Battle of the Bots at Pace University

If watching robots compete to complete tasks entices you, then you should’ve been at Pace University on February 10th. The 10th annual Hudson Valley NY FIRST Tech Challenge championship robotics tournament was held on Pace University’s Westchester campus. The day was full of challenges and innovation for middle and high school students from the Hudson Valley. Only one goal stayed in each of the students’ minds throughout the tournament: getting to the world championship.

The event, run by Dr. Richard Kline and Jill Olimpieri, hosted 27 high school-level teams. The competition brought together the region’s top qualifying teams and their robots to compete in a task-based challenge. Pace University has hosted the regional championship for several years.  Pace University, Pace University Athletics, and IBM sponsored the event.

According to the Hudson Valley NY FIRST Tech Challenge site, “Students in FTC design and build a robot using aluminum, polycarbonate, motors and servos, sensors, and a variety of other materials. They program and control it using Android Smartphones with Java or a Blocks-based graphical language.”

With exclusive scholarships open to competing students totaling more than $80 million, the stakes were high. The challenge to beat this year was “Rover Ruckus,” and teams battled to take the top spots.

According to Dr. Kline, “More than 40 current Pace students and about a dozen alumni, staff, and faculty participated in the event, comprising half of the 100 or so volunteers who banded together to run the competition under the guidance of volunteer coordinator and Seidenberg School staff member Jill Olimpieri. Students contributed in all areas of the competition, from setup and logistics to referees, judges, inspectors, and robot technical advisors.”

Pace students and faculty Sukun Li and Leanne Keeley volunteered as judges for the event. Students Jeana Cosenza, Kyle Hanson, Joel Thomas, and Zach Demeglio, among others, volunteered in various supporting roles. Dean Hill even made a special appearance to cheer on the teams and robots!

Fios 1 News covered the event, giving the young students the chance to feature their efforts on the local news. The coverage inspired and motivated the students to share their experiences and do their best.

At the end of the day, three teams came out on top and will move on to the world championship. Congratulations to Team 6567 – Roboraiders from Red Hook High School, Team 7486 – Suffern Robotics from Suffern Senior High School, and Team 8397 – Beta, from CCE Clinton County 4-H. We wish the best of luck to them at the world championship!

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Meet Jill Olimpieri, our new Event and Program Manager

Let’s all get together and shout out a massive welcome to our new event and program manager, Jill Olimpieri, who is already pretty much running the shop at our Pleasantville campus!

Jill may be new to Pace but she has a long history with working at universities… none as good as us, though. That’s evident from the way she considers joining the Seidenberg family one of her best decisions yet (and we agree)!

We asked Jill to kindly give us all of the details of her life, and she kindly obliged. Read on to learn all about our awesome new program manager!

As always – why Seidenberg?

I knew the moment that I took the elevator to the third floor of Goldstein, that Seidenberg was the right place for me. From the close-knit community to the amazing faculty, staff, and students, I knew that I would be able to grow professionally and personally. I enjoy that Pace is established and values tradition but, more specifically, the culture at Seidenberg allows for creativity and growth.

How are you finding it so far?

To be honest, no two days here at Seidenberg have been the same. I’ve learned a lot (I mean A LOT) about Seidenberg and the students. I have had the chance to be involved at both the PLV and NYC campuses, which has been a positive learning experience (or more so feeling like I could be Laina & Ava Posner’s forgotten older sister). Thankfully, everyone here has been extremely welcoming, which has solidified my reasons as to why I chose Seidenberg.

So what exactly does an events and program manager do?

In my new role, I am planning the Mobile App Contest, creating new programs and opportunities for the students, and assisting in recruitment initiatives. I’ll be serving as Advisor for the Seidenberg Tech Collective in PLV, so if you’re reading this blog, make sure you join!! Helping make Seidenberg bigger and better than ever is my top job responsibility, alongside many other talented staff and faculty members.

What are you looking forward to doing?

The most exciting thing I am looking forward to is providing opportunities that will continue making Seidenberg students stand out amongst the rest. Whether that means finding innovative opportunities off campus, or creating new ones, I am looking forward to using my imagination to help the students. Also, I’ll be heading to the Design Factory in April, so that seems like a pretty awesome opportunity, too!

What did you do before Seidenberg?

Before moving back to the Big Apple, I worked at colleges in New Hampshire, including Southern New Hampshire University and my alma mater, Keene State College. I earned my Master’s degree in Higher Ed Leadership, which led me to opportunities in assessment, event planning, and advising. I also was the Director at a Child Care Program for children aged 3-13, but decided I prefer to work with Big Kids, aka Dean Hill. I was then offered this new exciting opportunity as Events & Program Manager, and it has been one of my best decisions yet! I am looking forward to the future of Seidenberg and all it has to offer.

What do you do in your free time?

I spend my weekends traveling to see some of my closest friends. I am always seeking new adventures with my four legged child, Georgia; you can find us somewhere frolicking near a body of water. I also consider myself a Professional Bridesmaid (not kidding…well maybe) and am always interested in making new memories whenever I can. I also really like donuts – anything to do with donuts is a win in my eyes!

Anything to do with donuts is a win in anybody’s eyes, so Jill is certainly not alone! Some of the programs Jill is working on can be found on our high school outreach page – be sure to get in touch if you’d like to hear more about them!

Welcome to the Seidenberg family, Jill! We are delighted to have you on board!

Meet Matt Brown, our new advisor in NYC!

A big welcome to our newest academic advisor, Matt Brown, who is waiting to meet you at our NYC campus!

Although new to Seidenberg, Matt has been with Pace University for four years. He’s no stranger to advising, though – he was previously an academic advisor for the Challenge to Achievement at Pace (CAP) Program in the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE), where he advised first-year students of all majors and supported them during their transition to the Pace community. In the past, he also instructed University 101, worked with peer leaders, and led CAP’s peer mentoring program.

We caught up with Matt to ask him about how he ended up lucking out and getting a job at the best technology school ever. Here’s what he had to say!

So, why Seidenberg?

I wanted to become an advisor for Seidenberg because of its reputation of being an active community. Not only do I enjoy advising, but I appreciate being a part of a community that collaborates, supports one another, and strives to be the best version of itself. I sensed those qualities here.

How’re you finding it so far?

I’m finding that Seidenberg lives up to its reputation.  Everyone I’ve met has been very welcoming and you can always find students in the lounge. There are a lot of events being hosted to educate and connect everyone. Seidenberg also offers awesome resources to our students.

What are you looking forward to doing here?

I’m looking forward to connecting with and learning from the Seidenberg community, especially our students, and supporting them while they try to get the most out of their time at Pace. Also, I heard there’s some cool things happening within the student organizations and on the 10th floor.

Matt is correct, there ARE cool things happening with student orgs (like the newly official Pace Women in Tech club) and at the Applied Data and Networking Sciences lab on the 10th floor!

We are so happy to have Matt working with us at Seidenberg and look forward to his work with our students as they navigate their university careers.

Once again, welcome Matt!

Pace U recognition awards for Seidenberg faculty and staff

Fran O’Gara receives her award

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, several of our hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff members received Pace University Employee Recognition Awards.

Pace President Stephen J. Friedman was on site at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus to congratulate the recipients, who were being recognized by the University for their years of service. Pace employees typically start to garner recognition for service after 5 years, but these awardees are just a tad past that point!

Susan Feather-Gannon with Stephen Friedman

Lisa Slingerland, the Online Student Services Coordinator for NACTEL, was recognized for 15 years of service.

Associate Dean Susan Feather-Gannon and Administrative Director Fran O’Gara received awards for 20 years of service.

Faculty members Jean Coppola and Ron Frank were recognized for an amazing 30 years of service!

Jean Coppola receives her award

We are proud of the amazing people that work so hard to make Seidenberg great. Thank you to our awardees for your excellent contributions to our school and our students!

The Seidenberg School welcomes James Gabberty as Associate Dean

gabbertyAs of November 1, Dr. James Gabberty has assumed the position of Associate Dean at the Seidenberg School. Dr. Gabberty has a wealth of experience that made him the ideal candidate for the position.

He will be working to drive more sponsored research and internship opportunities to Seidenberg. He will also be focusing on the creation of a cybersecurity certification program with Pace Adult and Continuing Education.

Exciting things are happening at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Education Systems, and we can’t wait to announce them as they take place!

 

New Academic Program Advisor in NYC

Stephanie Elson

The Seidenberg School welcomes Stephanie Elson as the new Academic Program Supervisor on the New York City campus.  She comes to her new position with over 10 years of experience in advising students on achieving academic and professional success.  Previously, she worked for Career Services and for the Cooperative Education Program at Pace and for Georgia State University before returning to Pace.
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