ECU hosts Red Hat Kickoff Event

Students look through materials during the Red Hat Kickoff Event Wednesday at the Main Campus Student Center at East Carolina. (Photos by Ken Buday)

The Department of Technology Systems hosted the Red Hat Academy Fall Kickoff Event Wednesday outside the Main Campus Student Center at East Carolina University.

It was the first such event for Red Hat, an open source software company headquartered in Raleigh.

“It’s really just to introduce students on campus to Red Hat, who they are and how they do it, so students can look at maybe a career in technology,” said Charly Tanner, an ECU senior in computer technology and a Red Hat Academy intern.

ECU has been a Red Hat Academy campus since 2005 and was the Red Hat Academy Partner of the Year in 2018.

“We want to share with students the partnership that Red Hat has built with East Carolina University,” said Trisha Turlington, business development manager for Red Hat. “We want to share with students the opportunities they have by learning these technologies, so it becomes more real to them than just the technology they are learning in class, but this is a future career they can look forward to and inspire to be. It’s really bringing the content to life for students.”

Students grab some snacks at the Red Hat Kickoff Event Wednesday.

Red Hat employs about 13,000 globally, with about 2,000 to 3,000 employees at its Raleigh headquarters.

“I think Red Hat is doing a lot of cutting edge technology initiatives and is involved in a lot of emerging technology,” Turlington said. “We can promote and share those ideas with students too, even if it’s not included in their full-time curriculum. It’s a great way for Red Hat to instill that foundational knowledge with the students and help them prepare for careers that might be very different in two years than it is today, so it gets them out front.”

The event featured food and refreshments, speakers, games and a trivia contest.

“A big part of what this event is focused on is how we can connect with students,” Turlington said.

Lee Toderick, a teaching instructor in the Department of Technology Systems, summed up ECU’s partnership with Red Hat simply.

“It’s gotten some students some really good jobs,” he said.

Students gather for the Red Hat Kickoff Event Wednesday.

Officials with Red Hat speak during the Red Hat Kickoff Event Wednesday.

— By Ken Buday, University Communications