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Conference Examines Technology and Community Development

Date: Jan. 22, 2002
By: Eric Lose
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Contact: Chris Curran
Archive: General News

A while back, Hazem Said had a vision about using information technology to aid community development. Not one to let a good idea go to waste, Said set about to put his thoughts into motion. As a result, late last summer The Center for Information Technology and Community Development (CITCD) opened at the University of Cincinnati College of Applied Science.

Said is director of the CITCD, which provides training and outreach programs to educate students and professionals about information technology. The center has two major educational projects and a conference in the works: The Summer Academy of Information Technology (SAIT) and the Programming Learning Center. SAIT, which will begin in June 2002, will bring together students in grades K-12 with college students to work on IT projects that will serve the community. The project is funded by the Urban University Program and is conducted in cooperation with Cincinnati Public Schools. The Programming Learning Center was started in November 2001 to help students understand the fundamentals of computer programming.

The CITCD is not an academic program, but a center that brings together IT experts, educators and learners, and community development professionals and organizations. According to Said, the mission of the CITCD is "to identify and execute projects that will bring information technology to community development groups through the students who are enrolled in IT programs in schools and universities."

CITCD has several unique aspects: It engages students in IT projects related to the community, it promotes a partnership between UC and K-12 students that focuses on student learning, and it promotes partnerships with community development groups to develop IT solutions.

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the center is hosting a conference on IT and community development from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to Said, the conference will be the first of its kind and "will be a unique opportunity for IT educators, learners and experts to meet and exchange ideas and information with community development groups and organizations." The program will be divided into three sessions: The IT Learning Process in Schools and Colleges, Information Technology in the City of Cincinnati, and The Community Development Process and Its Needs.

Professor Sam Geonetta is a member of the organizing committee for the conference and is one of the speakers. Geonetta's presentation is on developing curricula for and integration of IT into community development organizations and projects. Geonetta said that the conference would help develop a dialogue between professionals in public and private community development and IT business, industry and education.

The symposium will be in Room 204, Administration Building, at the College of Applied Science, 2220 Victory Parkway, 45206. There is no cost to attend, however pre-registration is required. To register submit name, title and affiliation by one of the following: web:, email: Hazem Said or fax: 556-4878 (attention IT and Community Development).

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