MSHA Corporate | News Article

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mountain States helps high school students in MECC Governors Program jumpstart IT careers

Students observe a physically destroyed data disk. Though the disk has been thoroughly wiped of data, the complete physical destruction serves as a visual confirmation to ensure no disk can leave Mountain States with data intact.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Students with the Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) Governors Program last week got an up-close look at Mountain States’ primary data center and saw some interesting stuff about how we use and protect our information.

The Mountain States information systems (IS) department was selected this year as a learning tour site for the MECC Governors Program, and on June 22, the IS department hosted a group of 17 high school students interested in future technology careers such as information systems networking and security. Students received classroom training from some of our IS professionals and a tour of the primary data center.

Click here for photos of the tour of our primary data center.

Ashvin Raj, MECC education support specialist and grant manager, and MECC IT professor Nasser Maksoud, brought the students to experience technology support and cybersecurity first-hand in a hospital setting.

“We wanted students to be able to see the intersection between cybersecurity and hospitals because health care providers and insurance companies are the most targeted when it comes to cybersecurity,” Raj said. “It is a valuable experience for the students to see how technology is supported in the real world.”

Every summer, high school students who live in the Virginia counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson or in the City of Norton can enroll in MECC Governors School Program. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to enroll in the program which earns them six hours of free college credit.

Students check out the tanks that feed the fire suppression system at the data center. This two-week program, hosted primarily on the MECC campus, features a variety of hands-on activities in one of several subject areas selected by students. Students spend time in the field, on tours and in the classroom.

McCoy Davidson, Mountain States IS manager of enterprise technology, led the education and tour with additional presentations from Gary Haney, IS security director, and Steve Morton, IS business applications manager.

“It’s a pleasure for Mountain States IT to provide service to our community through hosting Corporate Data Center tours, and to provide real-world experiences for high school and college students,” said Pam Austin, Mountain States CIO/VP. “Hosting an event like this allows students to see the latest technology in IT networking and gain better understanding of security measures to protect the organization.

“Students were able to see how mobile applications are being used in the medical field and the process our organization is taking to protect team member/patient privacy. As a result, it was a very beneficial event for both MECC and Mountain States.”