USF Sarasota-Manatee makes investment in I.T. program

Dr. Sunita Lodwig

Dr. Sunita Lodwig

SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 19, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee is making a significant investment to bolster its Information Technology program.

The university has spent $80,000 this past summer on new servers, drivers and software to enhance instruction in I.T.-related courses, including applications and web development, information security, systems administration and Big Data technologies.

About 175 students are enrolled in the College of Business’ Information Technology program with a track toward either a BSIT baccalaureate degree or a BSAS degree (I.T. concentration).

“The most important thing about this investment is that our students will be able to train on the state-of-the-art equipment,” College of Business Interim Dean Dr. Jim Curran said. “Computer equipment can get outdated very quickly, but this allows our students to train on the best that there is.”

Essentially, the new equipment will boost the memory and processing power of the system in place now, allowing for more functionality and experimentation. The equipment is being installed in a classroom at the main campus at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, and should be up and running by the spring semester.

The task is complicated by the relocation of equipment now installed off-campus near the bookstore. I.T. instructor Dr. Sunita Lodwig and I.T. lab coordinator Lewis Litchfield said that before any equipment can be moved to the classroom, more power and air conditioning must be installed to cool the servers and drivers.

Once that work is finished and the equipment is installed, I.T. students should notice an immediate improvement. The technology will allow for new and challenging teaching assignments.

“For example, students working on serious systems emergencies will be able to troubleshoot and tackle problems through remote connectivity,” Dr. Lodwig said. “Such exercises simulate real-world emergencies faced by systems and security administrators. They require fast and efficient problem isolation and resolution to maintain critical systems 24-7.

“This will allow our students to get invaluable hands-on experience in confronting and solving challenging problems,” she said.

The department’s aim is to have the final pieces of equipment installed over the Christmas break in order to have the new technology in place for the spring. “We will do what we need to do to get the job done in timely manner,” Dr. Lodwig said.