Community

Engagement

Introduction

The University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Information Science and Technology works tirelessly to improve IT education and provide even more opportunities for students.

“Working with the community from the ground up to help make the world a better place to live—that’s IS&T’s mission with Community Engagement. As a path-breaking model in information technology, we know it’s imperative to be actively engaged in both local and global communities to improve IT education. We keep our ears to the ground and stay involved across Omaha - and beyond. We work hard to not only help fill the IT pipeline with talented IT professionals, but to diversify the IT landscape as well. Through these efforts, our community can make sure the next generation of IT leaders are the most innovative IT problem solvers yet.”


Help us make the biggest impact possible. Take a look at our current Community Engagement efforts and see where you can support our work.


Hesham Ali - Lee D. and Willa Seemann Distinguished Dean

Deepak Khazanchi - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

IS&T College Scholarships & Projects

Scholarships- Learn More

Every year, IS&T students come from a wide range of backgrounds to pursue their dreams in information technology. We are proud to offer a variety of scholarships to help these students achieve their highest career aspirations.

“My scholarship gave me financial flexibility, and pushed me to work harder and challenge myself more. It opened countless doors, including opening the world of bioinformatics for me, which I had never even heard of until I applied for the scholarship. It led me to my inspiring mentors, allowed me to study abroad at one of the top IT institutes in India, and created a community of passionate, motivated classmates who encourage me to strive for the best in everything I do.” - Emily Pachunka

Research & Development Projects - Learn More

As a path-breaking model of education and research, IS&T is at the forefront of innovative IT practices. With a strong focus on applied research, we build upon the lessons learned in basic research and utilize these findings in the community. Our labs provide hands-on work with award-winning faculty, providing opportunities for our students to learn in a truly multidisciplinary environment. From a solid foundation in computer science to a world-leader in bioinformatics, our research opportunities help solve society’s biggest questions.

Virtually all IS&T students looking for work find full-time employment.

Our undergraduate students make a median salary of $50,000 upon graduating.

IS&T students get paid internships in their majors as early as their freshman year.

Computer Science Teacher Education - Learn More

In collaboration with the College of Education, IS&T’s Computer Science Department offers training and resources to prepare teachers to effectively teach Computer Science and Information Technology courses in a variety of school settings. Our program provides prospective teachers with the necessary knowledge to teach a variety of computer science and information technology courses, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

IS&T Attic / CMIT - Learn More

A student-based design and development group at IS&T, the IS&T Attic operates under the Center for Management Information and Technology (CMIT). For nearly a decade, the IS&T Attic offers students an experience in an agency setting where they gain valuable work skills in web, game and mobile development; graphic design; and, as the group puts it, “other neat-o things.” Students who have worked at the IS&T Attic have gone on to Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha, and even to an LA-based film school. Today, anywhere from 15 to 20 students work on a variety of projects for nonprofits, businesses, the university and a wide range of other organizations every semester.

“The IS&T Attic gives me a real-life scenario. I think that is what we are good at as a university, giving you a real-life experience to go along with whatever you are learning... I want to create something that gives people jobs, and I think that the computer science field gives you the opportunity to create in ways that people haven’t been able to create in a long time.” - Jonathan Allou

Women in IT

CodeCrush - Learn More

Code Crush is an iSTEM immersion experience for 8th and 9th grade girls. Designed to create an opportunity for young women to gain an invaluable look into the IT career landscape and UNO college life. Over the course of three days and four nights, IS&T will host students and teacher mentors, offering a variety of hands-on educational activities, corporate visits, and meetings with potential IT role models and mentors.

We have a real opportunity to impact students who may be the first in their family to attend college. Interest in Code Crush has risen every year, nearly tripling the number of applications received since its inception.

“My student grew so much in her self confidence—she met new friends, stayed with strangers, left as friends. Doors were opened for her, and she is convinced she can go to UNO and do what she is passionate about.” - Teacher Mentor, 2015

30% of the girls have parents who had not completed a four-year college degree.

40% of the girls were from rural communities.

45% of the girls currently receive free or reduced lunch.

Women in IT Mentoring Program - Learn More

Launched in 2012, IS&T’s Women in IT mentoring program has men and women IT volunteer mentors from a wide variety of businesses in the Omaha area. Mentors are matched with undergraduate and graduate students based on career goals and expertise. Within two years, the program has more than doubled in size, and is still growing.

Nebraska & Southwest Iowa Affiliate NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award - Learn More

The Nebraska Award for Aspirations in Computing is an annual award, which recognizes high school women with an interest in computing. The award celebrates their current leadership in IT and encourages these students to continue the pursuit of their goals in IT. IS&T offers scholarships to both regional and national NCWIT Aspiration awardees.

Women in IT Engagement Link

This link consists of a group of faculty, staff, students, and community members who actively promote the need for more women in the IT workforce. The IT Engagement Link organizes many activities at IS&smp;T to recruit, retain, and encourage women interested in IT, including the mentoring program and the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award. The IT Engagement Link also organizes panels and presentations that showcase the diversity of careers and people in IT. Speakers from NASA and Lockheed Martin have been profiled as exciting career paths and opportunities in IT.

P—12 School Initiatives

high school internship program - Learn More

Every summer, nearly a dozen high school students gain an unparalleled experience at IS&T as interns in our labs. Over eight intensive weeks, these high school students work side-by-side with IS&T professors, staff and graduate students in research areas and labs such as robotics, bioinformatics, software engineering, information assurance, and Unity game development.

“I learned more in my internship experience than I could have ever done in any high school class. Working alongside college students me with a little bit of what it islike to be on a professional business team working to make an application for the real world in a safe and helpful environment.” - Colin Krist, 2014

10 to 12 students gain valuable experience every summer.

20 hours a week of real-world work in our groundbreaking labs.

Students work 8 weeks during the summer, contributing positively to our work.

IT Innovation Cup - Learn More

Bringing together the thrill of competition with hands-on educational activities, the annual IT Innovation Cup engages Nebraska and Iowa schools to create an innovative IT solution to today’s most pressing societal problems. Established in 2012, the IT Innovation Cup presents a yearly challenge to high school teams, in which teams must bring together a wide range of skills and expertise. The IT Innovation Cup pairs high school teams with IS&T mentors, campus resources, and networking opportunities with area IT companies and sponsors.

“Looking back, the main reason I chose to go to school at UNO was because of my experience in the IT Innovation Cup. As a senior in high school, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I loved design, business, and technology. It seemed to me that as long as I had the flexibility to pursue those three things, I would be happy. Majoring in IT Innovation has enabled me to do that. While all of my fellow classmates were choosing majors that seemed to be putting them into corners, mine was opening doors.” - Kat Slump

150+ students have participated.

15+ schools have worked with IS&T and our labs.

$10,000+ awarded over 3 years.

Computer Science Education Week - Learn More

National Computer Science Education Week kicks off a series of events and celebrations at IS&T. The week commemorates Grace Hopper, a computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. Events include the annual High School Computer Science Quiz Bowl, student research presentations, a panel discussion on “Beyond Grace Hopper: Women in Computing Careers,” and culminating in a IT career fair.

NULLIFY’S High School Capture the Flag Competition - Learn More

High school students are given the opportunity to flex their cybersecurity prowess as teams compete for the top prize. From across the metro area, high school teams come to IS&T and hack their way to the top spot in a fast-paced competition that truly shows students what working in cybersecurity is all about.

Techademy - Learn More

Techademy aims to show students the fun in IT at an early age. Students will have the opportunity to learn new concepts, tools and skills, all while being taught by current IS&T students. We offer classes in cybersecurity, mobile app development, and many other things, providing students a glimpse into what a career in IT really is.

“The teacher took time to help us each individually learn and comprehend what we struggled with, and monitored our progress to make sure we learned efficiently and well.” - Techademy Student

1,902 students served.

Over 100 classes offered.

20+ robots programmed.

istem after school

Our after school program is bringing iSTEM to every student. Out-of-school programs and immersion experiences at IS&T, Techademy+ takes our Techademy classes and integrates them throughout the school year. We introduce students to concepts like Scratch programming or App Inventor – programs where they make cool stuff, and can practice on their own time.

“I liked how programming can make things do really interesting things.” - iSTEM After School Student

We work with some of the most under-served populations in the metro area.

Over 70 percent of last year’s class qualified for free or reduced-lunch programs.

Over 100 students enrolled to date.

Investment Guide

Without your support, IS&T’s student and youth programs would not be able to make the impact they have. Over the years, we served thousands of the Midwest’s youth. IS&T has helped even more students find their career aspirations in IT while growing IT talent that better reflects the diverse community we live in.


We have a number of opportunities throughout the year for individuals and organizations to be involved with IS&T youth and student programming. From hands-on P-12 youth programs, IT training courses for teachers, and introducing students to IT role models, you can help us engage with the next generation of IT leaders.


Interested in helping IS&T develop more it talent?

For more information contact, Vanessa Denney, 402-502-4106 or vanessa.denney@nufoundation.org. Your donation to IS&T may be tax deductible. Please consult with your financial advisor to verify.