June 27, 2018

Congratulations to Professor Vance Poteat! Vance will serve as chair of the new Engineering and Computer Science Department starting August, 2018.

The STEM & Advanced Manufacturing Academic Focus Area will now consist of three departments:

  • Science and Advanced Manufacturing, chaired by Bob Bragdon;
  • Mathematics, chaired by Barry Garside; and
  • Engineering and Computer Science, chaired by Vance Poteat.

In his new role, Vance will oversee all computer science programs (including software, web design, networking and cybersecurity) and the Electronic Engineering Technology program.

Who is Vance Poteat?

Professor Vance Poteat has had a long career in STEM and education. He authored more than 40 papers and articles in technical journals and magazines, holds two patents (“Electronic Identifiers for Network Terminal Devices” and “Digital communication station signaling control”) and has designed products featured in TV commercials. (The Merlin Cordless and Video Phone).

At Merrimack College, Vance had a dual appointment in both the Department of Electrical Engineering and Department of Computer Science at Merrimack College starting in 2001, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2014. Vance was the Chair of the Computer Science Department for his last 5 years and served as Professor of Computer Science, including networking, and Electrical Engineering for a total of 16 years.

Vance recalled how he learned about the 2017 opportunity in the NCC Electronic Engineering Technology department: “I knew Don Marcotte very well; we worked together at Bell Telephone Laboratories, and he knocked on my door.”

Vance will soon chair the three program areas and work closely to support the program coordinators. Don Marcotte will remain in his role as EET program coordinator, and Professor Barbara Bancroft will continue to lead Computer Networking and Cybersecurity Networking. A job search is now under way for the Computer Science program coordinator – a spot recently held by retired faculty member David Hubbs.

“I was a little reluctant to step into the new Chair position but it looked like a good fit for me; I taught in all the areas at Merrimack College and created many of the courses during my tenure there” he said.

Vance emphasized that he will continue working directly with students, which he enjoys. “I also plan to continue teaching in Electronic Engineering, because that is why I was originally hired.” In his first year with NCC, he said he has enjoyed motivating students. “Some students have a selfconfidence problem, and it’s so much fun to show them ‘look what you did’ and help them build that confidence and keep going forward,” he said. Before his teaching career, Vance spent more than 20 years as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and a Technical Manager at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Vance has also served on a variety of committees including ABET EE Accreditation (since 2001). Professional memberships also include Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) – Senior Member, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and Consortium for Computer Sciences in Colleges (CCSC).