The Lipscomb University’s School of Computing and Informatics (SCI) today announced that HealthSpring has donated $100,000 in used computer equipment to the university to establish a training and research lab for computing students and faculty.
Nashville-based HealthSpring, a leading health service company committed to serving the health care needs of seniors, donated 250 computer servers – providing more than 50 terabytes of storage, networking equipment, switches and other computer equipment allowing Lipscomb students to get hands-on experience with the latest computer environments.
“The new data center established with this equipment will allow our students to enter the job market with real-world experience in working with the latest computing technologies,” said Fortune Mhlanga, director of the SCI. “We could not be more grateful to HealthSpring for its contribution. If Lipscomb were to purchase all this equipment new, it would cost us more than $1 million.”
“Supporting students and young professionals with higher education opportunities is critical to help further prepare them to enter the workforce with the skills they need for a successful career,” said Andy Flatt, chief information officer at HealthSpring and a member of the SCI professional advisory board. “HealthSpring is proud to be able to make this donation to help support Lipscomb students and the School of Computing and Informatics.”
The computer data center lab is currently being established in Lipscomb’s Beaman Library. The servers will form a computing cluster that information security students will use to practice penetration testing and network security. Undergraduate students will be able to get hands-on experience in the data center working with hardware setup, installing wiring, determining energy needs, repairs, setting up computer networks and setting up a virtualized environment.
“The equipment in this lab will provide a wealth of teaching opportunities for information technology and information security students,” said Ken Mayer, an instructor in the SCI who is working to set up the lab. “Most computing undergraduates would have to have internships to get the kind of experience we will be providing continuously over three to four years instead of three to four weeks.”
In addition, the lab can be designed to conduct research in a number of academic disciplines, said Mhlanga. “After we determine faculty’s software needs for various research options, this data center will be a truly interdisciplinary research lab, able to run models for almost any department here at Lipscomb. And in the future we hope to offer memory space for sister schools to conduct co-research.”
The SCI is still in the process of collecting the periphery equipment needed to get the new data center up and running. Officials expect it to be operational by spring 2013. Healing Hands International has already pledged to donate a server rack, and other organizations are being approached to donate additional equipment — such as cooling systems and telecommunications equipment — needed for the project.
HealthSpring, a Cigna company, is one of the country's leading health plans focused on delivering care to the senior population, predominately through Medicare Advantage and other Medicare and Medicaid products. Along with its companies Bravo Health and Leon Medical Centers Health Plans, HealthSpring serves more than one million customers in locations across the country. Based in Nashville, Tenn., HealthSpring operates health plans in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. HealthSpring also offers a national stand-alone prescription drug plan. For more information, visit www.healthspring.com.
About Lipscomb’s School of Computing and Informatics
Lipscomb University’s School of Computing and Informatics (SCI) prepares students for promising careers in design and coding, software engineering, security technology, “cloud” management and more. SCI offers innovative and uniquely multi-disciplinary programs that prepare graduates for entrepreneurial, technical and executive leadership positions within our industry and for further advanced degrees. A goal of the school to provide its students collaborative partnerships with industry, business, government, schools and nonprofit organizations that provide invaluable, real-world learning experiences. For more information visit technology.lipscomb.edu.