Technology conference returns to San Juan College

Free, one-day conference will address variety of tech topics

Joshua Kellogg
Luke Renner, associate professor of digital media arts and design at San Juan College, demonstrates equipment used in his classroom during the Technology Leadership Conference on Sept. 11, 2015, in the Henderson Fine Arts Center in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — San Juan College is continuing efforts to prepare students for successful careers by hosting the 12th annual Technology Leadership Conference.

Several topics will be discussed at the free, one-day conference, including cyber security and how emerging technology could affect education in the future.

Registration is open for the conference, which will take place Sept. 16 at the Henderson Fine Arts Center on the college’s main campus. A free breakfast and lunch will be served at the event.

Vinny Zicolello, chief information officer for the college’s Information Technology Center, said the event is designed to attract college students, businesses and members of the community. He said sessions cover a variety of topics "to keep it broad enough so that everyone would be interested in attending."

College students are encouraged to attend, and Zicolello said area high school students have also been invited to the conference.

"The mission of the college is to make students successful and provide them with a career path they will be successful in," Zicolello said. "This opens an opportunity for them to learn what technology is about and if they want to pursue that particular career."

A number of sessions are focused on educating people on how to safely use online services. Sessions focus on teaching people to protect themselves from attempts to "phish" their personal information, the recent implementation of microchips into credit and debit cards and social media cyber security.

"Technology is so entrenched in our daily life, you need to know how to protect yourself," Zicolello said.

San Juan College staff will also host sessions throughout the day.

Judy Castleberry, director of the San Juan College Enterprise Center, will teach a class called "iGateway for Inventors, Innovators and Entrepreneurs." She will provide information on how to turn ideas into apps and computer programs.

Four keynote speakers are scheduled to present during the first half of the conference. One of the speakers, Andrew Thompson, will discuss the future of NASA and human space exploration.

Thompson, a design engineer at Lockheed Martin, worked on the heatshield for the NASA Orion Spacecraft, according to a biography provided by the college.

The keynote speakers will cover topics such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education, business information technology and social engineering.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

If you go

What: San Juan College Technology Leadership Conference

When: 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington.

Information: Call 505-566-4321 or visit