Junior James Rogers, Becker, Minn., Interns in Math, Science, and Technology Department for the Summer

Written by Senior Alexmai Addo, communications assistant in University Relations.

College is all about self-discovery and finding a career path you will love.  For James Rogers, 


a junior at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC), that is exactly what happened to him when he came to UMC.  Rogers is originally from Becker, Minnesota.  He chose to come to UMC because he thought it had one of the best criminal justice programs in the state. 

Rogers wanted to be a cop and came in as a criminal justice major with an emphasis in law enforcement.  However, as his college career went on, he realized that law enforcement wasn't the career field he wanted to pursue.  He liked math and science, so he decided to look for a major in the Math, Science and Technology Department.  After exploring different majors in that department, he found that he was fascinated with software engineering and wanted to pursue a major in that area of study. 

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Rogers is currently completing his internship in software engineering this summer.   All students must complete an internship to graduate from the University of Minnesota Crookston.  He is helping with programs for the board and surface tables in the Undergraduate Collaborative Learning and Experiential applied Research (UCLEAR) Lab.  The UCLEAR Lab features interactive computer surface touch tables with PixelSense technology.  It allows different groups to work collaboratively on different research or hands-on exercises.   Data or imagery can be distributed among the different systems in the lab, where teams of students or researchers can perform analysis in a large format, multi-touch display.  

Rogers and some of his classmates went in to see Adel Ali, former head of the Math, Science, and Technology Department, to acquire information on getting an internship in software engineering.  Ali told them to get in contact with Mark Gill, a lecturer at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  Gill was working on programs for the boards and could use some student interns.  With that, he got Rogers and some of his classmates a summer internship.   "I do a lot of coding, planning designing, and troubleshooting to figure out problems," said Rogers.  When Rogers started his internship he wished to gain experience and insight on what future jobs would be like, which is what he got.

his internship has added numerous attributes to Rogers's education at UMC.  He stated that it has improved his coding skills and helped him get an insight of what the industry will be like.  "It has helped me gain more experience in areas I lacked and improve my skills in areas I was already strong in."  Rogers was able to apply what he learned in his class to his internship, which is a wonderful thing for a student.  It helps the student see that what they are learning is practical to their future.  His classes, such as Programming one and two and Requirement Analysis Quality Assurance Test, were all helpful to him.  He is currently working on an aerial view of Crookston, where he is adding shapes of buildings and different points to the Crookston map. 

Aside from the internship, Rogers is highly involved in activities and academics at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  He plays on the club hockey team, which he is the vice president for.  Also, he is completing an undergraduate research study with Mehdi Mekni, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  When he leaves UMC, he will most likely go into the workforce but he is not sure yet.  Rogers is a wonderful student and the University is proud he chose to come here. 

For more information on software engineering or other majors at the U of M Crookston, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photos: James Rogers demonstrates one of the touch sensitive screens that is part of the UCLEAR lab. 

Contact: Mark Gill, lecturer, Math, Science, and Technology Department, 218-281-8258 (mgill@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)