University of North Carolina at Asheville
Computer Science Graduates

This page is rather new; it was begun in February 1998.
We are attempting to locate and add grads every day.
To contribute, contact

1998 Grads

Nate Conroy
Herald-Sun MIS Department
Durham, NC

I am the primary support person for the Payroll/Personnel Department at the Herald-Sun newspaper. I am also working with the New Media manager to develop products for the web site.

Among other projects, the New Media manager and I are also formulating a long-term plan for reassigning Adseek, the Herald-Sun's online classified site. Adseek 2 is an intimidating but exciting project that demands I use many of the software development and project managements techniques we talked about in classes at UNCA. Also, I am backup Circulation support, which currently runs COBOL applications on an HP 3000 mini-computer. I only foresee myself writing a few Circulation programs, if any at all. I don't mind exposure to the legacy system though.

Sometimes I think I'm the biggest believer out there in the system analysis methods taught at UNCA. I've been writing project plans, problem specifications, and other formal documents often, and have been taking projects through a structured development process. I've also involved users as much as possible. The users really seem to appreciate seeing their problem on paper... it shows that their problem is understood and being given attention, which they might not always realize if the MIS department becomes known for mostly 'putting out fires'. All of these ideas come directly from the upper-level system analysis classes I took at UNCA.

Overall, the mix of techincal and people-oriented computer classes fit me very well. I really appreciate the faculty's drive to keep the department focused on the foundations of computer science, allowing students to choose where we want to take those foundations.

Jennifer Jones Scott
Systems Analyst
Community Care Partners
Asheville, NC

I am involved in systems design and implementation. I mainly work with Visiting Health Professionals (VHP) which is a founding partner of CCP. I have worked on projects such as Home Health and Auxiliary Scheduling, and Home Health and Auxiliary Billing. I also do various other small projects such as program changes and additions for Payroll, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. Because I am usually VHP's primary contact person, I maintain UNIX accounts and do various other UNIX administration.

What I like most about what I do is being able to meet a customer's needs and trying to make their day-to-day jobs easier. Also, it seems that in our department if it can be dreamed of, we can try to make it happen. For example, another UNCA CSci grad, Janet, and I are working on a package for VHP that will allow the visiting nurses to collect answers to mandatory questions using a hand-held PC. The hand-held PC's will then be brought back into the office and docked. Janet is coding in Visual Basic for CE and together we are trying to create a process that will work hand in hand with VHP's current systems.

I think that my experiences at UNCA properly prepared my for my job. When I look back I think about the communication and documentation skills that I acquired. They have been quite helpful to me. I also remember many of my group project experiences (that maybe weren't always pleasant) and thinking that they would NOT occur in the real world. Well, now I know that they can and often times DO!

Sandra Aydt
Kyrus Corporation

I just began my job and I love it. Right now I am in training. I will be writing software enhancements for cash registers. The people that I work with are very helpful and very nice. I am in the process of going thru formal training, which is nice! They are not just throwing us into the fire.

I think that the Computer Science program at UNCA is wonderful. I am currently working with other recent grads from other universities that have not been exposed to as many things as I had at UNCA. The professors at UNCA also care about the students as individuals and help them to succeed in what ever they are trying to acheive!

Barry Johnson
Jobscope Corporation

I work for Jobscope Corporation, in Greenville, SC, which builds, distributes, and implements manufacturing and accounting software for over 200 companies in 12 different countries.

My position with Jobscope has several capacities, the first of which is Visual Basic programming. We have developed our software packages in several other languages in recent years, including Delphi, Speedware, and Visual Speedware, and we are now in the process of updating and rejuvenating these packages into Visual Basic to make the user-side more efficient, as well as optimizing the programs for database and network interaction. My position, concerning Visual Basic, allows me the opportunity to translate code from previous versions of the software, revise their GUI's and documentation for re-implementation in VB, and to design programs that assist the senior programmer in our division in his tasks, such as registry and systems settings programs.

I am also fortunate enough to be working with our marketing division, which affords me the luxury of designing and enhancing graphics and images for our company. I also assist in the design and manipulation of much of our advertisement materials, as well as providing assistance to our customers concerning problems with one of our software products that focuses on engineering design and demands for our customers' products.

Our company produces software for use on several systems, including Windows 3.1, 95, Windows NT, AS400 and various HP models, so I have had an opportunity to work with several new platforms and interfaces. I am learning a great deal, and each day I am gaining a better understanding of how a computer system works, whether it involves hardware, software, networking, or interactivity with multiple users.

My experience at UNCA has provided me with many skills that I use on a regular basis, most importantly one that helps me every day: at UNCA, I learned how to effectively learn. By this I mean that I was taught how to approach a new language, or a programming objective, not with worry of "can I do this?", but "how can I do this?" I learned to break a task down into components that I know I can handle, ask for assistance about anything that I don't understand, and to stick with it until I get it finished.

The variety of subjects that the UNCA Computer Science program covers is extremely beneficial to me in my profession, and that diversity is, I believe, the key to making it in this ever-changing industry--you have to be able to pick up on new ideas, concepts, and products with good understanding and efficiency, or you'll be left behind.

I am also very fortunate to be working with an office full of wonderful people, and to live in a beautiful town like Greenville, SC.

I would like to say thank you to all of the professors at UNCA, especially those in the CSCI department, for doing your job with dignity and pride. You could have made it easy on us--given us the hard parts of the program and made us write the rest, but you forced us to think for ourselves, use our own skills, and solve our own problems. You knew that we would only benefit if we reached our goals on our own, and you helped us do that. Thank you.

Carol Johnston
Community Care Partners (CCP)

While a student, I worked part-time in the MIS Department of Community Care Partners (CCP), an organization of several Asheville, NC health-care agencies. During this period of time, I primarily worked on designing databases using Microsoft Access 97. Since graduation, I have contracted with CCP to continue development of a Human Resources database which will unite human resources data from all components of the organization into one system. This gives me the opportunity to apply my knowledge of information management gained at UNCA and of human resources management gained through previous education and experience.

CCP is also considering marketing a database product which I developed. I am continuing to work on enhancements for this system and hope to be involved with all phases of producing and marketing it.

I love what I am doing. The MIS staff at CCP is very dynamic and creative. My experiences at CCP have given me a rare opportunity to participate in the emergence of a consolidated system from several disparate systems and to gain an understanding of the complexities involved in such a venture.

In addition to consulting, this fall I will be an adjunct professor at Mars Hill College, where I will teach a database management course. I also plan to explore other contract opportunities for database development and technical writing.

UNCA's Computer Science Department provided excellent preparation for moving into professional work in information management. The course requirements and electives gave me a sound technical background with a broad knowledge of many aspects of the field. The emphasis on skills needed to work with system users and on presentations is proving to be invaluable. Particularly important was the accessibility of each of the professors in the Computer Science Department at UNCA. Their openness made my total experience at UNCA far more valuable than just the classroom experience, as excellent as that was. I am very grateful for the opportunities provided by UNCA and the Computer Science faculty.

1997 Grads

Adam D. Bradley
Graduate Student
Boston University

Currently, I'm receiving a University Graduate Fellowship which pays my tuition + a stipend for my first year so I have freedom to investigate the department's ongoing research.

Starting this summer, I will be a Research Assistant for the "Commonwealth Server Project" (, investigating issues surrounding building a distributed web server with the desirable qualities of reliability, redundancy, high utilization and throughput, and utilizing existing off-the-counter physical hardware in conjunction with novel and mainstream software components. My personal project at present can be described on two levels... at the higher level, I am developing a POSIX-threaded web server that will allow us to investigate application-protocol-level queuing, request collection, and related issues. Within the context of that project, I'm developing a module that implements a statistics-gathering HTTP proxy; this proxy version of the server will be used in all the computer-science labs to help us gather statistics about real patterns of WWW utilization and viewing patterns. (The project is now almost in good working order; I know better than to call it "finished", as we all know software is *never* finished...)

About half of the department is focused on systems and applications, and this allows a lot of room for people like myself who are fundamentally hackers rather than theorists. What's more, research group meetings are always rewarding, because the theory-oriented and implementation-oriented members of the group are constantly bumping heads and keeping each other in check. Even then, the networking topics we're covering are far from canonical, so there's plenty of room within those camps for disagreement.

I cannot overstate the value of the liberal arts education I received at UNCA; in a field as dynamic and rapidly-changing as computer science, it is vital that we have an understanding not only of the main principles of our own field, but of the principles governing the world that we interact with; if we truly are entering into an "information age", then we must be aware of the cultural and civil forces shaping our technology, but also of the social ramifications of implementing the technologies we study and develop.

The Computer Systems track did an excellent job preparing me for my graduate work. The department's top-notch computer resources afforded an excellent environment in which to explore current fields in systems and programming, and the faculty were consistently available and willing to offer technical and theoretical assistance. Classes offered an excellent balance between current applications and issues and the theory and concepts underlying them, but didn't demand so much time as to preclude personal in-depth exploration of those topics.

I'm particularly thankful for the willingness of the faculty to encourage my explorations (and exploits), and their ability to point me towards rich sources of information rather than just giving flat answers to specific problems.

Brian J. Bero
Software Engineer
NationsBanc Montgomery Securities LLC

I am currently working on financial trading applications and analytical tools for market traders. I get the opportunity to work with the latest technology and develop products that will be used enterprise wide. NationsBank gives all their developers a creative environment to work in and all the support needed (through mentoring, training, etc) to really grow your career. Not only am I growing from a technology standpoint (working with Java, CORBA, enterprise framework products) but I am given the opportunity to learn the business aspect of the company.

What I learned at UNCA definitely helped prepare me for my work in the industry. The lectures (sometimes endless), projects, and especially, the senior project, were worthwhile and invaluable to my personal and professional growth. UNCA is somewhat unique in the fact that they prep people who not only have the tech skills, but can see the big picture in an organization. Without my having been exposed to the skills like project management and system analysis & design, I wouldn't be where I am today. These are what lands you the job and gets your career moving!!! Our IS department looks for those with a business background, who are presentable, and are willing to focus on the bottom line/customer needs instead of people that hide in a lab and munge code all day.

If there are any UNCA CSci grads which are: 1) product focused (someone interested in seeing their work implemented) and, 2) interested in the financial sector - send them my way!!! This is just a great opportunity. He/she would be coming in on the ground floor of an 5-year major enterprise project using Java/CORBA/C++ and would not only start a great career path with learning cool technology, but would get to learn the financial business side of things as well.

Brad Bullers
Plastic Packaging Inc.

I currently am working in an MIS dept. of four people. This gives me the opportunity to work and learn about many different aspects of MIS instead of working in one specialized area. I am responsible for analysis, design, and implementation of any new projects as well as maintanence of existing programs. Most every project is analyzed as a team but programmed by one individual. My job also includes troubleshooting hardware related problems such as PC's and terminals. We have a department beeper that is passed back and forth each week so that nobody is always on call. Programming involves areas such as accounting, sales, timeclock, art dept., inventory and most importantly the specs on products and orders.

I like working for a small MIS dept because I am involved in almost every project that we take on. I like being able to work one on one with users to get what they need. I like being able to do many other things besides just programming. Because I am in a small department, I work on many different projects or problems that occur through the week so I do not get bored with one project. As mentioned above, we are responsible for many different departments so the work is constantly changing.

I feel that UNCA helped me become a more independent person. I got the backround that really fits well with my job. This enables me to understand issues and make educated decisions based partly on the knowledge I received during college.

Amy Hargreaves
Web Developer
Info Avenue, L.L.C.

I work for a company that franchises Internet service to independent telephone companies. I design and construct web sites for a variety of business customers ranging from Christian fundamentalist publishers, to video gambling machine sellers, from realtors, to manufacturing companies. I write CGI, Java, etc. as necessary to enhance the sites I develop. I set up web sites from start to finish, including working with InterNIC on domain names, setting up virtual servers and e-mail, uploading, modifying and troubleshooting sites, and tearing the entire edifice down if a customer leaves us. I develop logos and do most of my own graphics work. I developed, implemented and maintain Info Avenue's web customer database and billing. I do training and consulting both in and out of house, and enough customer service and support to make me want to hide under my desk at times.

Although the job offers the variety and creativity I was hoping for when I took it, it is also very high stress as there is never enough time to properly accomplish everything. This is largely due to the fact that Info Avenue is growing too fast to keep up with itself and is chronically short staffed. I am seriously considering girding my loins and going out to find myself a hard core nerd job rather than continuing to indulge my desire for a job which will allow me to be artistically creative -- if I can only cut back from these 10 to 12 hours work days so I'll have the time to do it. The fact that the pay for such jobs is substantially higher is added incentive.

While I have applied some things learned at UNCA to my work (though no one can convince me that calculus will ever be of any use in the "real world"), the benefit of being exposed to a variety of topics in computer science, and the learning how to learn has been of greater help. A job seldom confines itself to the duties listed in the "job description", and technology is rapidly and constantly evolving. A solid base in computer concepts and the flexibility to learn and change helps much more than knowing the minutia of the latest release of WindowsNT or C++. I think UNCA, with its emphasis on a broad liberal arts background as well as the hard science provides the base and the flexibility to build upon.

Janet Cody Mehaffey
Systems Analyst
Community CarePartners

I do a little bit of everything!!! I recently developed a scheduling system for the inpatient portion of the hospital using Microsoft Access and VBA. In addition to creating systems, I also do network administration, troubleshooting of hardware and software, and a multitude of things to support the user.

I love interacting with users (most of the time). We are in the process of migrating from Windows 3.1 on a Novell network to Windows NT. And most of the users have no idea what 3.1 can do for them, let alone Windows NT. I love to show them something that their computer can do to make their job easier. I also enjoy solving the puzzles that arise everyday. I enjoy sitting down to a machine that has a glitch and racking my brain trying everything I can think of to find the answer to it's problems, because I have learned that nothing is as cut and dry as one would hope it would be.

Although there are some days that I wonder what I'm doing in this field, I am truly thankful to the faculty of UNCA for giving me the ability to reason through my problems and know when I have found the answer that will make at least one user happy for at least a few minutes (until the next problem arises). I enjoy the challenge of my job, and knowing that no matter how much I learn, I will never stop finding things that challenge me.

Shokaib Arif
Data Warehouse Developer/Lotus Notes Application Developer
Belk Store Services

I work on the Data Warehouse team at Belk. This operation involves basically everything from mainframe to PC. We work in a three tier environment. At the front end we use a OLAP tool to generate SQL in GUI environment. Our data comes from a number of enterprise systems used here. Every night this data is downloaded from mainframe to DB2/PE for use in the data warehouse. We then selectively (parallel) process this raw data on AIX. Several reports are generated based on this data. These are made available every morning to various departments and vendors for sales analysis and decision making. These reports include sales data all the way the previous night's store closing. I am also responsible for developing and supporting Lotus Domino Server based applications using Lotus Notes groupware. This involves some Java and LotusScript.

I like everything about my work. It has been such a great learning opportunity. All members of my team are cross trained in all the areas of this operation. As a result of this, in data warehouse operation alone I get to work with a number of disparate things like UNIX shell script, AIX, OLAP Tool (DSS Agent), mainframe (which in my opinion is not going anywhere), development in three tier environment, parallel processing, DB2/PE (soon to be replaced by UDB) etc.

I highly value everything I learned at UNCA. The computer science classes at UNCA gave me a good starting point in my career. The liberal education at UNCA truly enriched my life and I am very thankful to the professors who delivered this with such a great devotion. Attending UNCA has been a wonderful experience.

Chris Miller
Buncombe County Information Technology Dept.

When I first started working with the Buncombe County Information Technology Dept. I was a part-time employee. My duties included a little of everything. I installed networks, upgraded PC's, troubleshot, and some operations activities like backups, restores, etc. I did this for a little over a year. Then in November of 1997, I was promoted to a full-time programmer/analyst. My duties include maintaining and designing new programs for the RealEstate Valuation Dept. of Buncombe County. Most of these programs are written in COBOL; others are writen in a program called Mantis which is mainly a screen generator.

I am enjoying my job very much and I am very glad that I chose UNCA's Computer Science major. At the time I was taking all of these classes I thought that I was going to go crazy, but it has all payed off. Thank you very much.

1996 Grads

Jake Millspaugh
Systems Engineer
Sun Microsystems Inc.

I give pre-sales technical support for all of Sun's products (hardware and software) to a variety of customers. I primarily work with the State Government.

I really enjoy being around the leading edge technology that Sun produces. I have probably become spoiled when it comes to new hardware and software. I also like the variety in my job, it's not the same old work day in and day out. I may work on several different projects in a couple of days, or I may work on the same thing for a week straight. I especially like working for Sun as a company. The corporate culture follows a "work hard play hard" type creed. Scott McNealy, Sun's CEO, has said time and time again "kick butt, and have fun." Sun takes good care of it's employees and makes sure that everyone follows Scott's motto.

I wouldn't have this job if not for UNCA. UNCA CSci gave me a huge background on which to build almost any computer related career. It has certainly helped me here at Sun, not just technically but mentally. UNCA's "small school" atmosphere promotes close interaction with students and faculty, as well as working with other people in teams or groups. I have found that, in particular, to be very helpful in the transition from school to a work environment. In general, UNCA and UNCA's CSci department was a key component in my career now, and my career growth in the future.

Michal Marko
Graduate Student
Clemson University

I am a Teaching Assistant, besides taking classes. I lecture twice a week 2 sections of CpSc 120 (Essentials of Computer Science) - 90 students in each section. That gives me this [false] feeling of importance. So as I lecture, I make jokes about everything I can (including myself). Seriously though, I do make jokes but just to make the material more interesting for the students [who don't want to be there in the first place].

Besides trying to be funny, I get to talk about stuff that I like - computers. So I like teaching and wouldn't mind doing it at some point in my life. Besides being a TA, I also [pretend to] do research, hopefully towards a master's paper. My research is in Operating Systems, something with virtual memory to be more precise. I get to hack the Linux kernel on a daily basis; Who, just who wouldn't love that?? Plus, I get to do all this in the town of 90/90: 90 deg. temperature, 90% humidity!

UNCA has the nicest CSci department. Being from a different country, that sure was very important to me.

Daniel P. Maher
Software Engineer

I combine my company's market-leading digital audio engine with MIDI functionality for third-party developers. I get to create lots of cool code and teach other developers about new features that our company develops.

I constantly stay on the cutting edge of the Digital Audio Workstation industry and am behind-the-scenes, helping shape the direction of digital audio. I get to see the results of my efforts in new features in shipping products, trade journals, and conventions. I work collaboratively with developers all over the globe in the leading companies in audio to improve their products. I also get the benefit of a full recording studio on my desk to create and manipulate my own compositions.

My latest professional interests have taken me to Nashville, TN, where I have jumped into a small engineering department, helping make computer- controlled audio equipment for the music and film industries. Being in such a small department has allowed me to advance to a real programming position, making real changes to shipping code, and seeing the results immediately on huge audio console systems. I work one-on-one with customers, tweaking functionality until they are happy. Since we are not limited to standard desktop computers and mainstream operating systems, I have been exposed to some pretty cool stuff.

UNCA gave me the freedom and knowledge to combine audio and computer science into an education that is in high demand within a specialized field that I am totally interested and immersed in. I was encouraged to go as far as I wanted to with my talents and education.

Ken Woodruff
Software Engineer
The Bristol Group

The company that I work for develops network faxing software. 99 percent of our customers are big companies who send and/or receive 1,000+ faxes per day. Our software is client/server, RPC based and we support the SunOs, Solaris, IBM, HP and NT platforms.

I do all of the things associated with making software and getting it out the door. This includes design, coding, debugging, testing, doing releases, etc. I work almost exclusively in the Solaris environment (yayyy!!) but sometimes work in NT environment (yuck). My favorite part of my job is the actual coding. My least favorite part of the job is dealing with the customers but luckily I rarely have to do that (that's what Technical Support is for).

UNCA helped me in that it provided me with almost 24 hour access to a network of computers and the internet. This "computer playland" made me realize how much fun computers can be and gave me the opportunity to experiment and learn what I wanted to at my leisure. I really appreciated the flexibility of the C.S. department. The C.S. department always seemed to be responsive to the personal needs of each student which really made it stand out from the rest of the departments at UNCA. I also really enjoyed those nutty Humanities teachers.

Jeff Dunning
Software Engineer
Alydaar Software Corporation

My job involves analyzing client code for potential Year 2000 problems and making any necessary fixes to make the clients code Year 2000 compliant. Most of my work involves mainframe COBOL applications, so I spend my days looking through millions of lines of code. It has been an interesting job. The best thing I like about the job is getting to see the hundreds of different ways programmers have used the date over the past two or three decades. Most of the applications I have fixed were written in the late 1970's to early 1980's. Not all of the applications have been written in English. Some have been written in Dutch, Swedish, and French - it makes for interesting reading, not to mention a headache. I also do some research and development work. I have written several programs for the detection of Year 2000 problems. I think the skills I obtained at UNCA have been very helpful in performing my job. The degree adequately prepared me for some of the disasters that are sure to come.

Jennifer Pressley Morton
Anderson News Company

I am employed by the corporate office of the nations leading distributor of books and magazines, Anderson News Company. The corporate office is located in Knoxville, TN and we have approximately 50 distribution centers all over the US. My title is programmer/analyst, which is a catch all title for "a little of everything". Mainly, I am involved in analysis, design, programming, and support. I enjoy my job because no two days are the same. By maintaining an in-house system, which is used by 50 distribution centers, there is always work to do. I gain satisfaction from my job through writing applications that help others be better at their jobs. Although user-support can sometimes be irritating, it's a good feeling when you are able to help someone.

The MIS department at Anderson News had never hired anyone right out of college; I was the first. I had just graduated a month before I took this job, and I will admit that I really didn't know how well I was prepared for this job. From reviews and evaluations, I can tell that they are pleased with my work -- thanks be to the CSci department at UNCA. Along with my technical skills, I'm always being complimented at work on how well I speak in front of groups of people, thanks the work I did preparing to present my research work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and the many other CSci classes that forced me to speak in front of people (when you would rather not). I value my education that I received while attending UNCA.

Jon Bierce-Wilson
Programmer Analyst
Community Care Partners (CCP) at Thoms Rehabilitation Hospital

I was hired right after graduation at Visiting Health Professionals, where I was writing code in Informix-4GL to support the development of a new payroll system, and doing some UNIX system support. When we merged with Thoms, The Summit, Green Tree Ridge, Mountain Area Hospice, etc. to become CCP, my job became much more complex. We now work in a multifaceted environment, with WinNT, Win 3.1, DOS, and UNIX stations, with TCP-IP and Novell networks extending to ten locations in WNC, and have many different software packages to support. We are starting to explore the possibilities that Web technologies could help us to tie all this mess together. Meanwhile, I have become the Southeastern United States expert in the ASET programming language (which shows you the stunningly underwhelming popularity of the language). Before I got here, to get a system change in the hospital scheduling and patient data system, you had to go back to the vendor and request custom modifications. Now I work with the vendor to build new reports and customizations in the software. Working here is constantly solving puzzles. There are so many different things going on, my analytic abilities are constantly tested. We have a great team cobbled together from the different organizations, and we have been tremendously helped by the Internship program my boss, Russ Taylor, put together with Mary Lynn Manns at UNCA.

Believe it or not, I miss being at UNCA. The computer industry is moving so fast that you have to remain in learning mode. It would be nice to be able to afford the time to take classes, although the homework I could do without!

1995 Grads

Vicki Tziavelis
Applications Programmer
UNCA Computer Center

I work for Administrative Computing Services at the UNCA Computer Center. My main responsibilities include analytical and programming support for UNCA's Student Information System (SIS) with special emphasis on web applications, the admissions module, and several side systems that have been developed at UNCA. I also provide support, consultation and troubleshooting for SIS users and serve as campus webmaster.

I like the fact that something different is always going on, whether that be system upgrades, or user questions that I have to figure out. I enjoy the challenge of working directly with users in educating them and answering their questions. I also enjoy working in an educational environment such as UNCA (really!) because I'm always in an atmosphere of learning.

The most significant thing that going through the UNCA CSCI program taught me was probably the fact that I had to learn how to always learn. Since this field changes so quickly, you have to always work at not "falling behind the times".

Heather Phung
Information Technology Specialist
IBM Corporation

Most of my time is spent at the customer's site. My job requires 85% of my time traveling. I liked it at first but it gets old very quickly, especially weeks after weeks of travel for 8 months. But I get to see a lot of different places that I want to see, although some places are very boring. Besides traveling, I do consulting type of work. I get involved in the complete life cycle of a project. I and 14 other IBMers from different IBM sites recently designed a payroll system for McDonald's in Chicago (you might guess that I am very sick of McDonald's food). I do most everything from high level requirement gathering to designing, coding, testing, implementation, and quality assurance (QA). I've been coding mostly in C/C++ and using Oracle Database.

This job is very high stress (they put me on a leash 24hrs). However, I can turn my pager off after I get off work, as I walk out to the car. We don't take turns carrying pagers, but it gives me an opportunity to learn how to interact with customers (although they are a pain most of the time). I enjoy the challenges in building relationships with customers and giving them advice on how I think things would be beneficial to them as well as to us. There are a lot of opportunities to grow and new challenges to take in the 'real world'. I have to keep myself up to date by reading some of the technical magazines. IBM has a lot of opportunity for me to grown and learn different things and to build my confidence.

UNCA is a great place to attend, especially the CSci department. I like that fact the I was able to browse on the internet, and watch other students play pranks on other professors (*you know who you are* *grin*). I also like that it's a small school and I could get one-on-one help/discussion with my professors about my studies. The professors there were very helpful. The senior project also helped me a great deal in preparing for my 'real job' in the 'real world'. It helped me learn how to interact with the users and solve complex problems and how to make the users happy. It also gave me experience in how the life cycle of a project works.

1994 Grads

Christopher E. Justice
Product Manager, Data Warehouse Solutions
PLATINUM Technology, Inc.

As a Product Manager, my primary focus is the success of various data warehouse products and consulting services for the Data Warehousing division of PLATINUM technology, inc. Therefore, I am involved with the marketing, business development, software development, technical support, and the consulting services provided for various products within the division. My position also requires that I develop strategies for integrating data warehousing products with other PLATINUM software and other third-party software products.

The position allows me to be an integral part of the entire software development life cycle. I also have the opportunity to "get my hands dirty" and write my own software applications for use with our products. I particularly enjoy the external communication with third-party software vendors, and building new relationships with existing and potential customers. Finally, my position allows me the freedom to make decisions, and I feel personally responsible for the success of the software which I manage.

Many times during my university education, I felt as if much of the course material was not relevant to what I might be doing when I graduated. However, I have discovered that I have had the opportunity to apply almost every computer science course I had taken while attending UNCA. I still refer to many of the text books required for my computer science classes. The personal attention given to me during my studies by each of the professors in the Computer Science department has shaped me into the person I am today.

Scott McMahan
System Developer
SoftBase Systems

I work for a small company, SoftBase Systems, and do a lot of stuff! My main job is developing client/server products. My current project is a checkpoint/restart utility called Client/Server Checkpoint. It's currently written in C, but we're porting the checkpoint/restart paradigm to a new object oriented framework. We're going to implement it in Java and C++. Working in Java on a serious project was a lot of fun.

My current work has two aspects I particularly like. First, I get a lot of experience in many different areas. For example, our company sells mainframe programming tools, and I've learned a lot about MVS in the years I've been here. I also get to evaluate and recommend my own development tools (since I'm the main client/server programmer here), so I get experience with a lot of new and cutting edge tools. Second, I work for a small company and wear many hats. I run the network, develop software, etc. It's not boring. There's always something interesting and fun. We're also a fast moving company which pounces on new opportunities. It's never the same old same old.

In addition to my work at Softbase, I do a little web programming on the side for SK Web Construction. In return, they've given me some room to put up web pages on their server. I've put up just about everything I could think of at my site. Shareware and free programs, my Cyber Reviews book reviews, poems, artwork, music, you name it. It's a playground where I can be creative and really test the limits of what you can do on the web.

I have also gotten an article published in the December 1997 issue of Windows Developer's Journal, fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

What I liked most about UNCA was the unrestricted access to the UNIX workstations, the Internet, etc. For someone who enjoyed learning on his own, it was a perfect environment to explore things of interest. I don't know if any other school would have the same combination of a small, informal CS department with big-time equipment.

Allowing me to do a lot of independent learning has helped me in my current job, too. That's all I do! Since I've graduated, I've had to learn one new technology after another: Delphi, Java, DB2 Universal Database, Windows NT, etc. I have to constantly try to stay on top of new technology. The single most important quality a computer professional can have is an unstoppable drive to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible.

The importance of the humanities studies at UNCA for computer science majors can't be underestimated. The people who design our computers often have no appreciation of the human condition, and live in an insulated ivory tower (or machine room) out of touch with the impact technology has on human lives. Without an appreciation for what it means to be human and an understanding that it is our job as the people who are creating the future to make the human condition better, you will not have a direction for your career in computer science.

James G. Arnold
Graduate Student
Clemson University

After graduating, I worked for three years in Spartanburg SC writing software for controlling brakes on passenger transit vehicles (e.g. Amtrak, NY subway, etc). The software provided anti-slip and anti-spin protection and increased the life of the wheels by a factor of 10! (from ~100,000 to over ~1,000,000 miles). Other software provided brake control by modulating valves to apply the proper amount of pressure. I also got to do some fun PC programming for various test projects where the PC controlled equipment that tested electronic control units.

Last fall I decided to go back to school. Now I'm attending Clemson for a Masters in CS.

This field is so broad, and the market is so needy that I'm enjoying trying different things right now. I really enjoyed the embedded programming. Now, while in school, I'm doing some Access programming and Web page development as part-time work. I'm also trying to learn more about Unix and system administration stuff.

CS jobs seem to have good work environments. People (managers) generally appreciate CS people (since they are hard to come by) and that encourages them to treat CS people well and try to keep them. Of the places I've worked, I usually was given a project to do and then left to my own devices to schedule and complete the task. This arrangement may not be appealing to everyone, but I really prefer it.

My favorite thing about UNCA was that the student:teacher ratio was small enough that I could get one-on-one help from any of my professors. The friendly open-door atmosphere of the CS department really facilitated learning.

M. Chris Orr
Technical Software Engineer
Mission + St. Joseph's Health System

My job is half support and half system integration. The support aspect is to maintain the PC-based computer systems that are used by the patient-care providers and administration of the health system. I trouble shoot software, upgrade PC hardware, and provide training for users. The systems integration part involves evaluating existing software packages and performing gap analysis, then configuring and installing the software packages after the purchase.

Before joining Mission St. Joseph Hospital System, I spent almost four years employed with Cambridge Technology Partners, where I filled roles as Senior Developer and Technical Team Leader. I worked as a systems integration consultant that provided Strategic and Mission-Critical systems for Fortune-500 companies such as UPS, Hasbro, Carlson-Wagonlit Travel, and others. These systems typically were E-Commerce or customer support Call Center applications. My roles varied between projects, but the process was always the same: identify a "pain" area for the customer, propose a solution that will provide 80% of the benefits in 20% of the time. Then we would implement these systems in a very short tmieframe (6-20 weeks) using client resources as developers to empower them to maintain the system once we left. This was an exciting and high-powered but very stressful environment, so I decided to leave before I burned out.

The UNCA experience prepared me for both of these very different positions by giving me a "ground up" knowledge of computers from the physics of semiconductors to advanced software constuction concepts. This broad base of information provided by the staff at UNCA has allowed me to adapt to any situation I have been put in and has prepared me well for the workforce.

1993 Grads

Daryl Sampson
Technical Consultant
Broadway & Seymour

I am part of a software development team working in both an Application Developer and Database Administrator role. Our team is responsible for creating, enhancing and maintaining a Windows-based decision support product, which is currently used in 12 financial institutions nationwide. My development work is primarily comprised of using Visual Basic, C++ and COBOL. My DBA responsibilities are maintaining 5 SQL Servers which run on NT Server, writing TSQL Scripts to manipulate data and schema, as well as implementing other administration related activities (i.e., recovery strategies, regular maintenance, hardware/software upgrades, etc.). We also provide client technical support for issues that our QA/Support group can not resolve.

What I like about what I do:
- Client/Server Environments rule. Technology continues to change and the challenges keep coming.
- The fulfillment of seeing my efforts come to life in a production environment. (Banks actually use this stuff and depend upon it).
- Limited travel, but fun places when required.

UNCA was a cool place to attend college. The professors are down to earth, approachable yet very intellectual. My experience with other universities in the N.C. public collegiate system did not possess this quality in the educational process. I personally found that being able to discuss topics and questions with my instructors on a more informal basis a very positive aspect. The CSCI department contains a broad variety of backgrounds which compliments the different areas of interests student have about the computer/software industry. Computer Center facilities and staff are an extremely valuable resource for students as they navigate their quest for a bachelors degree.

1991 Grads

Steve Fleming
National Climatic Data Center

I maintain the website for the National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC. I like what I do because it's at the forefront of what is happening in the world.

I found UNCA to be an excellent education at a livable price. The course work was challenging but rewarding. The instructors were outstanding and the curriculum prepared me for the challenges I face today. I would recommend it to anyone.

1990 Grads

George Preston Pruitt
Director of Research
Futures, Inc.

I do almost any and everything concerning computers:
a - hardware and network maintenance (Macs and PCs)
b - human resources for computer professionals
c - programming in FORTRAN and C++ on Macs and PCs (prefer Mac)
d - technical writing and desk top publishing
e - speak and lecture at seminars throughout the United States
f - expert witness for US government on expert systems designed to trade markets
g - author and co-author of several commercial applications
h - author and co-author of several articles published in trade journals and periodicals

I like what I do because it is so diverse and challenging. When you work for a small company or for yourself you have to do everything - from the menial to the complex. One day you're putting stamps on letters; the next you're being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. I don't think I would enjoy working in this industry as much if I worked for a large corporation.

UNCA gave me a great well rounded inexpensive liberal arts education. I have to attribute a large portion of my professional success to this education. The Computer Science department at UNCA is one of the best. I left UNCA with a sound understanding of computers, hardware, and programming. The most beneficial courses for me were: Compiler Design and Discrete Math (I have developed a very large data parsing program utilizing finite state automata), FORTRAN and Pascal and C programming, computer architecture, and operating systems. When I first started working, I quickly discovered how important my computer science courses were. I utilized almost everthing that I learned during the previous 4 years, from FORTRAN format statements to graph theory.

Janet Schroeder Shearon
Business Analyst
Sonopress, Inc.

Sonopress is converting its manufacturing systems to SAP with a project deadline of Jan. 1999. I am working on the Financial team, managing all the configuration, reporting and scripting for the AP, AR and GL areas. Other responsibilities include configuring and coding any/all EDI, timekeeping and current Financial software needs for Sonopress. Myself and a part-time contractor support our two AS/400's along with all the peripherals, including a 25 station Radio Frequency Network.

There are two reasons UNC-A is fond to me.... 1) It gave me the opportunity to get an education in which I can support myself and 2) It gave me the opportunity to meet my husband!

Kevin Fitzpatrick
Senior Manager, AccessNode Software Design
Nortel, Inc

Nortel, founded by Alexander Graham Bell, is a leading manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. We design and build everything from the telephone to the giant terabit switches and 20 gigabit fiber optics transport systems.

I work on a product called AccessNode. This device gathers the copper telephone loops from up to 20,000 individual telephone subscribers, digitizes the information on the loops (voice and data), and places that digital data on a optical fiber back to telephone switch for routing to its destination. I manage four groups of software designers. My groups specialize in an area of telecommunications called Operation, Administration, Maintenance, and Provisioning (OAM). OAM is the set of functions a telephone craftsperson does to maintain the telephone system. My team builds the tools and systems to monitor and maintain the AccessNode.

I like working with bleeding edge technology. I like being in the position of defining the next generation (generation after next actually) of technology. We are literally designing the third generation internet! But apart from the technology, I've found I like managing people and projects. I like taking a new college graduate and developing them into a senior software designer or manager. I like taking a complex set of requirements from a customer and crafting a project plan around them and then managing the day to day crises along the way.

I didn't realize that the quality of the CSci education at UNCA was so high until I started Grad School at Clemson. The grounding in CSci prepared me for graduate courses without having to take any pre-requisites. And while most graduate courses delved much deeper into subjects covered at UNCA, I found that most topics we covered had been presented at some point at UNCA.

Apart from the technical education though, the variety of courses I took at UNCA shaped the way I see and interact with the world. As someone with a liberal arts education working in a world of engineers, I bring a different perspective to problems. Out side of work I am very involved in the community and the arts. Many of these involvements are extensions of courses, lectures and performances at UNCA. Courses in physics, political science, classics, and humanities encouraged to ask the question "what do I REALLY beleive?". The philosophy, art, and history lectures, the wide variety of visiting musical performances, the art all over campus, the environmental activism, the personal attention from professors extended to every student... all of these shaped the values and perspective I exercise daily. I can't imagine how much less exciting life would be today had my professors concentrated on just teaching me to program a computer.

Kenneth Anders
Software Engineer
Mission St. Joe's Hospital System

I write and revise computer programs. The language we write is COBOL. What I learned from the COBOL courses I took at UNCA was very helpful. In fact, I don't think I could have done without them. Also, the things I learned in other courses I have taken at UNCA will, I'm sure, come in handy in the future.

Kip Shearon
Manufacturing Information Systems Engineer
Square D Company, Groupe Schneider

I build information interfaces for automated production lines. We are constantly adapting new technology to our automation projects. It leaves us room to dabble in just about everything from databases and web pages to hardware interfaces and machine control.

I had the opportunity to go to any university in North Carolina and turned it down to come to UNCA and I have never regretted it. I think I received a better education at UNCA than I would have at any of the other state schools. It was a good fit for me.

1988 Grads

Michael Brown
Applications Programmer
UNCA Computer Center

I work for Administrative Computing Services at UNCA providing analytical and programming support for SCT's Student Information System (SIS). My primary areas of responsibility include Financial Aid, Billing and Receivables, and Housing, along with lots of quick and dirty COBOL programs to help make things here a bit easier.

The work here is sometimes hectic, and always diverse. A typical day can include everything from installing system upgrades, to working out a difficult series of reports, to showing a student how to access the Internet (even explaining a time or two what the Internet is.) Never knowing who might stick their head in my door to ask a question is a benefit only an educational environment can offer - which also means I get to keep learning. Aside from UNCA, I write articles and short stories. The articles have been published in everything from local newsprint to the occasional regional or national magazine. As for the short stories... well, I'm working on it. I recently started an online magazine of fiction, more as a source for other writers than myself. The submissions are trickling in, some good, some bad. Take a look if you like at

I enjoyed UNCA as a student for several reasons, but mainly because I have as much of a penchant for literature and arts as I do for science. Two of my favorite courses here were Physics and Humanities. One taught me how to look at the world, the other how it worked - a strange mix maybe, but one where UNCA seems to excel. Much of the success I've had in writing is a direct result of the required writing courses that I, along with most other freshmen, dreaded. (My record is a bit odd. I've sold every piece of non-fiction I've written, and zero fiction. Maybe I should have taken a creative writing course too.)

1986 Grads

Kathy Hawkins
Computer Scientist
National Climatic Data Center

I do system analysis and design. I enjoy development of new systems. My job allows me to move from one project to another during the analysis and development stages. It is rewarding to work on a project for two to three years and participate in successful installations.

My years at UNC-A were an exciting, stressful time in my life. Working full-time and attending college part-time presented continuous challenges. The environment at UNC-A promoted a sense of "belonging" for both resident and commuter students. My Computer Science classes were time-consuming and difficult, but the professors and students were cohesive; promoting a learning environment that was enjoyable. I don't really look back at my college years as the "good old days," but they were an important time of learning and growing in my life.

Dee Dee Anders
Computer Specialist
National Climatic Data Center

If you are not aware, the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC is the largest archiver of weather data in the world. My job deals with mostly web-programming activities. I am backup webmaster of our website (see URL above). I am also responsible for writing web-based application software for ordering our products and publications along with accessing our online data. We are presently undergoing a transition involving migrating most of our data from the old Unisys mainframe to an Oracle system on workstation technology. I am helping in this effort also.

Basically I love my job. It is challenging and rewarding, although frustrating, at times. I love learning new technologies and anything involving the internet and web sites is definitely new and changing!

My years at UNC-A have served me well. I came to UNC-A in the Spring of 1992 after attending 2 years at UNC-Chapel Hill. Because of personal family issues, I moved back to Asheville and decided to live at home and attend UNC-A for one semester before returning to Chapel Hill. I found that I was learning more and loved UNC-A life a lot better than the big, bustling University atmosphere at UNC-Chapel Hill, so I stayed! I love the small, intimate setting of the UNC-A campus along with the small class size and easy access to professors, and the cost ain't bad either. I began the Computer Science program when it was in its infancy and found the field extremely challenging and fun. I grew to love the instructors in the department and they provided much support to me as a student and through later years in my career.

I would be glad to talk with any students regarding the field of Computer Science and life in the 'real world' as a programmer!!

1985 Grads

Greg Mull
Assistant Vice President

I manage a team of Business Analysts that provide Performance Measurement reports for an audience ranging from Banking Center Managers to State Presidents. Our team is responsible for the design and development of technical specification documents for the programming team. I enjoy my job because I get to learn a great deal about the banking industry while staying apprised of the ever changing technical environment.

During my years at UNCA, I really liked the friendly small school atmosphere and the fact the professors knew your name. I enjoyed participating in Intra-mural sports and attending men's and women's basketball games. The women's basketball team won the national championship during my years as a student.

Jim Robinson
Owner and General Manager
International Micro

I moved to Greenville shortly after graduation and took a job as a programmer with Business Systems Inc., a software firm in the cable TV industry. I spent 2 years there and then moved to Gastonia, NC and worked for a year and a half with Public Service Company as a programmer analyst. (Greg Mull and I had the opportunity to work together for a while.) In 1989 I moved back to Greenville and took a position with Bowater, Inc., a large pulp and paper manufacturer. I spent four and a half years with Bowater doing project development work. In November of 1993, I was presented with an opportunity I had always dreamed of. Rob McClure and I started International Micro. International Micro is a solutions VAR. We offer accounting and networking services and solutions to businesses throughout the Carolinas and beyond. We've modified our base product to be multi-lingual and multi-currency capable and have installed our software in Mexico, Chile, Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia. We are a small company with 7 employees. As general manager, I do everything from sales to programming, from marketing to customer support. I enjoy the process of building a relationship with the customer and the challenge of learning new industries.

UNC-A was a great time in my life. I was very timid coming out of high school so my college years were a time of discovery, of gaining confidence and establishing goals. I work with college students on a regular basis at my church and they often remind me of myself a few years ago.

Thank you for your investment in my life. The Information Systems faculty were very instrumental in the choice I made for a career and you will never be forgotten.

And finally, our business is growing rapidly and we are often looking for graduating CSci students for possible employment. We look for someone with an interest in Windows NT networking or application programming.

CSci Minors

Margie Durham
Customer Insight Company
Database Administrator

I work as a member of a self-directed team and our job is to produce timely, accurate databases within budget and/or contractual constraints which meet the database marketing needs of the client. We create client files utilizing software utilities, write record layout specifications, verify accuracy of results, perform post processing QA, and provide technical support to clients. I also conduct training classes for clients and create analytical reports for the clients.

I work with a great bunch of people and I enjoy the environment of the self-directed team. I've had great travel experiences as a trainer, including Vancouver, London and Australia. Our clients are from a variety of industries - financial, telecommunications, publishing, and travel and have different approaches to creating and using a Marketing Database. Each day brings on new challenges and offers opportunities to enhance my career.

Prior to attending UNCA, I had an undergraduate degree in Marketing, and an MBA. I took a year of classes at UNCA to add the Minor in Information Systems to my resume. I have utilized the experiences of that year each and every day in the workplace. My textbooks from System Analysis, Database Management, and Project Management are on my desk at work and co-workers are constantly borrowing them!

My year at UNCA was a wonderful enhancement to my career. I met many people who helped ease my transition from the workplace to the classroom. The CSci faculty were extremely competent and knowledgeable and the classwork was very applicable to the "real life" work environment.

If you are interested in a career with a premier database marketing company and enjoying the beautiful Rocky Mountains, you'll find our job hotline at: