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Microsoft Grant to Boost CNST Program

Thursday, May 30, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

Microsoft GrantThe Computer Networking and Security Technology (CNST) program at Texas State Technical College received a grant from Microsoft during the spring semester worth a value of $54,732, which Department Chairperson Cesar Ibarra hopes will better prepare his students for the workforce.

Ibarra applied for the Windows Azure Educator Grant last fall and was notified at the beginning of the Spring Semester that it had been awarded to the college.

The grant included a 12-month educator pass and 49 150-day student passes to TSTC at no cost. The intent was to provide the users (instructors and students) at TSTC with access to Windows Azure.

Ibarra said Windows Azure was used in several courses like Implementing and Supporting Servers; Supporting Server Infrastructure and Special Topics in Telecommunications.

Students in CNST are taught teamwork techniques that combine their talents and skills in critical-level thinking exercises, Ibarra said.

“This will allow our students to learn and better understand the virtualization environment,” Ibarra said. “It’ll help with the setup and configuration of servers in that virtual environment.”

The CNST program has gained recognition for its top-notch graduates and the various projects that faculty initiate with the private sector. Grants like Microsoft’s have helped supply the labs at TSTC with state-of-the-art equipment that undergoes updates anytime there are technological advances.

The CNST program also recently received a donation of equipment from Dynamic Drilling Systems.

That donation came thanks to former student, Pedro Colunga, who now works for Dynamic Drilling. The donation includes everything from computer parts, to software, monitors and tools.

For more information on the CNST program at TSTC, go to http://www. tstc.edu/harlingencnst.

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