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News: RSCC students bring home medals from SkillsUSA

Left photo: Roane State students Michael Graves, left, and Christopher Paul took first place in the SkillsUSA competition in cybersecurity. Right photo: Lilliana (Lily) Devault holds the SkillsUSA banner representing her first-place finish in the computer programming competition.

Left photo: Roane State students Michael Graves, left, and Christopher Paul took first place in the SkillsUSA competition in cybersecurity.
Right photo: Lilliana (Lily) Devault holds the SkillsUSA banner representing her first-place finish in the computer programming competition.

April 29, 2022

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

From in-person competitions to online camps, Roane State’s computer programming and cybersecurity programs continue to grow and earn widespread recognition.

And the community college’s mechatronics curriculum is also earning kudos, officials said.

Students in Computer Science won gold medals in computer programming and cybersecurity in the annual SkillsUSA Tennessee competition and will be advancing to national competitions in June.

Lilliana (Lily) Devault took the gold in programming, and Christopher Paul and Michael Graves won gold medals in cyber defense.

The latest cyber defense award marks the fourth consecutive year that Roane State teams have won the statewide gold medal. The competition involves students uncovering and resolving cyberattacks by mock adversaries who leave digital traces of their tampering.

Dr. George Meghabghab, head of the community college’s rapidly growing Computer Information Technology program, is the team coach.

Also winning medals in the latest competitions were Gabriel J. Eady, silver medal in mechatronics, and Jeremiah L. Hamby and Joshua L. Gilmore, bronze medals in robotics and automation. Mechatronics is the technology that combines electronics and mechanical engineering. Mechatronics instructor Guilherme Garcia serves as the coach.

The gold medalists advance to the national competitions in Atlanta June 20-24 as part of the National Leadership & Skills Conference, described as a “showcase of career and technical education students.”

Roane State students who won medals at the SkillsUSA state contest are pictured, from left, Jeremiah L. Hamby and Joshua L. Gilmore, third place in robotics and automation; Gabriel J. Eady, second place in mechatronics; instructor Guilherme Garcia, and Darren T. Clark, second place in mechatronics.

Photo: Roane State students who won medals at the SkillsUSA state contest are pictured, from left, Jeremiah L. Hamby and Joshua L. Gilmore, third place in robotics and automation; Gabriel J. Eady, second place in mechatronics; instructor Guilherme Garcia, and Darren T. Clark, second place in mechatronics.

More than 6,500 outstanding career and technical education students – all state contest winners – will compete in 108 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

In the state event, held in Chattanooga April 10-13, more than 2,000 students from across Tennessee competed.

SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students preparing for careers in a variety of occupations.

Under Meghabghab’s leadership, Roane State’s Computer Information Technology department has become a regional powerhouse.

Roane State has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, and registration is now underway for the third Virtual Cybersecurity Summer Camp for middle and high school-aged students. At the time of this article’s writing, only two slots remain for the high school camp, which will be held June 13-16.

Roane State has partnered with Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge to offer the camps. Online registration is available at roanestate.edu/cybercamp. For more information, contact Sonya Parker at parkers@roanestate.edu or (865) 481-1031.

To learn more about Roane State’s Computer Science programs, including Cyber Defense and Programming, visit roanestate.edu/computerscience. Information on the college’s offerings in Mechatronics is also available at roanestate.edu/mechatronics.

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