Highlanders in the News: Week of July 11
Every week, our Highlanders are using their education to do extraordinary things. Here, we’ll highlight some notable mentions from local, regional, national and international news media. Whether our students, alumni, faculty and staff are featured as subject matter experts in high-profile stories or simply helping make the world a better place, we’ll feature their stories.
Wired-in to the future
High schoolers and K-12 teachers will soon be able to take advantage of cybersecurity courses offered by Radford University’s Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab.
In a July 3 story for The Roanoke Times, the lab’s executive director, Matthew Dunleavy, Ph.D., spoke about the expanded options scheduled to become available in October. They will be funded by a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to Radford’s Professional Accelerated Cyber Education (PACE) program.
Cyber-sector jobs boasted a median annual wage of approximately $97,000 over the past year, according to the article, and recent federal relief funds are helping to provide high-speed internet to users in more rural areas.
“Our goal is to provide students and teachers in rural schools with world-class, state-of-the-art training in these high-demand fields,” Dunleavy told the newspaper. “In Southwest Virginia and Southside Virginia, there’s a lot of fantastic teachers, schools and kids in those schools that can really benefit.”
IMPACT’s move will offer pre-college students and educators an online certificate program that’s self-paced and competency-based and is equivalent to about 18 college credit hours. Students who excel will be able to advance toward industry-endorsed certifications.
Ready player one?
In electronic competition, timing is everything, a factor that made National Video Game Day a perfect moment for Radford University to hit social media with announcements of its new Esports center.
Located in Cook Hall, the state-of-the-art facility will be home to the largest club on campus, Radford Esports and Gaming, a group that has amassed about 100 members since it was founded in 2017.
The center will give students a place to compete against each other in the broadening field of electronic sports, and will help support the university's new Esports minor.
Platform options will include Nintendo Switch OLED, PlayStation 5 and Xbox X Series, and competitive team sports include FIFA, League of Legends, NBA 2K, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Valorant.
WFRX News reported the announcement, noting that the university was “leveling up,” which, in videogame-speak, is an improvement. Notices of the center’s opening also drew “likes” and lively discussion on Radford University’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Esports center will officially open later this summer.