2018 New Directions in Technology: Cultivating Collaboration Between Academia & Industry Conference

Every spring the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence brings together industry professionals, Minnesota State faculty members, and academic leaders for a FREE two and a half day conference that includes hotel, meals and conference sessions to explore emerging employer needs, identify specific implications for student learning outcomes, and develop replicable roadmaps for department and institutional implementation.   This years hot and in demand IT topics include Cybersecurity, Data Science/Analytics, Dynamic IT – DevOps/Agile, Networks and Infrastructure, Career Readiness Competencies, and Training and Development.

You are invited to attend the 2018 New Directions in Technology: Building Bridges (NDiIT) conference, taking place May 16 – 18, at North Hennepin Community College.

Join fellow faculty members and industry leaders as we explore and shape the dynamic future of information technology curriculum at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Faculty Funding Requests

MN State IT COE will again have funds available for faculty to proposal summer work. Ideas: Curriculum enhancements, Data Bootcamp (student learning), additional student learning events or trainings, industry connection training…be creative! 

Faculty and industry leaders in technology are invited to attend sessions on various topics, with special focus on the following subjects

Shared Infrastructure

Explore the tools, resources, and infrastructure needed to enhance the student’s learning experience.

Curriculum Development

Discuss the evolution towards competency based curriculum, embedded prior learning assessments, and the best practices for curriculum development.

Faculty Development and Engagement

Discover and share innovative approaches to attracting, developing, and supporting the best faculty.

Additionally, conference attendees will have access to industry learning opportunities lead by industry leaders in technology and covers global needs in the following areas

Agile/DevOps Education

Review state-of-the-art curricula and teaching approaches, engaging in efforts to renew and enhance IT programs and courses.

Analytics/Data Science

Evaluate the demand for curriculum related to data science and business analysis, focusing on curriculum design, career pathways, and experiential learning opportunities.


Assess the current research on cyber-security education and create course guidelines based on the National Institute for Cyber-security Education framework, while exploring industry-engagement opportunities.

This FREE conference can also be used to fulfill your professional development credits!

Conference Schedule


. . .

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Industry Leaders and Faculty Round Tables
– Keynote address by Julie Urban, Veritas Technologies, LLC
– Agile and Dev Ops Small Group and Round Tables

8:00 AM

. . .

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Industry Leaders and Panel Discussions In Data Analytics

  • Keynote Address by James Harroun – Data Visualization and Exploration at the Entry Point to Big Data Analytics
  • Panel Discussion – Christine Walsh, Brick, Inc; Andrea Kline, Optum; Jeff Weiner, One10marketing
  • Lunch Keynote – Joseph Indelicato – A Look at Today and Tomorrow with Artificial Intelligence

. . .

12:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Industry Leaders and Panel Discussions in Cyber Security

  • Ed Vasko, Serial Entrepreneur, Terra Verde Services, The next Generation of Cyber Security
  • Panel Discussion – TBD
  • Faculty Small Group and Round Tables

. . .

Keynote Speakers

Julie Urban

Sr. Principal Program Manager; Agile Coach; Scrum Master; previous Director Development at Veritas

Veritas Technologies, LLC

An experienced leader of high tech software development teams. Knowledgeable in all aspects of Enterprise Software development and delivery, agile methodologies, coaching, and collaborative leadership. Passionate drive for continual improvement, building productive engaged teams, and taking on new product architectures and functional areas. Committed to diversity with a focus on mentoring and supporting Women in Technology and encouraging girls to embrace STEM areas of study.

James Harroun

Senior Analytical Training Consultant
SAS Global Academic Program

James Harroun holds a Master of Science degree in Information Science and Bioinformatics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests include data integration, the validation and curation of big data, and aligning organizations’ data structures with analytical and reporting needs. Harroun has worked in data management and analytics for more than 20 years as a database modeler, ETL programmer, data analyst, data integration specialist, and certified SAS programmer for private businesses and higher education institutions. In his current role, he assists higher education institutions in the effective use of SAS

Joseph Indelicato

Manager of Analytics, SAS

A.I. Look at Today and Tomorrow

Joe Indelicato, a leader in in emerging technologies at SAS, will give an exciting look into the possibilities in, and practical uses of, Artificial Intelligence in Industry today. We will look how to get started today, using technology that can help change your tomorrow. BIO An Analytics and Machine Learning Leader with the SAS Institute in the US EMBU Practice, Joe Indelicato is skilled in predictive analytics and data mining, specializing in intelligent systems and machine learning. Joe brings with him experience as a former Head of Research and Development at a leading company in the high tech industry, and the former Lead of Advanced Analytics at a company in the oil and gas industry. Prior to those roles, he conceptualized and led the development of Artificial Intelligence for play calling and player evaluations for a NFL football team. Joe has spoken extensively on the capabilities of predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence and its impact on industry. Joe has experience as a data research analyst, data architect, predictive analytics engineer, AI specialist and software architect. Joe’s background includes experience in many data-related technologies, including: RDBMS, OLAP/multidimensional databases, BI tools, predictive analytics, statistical analysis and artificial intelligence. He is a graduate of the University of Houston’s school of Computer Sciences

Ed Vasko

Serial Entrepreneur, Executive

Cyber Security Expert, Consultant

ASU Advisory Board | CEV Acquisitions | Jefferson Wells | Authoriszor | BULL

Edward is an Information Technology Executive with over 25 years of diverse management and technical experience with a core focus on information security. He has led and managed large, worldwide integration teams in the deployment of security programs and distributed, complex technology solutions for organizations around the world. Ed has leveraged his expertise in identifying technology risks and vulnerabilities, his work with a wide variety of enterprise-level solutions, and experience as a successful entrepreneur and executive to bridge operational and technical needs of clients. As the CEO of Terra Verde Ed has utilized these skills and experiences to help build a company that designs, develops and delivers efficient, state of the art cybersecurity, risk and compliance services and managed security solutions that provide immediate value to a client’s business.