Karl Wick - SUNY Ulster

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Press Release

SUNY Ulster computer lab partners Jon Livolsi and Tom Damrath have placed tops in the state in Cisco Networking Academy’s US-Canada NetRiders Skills Challenge, a global competition testing college student’s collaborative and technical skills in computer networking and IT. Livolsi of Shokan and Damrath of Saugerties placed second in the quarter finals against 45 teams on Oct. 13 to advance to the half final round of the competition at Cisco’s offices in New York City, where they placed fourth among 10 teams on Oct. 28.

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Both are second year students enrolled in the network administrator program at SUNY Ulster, which is one of six Cisco Regional Academy sites in the state teaching the latest advanced level computer networking skills leading to international certification in this field. “The Cisco Academy program and NetRiders Skills Challenge prepares students with real-world skills,” said Karl Wick, Assistant Professor of Networking at SUNY Ulster and the college’s Cisco Academy Coordinator. “This is a fantastic accomplishment for these students and an exciting and important step in their career paths. They are excellent ambassadors for SUNY Ulster.” The SUNY Ulster students competed against other Networking Academy students who are enrolled in Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA®) courses in the United States and Canada in the interactive competition that tested both their theory and practical skills in completing networking tasks like programming routers.

We learned (unofficially) later that the top three teams were composed of professionals already working in the field and that only one point seperated each of the top four teams. This speaks even more highly of our team of students.

Jon Livolsi also placed 6th worldwide in last years "2008 Skills Pursuit" competion.
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Didn't find the image! In addition, Livolsi and Damrath had the opportunity to meet with Cisco executives for employment networking and learned techniques that will help them in their future job searches after graduation. During their tour, they met the main person who set up the computer network for the new Yankee Stadium and saw a demonstration of the next-generation network that integrates video, voice, data and wireless services into one seamless system.

“The most valuable part of the event for me was meeting with the panel of Cisco partners who shared their experiences on getting started in the field, what to expect on the job and how to be successful,” said Jon Livolsi, who added he will likely contact some of the people he met through the competition when he begins his job search. Tom Damrath said the experience helped him rediscover his passion for the field and his SUNY Ulster education prepared him for the challenge of “unraveling the best troubleshooting lab” he ever worked on. The panel discussion with Cisco executives and tour of the facilities, which he described as “a walk through a candy store of the most cutting-edge tech available in our field,” were all added bonuses, Damrath said. Cisco Networking Academy is a partnership between Cisco, education, business, government and community organizations around the world, aimed at nurturing IT professionals. The education program employs an e-learning model, using a combination of Web-based and instructor-led training along with a hands-on lab environment to teach students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. Worldwide, more than 2 million students have graduated from a total of approximately 10,000 academies in more than 165 countries.

Page Created: Mon November 16, 2009       This and all related pages © 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009 Karl R. Wick All Rights Reserved.