Information technology and mathematics students make their mark

May 03, 2012

Newburgh, NY -

(Left) Luis brothers in front of Complex City in Newburgh, NY. From left: Marco, Kenneth and Juan. (Right) Kenneth Luis fixing a computer at Complex City.

While a senior at Mount Saint Mary College, Juan Luis ’11, was busy making plans to launch his own business. Together with his brothers Kenneth ’12 and Marco, he opened Complex City on William Street in Newburgh, NY, last fall.

And the business is thriving.

From netbooks to desktop computers, Complex City writes and installs the latest software, cleans up virus infections and repairs computers, for both individuals and businesses.

“Setting up a network at the Bulls Head Inn,” said Juan, “was something I never pictured us doing.”

But they succeeded, and the system they installed controls iPads and printers to print receipts, manage expenses, and output food orders for the restaurant and catering facility located in Campbell Hall, NY.

Kenneth, who is majoring in information technology like his brother Juan did, will join Complex City fulltime following graduation. He said the strong faculty and small classes at the Mount, along with state of the art equipment in computer labs, helped prepare him for the business world.

During his senior year, Kenneth completed an internship at Sono-Tek Corporation, a world leader for thin coating in electronics manufacturing, in Milton. He now uses what he’s learned during his internship when he works part-time at Complex City.

Kenneth credits retiring Mount professor Vincent Kayes, information technology, with being a valuable mentor.

“He’s a great teacher and adviser, but most of all a great friend. It’s sad to see him go, but he deserves it.”

Kenneth also named Bulls Head Inn owner, Kris Edwards, as having influence with his career.

“I washed dishes for him at Randone’s (a pizzeria and restaurant in Newburgh which Edwards also owns) and he would always call me with any IT related problems, and then he asked us to install his new system,” said Kenneth.

Juan noted that the business is growing because it’s diversified and customer oriented. “We like to take on the tasks people bring us,” he noted.

Mount Saint Mary College helped the Luis brothers succeed by offering classes that taught them to understand concepts about computers and networking to the fullest.

“Professors at the Mount really know their students,” said Juan, adding that “They made it seem like what I was doing was important, and they were always available to help.”

Proud professors Vincent Kayes and Neil Christensen shared the news. “They were certainly above average students,” wrote Christensen, who added about their hard working family, “very inspiring.”

For future mathematics teachers, a TI-SMART view with SMART board projects a large graphing calculator in class that interacts just like a handheld version, providing students with the skills required on New York State assessments.

Students majoring in mathematics or information technologies at Mount Saint Mary College often go on to careers in educational technologies, networking, web technologies, or education.

New York State Teacher of the Year Debra Calvino, who graduated from the Mount with a mathematics degree, works at Valley Central High School in Montgomery.

Mount mathematics and information technology grads also work as financial analysts, actuaries, bank managers, statisticians, researchers, programmers, as well as teachers.

Leandro Bautista ’11, who majored in information technology at the Mount, now works at Google in New York City as a technical support technician servicing and maintaining hardware inventory. The Bronx resident said that his internship at Sono-Tek “gave me a taste of what the real world was like and showed me different areas of IT, helping me get a feel for what I wanted to do with my degree and preparing me for the real world after graduation.”

And Mount senior Brittany Botta, an honors mathematics/education major from Warwick, NY, was recently selected by the American Educational Research Association to participate in the association’s prestigious undergraduate research workshop. Botta’s primary research interest is “motivation among adolescent girls to pursue careers in mathematics and engineering.”