The new year has proven a busy time for the FITC Ambassadors, who set out every week to engage high school students in the Florida panhandle about Information Technology, Computer Science and Computer Engineering. The FITC Ambassadors are a team of 26 college students studying at Florida State University. FAMU is a partner in the FITC initiative and their 20 student ambassadors perform similar activities. Weekly activities include:
- visits to local high schools
- hosting tours of FSU
- attending college career fairs in the Panhandle
- supporting local STEM clubs
- helping to build robots for competitions or
- participating in the school’s Technology Student Association (TSA) club
If you spend any time on campus, you’ve probably seen a sea of teal shirts leading eager high school students through their future classrooms and buildings. During the tours, Ambassadors present on the different academic paths and their career opportunities offered at FSU.
Recently, Arnold High School, Vernon High School, Leon High School, Godby High School and Mandarin Middle School visited FSU. Ambassadors spoke about interactive resumes, taught students how to code a calculator in Java, held scavenger hunts, introduced UNIX, interacted with websites controlled by cell phones and presented on game design and programming.
FITC Career Fair
On February 2nd, the Turnbull Center at Florida State filled with nearly 400 high school students from 13 high schools across northern Florida. Ambassadors from FSU gave presentations to students on topics such as resume building, career options in Information Technology, Computer Science and Engineering, building computers, and applying to college. College partners of the Alliance including students from Tallahassee Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Northwest Florida State College, also came to network with employers.
Women in Leadership Conference
The 2015 Women in Leadership Conference brought some of the community’s most influential women into one building. A panel talked to an audience of women about being a woman in male dominated fields, forging relationships and the professional atmosphere. The panel (comprised of FSU alumni) featured Gina Rosenthall Minks from Dell, Sophia Danvers Aarons from CISCO, Dr. Margaret Massey from Spring Hill College, Celia Weeks from St. John & Partners, Gabrielle Gabrielli from Gabrielli Consulting, Lynn Hatter from WFSU and Dr. Laura Osteen from FSU.
The panel was followed with one-on-one conversation between students and mentors. Ambassadors were responsible for registration of guests, accommodating panelists, and directing guests during the conference.
Stacking Layers Conference
On February 19-20 the FSU Office of Research hosted Stacking Layers II: A 3D Printing Symposium at the Augustus Turnbull Center at FSU. This event brought together local students, teachers, innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase 3D printing prototypes. Ambassadors hosted a table and talked about FITC and FSU with visitors.
Supporting Local STEM Programs
Lawton Chiles High School
A group of Ambassadors join in during TSA club meetings. During these after school meetings, they mentor students and assist in projects for the upcoming TSA competition. Lucas Von Hollen, Andrew Florial, Krishna Sainath and former Ambassador Marc McCarthy, all game designers, shared expertise with the TSA Club members. From January to late February, Ambassadors spent 2+ hours with the club on Friday afternoon to help guide the young game designers leading up to a competition. After the competition, Ambassadors will return to continue mentoring the club.
Godby High School
On Monday and Wednesdays, you can find Rachel Roberson at Godby High School. The Chemical Engineering student participates in the Intro to Engineering class, where she aids students in building a robot for competition this month. Recently, Rachel has begun work on a mini urban challenge that will go to competition in April.
SAIL High School
At SAIL High School, there is a student group known as the Octo-Pi-Rates. The robotics team meets with Ambassadors every Tuesday and Thursday and work on bringing their robot, which can lift and carry recycling bins, to life. On the weekends, ambassador Joey Cardenas has worked with members with video editing for promotional materials. Future projects include web design, marketing and social media for new projects.
Lucas Von Hollen visited the Maclay School on February 20th for a tech club meeting. Lucas, a game designer, talked with the school and helped them create a plan for a MakerSpace and what how to accomplish their plans. Maclay will unveil their MakerSpace this Spring.
Florida State University School
The Engineering Club at FSUS aims to learn what it means to truly be an engineer, which is aided by trips to the College of Engineering, where students can experiment with circuits, talk to professors and students, including Ambassador Rachel Roberson. A few Fridays during the month, Ambassadors lead the club through three hours of engineering fun that is invaluable experience for students.
You can find the FITC Ambassadors at these upcoming events:
- Career Symposium at North Florida Community College • March 27th
- FAMU STEM Day • March 28th
- Girl Scouts visit FSU • March 28th
- Digitech • April 1st
- TalTech Alliance TechExpo ’15 • April 2nd
- FITC visits Panama City/Niceville Schools • April 5-7th
- Bay High School visits FSU • April 8th
- Recruiting Event at Pensacola State College • April 10th
- TCC Preview Day • April 16th
- High School IT Workshop at Florida State College at Jacksonville • April 17th
- Gilchrist Elementary visits FSU • April 25th
The FSU Team
The FITC Student Ambassador team at FSU is made up of 26 members, representing several different majors.
- Rachel Bryson • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- April Byrne • Computer Science, c/o 2015
- Joey Cardenas • Information Technology, c/o 2017
- Dominic Fezzie • Computer Science, c/o 2018
- Andrew Florial • Computer Science, c/o 2017
- Gabriella Fraenk • Information, Communication & Technology, c/o 2015
- Lauren Gerhardstein • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- Mauricio Gomez • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- Michael Gunter • Computer Science, c/o 2018
- Brittany Hope • Information, Communication & Technology, c/o 2018
- Michael Gunter • Computer Science, c/o 2018
- Douglas Hennenfent • Computer Science, c/o 2016
- Michael Kimball • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- Lauren Lewis • Management Information Systems, c/o 2015
- Courtney Lisenbee • Media/Communication Studies, c/o 2016
- Hyun “Ronnie” Myers • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- Courtney Patz • Computer Engineering, c/o 2018
- Brooke Quinn • Advertising, c/o 2016
- Milton Ramer • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- Rachel Roberson • Chemical Engineering, c/o 2018
- Krishna Sainath Meda • Computer Science, c/o 2014
- Krystal Salerno • Information Technology, c/o 2015
- Adam See • Electrical Engineering, c/o 2017
- Sai Prasad Setty • Computer Science, c/o 2016
- Martin Sung • Information Technology, c/o 2016
- Lucas Von Hollen • Theatre, c/o 2016
- Cristian Zamarripa • Information, Communication & Technology, c/o 2015
The Ambassadors are a part of the Florida IT Career Alliance, made possible through the TEAm Grant awarded to Florida State University and Florida A&M University earlier this year. Through the grant, FITC has built relationships with over 30 high schools, 6 community colleges, 52 employers, and thousands of high school students. For more information on the Florida IT Career Alliance and to apply to become a Student Ambassador, visit fitc.cci.fsu.edu.