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Please click here to view last year’s (2019) SPAC.  Stay tuned for information regarding SPAC20.

What is a Student Professional Awareness Conference (S-PAC)?

S-PACs are student-organized conferences that involve discussions on various professional development topics.

Since 1979, Student Professional Awareness Conferences (S-PACs) have:

  • Significantly enhanced the leadership and non-technical skills of technology students.
  • Trained pioneers and innovators to tackle the dynamics of the technology profession.
  • Bridged the professional needs of technologists-in-training and wisdom of technology leaders from different fields.
  • Transformed several thousands of students into leaders of the IEEE or other corporations and professional organizations.

Boise State S-PAC

The Boise State IEEE, Society of Women Engineers, Northern Nazeran University and the Association of Computer Machinery have worked hard together to bring the students of Boise State University a great collection of speakers and events on March 18, 2016  Beginning at 9:30 a.m. we will be meeting with representatives from Raytheon, Dutch Bros. ON Semiconductors and Realtime Advernture Data in the Simplot Ballroom (Room D) at the Student Union Building.

March 18, 2016 Schedule of Events:

9:30 – 10:30       Realtime Adventure Data CEO

10:45 – 11:45      Dennis Frailey – Raytheon Company

1:15 – 2:15          Dutch Bros

2:15 – 3:15          Andy Perkins ON Semiconductor

3:00 – 6:00        Networking/Industry Recruitment Session with the following companies:

  • PKG User Interface Solutions
  • Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
  • Idaho Power
  • Navy Officer Recruiting
  • Idaho Board of Prof. Engineers and Prof. Land Surveyors
  • Micron Technologies
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
  • American Semiconductor Inc.
  • ON Semiconductor
  • Marvell Semiconductor
  • Plexus
  • United States Air Force

Guest Speakers


image of Dennis J. Frailey

Dennis J. Frailey

Dennis is a recently retired Principal Fellow at Raytheon Company in Plano, Texas. He still teaches software engineering and computer science as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). At Raytheon, Dennis led several major software engineering projects and was also a specialist in six sigma, software measurement and cycle time reduction. He served as an instructor in several internal Raytheon courses for project managers and software managers and in earlier career assignments served as a computer architect, operating system designer, compiler designer, and speechwriter for company executives. Dennis previously worked at Texas Instruments, the Ford Motor Company, and as a tenured, Associate Professor at SMU where he helped start both the computer science and software engineering programs. Professionally, Dennis is a member of the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors, former chair of the Industry Advisory Board to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, and an accreditation Program Evaluator for ABET in computer science, computer engineering and software engineering. Previously he was ACM national vice president, ACM regional representative, chair of the Purdue University ACM student chapter, and Chair of the Dallas Association for Software Engineering Excellence. Dennis has been program chair for several dozen computer conferences and has won several awards in computer science and software engineering education. He holds an MS and PhD in computer science (Purdue) and a BS in mathematics (Notre Dame).

Jobs Over Time
Many college students concentrate on getting a job instead of preparing for a career. In a rapidly changing field like computing, this can lead to frequent job changes, burnout and dissatisfaction. Furthermore, today we hear a lot about outsourcing and some wonder whether there will be computing careers in the future. This talk is based on the premise that the jobs will certainly change over time but there will be computing careers for a long time. Dr. Frailey shows how to prepare for a life-long career in computing, covering such topics as where the opportunities are, what it’s like to work in the computing field in a large, professionally run computing organization, how the field of computing has changed over the years, how it is likely to change in the future, and what hasn’t changed. The talk also addresses what employers look for when hiring people in the computing field and what it takes to have a successful career.

Dutch Bros.

image of Brant Boersma

Brant Boersma

Brant Boersma was blessed to be born into the Dutch Bros. family. Oldest son of Dutch Bros. co-founder, Dane, Brant began working the window and making shaved ice at the ripe old age of 12. Since then, he’s done everything from waste & water disposal, roasting coffee beans, to now coaching the future faces of the Dutch Bros. and protecting the brand culture. It is obvious that the Dutch Bros. blood flows deeply in Brant, as he now carries on the tradition of providing the loving wisdom that his dad gave so freely. Brant has always said, “My Dad was a father to many, I was just lucky enough to spend the most time with him.” In 2002, Brant married the girl of his dreams, Amber, and together they have 3 beautiful daughters.

Coffee, Culture and Community
Brant Boersma will provide a brief look at the Dutch Bros history and evolution. He will also cover what makes the Dutch Bros “Unstructure” work, the commitment to customers and the community. His deep dive into the culture of the company and why it is such a focal point for Dutch Bros provides insight that can be carried forward in many areas of business, community and individual relationships.

ON Semiconductors

image of Andy Perkins

Andy Perkins

Andy Perkins has a PhD and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, as well as a BA in Natural Science from Covenant College. Companies he was worked for include Astec Industries, Fairchild Semiconductor, Kirkland and Ellis LLP, IBM, Micron, and Aptina. Currently he works at ON Semiconductor where he researches and develops ways to improve how CMOS image sensors capture light. He has over 10 patents, has worked on patent litigation cases, works with several semiconductor professional organizations, and teaches as an adjunct professor at Northwest Nazarene University. He and his wife have 5 boys whom they actively homeschool. He built his first RepRap 3D printer in 2011, and is a strong proponent of always educating and improving oneself.

Path to Success
There is no direct or well-laid out path to becoming a successful professional, especially in a technical career. Becoming a successful professional is just as much about learning and improving upon oneself, as it is checking off the right boxes. I will talk about my personal experiences in graduate school, deciding on my first ‘real’ job, how to open doors that lead to more opportunities, and how to face personal and professional challenges along the way.

Real Time Adventure Data


Image of Ryan Stevenson (COO)

Ryan Stevenson (COO)

Ryan – Received MS in Mechanical Engineering at BSU. Engineer at SGW Design Works and Co-founder of Realtime Adventure Data. Undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering from University of Tennessee. Grew up in Baltimore, MD. Avid mountain biker and kayaker.

Image of Jacob Taubenheim (VP of Marketing & Sales)

Jacob Taubenheim (VP of Marketing & Sales)

Jake – BS in Exercise Physiology from BSU. Co-founder of Realtime Adventure Data. Grew up in Snohomish Washington. Avid skier and kayaker.

image of Micah Johnson (CTO)

Micah Johnson (CTO)

Micah – Received MS in Mechanical Engineering at BSU. Currently working for Edventures Lab in Boise, and recently had a son. Co-founder of Realtime Adventure Data. Grew up in Baker Oregon. He is a technology buff who likes to take things apart, as well as an avid climber/skier/outdoorsman.

Real Time Adventure Data Info Session
Real Time Adventure Data is focused on bring objective data to the masses in outdoor sports. Our first product focuses on extracting the light profile of the layers of the snow pack for skiers and backcountry travelers to use while analyzing the snow pack. This will allow them quickly asses if there are potential weak layers present in the snow worth investigating during their avalanche assessment. We started this business at BSU where Micah came up with the idea while he was working in Anchorage, Alaska. Since starting the business while at BSU, we have won a handful of startup funding, graduated from BSU, started our careers, all while continuing to build the business. There have been highs and lows along the way. Anyone can do what we’re doing as well if they have the dedication to following their passion.