Students find info on Digital Sciences while networking


Senior digital sciences major Walter Robins speaks to students about how he got started in the major at the digital sciences networking event “Destination Found!” in the Student Center on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Robins said that with a degree in digital sciences, students get a good mix of computer programing, software development, business, design and more that in today’s job market is what employers look for.

Victoria Manenti

The School of Digital Sciences hosted a new networking event called “Destination Found!” where students within the program shared advice and personal experience on the third floor of the Student Center on Wednesday.

Nicole Kotlan, director of the Exploratory Advising Center, said the intent of the initiative is to welcome students to their new programs and provide available resources.

Kay Levandowski, assistant director of the School of Digital Sciences, said that “Destination Found!” is a new university-wide initiative that allowed current students in the programs to engage with the new students, and all colleges will host individual events througout the semester.

“People who missed First-Year Experience get to do this particular event, “Destination Found!” so that they can connect to their new college, whether they’re transfer students or whether they’re coming from a different major,” Levandowski said. 

The School of Digital Sciences started in Fall 2011 and is one of the fastest growing schools at Kent State. The interdisciplinary school offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Sciences, as well as a minor and Master of Digital Sciences.

At the event, four current digital sciences majors provided insight about the school’s programs and why they chose to pursue a digital sciences degree. Each of them said that the school’s ability to link theory and real-world application guided their decisions to enroll in the school.

“I was interested in more hands-on stuff, so they pointed me in the direction of digital sciences, and I found that they had a software development concentration,” said Nic Linscott, a junior digital sciences and master of digital systems major. “As a digital sciences major, I am going to Hackathons applying what I know, then winning stuff for it.”

Current students also explained their involvement off-campus in the digital sciences and technology industry. Allstate, Sherwin Williams, Hyland Software and Parker Hannifin Corporation are among some of the places that students held jobs or internships. Students said they felt the school’s programs successfully prepared them for internships and full-time jobs in the future.

It’s been a really eye-opening experience just to have that type of experience under your belt and be able to talk about it in my full-time job interview,” said John Synek, senior digital sciences major, “and sure enough, that really opened the door for getting a full-time job at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is one of the big four accounting firms.”

New students were interested in learning about the program’s curriculum and its differences from the computer science program. Experienced students explained the main difference is the versatility of the interdisciplinary degree. Digital sciences majors learn about programming, business and working with others in the field. 

“I think technology is a tool, and digital sciences really prepares you to use the tool in a number of different ways, like you can whip out so many things so quickly, and it’s a lot of fun,” said senior digital sciences major Tia Coble. “I think that’s the best thing about technology right now. It’s so all over the place, and you can be a little mini expert in whatever you want.”

Some students stayed after the formal networking to discuss individual questions and experiences over hot chocolate. Potential digital science students felt that the event was enjoyable and helpful in determining whether the major would be an appropriate field for them to pursue.

“It actually did sway my decision,” sophomore Mitch Hitchcock said. “I was thinking of two other majors (history and philosophy) to switch to.”

Many students expressed that all of their questions about the digital sciences program were answered by attending “Destination Found!”

“I’ve talked to some of the students afterward, and they said this really hit the mark,” Levandowski said. “They understand better what is really going on, and we had such great students that are willing to take their time to help new students in the major. I couldn’t be more thrilled.” 

Contact Victoria Manetti at [email protected].