disruptive Technology.

Jaci Lederman, Vincennes University IT Department Chair, opened the event by defining disruptive technology as a term that describes apps, gadgets, innovations, and processes that change how we do things. She further explained, “Disruptive technology is changing our lives on a daily basis in exciting and amazing ways, and that in the IT profession it is our goal for the world to think that the term, disruptive technology, is good.”

The symposium was hosted by the VU Information Technology Department in the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center and focused on the growing need for IT professionals. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $84,580 in May 2017, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690. Employment for computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2026. These occupations are projected to add about 557,100 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.

More than 225 high school students from North Spencer, Perry Central, East Gibson, South Knox, North Gibson, and Vanderburgh County schools attended the event.

The symposium included presentations by IT experts, VU staff members, and featured both an industry panel as well as a student and alumni panel.

Hands-on activities were available in the form of technology booths were students could see and experience networking hardware, IoT devices, virtual reality, and cyber hacking techniques.

Joseph Muniz, an architect and security researcher in the Cisco Security Sales and Engineering Organization, served as keynote speaker and discussed “Disruptive Technology in Security”.

Additional presentations included; “How can I be Disruptive (in a good way) in the IT Profession by serving others, and working on continual improvement of customer service, and team work skills” by Danny Scott, CIO for Good Samaritan Hospital, and “How can I be Disruptive (in a good way) with social skills” by Hope Clausman, VU Department Chair Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work.

“The IT Symposium and Showcase was a big success, giving more than 200 students access to industry experts and trending technology right here on the Vincennes Campus,” Lederman said. “The profession requires continual learning and open-minded thinking that can be sparked from attending events like this. The feedback from students was very positive and I am pleased to see how the event energized their creativeness.”


Muniz is an architect and security researcher in the Cisco Security Sales and Engineering Organization. He is driven by making the world a safer place through education and adversary research. He has extensive experience in designing security solutions and architectures as a trusted advisor for the top Fortune 500 corporations and US Government.
Muniz is a researcher and industry thought leader. He speaks regularly at international conferences, writes for technical magazines and is involved with developing training for various industry certifications. He invented the fictitious character of Emily Williams to create awareness around Social Engineering. He runs thesecurityblogger.com website, a popular resource for security and product implementation. He is the author and contributor of several publications including titles ranging from security best practices to exploitation tactics. His latest title, Digital Forensics for Network Engineers was released 2018 with two new titles on SOC and VPN coming in 2020.


Industry panel featured IT Professionals from various industries:

Heath Murray, IT/Cyber Security Manager for Artisan Electronics (contractor for Crane Naval Base) – Industry – Department of Defense (DOD).

Corey Ainscough, Director of Information Security for Keller Schroeder- Industry – Consulting in many industries.

Brent Edwards, Principal Systems Engineer/Solutions Architect for Round Tower Technologies - Industry – Consulting in many industries

Danny Scott, CIO for Good Samaritan Hospital – Industry Healthcare

Joey Muniz, Security Architect and Researcher for CISCO Americas – Industry – Cyber Security

Newton Lee, Chief Operating Office for Creative Wisdom Games, and President of Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships (IFERS) – Industry – Video Gaming, and Non-Profit IFERS).

Vincennes University Student and Alumni panel featured current VU Students and Alumni:

Caitlyn Stoltz, AS in Office Technology, currently completing her BS in Information Technology concentration. Stoltz works in the DOD Industry as a network engineer for ManTech.

Jake Rumsey, AS in Software Development, BS in Information Technology concentration. Rumsey works in the manufacturing industry as a software developer for OFS Brands.

Nick Benedict, AS in Software Development, BS in Information Technology concentration, MS in Information System. Benedict works in the communications and tech services industry as an IT service manager for Agility Communications.

Robert Brummett, AS in Information Technology-Game Development concentration, BS in Information Technology concentration. Brummett works in the higher education industry as a software developer for Vincennes University.

Christian Swinford, AS in Information Technology-Game Development concentration, completing BS in Information Technology concentration. Swinford is lead game developer for Creative Wisdom Games.

Kevin Manion, AS in IT and Cyber Support. Manion works in the Healthcare Industry as a systems analyst.


VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College

VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers, and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.

In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.

VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21 other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.


Vincennes University Newsroom

MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
   812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, mmartinez@vinu.edu
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom