Congratulations to Instructional Program Manager Ernie Friend who was named the 2018 HI-TEC Educator of the Year. With this award, HI-TEC recognizes community college faculty who make significant contributions to the education and training of today's technology workforce. To be considered for the award, nominees must demonstrate broader impact on technology education on both a local and national level.
In his role at FSCJ, Ernie provides Collegewide support for two bachelor's and three associate degrees in information technology. Working with his staff and faculty, he has used virtualization technologies to web-enable some of the most advanced technical hands-on academic curriculum.
As a board member of the National Convergence Technology Center, Ernie contributes significantly, in collaboration with international business interests, to the national dialogue defining skill sets required for emerging information technology occupations. He has led or participated in more than a dozen National Science Foundation and Department of Labor grants centered on creating new curriculum, faculty professional development and student engagement in high technology fields. He served on the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) committee designing new standards for Cybersecurity, and the College’s computer networking program, which he leads, and recently submitted an application to the National Security Agency (NSA) for designation as a Center of Academic Excellence.
Ernie has worked at FSCJ for more than 25 years and holds a master's degree in Cybersecurity from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Management from Southern Illinois University. His foundations in information technology leadership were earned through 10 years of service in the United States Navy, providing technical support and instruction on the latest military aircraft.
In his spare time, Ernie enjoys spending time with family and close friends. He also likes helping others with projects and being outdoors, especially on the water. He is working on checking off several bucket list items, including his plans to live aboard a 34-foot catamaran sailboat.