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 Montpelier Magazine

 

Kim Pheil ('05) utilizes wireless Internet service in the College Center.

Alumni bring wireless Internet to JMU

Some wired alumni are helping to 'unplug' JMU. Last fall, JMU's Technology Alumni Group and the College of Integrated Science and Technology installed wireless communication into key areas of campus to help students prepare for the (un)wired workplace.

'Wireless is the way it is in the business world,' says Tom Carr ('84), a founding TAG member. 'Without it, you're held hostage by the plug.' Carr, the major account manager of Cisco Systems, set up the wireless network with donations from Cisco and TAG members.

Wireless communication makes it possible for computers fitted with a wireless card to log on to the Internet from any location fitted with an access point. The technology works for both desktop and laptop computers. 'With this technology, students have the freedom to work wherever, to pick up and go,' says Frank Marvin ('84), a founding member of TAG and vice president of business development for interactive marketing at AOL.

Wireless communication is available to students and professors in the Leeolou Alumni Center, the College Center, Carrier Library, Warren Hall, Taylor Down Under, and the center hallways in the Health and Human Services Building and ISAT/CS building. Access points are also available in portions of Zane Showker Hall.

Health sciences major Regan O'Donnell ('04) says, 'It's so convenient to be able to work on computers that aren't in labs - I can use the Internet while I'm studying at a table in the hallway in ISAT without having to stop what I'm doing and go to a lab.'

Alumni in technology and business fields established TAG two years ago when they noticed a huge increase of graduates in the technology field - a 450 percent growth in the last five years. In addition to bringing the wireless world to JMU, TAG members have formed a business Web, where anyone interested in the field can meet electronically to share ideas and information and receive updates on opportunities in the technology field. To join, visit https://tag.jmu.edu/

'Since TAG is such a young organization we are still developing expectations, but so far, it has accomplished everything we wanted it to,' says CISAT Dean Jerry Benson.

 

- Allison Mall ('04)