College of Computing Speaker Series: "What is Tech? The Impact of Tech on Careers, Connection, Consumership, and Creatorship in the Black Community"





College of Computing Speaker Series

What is Tech? The Impact of Tech on Careers, Connection, Consumership, and Creatorship in the Black Community

Friday, February 17, 2023, from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. CST (via Zoom).

Join Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Computing, the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, and the Divine Nine sororities and fraternities for a virtual panel discussion titled “What is Tech? The Impact of Tech on Career, Connection, Consumership, and Creatorship Within the Black Community.”

Register for this free virtual event to receive the Zoom link.

What is the Impact of Tech in the Black Community? 

Join the College of Computing, the DuSable Museum Black History and Education Center, and members of tech industry and education leaders of the Divine Nine historically Black Greek organizations for a discussion on the impact on careers, connection, consumership, and creatorship within the Black community.

James T. Bridges (Omega Psi Phi), an information technology management expert, will moderate the panel discussion. Panelists include Blair Migonis (Alpha Kappa Alpha), a marketing services and brand and product strategy consultant; Mark Beamon (Alpha Phi Alpha), a senior system engineer for Dell Technologies; Mark Campbell (Omega Psi Phi), the senior director of information technology for the Chicago White Sox; Patty Winston-Johnson (Delta Sigma Theta), the director of academic writing and curricula at Illinois Tech; and Paul Stokes (Kappa Alpha Psi), a technical services manager for team logic IT. Erika C. Burt (Alpha Kappa Alpha), the director of professional and academic programs for the College of Computing, will provide a welcome and introduction of panelists. Closing remarks will be provided by Kim Dulaney, the vice president of education and programs for the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center. 

This free virtual Zoom event takes place on Friday, February 17, from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. CST. Register for this free virtual event to receive the Zoom link.


James (J. T.) Bridges

Network Engineer/Retired Chicago Police Officer

James Bridges is a retired Chicago Police Officer with more than 22 years of service to the department, and he has served as an engineer for the last 17 years. Bridges attended Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago, where his love for communication led him to join the United States Army as a multichannel communications equipment operator. After his time in the Army, Bridges received his degree in network communications management at DeVry University before joining the Chicago Police Department in February 2000, where he served as a patrolman for five years before transitioning to working for information services at police headquarters. Bridges worked with a team of network engineers to provide LAN/WAN network hardware configuration for the entire City of Chicago and partnered with Office of Emergency Management and Communications to provide network stability. He also collaborated with teams to implement the network system for police dashboard cameras and the shot-spotter app that still serves the city’s police department today. Bridges is a Cisco Certified Network Associate, and also holds a master’s degree in instructional technology from Lewis University, which he uses to create and implement a PC basics training curriculum for seniors and at-risk citizens. Bridges is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.


Blair Migonis

Marketing Services and Brand/Product Strategy Consultant

Blair Migonis is a senior marketer with 11 years of experience in marketing, advertising, and digital technology. Her industry knowledge ranges across omni-channel marketing program creation, writing original content, mobile marketing strategies, and the use of deep analytics and emerging marketing technology for strategy. She has extensive global marketing experience as well as federal government and municipal marketing expertise on the state and city level in Illinois. She most recently worked at social media giant Meta on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and was an expert account manager with world-class brands such as Aldi, American Express, Ram, Jeep, Dodge, FOX NOW network (TV), and FOX Sports. Migonis received the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing Excellence Award in 2022, and was appointed to its board of the directors. Migonis is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Pat D. Johnson-Winston

Director of Academic Writing and Curricula, Illinois Institute of Technology

Pat Johnson-Winston’s time at Illinois Tech spans more than 25 years from when she first enrolled as a graduate student in the university’s Department of Humanities and later while she was employed as a teaching assistant, usability testing assistant, adjunct professor, thesis examiner, and director of academic writing and thesis examination. Among many credentials, Johnson-Winston holds a Master of Science in Technical Communication and Information Design and a Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., where she has served for 40 years. Johnson-Winston has been married for more than 24 years to her “boyfriend for life” Ernest Winston.

Mark Beamon

Senior System Engineer, Dell Technologies

Mark Beamon has more than30 years of technology experience in the field of information technology. He has worked as a systems engineer for IBM, Apple, and Dell Technologies. He has an undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering, with a minor in mathematics, from Marquette University and a Master of Business Administration in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. He also carries numerous industry certifications from Microsoft. In his current role, Beamon helps educate commercial clients about Dell Technology solutions to solve their business problems. Beamon is an education and technology advocate who enjoys learning about innovative technologies and sharing those innovative technologies with others. Moreover, Beamon enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren, and he enjoys giving back to the community. Beamon is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

Mark Campbell

Senior Director of Information Technology, Chicago White Sox

College of Computing Adjunct Faculty, Illinois Institute of Technology

Mark Campbell joined the Chicago White Sox as its senior director of information technology in 2020. His focus since joining the organization has been positioning information technology as a valued business partner. He has worked to upgrade existing infrastructure, leverage cloud offerings to increase functionality to end-users, and innovate where possible. Campbell received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Colorado Technical University and a doctorate in information systems and communications from Robert Morris University. Campbell’s experience in the public sector spans several business verticals, including public education, health, housing, city and county government, and, more recently, tribal organizations. Campbell is committed to improving the community through service, and volunteers as a board member for Strengthening Our Community Alliance, a nonprofit that provides scholarships and health services to Chicago residents. He also serves as a mentor for several young IT professionals. Campbell is a life member of Omega Psi Fraternity, Incorporated with more than 30 years of service.

Paul Stokes

Technical Services Manager, Team Logic IT

Paul Stokes is currently a technical services manager for a nationwide managed service provider. He has more than 30 years of experience in the information technology industry. His interest was instantly sparked while he was enrolled in a class as a high school student at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago. As a college student at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, he majored in computer science. As his interest grew in the computer science industry, he broadened his studies by focusing on information technology. Large-scale projects are his forte, including for large companies such as Arthur Andersen, Accenture, United Healthcare, and Allstate Financial, in addition to projects for local entities such as the Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Department. Along the way, he has helped his family build its Chicago-area business, Angelica’s Bakery, for more than 30 years. Currently, Stokes manages a team of engineers who are tasked with building network infrastructures—including LAN\WAN—servers, both traditional and cloud services, security, and many more. Stokes is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated and has been a member for more than 33 years.

Closing Remarks

Kim L. Dulaney

Vice President of Education and Programs at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center

Kim L. Dulaney lives in Chicago. Her writings—which include children’s books, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction—have been noted on ABC, CBS, MTV, and various other news programs, as well as in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Undefeated, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and USA Today. Dulaney earned a B.A. in African-American studies, an M.F.A. in creative writing, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership and curriculum foundation. Her foci are in the areas of Black creative production and popular culture, Black education, and identity construction. She recently retired from her position as professor and coordinator of African-American studies at Chicago State University.  Her current work roles are as a cultural critic and as vice president of education and programs at DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center in Chicago. Literary works-in-progress: Beliefs; Black Boys, and Urban Education: An Interpretive Biography of Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.; and Star Struck II: When the Healing Commences.                                                              

Welcome and Introductions

Erika C. Burt

Director of Professional Academic Programs in the College of Computing, Illinois Institute of Technology

Erika Burt has years of experience in educational and non-for-profit organizational leadership, large scale STEM project creation, curriculum and academic program development, grant writing, and fund management. As the director of professional academic programs, Burt leads the College of Computing’s efforts to strengthen and increase undergraduate and graduate partnerships and academic programs nationally and internationally; produces innovative technology programs that advance educational equity and access for underrepresented populations; and creates and implements STEM-focused community engagement partnerships and initiatives. In previous institutions, Burt led large-scale, federally and state-funded computer science initiatives, STEM projects, and career and technical education programs at the local and national level and served on the board of directors for Techive NFP, Incorporated. Burt is a change agent with a passion for helping organizations become high-tech, high-touch, and high-impact centers of excellence. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, master’s degrees from Chicago State University and North Park Seminary, respectively, and is a Ph.D. candidate with research interests in higher educational leadership, educational equity and access, and policy creation. Burt is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.





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