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Volume 6 Issue 2---Attention: The Geek2Geek newsletter is a quarterly publication for the Geeks by the Geeks. Please submit articles and pictures for publication to Diana Kokoska---Spring 2014

The Semi-Annual Newsletter by geeks for geeks could certainly use your help in providing fresh, new articles!

How Social are You?

Have you looked at any business Web sites lately? What you will see are links to a number of social media sites. Most sites don't spell out the link name - they just include an icon to represent the social media and expect that everyone will recognize it.

Some icons, such as Facebook or YouTube, seem to be universally recognizable - but how about the other 10 listed below. Let's see if you can match all of the icons with the social media site. The answers are at the bottom of the newsletter - no cheating!

1. social icon
A. Digg
B. YouTube
C. Blogger
D. LinkedIn
E. Facebook
F. WordPress
G. RSS Feeds
H. Pinterest
I. Delicious
J. Twitter
K. Flickr
L. Google Plus
2. social icon
3. social icon
4. social icon
5. social icon
6. social icon
7 social icon
8. social icon
9. social icon
10. social icon
11. social icon
12. social icon

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Parker and White Capture Graduation Honors at May Awards Events

todd-parkerkevin-white Two May 2014 graduates, Todd Parker (pictured at the left) and Kevin White (pictured at the right), were co-recipients of the Distinguished Computer Information Systems annual award. Each spring, students who are graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems are nominated for this recognition by faculty in the CIS program and recognized at the annual Honors Ceremony at the student's respective campus or center. Although academics is an important criteria in the selection, the student's university and community service is also considered.

Todd Parker

Todd Parker started attending UMA in spring of 2010 while he was working full-time (50+ hours a week) to support himself and his son. Initially, he was only able to take a few classes. In 2011 the company he was working for went out of business and he saw this as an opportunity, took on roommates and used his GI Bill to attend UMA full time. That summer after completing Elementary Statistics his Math instructor, Fred Brown, convinced him that he should become a math tutor for the UMA Math Lab, which he ended up doing right up until he graduated with his Bachelors in May 2014. He tutored both in and out of the lab for courses in English, Math, and CIS, and it was both rewarding and a great learning experience. In addition, he was also hired to work as an Academic Peer Administrator and assisted Learning Support Services and Cornerstone in improving Math lab’s services and its training program.

In 2013, he joined the UMA bowling team that ended up becoming the YSCC champions of that season. He also volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity trip to Harrisburg, PA, and assisted in renovating structures of an area in need. He also helped with the UMA Community garden by assisting with tilling the soil, digging a trench and burying an irrigation line from the Farmhouse to the garden, and setting up the irrigation system.

Todd was selected as a Rising Scholar, made the Dean’s list multiple times, and graduated summa cum laude. He is a positive example of how hard work and effectively juggling classes, family and career, pays off.

Todd was recently hired as a Security Analyst for InforME, which, among other things, contracts with the State of Maine to create applications and host services for the portal. Todd comments, "At a little over a month into the job, what I have learned from my degree about Networking, Information Systems Security, Project Management, Computers and Culture, Web and Java Programming, Unix/Linux, and studying/research have all given me an invaluable foundation".

Todd, we wish you a very enjoyable career in IT!

Kevin White

Kevin officially graduated in December 2013. He was on the Dean's list every semester of his college experience. While he was in the CIS program, he participated in two internships: one with Maine Machine Products Company and one at Winderosa. Both companies were impressed with his information technology skills and his work ethic. He worked for a short time at RSU 10, when a career opportunity opened at New Page paper mill, he made that move. Kevin is also the developer of KW Products, an online store that sells retail items online.

In 2002, he was selected as an ambassador for the Millennium Dreamers for his charity work. He received his Eagle Scout in 2006. He continues to be involved in the community as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, helping them with merit badges and other scouting events. He plays music for shut-in and nursing home residents. He also assists with Youth Group activities and provides transportation for 12 children to attend Sunday school.

Kevin took many of his classes online, and his instructors have commented that he stood out because he was always so polite and thanked them for taking time to assist him.

We expect that Kevin will stand out in his professional career as he has in his academic career.

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Alumni Recognition


This summer, we have a student intern giving the CIS Web site a much-needed facelift. One of the things that we would like to have on the front page of the site is a dynamic alumni highlight that would be different each time a viewer views the site.


If you are a graduate of the UMA Computer Information Systems program, we would love to have a paragraph about your current employment status to post on our Web site. You may email your highlight to Diana Kokoska at < >.

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"Passion is the difference between having a job or having a career."
-- Anonymous

If you are thinking of participating in an internship in the fall 2014 semester, now is the time to begin to think about the type of experience you want to gain. If you have a clear goal in mind, it will be easier to find an internship that you can get excited about.

There are many resources available to assist the student in securing an internship position:


  1. In the Explore Internship section of the Project Login Web site, there is a list of the currently available internships with major businesses around the entire State of Maine. The focus of the internships are in many areas of IT: Operations Analyst, Network and Desktop Support, Help Desk Engineer, IS Intern, Business Analyst, Junior Programmer, Business Intelligence, HR, Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Network Administrator, Technical Support, Software Engineers, Information Systems, Programmers, Web Development, Software Developer and Tester, Information Technology Specialist, Application Architecture Analyst.

    In the past year, participating Maine businesses have offered over 93 internship positions. In the summer of 2014, three UMA students have been selected to intern at one of these participating businesses.

  2. The Margaret Chase Smith Summer Internship Program. From "The Maine Government Summer Internship Program is a full-time, 12 week, paid work experience. The Program combines summer work experience with an educational program designed to provide students an opportunity to participate in and contribute to Maine government. Most positions are in state government agencies in Augusta. Applications are accepted online in March each year."

    Given our physical closeness to the State offices, UMA CIS students are in a good position to apply for these competitive internship opportunities. Over the past five years, this has been an excellent resource for summer internship experiences.

  3. In the last few years, we have partnered with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) for the State of Maine and with direct interaction with the Director of Workforce Development, have placed several students each semester in various IT-related internship positions. According to the Director, over 70% of student interns remain with the State after the internship experience is completed.

  4. For approximately eight years, the CIS program has enjoyed an academic/professional partnership with Eastern Maine Development Corp (EMDC). Under the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Supportive Services, a program sponsored by EMDC to assist woman-owned and minority businesses become more competitive bidding on MDOT contracts, students have been given an opportunity to apply IT skills. Although not limited to Web design and development, generally, the student will work with an EMDC client to establish a Web presence. Not only does this give students an opportunity to apply Web design and development skills, but it also provides an opportunity to interact directly with a client.

    There are currently two positions for Web design and development internships available for fall 2014. One of the internship positions requires a working knowledge of PHP. The other position requires proficiency in HTML and CSS3. Students who have taken CIS131 Web Design and Development, CIS231 JavaScript, and CIS251 Web Authoring Tools, and CIS333 PHP (or can demonstrate equivalent skills) will be selected for these open positions. There will be a $1500 stipend for each of these internships.

    Please contact if you are interested in applying for these positions.

  5. Many UMA departments sponsor an intern to work on dedicated projects that require technology skills. If you are a University department that has a technology project in mind and would like to have a upper-level CIS student intern with you, please contact Diana Kokoska at

The number of students participating in internship experience is on an uphill trend (spring 2014 had 11 students and summer 2014 has 16 students currently enrolled). Although the CIS program does not guarantee placement of its students in an internship position, the CIS faculty extends its professional relationships with local businesses and assists in the placement of our students.

According to the University of Maine System Student Success Subcommittee (UMS-SSS) 2013 survey (distributed to all current and former students enrolled in a CS/IT/CE program between fall 2011 and fall 2013), "Almost 60% of all respondents identify ‘a job or internship in the field’ as the primary reason they are successful in their academic program."

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Computer Information Systems

Program Advisory Board

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The CIS Program has an advisory board whose mission is "to provide advice, guidance, and support for the continuing design and development of high-quality degree options at the University of Maine at Augusta."

The current membership includes selected individuals who are currently employed in the information technology field and are in a position to actively participate to achieve the goal of transforming students into potential employees and contributors to the IT field.

Specific goals of the Board:

  • To actively engage in curriculum design and development to prepare graduates with the skillsets required for successful careers in industry
  • To provide advice and support for the IT discipline and provide guidance in the allocation of resources available for program delivery
  • To publicize career placement opportunities for students and help develop student job search and interviewing skills
  • To promote business/academic partnerships that provide internship opportunities for CIS majors
  • To enhance the students’ academic experience through professional presentations and networking events with technology leaders
  • To contribute to the professional development of CIS faculty by keeping them up to date with current practices in the field
  • To create opportunities for faculty research partnerships with business organizations and information technology professionals.

Current membership:

Jay Collier - Program Director, Project Login

Jay Collier is Program Director for Project Login, a campaign to expand the network of computing and IT professionals in Maine. He has been leading and promoting learning initiatives for K-12, higher education, and public media organizations for over 25 years, including the Maine Department of Education, Dartmouth, MIT, and Bates College. He has spoken on education and technology at professional conferences in the U.S. and Canada, and was a member of Leadership Maine's Tau Class. For WGBH, PBS, and MIT's Media and AI Labs, he translated academic research into video reports for partnerships with Microsoft, Motorola, the Japan Society, and NTU/Singapore.

Kelly Rickert - Director of Workforce Development - Office of Information Technology

Kelly Samson-Rickert, is the Director of Workforce Development for the State of Maine, Office of Information Technology. Kelly, is a graduate of University of New England, James Madison University, and Shenandoah University. She holds an advanced degree in organizational leadership. Prior to her career with the State, she held leadership positions with McDonald's Corporation, K-12 and Higher Education in human resources and workforce development. She is an adjunct professor for the education leadership doctoral program at the University of New England. Kelly has been instrumental in creating the Office of Information Technology Intern/Mentorship Program. She partners with universities, colleges, and businesses to enhance community relations and highlight the exciting opportunities the State of Maine's Office of Information has to offer. She is eager to learn best practices and research leading trends to better the workplace. Our goal is to provide students with opportunities to learn about the careers in computer science and information technology. "If we can inspire one student to attend college, one student to advance their skills to achieve a career path in technology, one student to achieve their goal, we have fostered the environment for our future citizens to lead for tomorrow."

Natasha Moiseenko - UMA Alumni and Independent Business Owner

Natasha Moiseenko – graduated in May of 2013 with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Web Design & Development. Natasha has started her own business in Web Design and administrative services and continues to work with UMA both as a teacher's assistant and on development of class materials. She also works on special University projects. She is currently enrolled in the Master's program in Instructional and Technology (ID&T) at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

Melody Weeks - Director of Business Services Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC)

Melody Weeks is the Director of Business Services at EMDC in Bangor. Her primary role is management of a Department of Defense contract that involves working with Maine businesses that do local, state or federal government contracting. In this role, she is a Board member of the Department of Defense's Northeast Regional Council which is comprised of national defense contractors, government agency representatives and a variety of other non-profit representatives. She also has oversight of another program that provide business counseling services for woman-owned small businesses. Melody has a background in association management and marketing and serves on several non-profit boards. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with degrees in Political Science and Interpersonal Communications.

Barbara Bachman - Systems Analyst, Office of Information Technology

Barbara Bachman, an alumni of the UMA's Computer Information Systems bachelor's program and UMaine's Management Information Systems master's program, is currently employed as a Systems Analyst at the Office of Information Technology in Augusta. Having experienced the role of student and adjunct instructor in the CIS program, Barbara has a unique perspective that will further the mission of the Program Advisory Board.

Brian D. Huntley, P.E., PMP, CISA, CISSP, CBCP (TD Bank)

Brian Huntley has 27 years management and senior staff experience in information security and systems planning, engineering, control, and operations within the public utility and financial services sectors, as well as over 25 years' experience in public safety. Around his special interest in advancing and promoting application of information security risk analytics within operations management and business investment planning, he serves as Program Manager of the Maine GMD/EMP Risk Analysis Program sponsored by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and performs critical infrastructure security performance testing, risk analysis, and resiliency planning of the electric grid in Maine within his role as Lead Planning Engineer at Central Maine Power. Formerly, he served as Camden National Corporation's Information Security Officer, and led an identity access management program at TD Bank. Mr. Huntley holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from WPI, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Maine. His professional credentials include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), and Project Management Professional (PMP).

The Board will have its semi-annual meeting on Tuesday, July 29, in Augusta. We look forward to suggestions and recommendations from our membership.

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Preparing & Practicing for the Real Thing

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As part of the CIS280, CIS380 and CIS480 Internship Experience, students are required to participate in two pre-employment seminars:

  • a Résumé and Cover Letter Workshop
  • a Mock Job Interview

Résumé and Cover Letter Workshops:

It's getting close to the time where you will need to apply for an internship experience or a career position. Sure — you have a cover letter and résumé, but it is embarrassingly out of date. You suddenly realize that you are going to need a "kick a@#" résumé if you are going to compete with other graduates for popular interview or employment postings.

The Résumé and Cover Letter Workshop, which is presented by Haley Brown, UMA's Coordinator of Career Connections, stresses how important cover letters and Résumés are in the job-search process. Haley works one-on-one with each student to develop job-search materials that target his/her career goals. With her extensive background in career counseling, Haley helps students explore different Résumé formats and select the one that best highlights the student's personal and professional skillsets.

Presentation (slides) for the Résumé Writing workshop and a Résumé Questionnaire are available at Haley Brown's office at 138 Randall Student Center in Augusta. She can also be reached at 207-621-3130 or She is also available for drop-in assistance during most business hours.

Mock Job Interviews:

Let's face it! Interviews can be intimidating -- especially when they ask the dreaded question "Tell me about yourself." That's when the unprepared interviewee totally falls apart. UMA's CIS students use a mock job interview to practice for the real thing. Students submit a cover letter and résumé for a simulated position in programming, networking, security, database, or Web design and development.

They are invited to a job interview, which is conducted by an IT professional who is employed in that specific technology area.

While researching questions for interviewing Web developers, I came across a list of 20 questions on the "The Moz Blog," that targets both hard and soft skills and includes several hands-on skills demonstrations. Below are a few examples of questions that (everyone could use - both for interviewers and interviewees) from:

  • How comfortable are you with writing HTML entirely by hand? (+exercise)
  • Do you prefer to work alone or on a team?
  • What are a few of your favorite development tools and why?
  • What's your favorite development language and why? What other features (if any) do you wish you could add to this language?
  • Do you find any particular languages or technologies intimidating?

Before the interview, potential interviewees are sent an Interview Critique checklist that lists the criteria on which the student will be evaluated. The criteria include first impression, eye contact, sitting position, general appearance, mannerisms, résumé, responses to interview questions, enthusiasm, overall impression, and interview conclusion. The interviewer rates the students in each of these categories and provides suggestions and recommendations to improve in areas that are weak.

The CIS program would like to thank its professional CIS alumni who have volunteered to interview students in their area of expertise. The most recent alumni include Robert Easterbrooks, Frear Hook, and Natasha Moiseenko.

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Fall 2014 Checksheets

Now is the time to review the updated CIS curriculum in the new checksheets effective fall 2014.

fall 2014 checksheet

The newly identified core includes:

  • Business

    BUA101 Financial Accounting
    BUA223 Principles of Management
    BUA365 Organizational Behavior (Select 2 of 3) BUA/CIS303 Management Information Systems

  • Information Technology

    CIS101 Introduction to Computer Science
    CIS220 Hardware and Software
    CIS330 Systems Analysis
    CIS380 Internship Experience
    CIS460 Computers and Culture
    CIS470 Project Management

  • Web Development

    CIS131 Web Applications and Development

  • Programming

    CIS212 Introduction to Programming: Visual Basic

  • Database

    CIS135 Introduction to Information Systems
    CIS350 Database Design and Management

  • Networking

    CIS240 Networking Concepts

  • Security

    ISS210 Introduction to Information Systems Security

These well-diversified core classes provide all CIS students in the associate, bachelor, and post baccalaureate degree with a well-rounded IT background and give students an opportunity to select a specific area of IT in which to specialize. Each area (programming, networking, database, Web design and development, and security) has seven dedicated courses, which provide in-depth career skills.

If you are a current CIS student and the idea of a concentration is an attractive option, you should review the checksheet and see if it is advantageous to switch to the new checksheet. There is one caveat, however; if you switch to the new checksheet, you may NOT revert back to your current checksheet! Before making the transition to the new checksheet, please contact your academic advisor or the Advising Center to discuss your options.

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Textbooks for Fall 2014 CIS Classes

picture of computer science book
picture of Visual Basic book
picture of Java book
picture of PHP book

If you have already selected your Fall 2014 classes and would like to purchase the books for your CIS classes, you can find all the information you need in one place. Visit the CIS website and click on Courses/Textbooks link at the top of the page. There you can find your textbook by course number.

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--Your online source for up-to-date information about your geek community--

Professor Diana Kokoska
Program Coordinator
Telephone: 207-262-7864
Professor Larry Whitsel
Computer Science
Telephone: 207-262-7783
Professor Henry Felch
Computer Science
Telephone: 207-621-3371