TJ and Dirk in front of the poster

This poster presents work by CyberAmbassador undergraduate researcher, TJ Van Nguyen, which compares several solutions to develop a website to host and share CyberAmbassador OpenSource educational materials. The goal is to build a system that is easy for instructors to explore, find and modify content to fit their needs. Any modified content should be easily shared back with the community. At the same time the content should be secure and easy to maintain. Instead of recreating the wheel, this research explored the possibility of slightly modifying existing Content Management Systems (CMS). The CMS are categorized using some of their basic attributes (ex: static/dynamic, OpenSource/proprietary, local/remote hosting) and then evaluated based on their usability, security and ease of maintenance. More specifically, this work looks into multiple static site generators and put together templates and prototypes using Jekyll, Pelican and comparing them to dynamic systems such as, Wordpress and Drupal. No CMS is perfect and thus a solution should be selected based on the design criteria and goals of the individual website. However, many areas of education could benefit from a common, easily adapted CMS focused on education materials. This work attempts to identify and provide instructions to quickly develop such a system tailored to the needs of the individual communities.

Link to a pdf of the poster

Understanding Research Technology Support and Where it Fails

Tue 26 March 2019 by Dirk Colbry

Image of a Microscope

Dirk was was invited to give a talk to a newly formed IT Research Support group on MSU's campus. As the name suggests, the purpose of this group is to find the best ways to help researchers use technology to do their science.

This talk was a patchwork of existing …

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First Full Day Communication Workshop

Mon 18 March 2019 by Dirk Colbry

UTC picture

We just completed our first full-day communication workshop at the University of Tennessee. There was a small hick-up with flight delays but once things got rolling the workshop turned out great. This is the first time we have integrated the three separate communication modules:

  • First Contact
  • Complex conversations
  • Communicating a …
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First Contact (Newest Module)

Fri 01 March 2019 by Dirk Colbry


We just finished developing and presenting our latest module called "first contact". This module looks at new conversations and how you can prepare yourself for unexpected opportunities to build new relationships.

Overall our CMSE890 graduate students seemed to enjoy the exercise. They gave us some great and I really think …

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CaRCC Research Facilitation Monthly Meeting - Complex Convsersations

Thu 14 February 2019 by Dirk Colbry

CaRCC Logo

We just got finished presenting the Complex Conversations module to the monthly research facing meeting for the Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC) . This session conducted completely online using Zoom.

Amazing group of people.

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Graduate CyberAmbassador Course

Thu 10 January 2019 by Dirk Colbry

Meeting image

This semester we are teaching a in-person class at Michigan State University to provide the CyberAmbassador curriculum in its entirety. The course will consists of ~16 hours of the CyberAmbassador training, ~9 hours of Entering Mentoring curriculum and ~6 hours of discussion-based RCR (responsible conduct of research) training required of …

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Latest Module - Effective Meeting Management

Thu 08 November 2018 by Dirk Colbry

Meeting image

Image from Peter Durand at Flickr

We just got finished presenting our latest module to the Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC) monthly call for their Research Facing CyberInfrastructer professionals. This session was conducted completely online using Zoom and it turned out to be quite effective.

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2018 Tau Beta Pi Convention

Thu 11 October 2018 by Dirk Colbry

Convention Poster

Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, meets every year for their National Convention. This year the convention is meeting in Denver Co. Dr. Katy Colbry is presenting a pilot of a new Engineering Futures module titled "Complex Conversations". This module is based closely on the curriculum developed for the …

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Campus Champion CyberAmbassador Presentation

Tue 18 September 2018 by Dirk Colbry

Campus Champion Logo

I had the pleasure of introducing the CyberAmbassador project to the Campus Champions on our Monthly teleconference. In case you are interested, here is a link to my slides:

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6 Ways Michigan State University is Leveraging the Resources and Expertise of the National Research Mentoring Network

Mon 06 August 2018 by Dirk Colbry

National Research Mentoring Network Logo

One of the objectives of the CyberAmbassador project is to reach out and work with other Professional Skills training programs. Co-Pi, Dr. Kathleen Colbry is a trained facilitator for the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and the Director of Engineering Futures professional training program though Tau Beta Pi (The engineering …

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