BRICCs Landscape Workshop 2021

Workshop Report

How to cite the report?

Authors: Dhruva K. Chakravorty, Sarah K. Janes, James V. Howell, Lisa M. Perez, Amy Schultz, Marie Goldie, Austin L. Gamble, Rajiv Malkan, Honggao Liu, Daniel Mireles, Yuanqi Jing, Zhenhua He, Tim Cockerill

arXiv:2204.07205 [cs.SI]


BRICCs Logo The 2021 BRICCs workshop is a two-day event that focuses on connection, networking, and learning! The meeting will be held at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas and via Zoom with guests arriving Sunday, October 17th. The workshop will span two days, from Monday, October 18th to Tuesday, October 19th, 2021. The first of these two days, henceforth referred to as Technology Day, will be co-located with the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) CIO meeting and will cover presentations and workshops on cybersecurity, helping smaller institutions, and much more! The second day, henceforth referred to as Science Day, will hold events such as a Data Analytics class, Cloud Computing curriculum, and much more. This two-day event will present invaluable information and opportunities for all attendees to learn, grow, and collaborate on some of the field’s most exciting topics. The event is open via Zoom to all those interested, you need only register using the Google Form below! If you would like to attend the event in-person at South Plains College in Levelland, please reach out to us at the contact information below. Once registered, you will have access to all event information via the landing page link provided! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us using the information below. We are excited to have you join us during this very special event!

Dates and Times

Day 1: Monday, October 18th, 2021 | 10am - 4:00pm Central Time

Day 2: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 | 10am - 4:00pm Central Time

Full Schedule (All times are Central Time)

Last updated: October 18, 2021

Monday, October 18 Talks and Panels
10:00AM - 10:15AM BRICCs Welcome (pdf)
Dr. Dhruv Chakravorty
Associate Director for User Services and Research, High Performance Research Computing, Texas A&M University
10:15AM - 10:45AM LEARN - Update on CC* Grants (pdf)
Mary Goldie and Amy Schultz, LEARN
10:45AM - 11:00AM Break
11:00AM - 11:30AM National Science Foundation CC* Overview (pdf)
Kevin Thompson
Program Director, National Science Foundation
11:30AM - 11:50AM Network Consulting Offerings for Higher Education (pdf)
Jason Zurawski
Science Engagement Engineer, EPOC and ESNet
12:00PM - 12:55PM Break Out Room 1
Panel: Bringing Computing to Campus

Moderator: Dhruva Chakravorty, High Performance Research Computing, Texas A&M University
Panelist: Prof. Emily Hunt, Dean of the College of Engineering, West Texas A&M University (pdf); Prof. Alex Feltus, Professor at Clemson University (pdf); Dr. Forough Ghahramani, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Sponsored Programs at Edge (pdf)

Break Out Room 2
Dell's Artificial Intelligence in Five Steps
Adrienne Garber, Dell Technologies
1:00PM - 2:00PM Lunch
2:00PM - 2:45PM Panel: Updates on Computing Implementation at Smaller Schools
Texas A&M University San Antonio - Science DMZ; University of Texas Rio Grande Valley - Campus Cluster; XSEDE CI Implementation Group

Moderator: Tim Cockerill, TACC at UT Austin
Panelist: Prof. Izzat Alsmadi, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, San Antonio (pdf); Dr. Richard Knepper, Deputy Director, Center for Advanced Computing at Cornell University (pdf); Prof. Soumya Mohanty, Professor at University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley (pdf)
2:45PM - 3:00PM Break
3:00PM - 3:45PM CIO Panel: What Are The Challenges at Community Colleges?
Moderator: Amy Schultz, LEARN
Panelist: Robert Stanicic, Chief Technology Innovations Officer, San Jacinto College; Dr. James Van Howell, Associate Dean of Information Sciences, South Plains College
3:45PM - 4:00PM Wrap Up and Close Out the Day
Tuesday, October 19 Talks and Panels
10:00AM - 10:25AM NSF CORD - National Science Foundation Perspective
Hope Cotner, President & CEO at Center for Occupational Research and Development
Ann-Claire Anderson, Vice President, Special Projects Center for Occupational Research and Development (pdf)
10:30AM - 10:55AM NSF CORD - Industry Perspective
Greg Mitchell, Associate Director of Operations - Team Development at Bigge Crane and Rigging Co.
John Hark, Adjunct Professor - Texas A&M University / Director - Bertling North America
Stacey Putnam, INEOS
11:00AM - 11:25AM NSF CORD - Moving Forward (pdf)
Prof. Sarah Janes, San Jacinto Community College
11:30AM - 11:40AM Break
11:40AM - 12:05PM Community College Research/Business Analytics
Prof. Rajiv Malkan, Lone Star Community College
12:05PM - 12:30PM Edge Computing with Advanced Robotics (pdf)
Prof. Chuck Mize, Sam Houston State University
12:30PM - 1:00PM Lightning Round Discussions
Moderator: Lisa M. Perez, High Performance Research Computing, Texas A&M University
1:00PM - 2:00PM Lunch
2:00PM - 2:50PM Department of Labor - H1B Apprenticeships Program (pdf)
Dr. Janell Hills, Grant Director, San Jacinto College
Stephen Dodd, IBM
3:00PM - 3:25PM Bridges to Baccalaureate program at South Plains College Student Poster Presentations
Dr. Laci Alexander, South Plains College
Moderator: Mary Goldie, LEARN
3:30PM - 4:00PM Panel: CC* Research Round Table Discussion and Close Out
Moderator: Tim Cockerill, TACC at UT Austin



Monday 18th, October, 2021

Lessons “LEARNed”: NSF CC* Grants

Presenters: Mary Goldie and Amy Schultz

Time: 11:40AM - 12:05PM Central Time

Image of Mary Goldie
Mary Goldie

Image of Amy Schultz
Amy Schultz

Abstract: When LEARN (Lonestar Education and Research Network) received an NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) Regional Connectivity for Small Institutions of Higher Education grant in 2019 (Award #19-25553), they were the first Research & Education Network (REN) to be awarded a grant in this category. With the COVID-19 pandemic radically altering the ways higher education institutions operated, LEARN had to quickly adapt in order to meet the objectives of the grant. In this presentation, Mary Goldie and Amy Schultz will outline lessons learned as they connected six small Texas colleges and universities to their network, and the challenges of engaging campuses in a mostly virtual landscape.

Bio: Mary Goldie is the Manager of Administration Membership and Outreach at LEARN: Lonestar Education and Research Network. Goldie received her Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths-University of London. Prior to joining LEARN in 2020, Goldie worked in higher education and nonprofit roles, focusing on research and personnel management. She is a member of both the Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society and the Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.

Bio: Amy Schultz is the Chief Relationship & Engagement Officer at LEARN: Lonestar Education and Research Network. Schultz received her Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and her Master’s degree in Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Prior to joining LEARN in 2018, Schultz held roles at several higher education institutions in Texas, where she was responsible for outreach, advancement, and IT project management. Schultz is a Co-PI on two NSF CC* grants, the most recent awarded in September 2021.

Tuesday 19th, October, 2021

Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work

Presenters: Hope Cotner, CORD; Ann-Claire Anderson, CORD; Stacey Putnam, INEOS; Greg Mitchell, Bigge; John Hark, Bertling.

Time: 10:00AM-11:25AM Central Time

Image of CORD speakers
CORD Speakers

Abstract: Another NSF group – NSF-ATE and CORD collaborated on a project that looked for the gaps in Training Technicians for the Future of Work. This presentation will start with an explanation of that project and the results that focused on digital literacy/business operations, data collection and data analytics. Three representatives from different industries – PetroChem, Construction, and Maritime Services/Logistics - will then share their involvement in the project and validate the findings. In conclusion, participants will learn how this project has been expanded in the Gulf Coast Region to facilitate filling the gaps in training as noted in the project.

Data Analytics in the Community College Classroom

Presenters: Rajiv Malkan, Lone Star College

Time: 11:40AM - 12:05PM Central Time

Image of Rajiv Malkan
Rajiv Malkan

Abstract: Professor Rajiv Malkan, Lone Star College, will share how he has incorporated data analytics projects in his it classes. These projects have proven to be beneficial to Lone Star College in their strategic planning and enrollment analytics.

What is High Performance Computing (HPC) and why do I care?

Presenters: Dr. Chuck Mize, Sam Houston State University

Time: 12:05PM - 12:30PM Central Time

Image of Chuck Mize
Chuck Mize

Abstract: For those new to HPC, these are common questions. At their core, High Performance Computing systems are aggregated clusters of individual computers that work together to solve problems larger than a typical individual computer could easily solve. With the availability of lower cost computer hardware and network connectivity, HPC is becoming a viable tool for business and education. This session describes a project that is using HPC technology to develop advanced automation for supply chain management tailored for small business. Presented by the Center of Innovation and Technology, College of Business Administration at Sam Houston State University, topics covered will include a high-level overview of HPC and Edge computing, how SHSU is including this technology in campus partnerships, and potential uses cases for colleges, schools and most importantly students.

Bio: Chuck comes to Sam Houston State University having held both academic and administrative positions with colleges and universities in various parts of North America. He serves SHSU as the Director of Enterprise Application Support within the Division of Information Technology and Faculty of Management Information Systems within the College of Business Administration. As an administrator, Chuck has held positions such as Vice- Chancellor for Network Operations, Chief Information Officer, Dean of Instructional Technology, Director of Academic Computing Services, and Director of Distance Education. As a faculty member, Chuck has taught a variety of technology-based courses for schools of education and business and has had teaching relationships with Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian University and California State University, among others. In the private sector, Chuck developed an engineering consulting firm, a wireless communication company and a company that built a series of high-end, purpose-built personal computers. Over his career He has designed and built multiple data processing facilities, along with the related service support functions. Chuck holds a doctorate in instructional technology with concentrations in process and software design, Internet-based technologies, and distance education. His post-doctoral study in management information systems includes concentrations in system design, data analysis and information security and assurance.

Department of Labor Grant in IT with 4 Texas Colleges

Presenter: Dr. Janell Hills, San Jacinto College

Time: 2:00PM – 2:50PM Central Time

Image of Janell Hill
Janell Hill

Abstract: San Jacinto College and its partners, Alamo Colleges, Austin Community College, Dallas College, Cerner, Lockheed Martin, and IBM – were awarded a $12M Department of Labor grant to support and expand apprenticeships in the IT industry. Dr. Janell Hills, Sr. Project Director of the TXIT grant project will share the lessons learned inclusive of successes and challenges through the implementation, development, and administration of the TXIT grant.


The BRICCs Cyberteam gratefully acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This project is supported by NSF CC* award number 2019136. To learn more about BRICCs, please visit us at To send feedback or general questions to the BRICCs team, please contact us via email at, or via the BRICCs slack workspace.

Contact Information

Phone: 979-845-0219