University News

Professors Stoney Jackson and Heidi Ellis Named as Top Open Source Instructors Nationwide

Published: April 21, 2017 | Categories: All News, Arts and Sciences, Engineering
Professors Stoney Jackson and Heidi Ellis

Dr. Stoney Jackson, Western New England University associate professor and chair of the Computer Science and Information Technology Department, and Professor Heidi Ellis of the same department, were recognized by Red Hat as among the top 21 instructors in U.S. higher education who have incorporated open source software into their academic work. 

“These 21 instructors are honored for their commitment to teaching open source to their students,” said Tom Callaway, University Outreach lead, Red Hat. “These outstanding faculty accomplish this by running a Professor’s Open Source Software Experience or POSSE workshop, creating an open source program at their institutions, contributing materials to the growing open source curriculum base, and promoting the value of teaching open source to students at conferences and technical symposiums.”

POSSE is a Red Hat-sponsored program for instructors to bring their students into active participation in open source online communities. Launched in 2009, and made possible through National Science Foundation grants awarded to Western New England University, Drexel University, and Nassau Community College, these workshops are designed to give professors the skills and experience needed to involve their students in open source projects. Red Hat assists many Fortune 500 companies by using open source technology to solve problems within the business.

“The impact of collaborative, open source innovation can now be seen across a number of industries. Open source projects innovate new digital approaches to solving complex problems, and enable important advancements.” Callaway added.

“Professor Ellis and I are deeply honored by this recognition,” remarked Dr. Stoney Jackson. “We are both committed to continuing our work with open source software, and encouraging our students to be involved as well.”