Student Spotlight: Kyle Borah

On November 15, 2017, in Student Profile, Uncategorized, by Walker News

Kyle Borah, a junior here at Webster University, is studying to earn a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Cybersecurity. He is originally from Oakville, Missouri.

Kyle’s remarkable story is about how he has overcome many obstacles in order to study at the Walker School. When Kyle was younger, he developed a degenerative eyesight condition that resulted in having vision impairments for the rest of his life. The immense amount of determination that Kyle exudes has propelled him to “never take no as an answer” by proving many people “who don’t see the whole picture” wrong for thinking he couldn’t achieve a college degree.

Kyle’s earned an asDigital studentsociate’s degree from St. Louis Community College before transferring to Webster University in the spring 0f 2017. He describes his criteria for selecting a university as one with quality professors in his program of interest, a straightforward admittance process, and a campus that would work with his accommodations. He found all three at Webster University. In fact, he describes his first encounters with Webster University as setting “a perfect tone from the beginning.”

While in high school, Kyle attended a series of summer camps that were hosted by the Lighthouse Foundation for the Blind, some of which took place on Webster University’s home campus. The summer camps were designed to prepare students for adapting to life at college, such as how to do laundry, how to navigate around campus, and other tasks that many take for granted as part of an already difficult transition from high school to college.

Kyle wasn’t originally planning to study math and computer science, but a self-evaluation about the future of the work force and his own interest in computer courses in high school convinced him to pursue it. Kyle is fascinated with the forces at play in the “digitalized and automatized” and “increasingly efficient” world in which people and the government need to be safe. “We can handle this [digitalization] if we have a security framework in place and correct information.”

Those are exactly the needs Kyle intends to meet in his career. He says, “I’m excited about the future but there are hurdles, and I will help us [society] get over them.” and “just because Equifax was hacked doesn’t mean all privacy and security is lost.” But he warns that people and the government, must work together to be proactive rather than reactive in their actions to be secure. Kyle understands that a dire need for this precaution is in medical technologies. He has personal experience with recovering from security threats on a grandmother’s smart insulin pump. No matter the sector of cybersecurity that Kyle may work in, he will bring a lifetime commitment to being a force to help people be safe, and in the cases of security compromises, to help people recover.

In order to make his pathway to a career possible, Kyle reports receiving a lot of vital assistance from the Academic Resource Center at Webster University and his professors. “The ARC does amazing work,” which is evident in their actions to make every single textbook text-to-speech compatible. “Erin Davis (Assistive Technology Specialist) once had to to scan an entire book and enter in the equations by hand.” Thanks to the work of the ARC, Kyle has every single up-to-date version of all of his textbooks.

In addition, the professors have made great in-class accommodations for Kyle. “We find out what works for me as well as the professors and together we make it work.” Kyle needs to begin planning for upcoming semester courses far earlier than other students, and he subtly chuckled when discussing students who wait to register for courses until the break leading up to semester. Kyle was happy to note that now, any student with vision impairments will be able to utilize the math materials he used.

Kyle wishes to leave readers and fellow students with a few pieces of advice. “You should always have your outlets. Give yourself relaxation such as games, hanging out with friends, etc. to get you through your degree.” For fellow students with disabilities, Kyle has key advice: “Never take no for an answer, typically you will be dealing with people that have their own experiences of ability, and we have ours. They just don’t see the whole pictures and are inclined to easily say no. But I’m here to tell you that with the right tools and assistance, it can be done.” Kyle ends with, “I’m my own advocate in really knowing what I need in adapting to the change in not only technology but also my vision level.”

On behalf of the Walker School, we are honored to have such an incredible student representing the University and making an impact here. Congratulations Kyle!

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Gorloks Take Third in ACM Programming Contest

On November 6, 2013, in Announcements, by Walker News

On Nov. 2, students from across the region participated in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) programming contest at the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.  As one of the biggest and most influential programming contests internationally, the contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.

This year, nearly 40 students took part in the competition, representing schools including: Webster University, Saint Louis University, McKendree University, Lindenwood University, Principia College, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and Missouri Science and Technology.  Webster University’s team, Gorlok 1, finished third in the competition.

Xiaoyuan Suo, assistant professor for math and computer science, organized the event and coached Webster University’s team.  While only the first and second place teams will advance to a national competition, Suo said she is proud of her students.  “Webster University was well represented in the competition because of our outstanding students.”  This year, Webster University’s team moved up four spots from last year to 24th in the region.   “I want to commend Isaac Brodsky, Eric Bright and Kevin Pierce for their performance on Gorlok 1; they are three extremely talented young men.”

computer team

Gorlok 1 Team Members Eric Bright, Isaac Brodsky, Kevin Pierce and Coach Xiaoyuan Suo celebrate their third-place finish in the ACM Programming Contest.

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Webster Programmers Place Second at Annual Contest

On November 5, 2012, in In the News, by charlalord

Computer science majors Dylan Postal, Eric Bright, and Isaac Brodsky placed 2nd at the annual ACM Programming Contest regional competition hosted by the Walker School at Webster University.

The Gorloks competed against 11 other teams from SLU, Wash-U, McKendree, Principia, SIUE and Lindenwood. Coached by computer science professor Dr. Xiaoyuan Suo, the Gorloks great showing earned them a 25th place standing out of the 192 teams competing last Saturday in the ACM’s five state Mid-Central USA region.

The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Programming Contest, sometimes called the “Battle of the Brains” pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems with a five-hour deadline. Competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems under the intense scrutiny of expert judges.

Members of the St. Louis CIO Board and Gateway to Innovation conference present $10,000 to Webster's Walker School of Business*

Webster University math and computer science professors are adding some important numbers up today and the sum is 10,000.  That’s the amount the Walker School of Business received from the St. Louis Gateway to Innovation because of the School’s work helping area high school students who are interested in computer science learn more through the annual High School Programming Competition.

The annual Gateway to Innovation conference brings great thought and IT leaders to St. Louis so they can inspire, collaborate and maintain a competitive advantage in their industry.  Last April more than 800 people from close to 200 organizations took part in the conference.  Funding covered the event, several scholarships and now gifts like the one today to Webster to continue the group’s support of informational technology in the area and across the country. Maritz’s CIO and Webster alum Gil Hoffman is a member of the St. Louis CIO Board which advises the conference.  When he heard about the gifts he knew exactly where the money would be best used.

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Remembering Anna Barbara

On June 6, 2011, in In the News, by charlalord

Memorial for Anna Barbara Sakurai

A memorial service celebrating the life of Anna Barbara Sakurai will be held this Monday, June 20th at Nerinx Hall High School.  The Sisters of Loretto invite all of Anna Barbara’s Webster University family to join them in honoring this great teacher and friend.

Monday, June 20
Nerinx Hall
Heagney Theater
Memorial Service – 1 p.m.
Reception following the service

Nerinx Hall High School
530 E Lockwood Ave
Webster Groves, MO 63119-3217

_________________________________________________________________

Today we are sad.

At the Walker School of Business & Technology our faculty, staff and students are mourning the passing of our colleague and dear friend Anna Barbara Sakurai who died Thursday as a result of injuries suffered in a car accident.

Anna B, as we all affectionately knew her, made us happy.  She was a joyful person and her joy was contagious. We were lucky to have Anna B as a colleague and  cherished friend because she was a woman who pursued with great enthusiasm and warmth the many causes that engaged her. We remember her as a valued and much loved peer who was always willing to listen and help.

For our students, Anna B was the ultimate professor.  They knew she was dedicated to them and loved to help them learn.  She set high goals for those in her classes and then worked side by side with her students to help each achieve every last one.  They responded in kind with affection for their devoted teacher.

Anna B came to Webster University as a student more than 50 years ago and retired in 2009 as a professor in the Math & Computer Science department.  During those years, she also taught in Webster’s Religion Department, at the College School and was the recipient of the William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Throughout her tenure, Anna B epitomized the commitment to social justice that characterizes the Loretto community which was central to her life. She loved to help those in need and alongside her husband Ed initiated the St. Peter and Paul dinner program.  This Webster University service project continues to serve dinner to the needy each month and remains as a tribute to her dedicated care and concern.

Most of all, Anna B loved Ed. The two met at Webster, served as professors together at the Walker School of Business and became a wonderful, devoted couple who completed each other. (Anna B would invite people to dinner and Ed would cook the meal!)  In this moment of grief we reach out to comfort our colleague Ed and hope he finds solace in our collective celebration of Anna B’s life.

In the end, we will remember Anna B as one who exemplified all that the Sisters of Loretto and Webster University stand for. We honor her best by following her examples. The faculty, staff and students in the Walker School of Business & Technology will be forever changed because we knew her.

Anna B, we will miss you so very much and we will never forget all the lives your extraordinary life touched.

Please share your memories and condolences on our Facebook page, with an e-mail to deansbt@webster.edu or through the comments feature below.

Condolences for Anna Barbara’s husband of more than 40 years Ed may be sent to:

Ed Sakurai
Walker School of Business, Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Riding in the IT Fast Lane

On November 5, 2010, in Partnerships, St. Louis Business Community, by charlalord

“I love IT,” says Joan Albeck, Scottrade‘s Chief Technology Officer.  “But it’s not for the faint of heart.”

Joan Albeck checks her notes during an address to students @Webster

Maybe that’s why taking on the job to oversee all IT infrastructure-related design, implementation and support initiatives for the stock brokerage industry leader was a perfect fit for the Webster alumnae who returned to her alma mater Friday to visit with students at the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.

Albeck has never been afraid to get involved or try working with anything that included networking and infrastructure.  Now the IT expert, who started at Scottrade five years ago managing a team of 35,  has 300 infrastructure specialists reporting to her. In her short time with the company, Albeck has led the complete network and infrastructure design of the firm’s state-of-the-art $25 million data center and was named among CIO magazine’s 2008 Ones to Watch

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