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Confirmed Guests: April 24, 2012

National BDPA HSCC coordinator Michelle Cooke agreed to be a guest on the April 24th episode of the BDPA iRadio Show.

Michelle Cooke has been working on the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships for a number of years. She has more than 10 years of experience in Software Quality Assurance and System Analysis with a strong background in full SDLC, implementation, testing, user training, and support documentation. Experience as the SME for QA testing related policies/procedures and helped enforce such policies/procedures. She stepped up to become the National BDPA HSCC Coordinator earlier this year. Her goal is to increase the number of students and chapters participating in the 2012 National HSCC Championship that will be held in Baltimore, MD.

This will be the first opportunity for much of BDPA-Nation to hear directly from Michelle. We anticipate that she will share some unique insights into the importance of BDPA's efforts to provide STEM-based experiences for young people that will help them to ‘win the future'.

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BDPA Hartford chapter president Matthew Lampkin agreed to be a guest on the April 24th episode of the BDPA iRadio Show.

Matthew Lampkin joined BDPA Hartford chapter in 2005. Over the years he served in a variety of leadership positions including HSCC coordinator and vice president. He currently serves as the chapter president. His immediate goal is to increase the chapter's membership, build relationships with students at area high schools\colleges, and provide area companies access to a pool of talented IT professionals.

One of his biggest accomplishments was the establishment of the Computer Learning Program for the State of CT Department of Children and Families (DCF). From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Lampkin forged an educational partnership with DCF that allowed for foster youth in Connecticut to receive 15 to 20 weeks of Information Technology (IT) training from experienced BDPA members. The training culminated in approximately 5 to 7 youth attending the National BDPA conferences in 2006 (Los Angeles) and 2007 (Washington, DC).

Although Matthew has spent the past 18 years of his life in the Mid-Atlantic and New England States, he is a native of Houston, Texas. He attended Syracuse University and graduated in 1997 with a BS in Information Management Technology. Currently he is employed by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in East Hartford, CT as a Security Administrator. In addition, Matthew is one of the owners of OnPoint Consultants, LLC. OnPoint has been in business for more than 10 years.

Matthew will share his plans for growing the BDPA brand in Connecticut over the coming year.

BDPA advocate LaShawn Sithole agreed to be our guest on the April 24th episode.  LaShawn has been a BDPA conference presenter for a number of years. She provide interactive workshops on staff training, diversity appreciation, inclusion, study skills, and recruitment for national companies. Recently, she has been very active in a strategic partnership with Microsoft known as BiTWiSE. LaShawn seeks to increase the number of African Americans involved in technology as well as become a resource of networking and educational events to support those already in the field. The first BiTWiSE event was held at the Microsoft South Central Office in Austin, Texas. She and her colleagues are events around the country.

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