In November, MCNC celebrated 35 years of “magic” on the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and recognized two technology leaders for their contributions to connectivity in North Carolina during NCREN Community Day 2019 at Durham Convention Center.
More than 200 top education, government, and technology executives participated in discussions around this year's theme: The Magic of NCREN. Today, according to MCNC President and CEO Jean Davis, the organization now operates more than 4,000 miles of high-speed fiber that serves communities in virtually all 100 counties of North Carolina.
"This network was built by and for the community we serve, and together we will continue to grow and expand to meet the technology needs of our students, public servants and citizens in North Carolina," said Davis. "NCREN is a powerful network with limitless potential operated by professional engineers and staff. As we look ahead to the next 35 years, we want to leverage what we've built together and continue to provide solutions in connectivity, education, cloud, telehealth, cybersecurity, consulting, and other managed services."
MCNC also announced winners of this year's NCREN Community Awards during the two-day event.
The Robyn Render Endeavor Award was presented to North Carolina Rep. Craig Horn of Union County. This recognition honors a devoted North Carolina leader who understands how technology can grow educational opportunity for all citizens. It is presented to one or more persons who continually champion leadership, engagement, and support of MCNC's overarching mission and goals for North Carolina.
"I am deeply honored to receive this award named after Robyn Render, who worked diligently and effectively with diverse groups holding diverse points of view to enhance the delivery of education," said Rep. Horn. "The success of the collaborative efforts of MCNC with the General Assembly has resulted in opening dramatically diverse options for education, both in delivery and in content."
MCNC introduced the Empower Award in 2008 to recognize individuals who were not long-time members of the NCREN user community but made an immediate impact upon engagement. This year's Empower Award was presented to Jeff Whitworth, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Infrastructure and Chief Infrastructure Architect at UNC Greensboro.
"MCNC has been an exemplary leader in broadband connectivity and networking across North Carolina for many years, and I'm honored to receive this award for our work on UNC Greensboro's Cloud Infrastructure Project," said Whitworth.
Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers and presenters at this year’s event. Slide decks, videos, and materials are available here. Sessions that have associated materials will have an indicator within the session.
We appreciate the generous support of our sponsors and exhibitors whose participation had a direct impact on the quality and success of this event. NCREN Community Day 2019 event sponsors included: Zettabyte Sponsor: Cisco + Presidio; Terabyte Sponsor: Red Hat / Carahsoft; Gigabyte Sponsors: Amazon AWS and Fortinet; Megabyte Sponsors: Akamai / Carahsoft, Spectrum Enterprise, and Zscaler; Byte Sponsors: BalsamWest, DataWatt Solutions, ECC Technologies, Financial Directions, Kenna Security, Sentinel Risk Advisors, and Smith Anderson.
Again, we truly appreciate your participation and continued support. We look forward to seeing you again at our next MCNC event.