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Virginia Tech Programs to Focus on Blockchain

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is getting support to launch two initiatives to provide students and faculty with opportunities to explore blockchain technology. The university has received $546,800 in grants from the Growth and Opportunity (GO) for Virginia funding program.

One of the grants will stand up the Blockchain Ecosystem Catalyst, a blockchain hub with the goal of teaching professionals in the region about the technology and attracting more blockchain companies to the Roanoke and New River valleys. The goal of the hub is to allow Virginia Tech to extend its resources to the local community.

The program will be led by Kirk Cameron, a computer science professor at Virginia Tech. The team behind the initiative also includes representatives from Virginia Tech's LINK: Center for Advancing Industry Partnerships and the Valleys Innovation Council.

The second GO Virginia grant aims to help students land internships and jobs in the Roanoke and New River valleys. The Developing a Destination for Talent program will provide paid internships for students starting in the summer of 2020. More than 20 companies have already agreed to join the initiative.

The program will connect students with regional companies through the Office of Learning Systems Innovation and Effectiveness at Virginia Tech. Career and Professional Development at Virginia Tech will also help with placing students.

"The big idea is that we want to create pathways for Virginia Tech students to get great hands-on, real-world work experience," said Donna Ratcliffe, director of career and professional development at Virginia Tech. "We also want to introduce students to the idea that the New River and Roanoke valleys are good places to work, live and play after graduation."

Virginia Tech hosted an inaugural Blocksburg Summit on Nov. 10-12. The summit was developed the Department of Computer Science's Virginia Tech Blockchain Initiative and brought together experts and companies who work in the blockchain technology space.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@1105media.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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