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Johnson County Community College Computing Sciences & Information Technology Department Update – November, 2021

Information Technology-Networking and Cybersecurity

Student Success

A former student contacted Associate Professor Andrew Lutz to notify him that that they recently completed the CompTIA A+ certification. This is a valuable entry level certification that helps students increase their marketability.


The Information Technology- Networking department completed their second cybersecurity competition which is done in the IT 239- Ethical Hacking course each semester. Two students achieved perfect scores. The competition aims to provide students practical experience in penetration testing.


Johnson County Community College – Computing Sciences & Information Technology – Update for October 2021

Medical Information & Revenue Management (MIRM)

Special Events

MIRM 148: Medical Coding Internship students participated in a LinkedIn workshop with Ashley Kretzschmer from the Career Development Center on Monday, October 04, 2021. Students learned the importance of a strong LinkedIn profile, including how they are used by recruiters during the hiring process. Students were encouraged to take advantage of free resources, including the photo booth in the JCCC Co-Lab. Follow the JCCC Medical Information & Revenue Management LinkedIn page to connect with these students and view their profiles!


The Medical Information & Revenue Management (MIRM) department hosted its Fall Advisory Board Meeting on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, in conjunction with the Healthcare Information Systems (HCIS) department. Faculty shared current program metrics and proposed curriculum changes. Board discussion focused on employer partnerships, including student internships and the JCCC Health IT Career Mentorship Program. Industry updates were provided by attending Board members, including facility growth and expansion, federal grant funding, and reimbursement guidelines. The next meeting will be scheduled for Spring 2022.


Significant Student Accomplishments

Jacqueline Walsh, MIRM graduate (Fall 2020), successfully passed the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credentialing examination. This is a nationally recognized certification, awarded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).


Information Technology-Networking and Cybersecurity

Student Success

A student enrolled in the Information Technology program recently completed the Cisco Certified Networking Associate Certification (CCNA). The CCNA covers networking fundamentals, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability. It prepares students for entry level roles in networking. We are consistently encouraging students to pursue certification as it increases their marketability.


Johnson County Community College – Computing Sciences and Information Technology Update for September, 2021

Health Information Systems – HCIS

HCIS graduate Amanda Kristek was selected to present a poster at this year’s HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.  Amanda’s passion for using health IT to address and resolve SDOH issues that plague so many of the elderly in rural communities propelled her to create her poster presentation.

HCIS graduate Somya Sriram was awarded the national CAHIMS Grant for Minority Professionals and Students course. Created by the HIMSS Global Health Equity Network and the HIMSS Foundation, this new grant provides underrepresented health information and technology professionals and students with preparation materials and financial resources to attain CAHIMS certification.

Medical Information & Revenue Management (MIRM)

Special Events

MIRM 148: Medical Coding Internship students participated in a StrengthsFinder workshop with Ashley Kretzschmer from the Career Development Center on Monday, September 20, 2021. Students learned about their “Top 5 Strengths” and how to utilize this information to their advantage, as they prepare to enter the workforce. Additionally, the class learned that, as a whole, it leads with the Relationship Building theme – you will want this group on your next team!


Significant Student Accomplishments

Sarah McKinley, MIRM graduate (Fall 2019), successfully passed the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credentialing examination. This is a nationally recognized certification, awarded by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).



Information Technology-Networking and Cybersecurity

National Conference Presentation

Professor Andrew Lutz has been asked to present for the National Convergence Technology Center on November 17th on Developing and Hosting Your Own Cybersecurity Competition.


Cybersecurity competitions are an exciting, engaging way for students to practice critical cyber skills. This session shows viewers how to develop and host their own cybersecurity competition with a focus on ethical hacking.  Topics covered will include: planning a cybersecurity competition, resources and strategies available to learn cybersecurity and ethical hacking and how to create a lab environment for a cybersecurity competition.


National Cyber League – Student Competitors

The Information Technology-Networking department has four students competing in the National Cyber League competition for the Fall 2021 semester. The competition provides an online platform where students can practice cybersecurity challenges.



Johnson County Community College – Computing Sciences and Information Technology Update, May, 2021

IT Networking
The Information Technology- Networking department hosted its first cybersecurity competition in the IT 239-Ethical Hacking course this semester. The competition has concluded, and we have our two winners. One will receive a CompTIA PenTest+ voucher so they may attempt the certification exam and the other will receive a 128GB USB 3.0 flash drive. We will host a competition again in the fall 2021 semester.

Johnson County Community College – Computing Sciences and Information Technology Update for March, 2021

Computer Information Systems – CIS
CSIS student Maria Dominguez received her AS Emphasis in Information Systems Technology degree in December 2020. During her time as a JCCC student, Maria served as president for the Computer Club, and volunteered in multiple activities including the NE KS Science Olympiad, the SkillBuilders “Girls Just Want to Have Fun Coding Workshop”, and other outreach activities for CSIS. Obtaining this degree allowed Maria to move from IT apprentice to System Engineer at Cerner in January 2021. We are proud of and congratulate Maria on her accomplishments!

The KC STEM Alliance in February released findings from its focus group research into the best and next practices for closing the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Associate Professor Perla Weaver contributed as a panelist in the middle school focus group. With a focus on the KC Metro STEM Ecosystem: “This report represents the first step in collective action toward closing the many gaps in STEM education—gender, race and differing abilities. It builds on the wisdom, expertise and experience of those passionate about building and supporting a talent pipeline of women in STEM.” –

The CSIS department is expanding the Career Pathways articulations with DeSoto School District to increase the opportunities for High School students to pursue careers in computing. This new articulation will allow students to earn credits for CS 134 – Programming Fundamentals.

Computer Support Specialist – CSS/CPCA
Lisa Friedrichsen and Carol Smith engaged in the Cengage Computing 2021 national webinar conference over JCCC Spring Break on March 10, 11, and 12th. They attended breakout sessions on innovative teaching techniques regarding leading edge technologies, Microsoft 365 software, and computer science certifications. They also attended keynote sessions on the ever-changing digital world, digital culture, and digital diversity by computer science professor and industry thought-leader Corrine Hoisington.

Health Information Systems – HCIS
The HCIS department in partnership with JCCC’s CoLab hosted a Virtual LinkedIn Workshop for HCIS and MIRM students Thursday, March 4th, 2021. Instructor Bethany Spilde, a social media visionary with 10+ years of experience working in the social media marketing field, led the workshop for 30+ students. LinkedIn has become a vital part of every HCIS professional’s success in pivoting careers to securing employment in the HCIS field and connecting with people and to opportunities. Students learned what it takes to take LinkedIn profiles to “All-Star” status while discovering new ways to search for jobs and use other built-in features.

JCCC’s HCIS Department will be participating in the KU Edwards and JCCC Exploring Heath Careers – Career Snapshot event March 31st, 2021. The event will host a panel of professionals in the healthcare field for students to be able to explore and ask questions about the healthcare field. This event will be focused on career explorations.

IT Networking
Andrew Lutz, Chair of the Information Technology- Networking department, has been invited to join the National Career and Technical Education Advisory Council. The Council will lead a national dialog focused on accelerating career pathways in technology.

The Information Technology- Networking department is piloting a cybersecurity competition in its IT 239 Ethical Hacking course. Students will have the opportunity to test their skills with live lab challenges that were designed by the IT faculty.

MIRM – Medical Information and Revenue Management
MIRM faculty participated in the JCCC Virtual Networking Fair on Monday, March 22. Faculty was able to share some of the personal stories re: their educational journey and career progression. Faculty was also able to provide feedback on each student’s “elevator speech,” answer specific questions, and provide an additional connection for students on-campus. Kudos to Valerie Mann and the Career Development Center for a wonderful event!

MIRM faculty and students participated in a HCIS/MIRM LinkedIn Workshop with Bethany Spilde on March 4. Participants received a step-by-step walk-through of LinkedIn, including key information to include on their profiles and steps to build an “All Star” profile! Thank you to Bethany Spilde and Nan Abbott for your hard work and a great session!

Amanda Kraus participated in the monthly Greater Kansas City HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) March Board meeting on Friday, March 12. Amanda is currently serving as the Board Secretary.

WEB – Web Development and Digital Media
Adjunct Professor Andy Young and Web Chair/Professor Jim Hopper have been awarded the 2021 NISOD Excellence Award. The NISOD Excellence Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated teaching and leadership excellence in institutions of higher education.

Johnson County Community College – Computing Science & Information Technology Division – Update for February, 2021

Computer Information Systems – CIS

Associate Professor Perla Weaver participated as an NSF reviewer in November 2019. The NSF merit review process is designed to provide peer advice to program officers on the merits of the proposals and constructive comments for the proposers. Participation in the peer review process allows faculty to learn firsthand about the NSF merit review process, gain insight on strengths as well common problems of proposals, increase awareness of relevant field initiatives and collaborations, and network with NSF program officers and faculty from other institutions. As the NSF continues to increase its call for Community College participation, Professor Weaver values the opportunity to provide a Community College perspective to review panels and learn more about the NSF grant process.


Health Information Systems – HCIS

Soft skills are important to all industries and employers, providing a foundation for a comprehensive and cohesive workforce. More than ever in today’s society, we find soft skills playing a vital role in those industries with particular expectations and reliance on a balance of technical skills and interpersonal skills. The Health Information Management System’s Society (HIMSS) is the national health IT industry organization. Below is a HIMSS article written by JCCC’s very own HCIS Adjunct Faculty member Nan Abbot, describing her professional experience with soft skills in the Health IT field:


IT Networking

The Information Technology department has two new adjunct faculty members for the Spring 2021 semester that bring extensive industry experience to the classroom. In addition, we hope to hire two new full-time faculty members to begin in the Fall 2021 semester which are replacements for faculty that recently retired. We continue to see strong demand for our program.

Johnson County Community College – Computing Sciences & Information Technology Division Update – November 2020

Computing Sciences and Information Technology Division – CSIT  

Computer Support Specialist – CSS

Barb Mahring and Carol Smith are attending the virtual Computing Certifications: Develop Future-Ready Students program through Cengage.  This is the first of a 3-part series that setup a path to earning the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Certificate for Teams. 

 Health Information Systems –HCIS

HCIS Department Chair, Lori Brooks, is now a member of the Kansas City Kansas Public School District Career and Technical Education Advisory Board.

 Adjunct Professor Nan Abbott’s application to participate in JCCC’s UISFL grant has been selected for the first session. Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) Grant is from the U.S. Department of Education intended to enhance its internationalization of STEM courses.

 IT Networking

The IT-Networking department is partnering with Microsoft to bring a new lab environment online for our courses that will help prepare students for industry certification exams.  This solution has never been implemented by Microsoft with another academic institution—a groundbreaking initiative.

 Medical Information and Revenue Management – MIRM

Students in the MIRM 148: Medical Coding Internship are working on-site in the Medical Records department at Village Shalom, this semester. Morgann Diley, RHIT, has been an incredible resource, allowing students to experience the “real-world” long-term care facility, medical coding, and medical records department functions.

 Demand for medical coders and billers has increased, according to The Virginian-Pilot. “In 2019, the most recent year for which BLS has complete data, the coding and billing field employed 341,600 people. BLS expects the number of openings in the field to climb 8% annually through the end of the decade — well above the growth rate for the overall economy.”

 Web Development and Digital Media – WEB

Kevin Atherton has been nominated for the Terry O’Bannon League of Innovation Student Technology Award. Kevin is leading a student team to develop a progressive web app that places the solar system containing the earth within the boundaries of the state of Kansas. 


Johnson County Community College, Computing Sciences & Information Technology Division Update – October, 2020

Health Information Systems –HCIS

The HCIS department presented 3 new courses, 3 course deactivations, modifications to the current degree, one new certificate, deactivation of the current 2 certificates and updates to 2 courses to JCCC’s Educational Affairs committee.  All program changes passed unanimously and will be effective Fall 2021.  The program changes were driven by the recommendations of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the recommendations of the HCIS advisory board and the changing healthcare landscape. These changes will provide students with the most current industry skills necessary to support quality improvements in healthcare systems.


IT Networking

The Information Technology-Networking department is hosting Security PS for a webinar on October 14th from 3:15-4:15pm. They are a local security consulting firm interested in hiring students for internships and apprenticeships at their company.


The JCCC Cybersecurity club will be participating in a national cybersecurity competition, National Cyber League, where they can test their skills by completing challenges that align with industry

Computing Sciences and Information Technology Department May 2020 Update

Two CPCA students have been named Kansas Champion’s and selected to compete in Certiport’s Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) U.S. National Championship in Orlando, Florida, June 21-23, 2021.

We are proud to announce a 52.78% increase in students passing the industry certification Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams from Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 to Fall 2019 -Spring 2020.

The Information Technology- Networking department is upgrading their Cisco equipment for the Fall 2020 semester. Classrooms and the NetLab online environment will be outfitted with new routers and switches to support the updated Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification.

Web Development and Digital Media
The Web Development and Digital Media program worked with Graphic Design and Astronomy on the Kansas Solar System App. This is an interdisciplinary hybrid course, team taught, where students will commence researching, designing, creating, and Computer Support Specialist – CSS/CPCA
testing a web application that creates a scale model of our solar system over Kansas’s geography. For JCCC students, this is an experiential learning opportunity with professional

Johnson County Community College Computing Sciences and Information Technology

The Information Technology- Networking department was featured in the Community College Daily for their success in the MentorLinks grant. The MentorLinks grant provided resources which enabled the department to expand its cybersecurity offerings which assisted in attaining the Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designation from the NSA/DHS.

CSIS – Computer Information Systems
The Computer Science and Information Systems department hosted the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Western Missouri and Kansas 2020 Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Award Ceremony and Reception on Friday, February 21st. The Aspirations in Computing program is designed to recognize and celebrate High School and College women’s technical aspirations and abilities, and the educators who support them. The CSIS Department is a member of the AiC Community as well as the NCWIT Academic Alliance. Professor Perla Weaver helped coordinate the event and welcomed participants, family, industry and academic partners for this wonderful celebration. The ceremony, activities and reception were held in the Hudson Auditorium and Regnier Center.

Professor Jacob Kier nominated CIS student Thomas Soteros last fall for the League of Innovation’s 2019 Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award. Thomas was selected as “2019 Student Developer Champion”. Professor Kier and Thomas plan to attend the 2020 Innovations Conference in Seattle March 1-4th, where Thomas will receive a plaque and $2500 to use toward his continued education. The CSIS department thanks Prof. Kier for taking the time to recognize the accomplishments of our students and congratulates Thomas Soteros on this well-deserved recognition!

On February 20th, Professor Perla Weaver, chair of the CSIS department, participated in the PLTW Computer Science Teacher Mentor Day. Professor Weaver was invited to facilitate the Computer Science AP breakout session. Professor Weaver provided updates on the new and upcoming changes to the AP Computer Science courses, best teaching practices, opportunities for professional development, and facilitated sharing among High School teachers.

Professor Mindi Leftwich has been serving as a sponsor for the Active Minds club, working to increase mental health awareness for the JCCC community. The Active Minds club is currently working on multiple events on campus.

The CSIS department has established a new collaboration with the Academic Achievement Center to provide increased tutoring support for students in CS and CIS courses. The AAC is already providing one-on-one tutoring help for courses in Computer Science and Information Systems and will add drop-in tutoring help in RC 335 soon.