Little Rock technology firm Mainstream Technologies has made an undisclosed financial gift to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to upgrade a computer forensics lab.
“This is a great day for the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology,” Dean Lawrence Whitman said in a news release. “A key part of our mission is to produce career-ready graduates for the workforce. Mainstream Technologies has generously donated to restructure the lab.”
UALR named its computer forensics lab in honor of Mainstream Technologies during an Oct. 12 ceremony showcasing the lab, which is housed in the Engineering Technology and Applied Science building.
Mainstream Technologies’ sponsorship of the lab will cover upgrades to the lab technology, including separating the computer lab’s network from the campus network, according to the release. This will prevent the university’s network from receiving security alerts while students at the lab are practicing computer forensics, cyber security, and hacking skills.
John Burgess, president and CEO of Mainstream Technologies, said that UALR and the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) are important community partners. UALR graduates make up about 20% of Mainstream’s workforce.
“UA Little Rock graduates make up the largest segment of our workforce,” said Burgess, a 1988 UALR alum who also serves as chair of the Engineering and Information Technology Leadership Council. “We depend on the quality graduates we’ve come to expect from UA Little Rock and EIT. We need them to hit the ground running when they arrive on the job. We’re proud to be associated with this computer forensics lab where students can hone their skills and prepare for their future careers.”
Burgess was joined by Steve Althoff, director of software development, Holt McConnell, director of marketing, and his daughter, Ally Burgess, while celebrating the lab dedication.
Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, interim chair of the department of computer science and director of the Emerging Analytics Center, said she was grateful for the donation that represents a new focus on industry and business partnerships for the department.
“I think this is wonderful. The computer science department is evolving into a fresh new department that is more connected to industry and business partners who need our graduates,” Cruz-Neira said. “Mainstream Technologies is showing confidence that this new evolution is moving in the right direction. We are tremendously appreciative of this vote of confidence. Many students will benefit from this lab.”