Dustin Stocks, an information and computer technology major at East Carolina University, and ECU instructor John Pickard recently won the Academic Innovations award at the North American IPv6 Summit in Denver, Colorado.
Pickard, who teaches in the Department of Technology Systems in the College of Engineering and Technology, and Stocks presented research and findings from what started as a collaborative class project at ECU with industry partner, Nephos6.
Pickard uses industry partners in his courses because “direct industry engagement in the classroom creates a mutually beneficial relationship between students, industry, and academia,” he said.
Stocks and ECU classmate Ryan Hammond worked with Nephos6, a cloud technology firm in Raleigh whose founder and CEO, Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, has supported the ICT program for many years.
The project researched the effectiveness of 263 government agency websites that have enabled the new Internet Protocol version 6, commonly referred to as IPv6. The original IPv6 transition timeline set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has not been met by many federal government agencies.
Under the direction of Pickard and Popoviciu, the ECU students evaluated the government websites by using v6Sonar, a cloud based monitoring service developed by Nephos6. “This is important, valuable and actionable data that helps organizations make their IPv6 transition effective,” Popoviciu said.
Stocks, a former Marine, said his military experience helped to prepare him for his education. “The military taught me how to set a goal, and achieve that goal with efficiency and effectiveness. Learning how to set goals and prioritize tasks has been the key to succeeding this far with this project, and college in general,” Stocks said.
Networking with industry representatives at the summit boosted his confidence in securing a job after graduation in May, he said. “Seeing the application of what I’m learning in the classroom and being able to see the big picture and how it fits in context with my education is important,” Stocks said. “The biggest thing I took away from this experience is how important it is to not do anything half way but do everything to your full potential.”
The award was given because of the outstanding work that Stocks continued after meeting the requirement of the class project. There is likely future research associated with this project based on the favorable response of the summit attendees, Pickard said.