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October 20, 2008

The Best Careers in the Best State This Saturday at Champlain College!

150x200vt3_2 Fellow students — if finding your dream job after college is important, clear your Saturday schedule! The Vermont 3.0 Career Jam will be at Champlain College on the 25th to dispel the rumor that there are no jobs in Vermont.

No, you won’t find any covered bridge engineers or sugarers here. Fortunately, from real-life CSI’s, to video game designers, to professional facebookers, to robot makers and tons more — there are some extremely cool jobs at the Career Jam. Some of the most dynamic jobs and most innovative professionals, not just in Vermont, but nationally, will be participating in panel discussions throughout the day.

So, who are the players, you may be asking? Take a look:

Definitely check out Steve Benen at 10 a.m. Benen is a blogger and contributor to The Washington Monthly. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08." If you’re interested about making a career as a blogger, or even a journalist, this is your guy! This is not just some college blogger working for a local paper, this guy is big! A must-see!

But if blogging and political reporting doesn’t cream your coffee at that hour, listen to Nate Herzog, Director of Information Services at JDK Design. Before JDK he worked for MIT in the support division of the IS/IT Department where he was a support specialist, system administrator, and technical writer. This bears mention--his college degree was in English literature… and then he worked in technology at MIT. There is absolutely no way this guy will be a bore with a skill set like that.

Champlain College will be showcasing Vermont’s leaders in e-game programming at 11 a.m. Even if you aren't a gamer, you should check out Heather Kelley, who is the Creative Director of the UNFPA Electronic Game to End Gender Violence, under development at the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College. The Electronic Game to End Gender Violence was inspired by some of the violence issues against women in South Africa. Kelley and students at the Center visited the country this past summer and are currently producing a video game in the hope of reducing the violence. Check out some of the other socially responsible ways the Champlain Media Center is changing the world while you're at it. There's some really interesting stuff happening in the lab at Winooski's Champlain Mill.

Also speaking at 11 is Scott Johnson, who worked as the Secretary of Natural Resources for Governor Howard Dean, and now is the Executive Director at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. VEIC’s work focuses on efficiency and renewable strategies to reduce the carbon being released into our atmosphere.

At noon, Gary Kessler, Associate Professor of Computer & Digital Forensics and director of the Center for Digital Investigation (C3DI) at Champlain College, will be speaking. If you’ve ever seen CSI and thought, “Man, that would be really cool!” I’d highly recommend listening to one of the most informed and respected professionals in high-tech crime solving.

I’m not sure how many people think Vermont has a biotech industry, but my suspicions are not many. Dr. Nick Heintz, a Professor of Pathology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, will be speaking at 1 p.m. Aside from maybe being interested in long walks on the beach, tennis and a spirited game of Go Fish!, Dr. Heintz is focused on cancer research, with an emphasis on understanding how changes in gene expression and cell signaling promote the uncontrolled proliferation of human cancer cells. I doubt he’ll speak much about tennis.

The owner of Soundtoys, Ken Bogdanowicz, will be speaking at 2. He made the world's first intelligent pitch shifting device, the legendary H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer. Bogdanowicz's "sound toys" have been used by Trent Reznor, The Neptunes, Eminem, Donny Osmond (!), Steve Vai, and many, many more rock stars. Soundtoys produces sound processing technology to the world of computer-based recording. His products can be found in music, movies and video games. This sounds good to me!

Make sure to stick around past three. Why, you may ask? Really smart people who make robots for a living are there! One guy, Michael Ridge, is a sculptor and mold technician. He has produced action figures for Star Trek and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Today he works at Advanced Animations in Stockbridge, Vermont, which produces animatronic characters for theme parks, casinos, and museum exhibits. Ridge has helped create the touring museum exhibit "Animal Grossology," and a “Revenge of the Mummy” roller coaster at Universal Studios in California. Don’t fear, I’m sure the roller coaster is better than the movie (it's shorter, too). He has also recently worked on the characters for Disney Tokyo's "Treasures on Parade." How could this guy not be awesome? Seriously.

YouTube directors will want to catch Allan Nichols at 3. Nichols starred in Broadway plays before spending over 30 years with famed film director Robert Altman. He didn’t stop there — he worked as an associate producer for Saturday Night Live. He now directs the Film Production program at Burlington College. Watch some of the films his students produce.

Seven Days own Eva Sollberger will be there too. Sollberger has been in the industry for over ten years, working at film festivals, showcasing her work at art houses, and more recently, producing a local television program and “vlogging” for Seven Days. She’s met some strange people nationally and in Vermont, and I bet has some good stories to tell.

So, head to Champlain College this Saturday and meet the most innovative people around the Green Mountains. You might even find your dream job!

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Admission is free.

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