VMI Cyber Corps

Alumni and Friends of VMI:

Cyber Corps Numbers: 571

When Other Basketball Programs Come Looking For Coaching Talent: Appears that Hokie High was nosing around VMI for some coaching talent. Fortunate for the Keydets Coach Bellairs didn't take the bait. Whew! Ricky Stokes of UVA fame was subsequently selected to coach the Hokies

Wednesday, March 24, 1999
Weaver looking for Hussey's replacement
Tech AD has short list of coaches Jim Weaver has five candidates in mind for Virginia Tech's vacant men's basketball coaching position.


   The men's college basketball coaching carousel continued to spin across the country Tuesday.

    Who's going to land in the spot marked as Virginia Tech appears to be anybody's guess.

    Just 24 hours after Tech's dismissal of head coach Bobby Hussey, a slew of possible candidates surfaced in connection with the Hokies' job.

    The names continuing to be mentioned most are Delaware's Mike Brey, Appalachian State's Buzz Peterson, VMI's Bart Bellairs, Duke assistant Quin Snyder and former Tech great Allan Bristow.

    Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said Monday he has a short list of five candidates, whom he declined to identify.
* * * * *
    Bellairs, a vivacious personality whose run-and-gun style has re-energized hoops at VMI, said Tuesday he's "happy where I'm at," but is "thrilled'' his name is being mentioned with the Tech vacancy.
* * * * *

The Hair Issue: In last week's update I mentioned that consideration was being given to allowing upper class co-eds to wear their hair at "service-style" length. Since that time I have learned that it was announced to the co-ed cadets that those in the upper classes will be going to service-style length in the fall. Seems that some alumni are not too happy with this.

Battle of New Market - Part II: Seems that another New Market conflict has developed.

From The Washington Business Journal:

 March 22, 1999

American history for sale

Museum owner cites dispute with VMI

Adam Fike   Staff Reporter
John Bracken wants out of the war museum business.

He plans to pack up his collection of flags, maps, books and bullets and leave behind the battlefield he has called home for the last 11 years.

Bracken, 57, is selling his New Market Battlefield Military Museum, a historic property off Interstate 81 in New Market, Va., about 95 miles west of Washington.

The sale offers a unique opportunity to buy a piece of American history -- and take advantage of one of Virginia's biggest attractions.

Nearly 10 percent of Virginia's 44.5 million annual tourists visit sites related to the Civil War, according to the Virginia Tourism Corp.

Bracken is asking $3.5 million for the 7.5-acre property, where Union troops fell to the Confederate army in May 1864. The site contains a museum that houses Bracken's personal collection of artifacts from several wars.

But no amount of money will satisfy Bracken's emotional investment.

"There's no price to put on collecting this stuff for all these years and working seven days a week," he said.

So why is he selling?

Bracken cited increasing frustration in dealing with Virginia Military Institute, which has its Hall of Valor museum and memorial on a state-owned site about a mile from Bracken's museum. The VMI museum commemorates the spot where several of its cadets died while advancing on Union artillery.

But Bracken said the institute has been a "bad neighbor," contending its museum is filled with "plastic cannons" and "plastic dummies" that lack authenticity.

Bracken said the institute exaggerates its role in the battle and claimed it receives preferential treatment from the state's tourism board.

VMI officials acknowledge a conflict, although neither side is able to say just what the origin is.

John Roe Jr., business executive for VMI, said the institute's conversations with Bracken last fall were cordial.

"He did not mention that he was selling because of VMI," Roe said.

Virginia tourism officials deny they give preferential treatment to the VMI memorial museum, saying the state's 1999 Guide to Virginia's Civil War lists Bracken's museum as well as VMI's and the nearby Museum of the American Cavalry.

"We try to be as comprehensive as we can possibly be in the creation of that material," said Sue Bland, spokeswoman for the Virginia Tourism Corp.

Last year, more than 30,000 people paid $5 each to walk among the troop position markers Bracken has spread across his property and his 130 display cases full of artifacts spanning from the French and Indian to the Persian Gulf wars.

He began collecting as a child with souvenirs an uncle brought him from D-Day. Each item tells a part of story of the nation's warring past, he said.

His property features a two-story masonry and steel building Bracken built after buying the site in 1987. With a marble foyer and front portico, the building was designed to resemble the Robert E. Lee mansion at Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition to exhibit space, the 8,600-square-foot first floor has a theater and small shopping area. The 4,800-square-foot second floor has an office, apartment, conference room and storage area.

Until last September, VMI had considered buying Bracken's property. But Roe said talks broke down over the asking price.

Bracken and an appraiser estimate that the 13,500-square-foot building would cost $100 a square foot to build today. That put the value of the entire property at $3.5 million.

But VMI appraised the site and building at $1.5 million, Roe said.

"We told Mr. Bracken that we have a problem there," he said.

Bracken said he has not kept track of how much money he's put in the property. Since the museum opened in 1988, he's spent winter months reinvesting money and time in improvements, such as paving the parking lot and adding a kitchen and a split rail fence.

Not expecting to leave the museum, Bracken never added up the figures.

"It's an ongoing process, and I never kept track of it," he said.

Bracken plans to take his collection with him after the sale, unless the right buyer comes along. He has not put an exact value on the items and would sell only to appreciating hands.

"The collection would be for sale if they knew what they were buying," he said.

The property itself is in a state historic district, adding to its attraction and value, said Lisa Burcham, spokeswoman for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The unique and historic nature of the property requires that it be marketed creatively, said R.J. Turner of Adam-Nelson and Associates in Winchester, which is brokering the property.

"If it was something like self-storage or an apartment building, we would have a list of people that buy that sort of stuff," he said.

Turner is alerting history-related groups such as the National Historic Trust and state tourism groups. The property has been on the market for six weeks.

Bracken said the best use would be a museum. But removing the display cases would make it a perfect restaurant, with a view of the surrounding mountains.

Assimilation Duties: The duties of overseeing VMI's assimilation efforts have been turned over to the Commandant's Office. If you remember, the assimilation program had been overseen by Col Mike Bissell, a former VMI Commandant.

Speaking of the Commandant's Office: If my math is right, it appears that the Commandant's office now has a staff of 8 folks.

VMI Football: Seems to be a great deal of new enthusiasm in the football program.

Roanoke Times:

Sunday, March 21, 1999
Red team dominates VMI game


   Teray Frost scored three touchdowns Saturday to lead the Red team to a 41-0 victory in VMI's spring football game in Lexington.

    Frost, converted from wide receiver to halfback in new head coach Cal McCombs' flexbone offense, scored on runs of 1, 50 and 20 yards.

    The Red team rolled up 403 yards rushing. Frost had 123 yards on 15 carries and halfback Derrick Funches added 90 yards on eight carries.

    "It looked like the guys were having fun out there," McCombs said. "There was plenty of enthusiasm, and that's what we've been striving for this spring."

    The Keydets conclude spring drills this week and open the 1999 season Sept. 4 at Richmond.

   VMI posted a pair of victories in Lexington, beating East Tennessee State 7-6 and downing Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis 14-3.

    John Yates had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game.

    The Keydets (11-9) had four runs in the first and third innings of the second game to win easily. Scott Thompson, Michael Goldman and Rob Riley slugged home runs for VMI.
    Track and field: Phil Weismiller set a VMI school record by heaving the javelin 187 feet, 7 inches at the Weems Baskin Sprint Relays in Columbia, S.C.

"Ghost Cadet": Don't know how many folks have read The Ghost Cadet, but it's a very good book. I think it's a good book for 4th, 5th or 6th grade classes. Here's a thought. How about getting your local alumni chapter to buy and donate the books to a local school. After the class has read the book, arrange for a VMI cadet to appear before the class in uniform and discuss New Market and the VMI tradition associated with it. Now that's a marketing idea!

Historically accurate novel is set in New Market
The spirit of 'Ghost Cadet' inspires young writers
Award-winning author Elaine Alphin shared stories with fourth- and fifth-graders in Salem.

Friday, March 26, 1999

   The first story Elaine Alphin ever wrote was about a cat with three tails. She was 3.

    Forty-one years later, Alphin is an award-winning author whose works range from children's mystery novels to a book on toasters.

    Alphin was in Salem on Thursday to share stories and writing tips with fourth- and fifth-graders at East Salem and West Salem elementary schools. The schools' PTAs had arranged for the Indiana writer's visit.

    Her novel "Ghost Cadet," which Salem fifth-graders study in class, also is a popular title at the school libraries. The West Salem library's copies are well worn.

    The book, set in New Market, is the story of a present-day boy's efforts to help the spirit of a Virginia Military Institute cadet. The cadet was killed during the Civil War battle in the northern Shenandoah Valley town.

    The ghost can't rest until he finds a cherished family heirloom -- a gold pocket watch -- that he hid somewhere on the battlefield for safekeeping before he died.

    The book's historic context also fits into the fourth-grade Virginia history component of the state Standards of Learning.

    History is a passion for Alphin. "History is not just names and dates," she said. "History is real people."

    While researching the book, Alphin walked the New Market battlefield and pored over documents in the VMI archives. She decided to make an actual cadet, William Hugh McDowell, her ghost.

    The watch was her husband's idea, but, ironically, Alphin found a letter from McDowell's father that mentioned a missing gold watch. "That sent some chills up my back," she said.

    In "Ghost Cadet," the search for the watch is complicated by other factors.

    And that's part of good storytelling, Alphin told the students. "You start out with a basic problem ... and you introduce obstacles that increase the tension."

    After completing a manuscript, Alphin puts it aside for a while. It's too easy to get caught up in the elation of completion and fall into a false sense of perfection, she said.

    After some time away from the book, she can see weaknesses in characters or scenes that need reworking. After her editor reads the book, there usually are several more rounds of revision.

    For one book, she rewrote a chapter 10 times. "I was disgusted," Alphin said.

    "It's torture," she said of revision, but "it's so important."

    East Salem fourth-grader Ashley Altice said it meant a lot to hear an experienced writer emphasize revision. "She knows how it feels," Ashley said.

    Alphin -- whose parents wanted her to be a doctor and write on the side -- encouraged the students to follow her lead.

    "Do not let any adult tell you to settle down and get a real job and put off your dream," she said.

    Like a good plot, there will be obstacles along the way. For Alphin, a big hurdle was finding a publisher for the first time.

    "Ghost Cadet" was rejected 25 times .

    The book was published in 1991 and is in its 10th or 11th hardcover printing and 13th or 14th paperback printing, she said. The book has won writing awards in 14 states, including Virginia.

    Since "Ghost Cadet," Alphin has published seven other books and has four more under contract.

    "Follow your dream with all your heart," she told the students. "You'll certainly have a wonderful journey getting there."

Resume of the Week: I've attached a resume from Scott Ronayne '99. Scott is interested in the financial services area and he is from the Philadelphia area. I had lunch with Scott a few years back and he's a good guy. If you're interested take a look at the attached.

Looking for IT Help: Of course, who isn't these days? The following is from Tracy Wilson '80. As he indicates, his organization is looking for IT talent. He provides job descriptions which are pretty long. That's why I placed all this at the end of this week's update.

My office has gotten so desparate for IT personnel that they've begun offering cash incentives for referrals. Enclosed are the latest open positions (updated every week). If you know of anyone that could fill the bill in any of these areas, have them contact me (with their resume) and I'll split the loot with you if they're hired (and retained for 3-6 months minimum). Feel free to network among your contacts as well. All positions are located at our Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) facilities and feature the usual excellent pay and benefits.

Best regards,

Tracy Wilson, '80
National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council


Manager (Y2K Project Manager/Manager of Project Audit)
Responsible for ensuring that all tasks related to applications testing for Y2K compliance are met and that written compliance certificates or related documentation is completed. Incumbent will also be responsible for managing multiple projects, including meeting the demands of scheduling and testing on enterprise-wide, mission-critical applications with a specified period of time; reporting status, problems, and progress to the overall Y2K Manager and the Management Team; and the continual monitoring of industry news and issues related to Y2K and raising those issues with management as appropriate. Must have awareness of and ability to independently use Y2K tools and methodologies; an understanding of the application development process as it relates to potential problem detection and analysis in standard desktop applications and specialized custom applications; Y2K certification experience and knowledge of reporting channels from both a legal and institutional perspective; and detailed knowledge and experience Unix and Oracle.

Responsible for using Y2K test methods and tools to analyze and diagnose all Y2K issues in both custom applications and standard desktop applications. Requires ability to run test scripts and document results; analytical skills to detect ?red flags? during testing and make recommendations or provide solutions to resolve the issues; understanding of applications and PC desktops (including Microsoft and Lotus desktop products and development tools, drivers, DLLs, and other custom components of applications created in-house; and the ability to troubleshoot testing hardware and software to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the test lab.

Experience related to project management in a technical environment. The Manager of Project Quality Assurance will be responsible for determining, developing, and implementing best business practices to assure highest quality products delivered to our internal user-base. Must have detailed knowledge and experience with: project life-cycle management, developing forecasts indicating staffing requirements including recurring and peak needs; developing and implementing staffing and scheduling models; standard software development and database management tools; configuration management; QA process design; project management methodology design; procurement and proposal methodologies. In addition, the incumbent will develop, implement, and maintain a monitoring program to include: scoring, counseling, training needs, process and procedure recommendations, trending and reporting, and an audit process

Senior Technician (PC Repair Technician)
Experience with IBM PCs and compatibles (486, Pentium), Notebooks, HP printers (HPLJII and above), and Cannon Fax machines. Knowledge of Networked environments required; familiarity with Macintosh desired. Requires demonstrated ability to install hardware and software; perform inventory for charged back systems; manage in-house configuration, problem diagnosis and repair of PCs, peripherals, and additional information systems devices; identify and replace faulty components; install and configure systems and peripherals; arrange for warranty repair; document procedures; perform part-time PC support helpdesk services; train new users in the use of technology; and participate on technology teams.

Analyst (Network Engineer)
Experience related to TCP/IP, IPX network, Internet tools, DNS, and Internet mail routing; knowledge of Mac and IBM compatible computer systems and demonstrated experience in evaluation and selection of computer related products. Requires a demonstrated ability to design, install, and maintain the network operations system; provide high level technical support; test, evaluate, and select new technologies; develop procedures for guidelines for configuring and implementing new technologies into current production environment; diagnose and resolve computer network and workstation problems; coordinate evaluations and demonstrations of new technologies; market surveillance to keep track of IT developments; and perform other duties as assigned.

Senior Analyst (Sr. Lotus Notes Analyst)
Qualifications: B.A./B.S. or equivalent, preferably in computer, or information science; and at lease two years relevant experience. Requires demonstrated ability to perform quality assurance of notes application design; handle test-to-production process; serve as liaison between ITS Operations Group, Web Maintenance Office (WMO), Internet Service Center (ISC), and Applications Development Group to provide expertise on Notes Development and Operations Issues; act as resource for development requirements and issues; provide assistance to Notes Administrators; provide oversight for electronic mail administration process; conduct technical analysis of the system for capacity and trend utilization; conduct market surveillance to keep track of Lotus Notes and other IT market developments with respect to the technologies of interest to the NRC and ITS; test, evaluate, select, and demonstrate new collaboration technologies; develop procedures an guidelines for configuring, installing and implementing new technologies into current production environment; and other tasks as assigned.

Senior Analyst (Database Administrator)
Qualifications: B.A./B.S. or equivalent, preferably related to computer science, engineering, or mathematics; and at least six to seven years of experience with one or more front-end development tools (i.e., VB, C/C++, 4GLs, GUIs, etc.). Experience with PeopleSoft database applications desired. Requires demonstrated ability to design physical and logical databases; analyze and convert Oracle data objects; normalize and denormalize data structures; tune databases for optimal performance and manage storage space; administer database security and backup; and support back- and front-end software. Requires demonstrated knowledge of Oracle, Informix, and other RDBMS; N tier Client/Server systems; production and development environments; and HP Unix.

Analyst/Sr. Analyst (Sr. PC Support Analyst)
General programming experience and solid knowledge of various PC platforms (DOS, Windows, OS/2) and related tools. Experience of client/server technology in a UNIX environment desired. Requires experience in at least one of the following areas: Business Operations (Business process reengineering); Information Management (virtual libraries, web homepages); Lotus Notes Development (Internotes, workflow applications, Notes to RDBMS applications); Lotus Notes Administration (TCP/IP, Internet mail [SMTP], HTML, Notes server experience); Systems Management (Structured analysis design, functional requirements definition, JAD facilitations, logical database design, CASE tools). Requires demonstrated ability to analyze, design, develop, implement, maintain, and document complex systems and database applications; identify, evaluate, and install strategic automation systems; assist with identification, evaluation, and testing of new technology; determine amount of support and training required to integrate new products/services; assist in the selection and supervision of consultants and technical staff; identify and prioritize areas for potential automation; coordinate technology with institutional standards; develop technical strategic plans; maintain unit technology budget; act as team leader for group of PC Analysts; and prepare various analysis reports.

Demonstrated ability to provide technical task leadership and project management; schedule assigned tasks in project tracking tool; monitor progress of tasks and adhere to schedules and quality standards; maintain good working relationship with department staff and end-users; perform requirements gathering analysis; develop programming specifications for new systems; develop and implement Client/Server based systems using Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, Oracle, and other front-end and back-end development tools; document all aspects of application development; maintain existing client/server based operations;

Analyst/Sr. Analyst
Experience with Windows NT, relational databases (Oracle, Informix, Progress), programming and Internet development tools, VisualBasic, HTML, ActiveX, Lotus Notes, Domino, desktop operating systems, presentation and graphics software, project management software (MS Project), and collaborative computing.

Senior Analyst
(Oracle 7.x Database Administrator) Familiarity with Lotus Notes, Progress, Informix, PeopleSoft, Internet development tools, CASE tool (S-Designer), testing tools; UNIX, DBA, Client Server, C/C++, 4GL, TCP/IP.

(Web Applications Developer) Familiarity with MS SQL Server 6.x, 7x; MS IIS 4.0; Netscape Enterprise Server; MS InterDev; ASP; HTML; DHTML; Domino; Java; FrontPage, Cold Fusion.

Librarian (Systems Librarian)
M.A./M.S. or equivalent, preferably in library science or information science, with some coursework in computer science, and experience related to management of library systems (CD-ROM network, library catalog, library public computer workstations), Internet, information systems and information-seeking behavior, search engines and strategies.

Manager (Internet Services Center)
M.A./M.S. or equivalent, preferably in computer or information sciences, concentrating in the Internet technologies; and at least six to seven years of experience with planning, coordinating, and executing multi-disciplinary projects. Requires in depth knowledge of the Internet and Internet development tools, search engines and strategies, demonstrated ability to provide leadership and work as part of multi-disciplinary team; create and maintain an Internet Services Center business plan and all associated activities; provide task and project management for Internet projects using Lotus Notes/Domino and complementary technologies; establish and manage an Internet help desk and training programs. Experience with Lotus Notes and Access or Oracle required.

Hey, that's it for this week.

Yours in the Spirit,
RB Lane '75

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Last Updated: October 11, 2009

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