ECU student selected for international conference support team

An East Carolina University information and computer technology senior is one of 10 students picked nationwide to support a worldwide education and training event this summer.

Shauna Holley from Mount Olive, North Carolina, will travel to San Diego in June for Cisco Live – an international training event for information technology professionals.

As a member of Cisco’s “Dream Team,” Holley will support the network operations center during the conference, which is the networking equipment company’s largest customer event with more than 20,000 people expected.

Holley, who plans to pursue a career in computer networking, said she’s grateful for the opportunity.

“I am really excited about the chance to help set up and support a large network,” she said. “I hope to gain invaluable hands-on experience and be able to apply what I’ve learned at ECU in a real world setting. I am eager to meet Cisco engineers and learn from them. “

Holley completed a written application and video as part of the selection process. ECU’s John Pickard, teaching instructor in the Department of Technology Systems, wrote a letter of recommendation.

“As an instructor for many of our information and computer technology courses, I am in a unique position to observe not only her academic abilities, but also her technical abilities performing labs and her interpersonal skills working with peers on projects and case studies,” Pickard said. “In all of these areas, Shauna’s performance is consistently superior.”

Holley earned an AAS degree in information systems/network administration and support from Wayne Community College in 2005. After working for AT&T for six years, she decided she wanted to return to school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

She learned about ECU’s bachelor of science degree program in industrial technology, which provides a smooth transfer process for graduates with an AAS degree. She enrolled in spring 2013 and will graduate in December.

“I know that the bachelor degree, along with the certifications, will allow me to get on the right career path,” Holley said.

“Having our students chosen two years in a row to participate as part of the Dream Team is validation that our program is providing students the skills and knowledge to be competitive in the information and computer technology field,” Pickard said.

-by Margaret Turner