RSU Technology Seniors Invited to Conference

Students stand under Google sign

RSU applied technology students who helped organize the recent AeroGames Powered by Google competition are, from left: Jonathan Vest, Tierra Lofgren, Alisabeth Narcomey, David Rea, faculty advisor R. Curtis Sparling, RSU Mascot Hunter the Hillcat, Brandi Cerrito, Brad Groeneveld and KJRH News Anchor Karen Larsen, who emceed the recent event.

As a result of their successful organization of the recent AeroGames Powered by Google STEM competition at Rogers State University, a group of RSU students have been invited to present a workshop at an upcoming technology conference in Arkansas.

RSU Applied Technology senior capstone students, under the direction of Professor Curtis Sparling, will be presenting “QuadCopter Build and Flight,” which will include hands-on demonstrations of builds, programming, 3D printing, and flights of drones.

Sparling, who serves as the O.D. Mayor Endowed Chair for the Pryor campus, will be discussing STEM programs offered at RSU at the conclusion of the conference, which is expected to draw more than 500 Arkansas students and educators. Arkansas DroneCON is organized by ExplorNet and its Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning, a curriculum and professional development consultant working with industry and education professionals. The one-day conference is for high school students and teachers working with unmanned aerial systems, environmental and special technology, agriculture, business, criminal justice, film, and construction.

The RSU students who will be presenting the April 16 workshop are:

  • Brandi Cerrito, an applied technology senior from Owasso;
  • Brad Groeneveld, an applied technology senior from Chelsea;
  • Tierra Lofgren, a business information technology/computer networking administration senior from Claremore;
  • Alisabeth Narcomey, an applied technology/cybersecurity and information assurance senior from Catoosa;
  • David Rea, an applied technology senior from Nowata; and
  • Jonathan Vest, an applied technology senior from Claremore.

This is the second year that Sparling’s capstone students have taken a leadership role in organizing the AeroGames Powered by Google, which features area high school and middle schools teams competing to build and fly their own drones in a flight and obstacle course. The 6th annual event was held last week on the RSU campus with more than 15 teams and 150 students competing.

“This is a great honor for our students to be sought after and asked to participate in this conference,” Sparling said. “I think it speaks directly to the quality of our students and the challenging work they are doing in this emerging technology field.”

RSU’s Department of Technology and Justice Studies offers bachelor’s degrees in applied technology with an available option in cybersecurity and information assurance; business information technology with options in computer network administration and software development and multimedia; game development; and justice administration with options in Collegiate Officer Program (COP), cybersecurity investigations, and law/justice. Associate degrees are available in applied technology, computer science, and criminal justice studies. Several of these bachelor’s and associate degrees options also are available via RSU’s nationally recognized RSU Online program. For more information, visit the RSU Department of Technology and Criminal Justice website.

For more information about Arkansas DroneCON, visit