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November 30,  2018
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2018 Legislative Pre-Session Breakfast (12/5)
JMU ISAT Department Changes Its Name
Volunteers Needed! FIRST LEGO League State Competition (12/1 - 12/2)
Lexington Collaboratory & Makerspace: Make a 3D Portrait (12/4)
Code and Coffee Study Group (12/6)
JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit (12/7)
eCYBERMISSION | For 6th - 9th Grade Students (registration deadline 12/19)
Cybersecurity Basics for Managers (1/7-1/17)
College for Kids for Grades 1st - 8th (1/12 - 2/16)
Saturday Morning Physics for High School Students (1/26 - 2/23)
Welcome New SVTC Member: Ellie Reid
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
December 5, 2018 | 7:30 am - 9:00 am
JMU Festival Conference & Student Center, Harrisonburg  
Members: $15 |  Non-Members: $20
The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce together host the Annual Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast at JMU Festival and Conference Center. This breakfast is a time when we listen to and engage with our area legislators about issues affecting business in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

*SVTC member registration note: SVTC members who are NOT also chamber members, initially choose the "not a member" link, and on the following page, there will be an option for "SVTC members, $15."

**Parking instructions will be sent out with final details the day before the event.

November 28, 2018 (Harrisonburg, VA)

After 25 years, James Madison University's Department of Integrated of Science and Technology (ISAT) will change its name to the  School of Integrated Sciences (SIS).

The change, proposed almost two years ago, was approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) effective November 15.

Dr. Jeffrey Tang, Associate Dean of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering (CISE) and former department head for ISAT says that two main factors motivated the change. ISAT is both the name of the department and a program. "Having a department with the same name as one of the programs invites confusion for everyone," he said. Additionally, the term "school" more accurately reflects the quantity and diversity of programs contained within SIS.

SIS currently houses the new Cyber Intelligence Graduate Certificate, a master's program in Environmental Management and Sustainability, the shared biotechnology undergraduate program, and the Geographic Science, Intelligence Analysis, and ISAT undergraduate programs. As Dr. Bob Kolvoord, Dean of CISE notes "this is a long-needed structural change to recognize the growing diversity of programs within that unit."  "The term "school" is often used to describe this sort of multidimensional unit," says Tang. "While the name is changing, SIS will be home to the same great academic programs."

Linda Thomas, who joined JMU in June, serves as the new director for SIS. She plans to spend the next year expanding on the school's current success. "I'd like to continue to create a framework for faculty and staff to feel safe and supported so that they are comfortable exploring and pushing themselves past current academic boundaries," she said. "I also want to use our resources to give our students the best possible college experience that serves as a launch pad for their future. Helping the next generation to ask the important questions and develop a systematic way of analyzing complex problems aligns with my understanding of what 21st century higher education should be," said Thomas. "I am so proud to be associated with such forward thinkers and exceptional students."

An awesome video from a Brazilian team and their FLL robot in this year's challenge.   Come and see what the fantastic teams from all over Virginia created when they come to compete in Harrisonburg this weekend.

2018 Challenge: Into Orbit
Join FLL's mission into the 30th season of FIRST®! Prepare for blast off, break out of your earthly constraints and go INTO ORBITSM. The 2018/2019 FIRST® LEGO® League season will transport your team into space, where you'll explore, challenge, and innovate in the vast expanse of space.

FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the Project. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®


December 4, 2018 |  6pm-7pm
Lexington Collaboratory & Makerspace, Lexington | $15

In this class you will learn how to use 3D scanning to make a digital version of yourself, then scale down for 3D printing. We will then print your 3D portrait using our 3D printer. Participants will learn about 3D scanning and the rudiments of 3D printing. This event is kid friendly!

Register for December 4, 2018 3D printing workshop

December 6, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
A Bowl of Good, Harrisonburg  
Come to the Code & Coffee Study Group! Whether you're looking to keep practicing what you learned in your last class or are in the midst of a project, your community is here to help!

This will be an informal event where members can meet each other and collaborate. TAs will be there to help troubleshoot and brainstorm ideas with you!

Have a project idea and some skills, but haven't attended a GDI event yet? Want to focus on helping others with their projects? You're welcome too!

This is also a great event for first time attendees who just want to socialize and learn more about GDI. 

As a group, everyone will hold each other accountable for completing projects, and provide on-going support and feedback.

Bring a laptop and something to work on. It's okay if you don't have a project! Feel free to come by for the whole thing or drop in when you have time.

All attendees are expected to abide by the Girl Develop It Code of Conduct ( ).

December 7, 2018 |  3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | JMU Lakeview Hall

Join us at the JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit! Students from all eight courses will display and present their final projects to administrators, industry client partners, family and friends. You are invited to join us to connect with extraordinary students, watch presentations and explore an open symposium of demonstrations and displays of student solutions.

The 8 Courses:
  1. Augmented/Virtual Reality
  2. Autonomous Vehicles
  3. Blockchain
  4. Community Innovations
  5. Creativity and Innovation
  6. Hacking for Diplomacy
  7. Internet of Things
  8. Medical Innovations

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM. Teams of three or four students are instructed to ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering), and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community. Students compete for State, Regional, and National Awards. 

January 7 - 17, 2019

Are you being asked to shape how your organization protects its customer data or email systems?  Are your customers relying on you to protect their payment information?  Do you need a place to start learning about fundamental cybersecurity concepts?

This two-week crash course is designed for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who have a limited technical background related to cybersecurity, data security, and information technology.  The JMU Cybersecurity Basics for Managers noncredit certificate program is discussion-oriented and formatted for the working professional.

Participants will gain knowledge that can inform their strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks, secure data and information, build secure infrastructure, and hire qualified personnel and vendors.

Course Format
Monday, Jan. 7th: In-Person 9:00 am - 4:30 pm in downtown Harrisonburg
Thursday, Jan. 10th: Online 9:00 - 11:00 am
Monday, Jan. 14th: In-Person 9:00 am - 4:30 pm in downtown Roanoke
Thursday, Jan. 17th: Online 9:00 am - 11:00 am

About the Instructor:
David Cafaro, CISSP/CCSP has been working in Information Technology for over two decades with a heavy focus on information security. Currently he is an Information Security Officer at Capital One where he leads a team providing security and risk management expertise on application, cloud, and on-prem technologies. Though currently working in the financial sector, his career has brought him through a variety of industries including environmental lab testing, government, telecommunications, and cancer research.  David holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgetown University where he focused on security and privacy in the information age.  In addition to his careers focus on cyber security, David has also been active in sharing his knowledge through open source and community projects including working with the BSidesDC Security Conference to help organize the KidsCon section for the last 4 years.

Grades 1st - 8th (1/12 - 2/16)

January 12 - February 16, 2019
Saturdays, 9 am - 12 pm | JMU  Memorial Hall
$140 per Student

College for Kids is an enrichment program for children in grades 1-8. Children will work with James Madison University faculty and graduate students, as well as experts from the community and surrounding area, to try new things, explore and discover talents they never knew they had! College for Kids is being held on 6 Saturdays from 9-12pm on campus in Memorial Hall. Students will participate in one course selection for the duration of the 6 consecutive weeks. Technology-related courses are available, as well as many other courses. You can check them out on the event page

Technology-related courses include:
  • Lego Engineering (1st - 5th grades) (In partnership with Explore More Childrens Museum)
  • Out of this world- Science, Technology and Engineering (2nd - 4th grades)  
  • Scratch Programming (4th - 6th grades) 
  • Python Programming (6th - 8th grades) 
  • Tinker with Arduino (6th - 8th grades)
  • App Inventor (6th - 8th grades) 
  • KidWind Challenge Team Prep (5th - 8th grades) 
  • Engineering a Brighter Future (5th-8th grades)
For more information, please contact Melissa Heatwole at or call 540-568-4226.

Register for January 12 - February 16, 2019 College for Kids program
January 26 - February 23, 2019
Saturdays, 9 am - 12 pm | JMU  Physics/Chem Building
$50 per Student

Come and explore the amazing properties of waves as scientists use them in music, nanotechnology, astronomy, and nuclear physics. JMU Physics and Astronomy presents an educational event series designed especially for high school students and teachers but one parents will enjoy, too: Saturday Morning Physics. For the eighth year running, the Physics and Astronomy Department in collaboration with the Office of Outreach and Engagement at James Madison University cordially invite high-school students and science teachers to take part in an engaging enrichment program developed in a sequence of 5 easy-to-follow scientific exploration events.

Juniors and Seniors have the option of receiving 1 Physics College Credit from JMU. This is an additional fee of $123.00. 4/5 of the program sessions must be attended to receive credit. 

For more information, please contact Melissa Heatwole at or call 540-568-4226.

Register for January 26 - February 23, 2019 Saturday Morning Physics
Welcome New SVTC Member!
Ellie Reid

Ellie is passionate about technology; she will receive her degree in computer science from JMU in May 2018. Her study of finance combined with a membership in the Madison Investment Fund were instrumental in developing her business and problem-solving skills. These strengths helped her land a position as a Cybersecurity Analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton. Through extensive research, she became interested in Block-chain technology and is now a Certified Ethereum Blockchain Developer, who enjoys making smart contracts and learning everything she can about blockchain. Ellie be-came a member because she wanted to be an integral part of the Harrisonburg Tech community and share her enthusiasm for technology with others.
  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
  • Gravity Group, Harrisonburg (Digital Marketing Specialist) 
  • IT Decisions, Harrisonburg (Level 2 Technician / Systems Engineer)
  • Immerge, Harrisonburg (Web Developer)
  • Harrisonburg IT Department (Technology Support Specialist)
  • Chiedo, Harrisonburg (Web Development Intern) -- No experience required!
  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Engineer, Senior Software Developer, UX Designer, etc) 
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

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