VCCS network engineer selected for prestigious international computing project

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In a field still dominated by men, a female network engineer who keeps the computers humming at three of our community colleges has been selected to help build a super high-speed network that will serve a giant gathering of tech industry experts in the fall.  Alicia Marques will participate in the Women in IT Networking (WINS) program at SC22, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis.

Image of IT network engineer Alicia Marques


“I am extremely excited and honored to be selected for this unique learning opportunity,” says Marques. “And I’m grateful to have such a strong support system at the VCCS that allowed me to pursue it. I love the work I do supporting the campus networks and cannot wait to soak up as much knowledge and experience as I can to better serve the VCCS and the colleges.”

Marques’ day job is supporting the computer networks at Brightpoint (formerly John Tyler), Reynolds and Rappahannock Community Colleges. She’s held the post of shared network engineer at the VCCS a little more than a year.

In preparation for the international computing conference in November, Marques will be part of a team of volunteers who will design and create a powerful computer network for use during the conference.

“While part of the Women in IT Networking apprenticeship program, Alicia will help construct one of the world’s fastest and most advanced networks delivering bandwidth exceeding 1-terabit per second to the International Conference for High-Performance Computing,” said Dan Lepore, director of Enterprise Operations Services for the VCCS.

“This is a big deal to me,” said VCCS Chief Information Officer Michael Russell. “Alicia is a shared resource among several colleges participating in our IT as a Service model – Shared network engineer. We need to recruit more employees like her.”

“This will definitely help expand my skillset,” said Marques. “Part of my work for the VCCS involves supporting the Wide Area Network that connects all of the colleges, which is something that I have not been as exposed to in my previous jobs. Because of that the WINS selection committee elected to place me on the team that handles the routing and connectivity of the conference network to internet service providers and research facilities around the world.  I look forward to sharing what I learn with my colleagues at the VCCS.”

Marques expects to travel to the Dallas, TX convention site a couple of times in the fall.


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