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Please Welcome Martin Gehringer!

Martin Gehringer has recently joined BIT as a Software Engineer Intern for Team 6.

Martin has lived in multiple cities in California, such as: Fort Bragg, Riverside, Anaheim, Santa Rosa, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo.

Currently, Martin is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Dakota State University. He has previously earned an associate of arts in business from the College of the Redwoods located in Eureka, California.

Martin is most excited to learn as much as possible from his coworkers about the software development world! In his free time, you can find him down at Oahe Downstream playing disc golf on the weekends or hanging out with his wife, who is a reading teacher at Whitter Middle School in Sioux Falls.

Welcome aboard, Martin! We are lucky to have you!

Please Welcome Martin Gehringer!

Martin Gehringer has recently joined BIT as a Software Engineer Intern for Team 6.

Martin has lived in multiple cities in California, such as: Fort Bragg, Riverside, Anaheim, Santa Rosa, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo.

Currently, Martin is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Dakota State University. He has previously earned an associate of arts in business from the College of the Redwoods located in Eureka, California.

Martin is most excited to learn as much as possible from his coworkers about the software development world! In his free time, you can find him down at Oahe Downstream playing disc golf on the weekends or hanging out with his wife, who is a reading teacher at Whitter Middle School in Sioux Falls.

Welcome aboard, Martin! We are lucky to have you!

Please Welcome Brian Wood!

Brian Wood has joined BIT as an Engineering & Network Operations Center (NOC) Manager for South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion, South Dakota. Brian is originally from the sunny state of California (Santa Clarita to be exact). Brian attend…

Please Welcome Our New Employee Dan Etzkorn!

Dan is a native to Pierre and attended high school in Fort Pierre. He recently graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) with an associate’s degree in telecommunications.

While attending MTI, Dan had the pleasure of working as a Zamboni driver and hockey rink manager! He was also able to get his feet wet in the telecommunications industry when he interned with Venture Communications last summer.

In his free time, Dan loves to be outside hunting, bow fishing, golfing, or frolfing (also known as Frisbee golf). He enjoys spending time with his family, especially his nephew, Eli!

Dan Etzkorn has recently joined the BIT Telecommunications division as a Technology Engineer I.

BIT is excited to have you, Dan!

Please Welcome Ben Cable!

Ben Cable has recently joined BIT as a Technology Engineer!

Ben grew up in Thailand and lived there for 21 years. Ben explained, “During that time, my family would travel back to the US during summer vacation every 2-4 years. I decided to move to the US in 2011 to pursue a college degree.”

Ben spent a semester at Minnesota Community and Technical College in Minneapolis before he decided to move to Madison, South Dakota and enroll at Dakota State University. At DSU, he majored in Computer and Network Security with a specialization in Information Assurance. Currently, Ben is working on pursuing a Master’s degree in Information Assurance at DSU.

Before coming to BIT, Ben worked as a Technology Engineer at Fishback Financial Corporation (also known as First Bank & Trust) and HealthPOINT as a network pen-tester. Now that Ben is here, he is looking forward to learning more about computer security and applying his existing knowledge to help improve cyber security for the State of South Dakota.

Ben explained, “Although I work with technology every day, I have a deep appreciation for the Arts. My hobbies are actually just whatever I feel like is fun at the time.” During his free time, he enjoys creating music and jamming with friends, photography, and watching movies and TV shows.

Welcome to BIT, Ben! We are excited to have you!

Please Welcome Our New Employee Sarah Bachman!

Sarah Bachman has joined BIT as a Development Services Software Engineer.

Sarah’s family moved around a lot while she was growing up so defining one place as “home” is sometimes a challenge. She was born in Huron, SD, spent seven years in Duluth, MN as a child, but also graduated high school in Harrisburg, SD.

Sarah attended college at Dakota State University in Madison, SD where she pursued a degree in Computer Science and a second degree in Computer Game Design with a minor in History. She believes that BIT is good fit for her and is looking forward to learning, improving, and contributing here.

In Sarah’s free time, she mostly designs and programs indie games. Her focus in these hobby ventures is historically and scientifically accurate games that can be used educationally. She enjoys the outdoors with activities like camping, snowboarding, backpacking, and hunting. Sarah also plays amateur guitar for fun and for her niece and nephews. Her favorite movie is “Jurassic Park,” which also happens to be her favorite book and franchise.

Welcome to BIT, Sarah! We are happy to have you!
 

Kaitlyn Martinez is back in South Dakota!


Although she loved her time in Europe, she said that it’s nice to have an oven, full set of wardrobe, having the option to drive a car, and having 3 computer monitors again!

Her trip began February 23rd when she and Ozzy took off to Paris, followed by London, Ireland, and Manchester. While in these places they visited:

Paris

  • Notre Dame
  • Saint Chapelle
  • Palace of Versailles
  • Eiffel Tower

London 

  • Tower of London 
  • Westminster Abbey 
  • Windsor Castle 
  • Buckingham Palace 
  • Big Ben 
  • Winston Churchill’s Bunker

Ireland

  •  Cliffs of Moher
  • Giants Causeway
Kaitlyn said her two favorite places to visit while in Europe were Ireland and Greece. She explained that Greece was really warm when she visited, whereas Ireland was much cooler and more rainy. She said the weather in Ireland coupled with the many friendly faces reminded her of South Dakota!

Although Kaitlyn is happy to be back in South Dakota and reunited with her family, she said she will miss the German lamb kabobs!

We are happy to have you back, Kaitlyn and Ozzy!

BIT Celebrates Cinco De Mayo!

In honor of Cinco De Mayo, BIT decided to celebrate with a salsa contest and potluck! Many delicious salsas, full bellies, and contestants later, two contenders were able to climb their way to the top.
 
Dino Brooks took 1st place with his rendition of “Gene’s Mean Green Salsa” and Bobbi Huck stole second with her “Roasted Tomato/Tomatillo Salsa”
 
When asked why they chose to make the salsas they did, Bobbi elaborated:
 
“I make a lot of salsa throughout the year.  I bring it to work and test my recipes on my co-workers.  A couple weeks ago I got a Cinco de Mayo themed ad from Bountiful Baskets.  It had tomatoes and tomatillos and other yummies that make good salsa. So I gave the roasted tomatillo & tomato salsa a try.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and modified it a bit to make it my own. I brought a jar into work and took some to a family dinner.  Everyone liked it so I saved a jar for the salsa competition.”
 
Whereas Dino simply stated, “Denny [Nincehelser] told me I had to make Gene’s Salsa! J
 
Both Dino and Bobbi were a little caught off guard when they found out they were the winners of the competition. Dino explained, “I didn’t think I was going to win, with this being my first attempt at making Gene’s salsa. Luckily, I was able to enlist the help of The Master Salsa-teer himself!!” Bobbi went on to say:
 
“I know that people like my salsa but I had no idea it would do so well in the competition.  It was a new recipe and there are a lot of good salsa makers in BIT.  Dino and I are lucky a couple of them sat this one out!  Dino is also lucky Gene Knowles agreed to share his salsa recipe and expertise!  I knew I was in trouble when I found out Gene’s recipe would be in the competition!  I’m happy for Gene because his salsa is a BIT legend and he deserves the recognition.  Dino…not so much.  In salsa making years, he’s a rookie.  Next year maybe he’ll put on his big boy pant(ie)s and bring his own recipe to the party!”
 
While both agreed that the taste testing and the comradery was a great part of the contest, Dino went on to note that going over to Gene’s house and having the master show him the ropes was the best part for him.
 
Way to go Dino and Bobbi!  

Congratulations, Andy Ogan!

South Dakota Magazine explores the state, looking for interesting people and places that define our culture, heritage, arts, nature and communities. Andy Ogan has been featured in this publication previously and will make an appearance again this summ…

Technology In Education (TIE) Conference


In April, BIT/DDN and the K-12 Data Center presented their annual “State of the DDN” presentation at the Technology In Education (TIE) Conference held in Sioux Falls. The TIE Conference is an annual meeting for classroom teachers, network administrators and educational administrators. The goal of the conference is to share strategies, methods and best practices with their fellow educators in integrating technology into the learning environment.

Topics covered in the presentation:

  • Bandwidth Upgrades
  • Fortinet Updates
  • DDN Video
  • NSU E-Learning Course Expansion
  • Workstation/Server quotes
  • Microsoft EES licensing 
  • K-12 Data Center Active Directory 
  • Google Chromebook configurations 
  • Office365

Congratulations, South Dakota Public Broadcasting!


Recently, South Dakota Public Broadcasting has won seven regional Edward R. Murrow Awards out of the eight possible categories. Other constitutes of this region are: Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Newscast – Gary Ellenbolt and Kealey Bultena for “Noon Newscast for September, 30, 2015.” Live coverage of shooting at Harrisburg (SD) High School.

Continuing Coverage – Victoria Wicks for “Keystone XL Pipeline in South Dakota.” Nearly 40 stories following the KXL permitting process through 2015.

Feature Reporting – Jim Kent for “Take to the Skies in a B-17 with WWII Pilot Chuck Childs.”

Sports Reporting
– Gary Ellenbolt for “State’s Smaller Schools Find Difficulty Fielding Football Teams.”

Use of Sound
– Charles Michael Ray for “50 Years of Buffalo, Adrenalin and Bullwhips.”

Writing
– Victoria Wicks for “Juveniles No Longer Face Mandatory Life without Parole: Retroactivity Still at Issue”

Overall Excellence
– SDPB Radio News staff for newscast and stories within 40-minute time limit.

Links to the winning stories can be found at:

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow’s pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession.
Featured from left to right: Gary Ellenbolt, Kealey Bultena, Charles Michael Ray.